SUZI QUATRO IS BACK!
GOLDMINE|April 2021
WITH A NEW ALBUM, THE DEVIL IN ME, THIS PIONEERING FEMALE ROCKER REMAINS AS DRIVEN AND DETERMINED AS EVER
LEE ZIMMERMAN

Suffice it to say, Suzi Quatro has always defied expectations throughout her entire career. An unapologetic insurgent, she set the standard for every female rocker that followed — Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, The Go-Go’s, The Bangles and Girlschool among them — by making it a point to break down the boundaries and silly stereotypes imposed on her by members of the “boys club,” many of whom insisted that women couldn’t rock. These days, at the age of 70, she remains at the peak of her prowess thanks to a searing new album, descriptively titled The Devil in Me, and a determination to parlay her passion without any limits or hesitation. As one of the songs on the new album “Get Outta Jail” insists so incisively, there’s always “one more gig to satisfy, one more gig before I die.”

“I kind of feel about age like I do about gender, and I don’t do either,” Quatro insists. “I’m a musician first and foremost. I’m 70 and proud of it. I’m not chasing 30. In fact, I tell people my age when I go out onstage. I don’t feel any different now than I did when I was 20.

I think my secret is that I don’t give a sh*t. I really don’t. I never have let age define me. I just don’t care. I’m still out there shaking my ass at age 70 and that’s got to be worth something, that attitude. I have that famous quote I shared years ago when I was 35, and someone asked me when I was going to retire. I said that would only happen when I go on stage, turn my back on the audience, shake my ass and there’s silence. Fortunately, that has not happened yet!”

Indeed, Quatro’s own trajectory mirrors the changing face of rock and roll itself over the course of the past 50 years. The Detroit-born rocker was initially inspired to pursue her muse after seeing Elvis Presley perform on The Ed Sullivan Show when she was six, only to eventually connect with her sister Patti in a band euphemistically dubbed The Pleasure Seekers after catching a glimpse of The Beatles on the Sullivan show eight years later. Although she had been trained to play piano and percussion, she picked up the bass when all the other members in the band spoke up first and laid their claims on the other instruments.

After releasing a series of singles with that band, Quatro relocated to the U.K. in 1971. It was there that she was signed to hit producer Mickie Most’s newly formed Rak Records and kicked her career into overdrive. Most, whose credits included records by Donavan, the Jeff Beck Group, The Nashville Teens and The Animals, took her under his wing and made her a major star.

“Mickie and I talked deeply about everything,” Quatro recalls. “We had this nonstop love. We had a very close relationship. I loved him dearly and I still do even now.”

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