Suzi Quatro: ‘My poems deal with emotional issues, issues I have laid bare’

Suzi Quatro. Picture: Tina Korhonen

Suzi Quatro. Picture: Tina Korhonen - Credit: Archant

Rock star and actress Suzi Quatro talks at Archway with Words on October 21 about her collection of poems and lyrics, Through My Eyes

Rock star and actress Suzi Quatro was born in Detroit in 1950 and became the first female bass player to break through to major stardom, selling 50 million records including 70s hits such as Can the Can and Devil Gate Drive. She also appeared in TV shows Happy Days and Minder.

She talks at Archway with Words on October 21 about her collection of poems and lyrics, Through My Eyes.

Q: Rather than writing a diary you would write poems from the age of seven. Have you always shaped your thoughts in verse?

A: I have always been a written word person, always had a deep love for both poetry and lyrics, I know so many lyrics from way way back to present day that its ridiculous, don’t know where my brain keeps it all. and, I find I do have a naturally poetic way of speaking, always have had. I am a communicator.

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Q: Have you included both early and new poems in your collection?

A: Yes, there is one poem dated back to when I was eight and my verse takes you all through my life up to the present day. There are a few that reflect my life in the music industry, but mainly they deal with emotional issues, issues I have laid bare.

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Q: Is it true that your dad gave you your first guitar? Was music always in your family?

A: It was a very musical family. My father was a musician. All of us five kids play various instruments but taught and self taught. I can read and write piano and percussion, self taught on bass, and yes, my father gave me my very first bass guitar back in 1964 when we started our all girl band.

Q: You paved the way for other female rock musicians. The likes of Joan Jett and KT Tunstall have cited you as an influence. Did you feel like a trailblazer?

A: As history bears me out, I was the first female rock singer/musician to have success, and yes it was male dominated. I didn’t realise I was doing anything unusual, always considered myself to be simply a “musician”; gender did not come into it. Only later on when I kept getting asked the question did I see it as trailblazing, but indeed that’s what it was. I did kick the door down. It did give female rockers “permission” to be in the industry as something other than groupies, and for that I am very, very proud.

Q: Your poems reflect on love. Do you find verse a good way of writing about relationships?

A: I always feel that a bad experience can become a good one through a poem. You are honouring your emotions.

Suzi Quatro is at Archway Tavern Nightclub, October 21. Tickets £10.

The festival runs from October 13 to 22 including bestselling author Louise Doughty and minister, broadcaster and QI regular Reverend Richard Coles. Tickets and full list of venues:

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