Musician, song writer and bassist, Suzi Quatro talks about remaining sane and in control of your own destiny…
Going for your dream doesn’t mean ‘easy’ – but if you enjoy it you can do anything.
How significant is my achievement to me in the light that I am a woman? I never did and never will do ‘gender’ – I simply believed I could do anything I chose to do. That said, a bass is a heavy, physically demanding instrument to play and leading and touring with a hard-working rock band would not suit a lot of women. It is beyond enjoyable…but it is not easy!
Never stop giving 100%. Never go out unprepared. Never take people for granted
My mother was very moral. Black and white. Right and wrong. This kept me on the rails. My dad taught me that it was my duty to give 100% – or don’t bother going on stage. I still practice that after 51 years in the business. I never take the audience for granted. I never go out unprepared. I am always as physically fit as possible. I never touch alcohol before a show. The audience get me – and only me.
Luck may come into it – but only after years of learning your craft
And believing in yourself against all odds. That it’s all down to luck is the biggest misconception others have made about my achievement.
Be patient (and say ‘yes’ to every chance you get)
When I was a kid, I saw Elvis on TV in Detroit and thought,
“I will be like him.” I joined my first band at 14, went straight on the road for the next 9 years playing every gig God sent, five sets a night. I got a solo contract at 21. So that’s 9 years homework and 2 years cooling my heels until my first number one. It is a long road and it is hard work waiting to be discovered.
When the challenges come, draw on your inner resources
Belief in the self is essential. You have to say, “I will always survive. Somehow.”
Every home needs an ‘Ego Room’
‘Celebrate what you achieve. On the third floor of my home is a big, heavy wooden door on which there is a brass sign that reads: ‘EGO ROOM: MIND YOUR HEAD’. Inside, I keep all my scrapbooks, videos, DVDs, CDs, awards and posters. I spend time there, then come out, shut the door and get on.
Find a friend that believes in you beyond the business
Mickie Most was my mentor. He believed in me, brought me to London and supported me for 2 years. He never lost faith in me and he was a friend. The relationship went beyond record company and artist. I still count his widow, Chris as one of my best friends.
Manage frustration and disappointment head-on
Walk into them. Feel the pain. Cry if need be. Then come out of the other side and keep walking.
Intuition is a naturally useful female strength – trust it
I can read people within 5 minutes of meeting them, but it’s pointless if you don’t trust your ability.
Stay sane and in control of your destiny at all times
Being selected as a ‘First Woman’ is an honour. I guess in this case I must do ‘gender’ and stand proud as a woman who beat men at their own game and kicked down the door for others…and remained sane and in control of her destiny.
If I had the chance, I would say to my 15- year old self, ‘be patient. Your time is coming’
But I don’t think I would have listened!
Suzi Quatro is the First Woman to front and play bass in a Glam Rock band
To find out more about Suzi Quatro visit: http://www.suziquatro.com/
Watch Suzi rocking it right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYoogY-UGio
Interview by Deborah Willimott