Suzi sets her sights on UK tour – at last
If you read my review of SUZI QUATRO’s poetry book ‘Through My Eyes’ you will recall I gave a list of Suzi’s achievements over the past 50 years.
Well, by the time you’ve finished reading my latest interview with her, you will no doubt be aware of a couple of other surprise developments.
I caught up with Suzi as she was heading back home to Essex and initially asked how she was.
“I’m doing fine, a bit jet-lagged, just got back from Detroit yesterday, then they gave me the promo day from hell, had to get up at 5am, but now I’m on my way back home.”
You’re finally going to tour the UK again.
“That’s right, I’m headlining the ‘LEGENDS LIVE’ arena tour this autumn, I’ve been working everywhere around the world, just not here for some reason.”
It must be around 15 years since your last one, which I think was the Flying Music Seventies one.
“It was, but I’m touring all the time, just not here: still, it’s great to finally be asked, and I’m looking forward to it, long, long overdue!”
The Legends tour also features David Essex. Have you worked with him before, apart from ‘Top Of The Pops’?
“No, we did a few things together. I know we did a television show in Spain many years ago, and we did an impromptu jam session. I’ve worked with Hot Chocolate numerous times, but I don’t think I’ve worked with the Osmonds either. So we’ve got four good acts, a real trip down memory lane and everyone who comes along will have a great time.’
Will you be having your own band, or will it be a house band?
“Oh God no. I’ve never done that, I always have my own band; it’s a big seven piece band. I’ve just returned from my 32nd tour of Australia, played the Opera House, sold that out. I’ve also got a new super group called Quatro: Scott, Powell, with myself, Andy Scott (Sweet) and Don Powell (Slade). We’ve released an album, first of all in Australia, because they were my support group, so I went on with them and then came back as me. I did 27 songs a night, anyway the album got into the Top 20 in Australia, a real feat considering our ages, and now we’re going to release it here, it’s called ‘QSP’.”
You’re all from back in the same era.
“We are. Andy Scott is the guitar player from Sweet, and Don Powell is Slade’s drummer, but the music is nothing to do with then. It’s our own thing and it’s a fabulous, fabulous album, a mixture of covers and originals: look out for it.”
Was it a big tour of Australia?
“Sure, 19 dates, huge places, and everyone sold out.”
So you’re doing another Sinatra and Cher, because I thought you said farewell a couple of years ago to touring down under.
“You know what it was! And I truly don’t bulls**t, but after the buzz wore off after the big final, about six months later, I started to think ‘Oh no, what have I done?’ and I have said to the audiences you will never hear me say the ‘F’ (farewell) word again, never again.”
It obviously must be very hard, as you want to spend more time at home with your family, and the travelling takes its toll.
“No, no, I love what I do and I have so much energy. The reason was, it was my 31st tour over there, 50 years in the business, and they had just brought out my 4CD box set called ‘The Girl From Detroit City’ and I thought it was the right time, but you know it’s never the right time.”
I know exactly what you mean, and I think your voice and your body’s energy will let you know.
“That’s right, when you can go on-stage for three hours, sing 27 songs, you really shouldn’t stop yet.”
Are you doing any festivals this year?
“Oh yes, I’m doing the Holt Festival in Norfolk on July 29, I’ve just come back from Estonia, where I’ll also be headlining a big festival. They are all coming in now.”
How about your ‘Unzipped’ show?
“We are looking into doing that again. I love doing it so much, my poetry book ‘Through My Eyes’ has now been published worldwide.”
I’ve got it in front of me, and I’m thoroughly enjoy it. I leave it on a table, pick it up, read a poem, then the story behind it, read it again, then put it back down.
“Good, that is exactly how you should read it, because your fingers will guide you to the right page. I’m very, very proud of that book. I’ve just finished, when I was in Detroit for a charity gig, my first novel, and the fact I finished it in Detroit I take as a very good omen. I can’t say too much more as the deal is still being done, but it is going to happen. ‘Quatrophonic’ my radio show is ongoing and I start the new series next month for broadcast starting in July.”
Are there any special guest interviews on them?
“I usually try to have a couple of guests on each series. Two or three people have said they want to do it, but nothing’s ever settled until it’s signed, sealed and delivered. It’s a feel good show and everybody seems to like it.”
Is there any one in particular you would love to talk to?
“Paul McCartney, he’s a fellow Gemini, fellow bass player, and when I met him, we got along good, and I think we’d do a great show.”
Great choice. I also read that you are now a Doctor.
“I am now Dr. Quatro, I’m very thrilled, very honoured. I don’t even have a High School diploma, I accepted my award at Cambridge, in the cap and the gown, it just doesn’t get any better, does it!”
It doesn’t, I’ve seen the presentation photo, and you look so pleased and proud.
“I am proud, extremely proud; the High School drop-out gets made a Doctor, huh! There you go, I’ve always worked hard at my craft, and this is a great sign of recognition.”
Any plans for a new album on the horizon?
“We spent the last couple of years working on the ‘QSP’ project, but I’m writing as we speak. I’m in the most creative period of my career, so it shouldn’t be too long.’
With that, I left the last words to Suzi.
“Come and see me, it’s my first UK tour in a long time. I’m headlining ‘Legends Live’. I’ve got some great stable mates with me, you’re gonna hear non-stop hits all evening, what better way to enjoy a night out, so ‘Come On Down To The Drive’.
The ‘Legends Live’ arena tour kicks off in Glasgow on October 13th, with shows at eight venues over nine days, ending in Cardiff on the 22nd: www.legendslive.org
Since talking to Suzi she has been able to confirm her novel, ‘The Hurricane’ will be published by Newhaven Publishing in June. The ‘QSP’ CD is getting a UK release on Warner, and she is also confirmed as headlining the ‘Rock The Boat’ seven-day round the UK tour with The Manfreds in September. So, 2017 is going to continue to be a busy year, and as far as retiring goes, I can only quote Suzi from a few years back: “I WILL RETIRE WHEN I GO ON-STAGE, SHAKE MY ASS, AND THERE IS SILENCE.”
Jim Stewart 2017