“I’m still working, it’s only the final Australian tour. It’s the first of the final tours.”
After a decades-long love affair with Australia, Suzi Quatro is embarking on her final tour of the country, playing a run of four shows at the Regal Theatre from Wednesday, January 28, until Saturday,January 31. SHANE PINNEGAR discovers ‘final’ doesn’t mean she has any plans to retire yet.
The Detroit-born Suzi Quatro first hit stages drumming with her father’s jazz band aged about 8, before picking up the bass guitar to play with The Pleasure Seekers, alongside her sisters, Patti and Arlene.
She then relocated to England in 1971 at the behest of producer, Mickie Most, who teamed her up with the Chinn/Chapman writing team for a string of number one singles (Can The Can, 48 Crash, Devil Gate Drive and more) around the world. Since then albums and tours have kept coming, as have acting jobs. Announcing a ‘Final’ tour couldn’t have been a decision made lightly.
“Oh, God no, Jesus no,” exclaims Quatro. “Absolutely not. It was made for all the right reasons. I think this is tour number 30, I’m not sure – I’ve lost count. It’s my 51st year beginning this year. I’ve kind of accomplished all my bucket lists.”
As the pint-sized leather-jumpsuit-clad fireball rattles of a list of her more recent achievements, it’s obvious that this 64 year-old grandmother has more irons in fires than most people half her age.
“I’ve got my four-CD box set The Girl From Detroit City out,” she says proudly, “which is a very big achievement with 82 tracks on it. I’ve got a poetry book being released with the tour called Through My Eyes. I made my autobiography into a one-woman show successfully. So it just seemed that this is the time to do my final tour in Australia. I wanted to do my first final farewell in Australia. It’s my gift.”
Don’t think for a moment though that this means Quatro is completely retiring her bass any time soon.
“I’m still working,” she laughs, “it’s only the final Australian tour. It’s the first of the final tours.”
In addition to that, Quatro has been working on a top secret project… a supergroup (!)
“I just made a new album with this supergroup I’ve just formed,” she teases, “which I can’t talk about yet – I wish I could, but I can’t. The album is pretty much completed, and now we’re actively looking for a deal… it’s very exciting.”
Quatro’s influence on pretty much every female rock’n’ roller that came after her is undisputed and well documented, with the likes of Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde and K.T. Tunstall singing her praises, but not as many talk about her influence on male rockers.
“Yeah, that’s a funny one: nobody does!” she agrees. “I’ve always had the utmost respect from all the guy musicians. I don’t know, it’s a funny thing… I feel that whatever you put out is what you’ll get back. I always put out, ‘hey, I’m a bass player, no bullshit,’ and that’s what I got back. I got the respect. I’ve had a lot of compliments from guys on my bass playing, a lot.”
In her 51st year in the music business, Quatro shows no signs of slowing down, and why should she, when her career is far from over?
“No, it’s not over by a long shot!” she laughs before teasing that we may see her on stage again before too long, “if this supergroup takes off, we will take it on the road!”