QUEEN QU­A­TRO

Suzi Qu­a­tro is zip­ping into her fa­mous out­fits one more time as she em­barks on her farewell tour of Australia af­ter five solid decades of rocking out

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - KATHY MCCABE

ROCK MU­SIC ROY­ALTY SUZI FAREWELLS GOLD COAST FANS ON HER VERY LAST AUS­TRALIAN TOUR

If you have had even a pass­ing in­ter­est in rock mu­sic in the past five decades, you will have crossed paths with a Suzi Qu­a­tro song.

Whether it was the gritty

hook-laden Devil Gate Drive or Can The Can, Qu­a­tro was an in­trigu­ing and ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence on the AM band dur­ing the ’70s.

The hits may have dried up af­ter Stum­blin’ In, but Qu­a­tro doggedly en­dured on the live stage where loyal fans never tired of see­ing the bass gui­tarplay­ing rock chick in ac­tion.

Af­ter 50 years of rocking all over the world, with 30 tours of Australia alone since 1974, the 64-year-old Qu­a­tro has de­cided it is time to em­bark on her fi­nal tour of Australia.

She laughs when it is sug­gested she may be do­ing a John Farn­ham. “Every­body keeps say­ing that!” she says.

So why now?

“Lis­ten, Australia is get­ting the first fi­nal tour. I want it to be spe­cial, it means some­thing,” she says.

“I did wait un­til I got to 50 years, which is a mile­stone and I want to mark the oc­ca­sion. I planned the things out that I wanted to do.”

If you have been to one of Qu­a­tro’s tens of thou­sands of con­certs or read her 2007 au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Un­zipped, you would be well ac­quainted with her story.

Raised in a mu­si­cal fam­ily in Detroit, she formed an al­lgirl band with her sis­ter Patti called The Plea­sure Seek­ers when she was only 14.

She was dis­cov­ered by famed Bri­tish pro­ducer Mickie Most, who helmed hits for The An­i­mals, the Jeff Beck Group, Dono­van and Lulu. She was signed and she re­lo­cated to the UK to kick­start her solo ca­reer.

Qu­a­tro par­layed the pro­file af­forded by the string of hits she en­joyed through­out the ’70s into a de­cent act­ing ca­reer, kick­ing off as Fonzie’s rocker pal Leather Tus­cadero in Happy Days.

One of the mea­sures of her pop cul­ture re­silience four decades af­ter the peak of her star­dom is the T-shirt.

Like her en­dur­ing rock god­dess con­tem­po­raries Deb­o­rah Harry and Chrissie Hynde, Qu­a­tro’s strik­ing im­age as the leather and then denim-clad rock chick re­mains a con­stant on mu­sic mer­chan­dise.

Is it sur­real to be walk­ing down the street and see your own face walk past you on some­one?

“That hap­pens all the time, but it’s crazy, yeah. It doesn’t do my head any good,” she says, laugh­ing. “When a lot of fans come up to ask for an au­to­graph or photo, the next thing they will say is ‘I bet this both­ers you’ or ‘Don’t you get fed up with this?’

“I would get a lot more fed-up with no one ask­ing.”

An­other sta­ple of fan ex­pres­sion is the “gift” thrown on stage and Qu­a­tro has of­ten been be­mused mid­song by items tossed in her gen­eral di­rec­tion.

“I got joints thrown up on stage in Detroit – the only prob­lem was my par­ents were in the au­di­ence,” she says. “I got a jock strap one time, but no one was touch­ing that.”

Qu­a­tro’s longevity seems to dis­count the ac­cepted wis­dom that mu­si­cians need to “grow” with the times. She has stead­fastly kept to her schtick.

“I could have changed my act many times be­fore I made it to go along with the cur­rent trends, but I stuck to me,” she says.

“No­body ever tried to change me as such and there were a few times I had to say no to my­self, when suc­cess wasn’t com­ing. Should I switch from the bass and the ripped blue jeans? That was a con­ver­sa­tion I had with me.” The im­age still res­onates. “I will never re­gret that im­age. When I zip up that suit, I feel like Suzi Qu­a­tro. It’s a good look and it has stood the test of time, so that proves I chose a good one.”

She says she has no re­grets about “giv­ing my life to rock ’n’ roll” and still feels healthy and fit. So why the end?

“You get older ... it’s go­ing to be hard do­ing those shows. I am sure there will be tears,” she says.

Suzi Qu­a­tro, Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, to­mor­row night

I COULD HAVE CHANGED MY ACT MANY TIMES BE­FORE I MADE IT TO GO ALONG WITH THE CUR­RENT TRENDS, BUT I STUCK TO ME

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