Suzi Quatro is, certifiably, a living legend. At age 23, the diminutive, leather-clad Quatro, strutted onto the world stage, jetting rock riffs from her bass guitar like a gush from a fire-hose. From then on she has reigned unchallenged as the queen of rock and inspired women, not only in music but in life, to be complete and true to themselves. Suzi Q, the feature-length documentary, chronicles Quatro’s life and career, using an incredible collection of archival film and photos, music clips, and interviews with Quatro’s sisters as well as an impressive list of admirers including: Alice Cooper, Deborah Harry, Joan Jett, Cherie Currie (The Runaways), Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads), Donita Sparkes ( L7 ), Henry Winkler, and many more. It’s an Australian made film. Quatro was hugely successful in Australia, clocking up many of her No. 1 hits down under while lamentably remaining virtually ignored at home in the USA. Director Liam Firmager had unfettered access to Quatro during the four years of filming. In a Q&A after a recent Sydney screening, Quatro said:
“The agreement that we had was that I wanted a no bullshit film…My rule was: if it happened, if it’s real, then it’s in – even if I cringe.”
The resulting film captures Quatro at her most feisty, creative and vulnerable.
“I cry every time I see it,” she says. The falling out with her sisters and surrendering of her youth in exchange for success are particularly challenging for her.
On the other hand, she is also in awe, “I can’t believe I did all that.”
That thought reverberates throughout the audience. Performing with her dad at age eight, on the road at age 14, a superstar at 23, and still rocking on at 69.
This is a film for music fans, pop-culture historians, and those who still need convincing that women can and do rock hard.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich
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