The iconic rock trailblazer Suzi Quatro will be headlining Wickham Festival on Friday 2nd August 2023. She paved the way for a new generation of female rock stars in the 70s. We really are over the moon to welcome Suzi and her fantastic band to the Wickham stage. There’s no doubt that as far as live rock performances go, Suzi is up there with the all-time greats. We’re sure this will be a night to remember! To date she has sold over 55 million records. Her hits include, Can the Can, 48 Crash, Too Big, Devil Gate Drive, Daytona Demon, The Wild One, She’s in Love With You, Mama’s Boy, If You Can’t Give Me Love, Rock Hard, and a million seller in the USA, Stumblin In a duet with Chris Norman .
She was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in a musical family with three sisters and one brother, who all played various instruments. Suzi herself made her debut on stage playing bongo’s in her fathers jazz band, The Art Quatro trio.
From an early age she studied classical piano and percussion, then aged 14, began an all-girl band with elder sister Patti called The Pleasure Seekers. Suzi was ‘told’ she would be playing bass guitar, which was as tall as her! She quickly became the lead singer and front person.
The band toured successfully for 7 years releasing a few singles along the way. They changed their name to Cradle in 1969. It was in this band, a couple of years later, that Mickie Most (a producer behind scores of hit singles for acts such as the Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Donovan, and many others) came to a Cradle concert one night and offered Suzi a solo contract. Since then she never looked back and flew to England in 1971 to begin her journey to fame. When Mickie asked her what she’d like to wear to promote Can the Can she said “leather” which he thought was old-fashioned. But she stuck to her guns and THE look was born …
Prints of this iconic picture signed and numbered by the photographer, Gered Mankowitz, sell for over £2K!
Soon after Suzi began working with now legendary songwriters Chinn and Chapman (Mike Chapman also produced). This resulted in the huge hit, Can the Can, which topped the charts in May 1973, and went on to sell two and a half million copies worldwide.
Between 1973 and 1980 Suzi featured in the British charts for no less than 101 weeks. She has sold to date over 55 million records, and still counting.
She continued to act in other shows including Minder, Dempsey and Makepeace, Absolutely Fabulous, and Midsomer Murders. In 1986 Suzi made her West End debut playing the leading role of Annie Oakley in Irving Berlin’s ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ for which she received great critical acclaim. 1988 saw Suzi spread her wings again as she hosted her own talk show called ‘Gas Street’ which ran for a year.
In 1989 Suzi was one of the first rock and roll acts to go to Russia where she performed for over half a million people in just six weeks. In 1991 Suzi was triumphant again when realised a lifelong ambition by co-writing the music and lyrics to ‘Talullah Who?’, a musical about notorious actress Tallulah Bankhead. She also starred in this production.
1999 saw Suzi start her radio career with BBC Radio 2, which is ongoing today. Suzi has done her own weekly programs, and many special documentaries including Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Patsy Cline, and a recent special on her home town of Detroit. Suzi has met, interviewed or played on stage with most of her hero’s. She was nominated for music broadcaster of the year at the Sony radio awards in 2006. 1999 also saw Suzi honoured in ‘This Is Your Life’, with Michael Aspel and the famous red book.
In 2006 Suzi released the autobiographical album, “Back to the Drive”… which has become a fans favourite worldwide. Suzi also made an appearance alongside Charles Dance in the theatre in a play called “Exonerated at this time”. Unzipped, Suzi’s Autobiograpy was released in 2007 and has done extremely well worldwide.
In 2014, to celebrate her 50 years in the business, BBC Radio 2 featured this show as part of their Christmas schedule taped at the BBC Radio Theatre. It was prime time 2 hours long, unzipped, turning into a mini concert at the end, and was attended by such luminaries as Bruce Welch (The Shadows) and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Suzi did a 23 date sell out tour of Australia in 2015, her 32th tour of this country. It was to be her *final* tour of the Australia. But this decision was turned around about a year later when she realised she was nowhere near retiring and promised her audience to NEVER use the f-word again.. (final)
In may 2017, she headlined a ‘Legends’ Arena tour in the UK, along with Hot Chocolate , The Osmonds and David Essex. In 2019 her documentary, “Suzi Q” was released. It has been featured on CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Golden Globes Page, Billboard, Rolling Stone and Variety just to name a few.
It is a warts and all, raw and real film, and because of the attention it has received she has now signed to do a movie of her life. The script is nearing completion and a list of names has been drawn up to play Suzi.
In 2021 she released a second album, with her son, ‘The Devil in Me’, which also charted around the world. In 2022 she released ‘Uncovered’ on the Sun Record label. This release has six of her favorite cover songs including James Brown’s “The Boss”, Carole King’s “I Feel The Earth Move”, and Rufus Thomas’s “Walking The Dog”. There will soon be a live stream of this which will be a one time only chance to see her play these track live.
Last year she released her duet album ‘Face to Face’ with Wickham Festival favourite, singer/songwriter and guitarist Kt Tunstall.’ This has charted in numerous terriorities around the world, even getting in to the top 10. It was album of the week on BBC Radio 2, and picked up the ‘Album of the Year’ award, presented by Jools Holland. It has impressed critics with tracks like Shine A Light and Overload …
As Suzi said in one of her interviews , “people aren’t liking this album, they are loving it“. Track samples and links to purchase Face to Face can be found here.
2023 marked the 50th anniversay of Can the Can being number one. Throughout this time Suzi is never idle … she must entertain, she must create, and she must communicate. Her famous quote says it all…
“I will retire when I go on stage , shake my ass, and there is silence”