Suzi Quatro plays the Lismore Workers Club.
Suzi Quatro plays the Lismore Workers Club. Contributed

Suzi Q ready to rock Lismore

"I  think I do rock 'n' roll the best," Suzi Quatro tells music program GTK on her first Australian tour in 1974.
"I'll just keep doing it until they don't wanna see me do it no more."

That time is yet to come and Quatro has kept to her word. Thirty seven years on, rock 'n' roll's first lady is on tour in Australia for what might be the 27th time.

She isn't just pushing her old-wares either. The 61-year old rocker brings with her a new album, her 14th, In The Spotlight.

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The album features new originals as well as a few covers including Goldfrapp's Strict Machine and Rihanna's Breaking Dishes.

According to Quatro, the reviews have been positive.

"The album has had not just good reviews, they've been great," Quatro says down the line from her hotel in Adelaide.

"People are saying it's up to date. Who knew at 61 I'd still be doing this. It's a real Suzi Quatro record, you know, it's got that sound, but it's still now."

Quatro teamed up on the release with Mike Chapman, who she'd worked with in her early days, including her hit Can The Can in 1973.

"Mike Chapman just said 'let me be in charge' and I did," Quatro says. "He's been producing me for a long time, so I trust him."

The result is an album of the glam-rock era, for which Quatro became renowned.

"It doesn't sound like the '70s ... but it's got that original feeling of Suzi Quatro," she says.

"If I were recording my first record today, that's what it would sound like."

Quatro says she couldn't have made this album without the one before it, Back To The Drive (2006), which was autobiographical.

"I wrote my book, I put out the record," she says. "I went through all of that so then I was ready. It's like a re-birth."

Choosing which songs to cover for In The Spotlight was an easy task for the wild one.

"They sounded like me," she says matter-of-factly. "I included a bit of Can The Can at the end of Strict Machine; it's my way of saying thanks."

The bass player and singer says she doesn't think this is the last we'll see of her either. She'd like to do an anthology and is in talks with an Australian film maker about making a movie of her life.

"I've done everything I wanted to do. I've done television, Happy Days, 14 albums, touring - there's just not a lot left to do. All I want to do now is the movie and maybe a few more albums," she says.

Though Quatro was tight-lipped on who she was in talks with about making the movie at the time of our chat, days later a press release with her sitting alongside Red Dog producer Nelson Watt and his famous kelpie Koko came through. You don't have to get lucky to connect those dots.

When it will all come to an end, she isn't sure.

"I don't know (when I'll stop), I think I've got a few albums in me," she says. "I'm not quite ready yet."

When the star first appeared on Top Of The Pops in the United Kingdom parents were scared of the female rocker and the influence she had on their children, particularly the girls.

But the fear was unfounded, she says, and being treated like someone to be afraid of did little to change the way she raised her own children.

"There was nothing scary about me," she says. "I was tough, but I did it in a cute way. I was always fully clothed. Ask my kids - I'm sure they will say I was quite strict. I was open minded in some ways, but in others I was strict."

Quatro's children are all grown up now and raising families of their own.

Suzi Quatro plays the Lismore Workers Club Friday October 14 at 8pm. Tickets $79.90 from the venue, 6621 7401.