Interview by Ceri Wheeldon
Suzi Quatro has been at the top of the tree in so many areas of entertainment and the arts – and she has stayed there for more than five decades. Suzi talks to Fab after Fifty about her stunning career – so far ! What a dynamic and inspirational lady!!! I think I shall have go and see her perform on stage in the upcoming Legends Tour.
How have you managed to sustain a career in entertainment for so long – I understand you have celebrated more than 50 years as a pro.
I have been in the business for 53 years….and still counting. I believe I have continued to be a success because whatever and whoever I am is real. I am not manufactured whatsoever. This is what stands the test of time. Plus I do keep on recording new music. Latest project Quatro, Scott & Powell (Any Scott from Sweet, on Powell from Slade), Album is called QSP. We were my support act on my last (32nd) tour of Australia, which is find of strange in itself. And the album git to number 23 in the charts. It will be out everywhere else in September. Anyway. Back to Question. My mantra ‘be true to yourself and all else will follow, and what doesn’t follow is not worth having’.
Did you consciously set out to ‘reinvent’ your career , or did it just happen?
I don’t see it as reinvention whatsoever. I was always going to do everything being an artiste allowed me. This included acting big time. It is my second love. Please see my biog for everything I have done….loads…including musicals, writing a musical, books including poetry, autobiography and my new novel etc. etc. Radio on BBC2 since 1999. My own talk show. I am a creative, ever evolving artist and need to also be doing something. This was always in my game plan.
Although best known by our generation as a singer – you have done so many other things , as we just touched on – acting, writing, radio presenting , which has been the most challenging, and which the most fun ?
Correction. I am a singer/musician. There is an important difference. I was the first female rock singer musical to have success in what was up until me, a male dominated industry…most challenging hard to say . Certainly the first time I did certain things…like my first episode of Happy Days in front of a live audience. It was my first ever acting job. So yes, a challenge. My first musical, my first live talk show on T.V. In at the deep end. My first own radio show. Loads and loads. I am a work in progress.
Looking back, what do you see as your career highlights/achievements?
See all of the above….all these are highlights. Of course your first Number 1 is hard to beat!! I am always creating. Always have a project on the go.
What motivates you?
People, emotions, psychology of the mind and what makes us tick. I eat books, forever on a quest to learn and I am now Doctor Quatro, Honorary Doctor of Music, October 2016. Received award at Cambridge University.
Whenever your name is mentioned, for many the image we will have of you is when you were performing on Top of the Pops in black leather – how has your style evolved over the years ?
It is a timeless image. I still wear the jumpsuit…also, sometimes jeans and leather jacket. It is me.
You come across as having so much energy. When you have a tour coming up, do you change your routine or do anything special to prepare?
I work even harder at fitness. Although I do it all the time, even more careful about what I eat..try to get the energy levels top notch.
Did you ever think back in 1973 that you would still be performing today?
One million percent.
How do you keep your performances of your songs ‘fresh’ for each audience?
By feeling fresh every time you do them. I love to see the faces light up when they recognise the song. I never ever get tired of this.
What is the best part of being in the Legends tour for you?
Being able to share people’s memories , and make them smile. Wonderful.
What tips would you give to women over 50 wanting to reinvent or sustain their own careers?
Sustaining is the hardest part and there is no advice I can give except…stay true to yourself.
Legends Live Tour 2017 featuring Suzi Quatro, David Essex, The Osmonds and Hot Chocolate takes in 8 arena dates starting on 13th October at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena, culminating on 22nd October at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. To buy tickets, please go to www.legendslive.org