Suzi Qu­a­tro

Travel rocks!

The Business Travel Magazine - - Talking Travel - An­gela Sara West

Elvis wanted to meet her, she’s lived it up with the likes of Led Zep­pelin and rocked along with the Rolling Stones – the Detroit-born, Bri­tain-based chart-top­per Suzi Qu­a­tro started tour­ing at the age of 14 and, hav­ing clocked up five decades in the mu­sic busi­ness, is still on the road today.

The multi-tal­ented mu­si­cian has also found fame as a Hol­ly­wood ac­tress, landed a lead role in Lon­don’s West End and starred in sev­eral TV shows. And re­cently she re­ceived an honorary doc­tor­ate from Anglia Ruskin Univer­sity, Cam­bridge, in recog­ni­tion of her ser­vices to mu­sic. “I’m now Doc­tor Qu­a­tro! It’s a great hon­our,” she says.

She has sold over 55mil­lion records and con­tin­ues to write, per­form and record her own ma­te­rial while jug­gling her weekly BBC Ra­dio 2 show. “Mu­sic means ev­ery­thing to me,” she says. “It is my heart, my soul and my gift to the world. I feel hon­oured to have been do­ing my job for so many years.”

Per­form­ing around 80 gigs a year, Qu­a­tro plays all around the globe and is just off the plane from head­lin­ing The Red Hot Sum­mer Tour Down Un­der. She’s on track with an­other gru­elling sched­ule this year, with Lucerne and Vi­enna next on the bill.

But her favourite spot of all? “I’ve been go­ing to Mi­ami since I was eight and have never stopped lov­ing it. I love Bal Har­bour: beau­ti­ful beaches, great weather, great restau­rants – what­ever your wal­let – and won­der­ful shop­ping, es­pe­cially at Saw­grass Mills – I’m a shopa­holic! I adore South Beach, Lin­coln Road and all the Art Deco too, but I'm not so crazy about Down­town.”

Des­ti­na­tions still on the rock star’s bucket list in­clude Greece and China, while a few far-flung per­for­mances have al­ready struck a chord. “I love play­ing in Tokyo and have done since 1974 and, of course, in my se­cond home, Aus­tralia, which has the best au­di­ences in the world.” The Isle of Wight scores highly, too. “I head­lined the fes­ti­val a few years ago, which was a re­ally nice one.”

Hav­ing trav­elled “all my life for my work,” Qu­a­tro has mas­tered pack­ing. “The se­cret is to pack light, es­pe­cially shoes: one walk­ing pair, one go­ing-out-to-din­ner pair and one beach pair. You never wear ev­ery­thing you take on a trip – that is a fact.”

Her hit ho­tels in­clude Sea View in Mi­ami’s Bal Har­bour, Crown Casino in Mel­bourne, Mo­torcity Casino in Detroit and The Bev­erly Hills Ho­tel in LA, while her favourite air­lines are Qan­tas, Emi­rates and Bri­tish Air­ways.

“There’s noth­ing more off-putting than noise when you’re try­ing to catch a few winks of sleep on a flight,” she says. “I al­ways have some Val­ium, too, in case it gets crazy and I need to calm down. I’ve only ac­tu­ally used it for long-haul flights to Aus­tralia – you need to chill out and dis­en­gage some­times. I also travel with a small flask of brandy for the ho­tel.”

Her big travel bug­bear, like many of us, is queues: “Lines at the pass­port counter, cus­toms, at bag­gage re­claim... and why does the tur­bu­lence al­ways hap­pen when you are fi­nally able to get some sleep?”

As you'd ex­pect, there have been plenty of high­lights and rock ’n’ roll sto­ries through­out her ca­reer. “My first big tour of Aus­tralia was crazy! And my 50th birth­day in front of 22,000 peo­ple in Ber­lin was a high­light. I also loved per­form­ing in Philadel­phia to a crowd of 60,000. I was once do­ing a 10-minute good­bye, real diva-like, walk­ing side-to-side, bow­ing, wav­ing – the whole thing – and then I fell over a mon­i­tor, bass on, legs wav­ing in the air! That was in Fin­land and the band called it my 'big fin­ish'!”

Hav­ing fa­mously said, “I will re­tire when I go on stage, shake my ass, and there is si­lence,” this mu­sic busi­ness stal­wart shows no signs of slow­ing down, and is as fit as she was in her 1970s hey­day: “I jog, go to the gym and do yoga ev­ery­where I travel.”

Ev­ery rocker needs a place to chill and the first woman of rock ’n’ roll heads to her Balearic bolt­hole on Mal­lorca for some much-needed R&R. “It’s a place to un­wind,” she says. “I fell in love with Mal­lorca the first time I vis­ited the is­land. I liked the pace of it – that you could be loud at the disco and quiet on the beach.”

She adds: “Mal­lorca means es­cape, peace and quiet to me, and the best thing about it is that it’s easy to get to from the UK, so there's no jet lag. I’ve had enough of that for a life­time in my pro­fes­sion!”

The leather-clad rocker talks to about her re­lent­less rock ’n’ roll life on the road

[ the low­down Small busi­nesses fuel a rise in busi­ness travel spend

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