QU­A­TRO RE­MAINS SOLID AS A ROCK

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

blanche on all as­pects of her life and the pair took the per­mis­sion and ran with it – speak­ing to her three sis­ters, who re­sented Qu­a­tro’s suc­cess so much that the fam­ily’s sib­ling ri­val­ries have left an in­deli­ble mark. She also has a brother and a half-sis­ter.

“You never get over that,” Qu­a­tro says, shak­ing her head.

“As I say in the film, I would have liked just a lit­tle ap­pre­ci­a­tion.” She sighs. “But I didn’t get it and I never will, but I love my fam­ily very much.”

Qu­a­tro be­gan her ca­reer at 14, per­form­ing in an all-fe­male garage band formed by her sis­ter Patti called The Plea­sure Seek­ers, which also in­cluded an­other of her sis­ters, Ar­lene. They re­leased three sin­gles, and in 1969, changed their name to Cra­dle, when an­other of the sib­lings, Nancy, joined.

Bri­tish record pro­ducer Mickie Most went to check out the band at the be­hest of their brother, who acted as man­ager, and im­me­di­ately saw some­thing spe­cial in Suzi, who re­turned to Eng­land with him in 1971. Her sis­ters stayed be­hind in Detroit.

“When one gets picked out of the lot and the rest stay be­hind, I un­der­stand why they were not more demon­stra­tive,” she says. “It al­ways both­ered me but maybe it also spurred me on.”

She pauses: “But it nearly killed me. They cut off my life­line in a way that I knew I was re­ally alone.”

To her credit, she in­sisted none of the in­ter­views Fir­mager con­ducted with her sis­ters be cut or edited.

“When I saw what they said about me, part of me wanted to cut them out,” she ad­mits, “but then I re­alised, ‘This is how they feel. They have the right to speak,’ so I left ev­ery­thing in.” She takes an­other sip of bub­bly, and says: “My sin is that I made it.”

And she did – re­leas­ing 16 al­bums, sell­ing more than 55 mil­lion records and top­ping the charts in Aus­tralia with hits Can the Can (1973), Devil Gate Drive (1974), and 48 Crash (1974).

Other hits in­cluded Day­tona De­mon, and The Wild One, both re­leased in 1974.

She mar­ried the gui­tarist in her band, Len Tuckey, in 1976, rais­ing two chil­dren – Laura, 37, and Richard, 35 – be­fore di­vorc­ing in 1992.

She then mar­ried Ger­man con­cert pro­moter Rainer Haas, in 2003, and they’ve been to­gether ever since, re­sid­ing be­tween their homes in Es­sex and Ham­burg.

The doco also in­cludes in­ter­views with Joan Jett, Blondie’s Deb­o­rah Harry, Talk­ing Heads’ Tina Wey­mouth, L7’s Donita Sparks, the Go Go’s’ Kathy Valen­tine, and Alice Cooper, all of whom wax lyri­cal about Qu­a­tro’s in­flu­ence on them.

Yet she in­sists she al­ways felt like an outsider.

“Why am I still an anom­aly?” she asks. “I think it’s be­cause I’m real. It says a lot that I’m still per­form­ing. I am still wear­ing the leather suit, I am still do­ing what I do. I am the real deal. I am not man­u­fac­tured and that’s what stands the test of time, the re­al­ness of some­body.”

She also made sure to skirt the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll life­style she wit­nessed around her.

“I was an outsider in ev­ery­thing. I didn’t fit in with my fam­ily. I didn’t fit in with be­ing a girl. I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t like long hair even though

I was in the hip­pie era. I didn’t fit in any­where. I got into the in­dus­try be­cause I wanted to be a great en­ter­tainer and to me, that didn’t mean be­ing stoned out of your brain.”

Hav­ing toured Aus­tralia nu­mer­ous

Thumbs up: Suzi Qu­a­tro, pic­tured with The Fonz (Henry Winker), played Leather Tus­cadero on seven episodes of 1970s TV favourite Happy Days.

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