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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2008
"Unzipped" starts well for a celebrity autobiography. How many times have you started to read someone's life story and had to plough through the formative years and life before The Big Break? Not in Suzi Quatro's story, because from the age of 14 it's been all about rock and roll. She really has spent her entire life on stage, pounding a bass guitar.

The first half is a very readable blast through a life in the music business in the 60s and 70s. As Suzi Quatro says, this may have been the last time people in the music business had to work hard and pay their dues. She certainly played the long game, touring local dance-halls and even Viet Nam in an all-girl band for eight years before producer Mickie Most brought her to England. Fans and any true child of the seventies will enjoy the detail about the two years RAK records invested developing the Suzi Quatro sound, band and image, and the three-year gravy train that followed as she became a truly global, endlessly touring pop icon

Despite Noddy Holder's ominous cover quote that promises "Suze ... you remember everything", "Unzipped" isn't a warts-and-all expose of the glam rock scene. There are some stories about late nights and vomit on tour, but she is surprisingly discrete about other people's misbehaviour and this isn't a detailed or candid glimpse behind glam rock's sequined curtain. Despite cover quotes from Richie Cunningham and the Fonz, there's also disappointingly little information about the year or so she spent as a recurring character on "Happy Days". Instead as the book goes on there's more and more about Suzi Quatro's own dysfunctional American family, her marriage problems and the effects of her life choices on her children.

Some men will find "Unzipped" increasingly hard going because after the tales of making it and touring, the second half is about how tough it was in the 80s and after to have been more famous in the 70s. This part of the book is a heart-on-her-sleeve confessional about failed relationships and the price of fame. The candour about family and spiritual matters is admirable but not everyone will be able to take all of it seriously and a number of "open letters" to friends, family and acquaintances are a long way up the foothills into embarrasment country. There's also an uncomfortable amount of poetry, but this is easy to spot and - if you choose, in a manly way - to skip.

From the start it's clear that "Unzipped" wasn't ghost-written, which is a double-edged sword. We're told in the introduction that the book was written to a tight deadline, so it rushes along at speed but also feels like a first draft. It's also held back by an odd choice to try and write as a split personality, first as real-life Susie Quatro and then from 1972 as rock star Suzi. Each comments on the other's memories, but the "voices" aren't really very different, and sometimes it seems to be a way to step back from responsibility for what's being said.

A couple of words of warning, especially about the hardback edition which could also have been called "Unproofread". Some of the dates dropped into anecdotes don't match up, as when stories apparently about 1977 feature a band member fired in 1975. There's a writing technique called the "unreliable narrator", but I don't think it's intentional here. Also lot sentences don't make sense due missing words and. Bizarre punctuation.
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on 16 June 2008
While the first half of "Unzipped" was enjoyable to read and Suzi's candour is disarmingly frank, I felt that she dwelt too much on her own personal traumas in the second half of the book. I agree with the previous reviewer who noticed that there were some inconsistencies about the facts, which suggested that the book may have been written in a hurry. I also noticed quite a few typographical errors. That said, it is still worth reading and Suzi can only be admired for making it in the tough world of rock-and -roll.
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on 20 August 2007
I do not read much as I have a year old son, so spare time is few and far between, but I read this book non-stop and at the end of the weekend I was at chapter 7 already. What an amazing woman! I admire her strength and determination. This book was easy to read and I battled putting it down. You get a real insight into the way of the seventies and the music scene, She really opens up on the loves in her life and you can feel her pain, her drive and her success and her adaptability. I would recommend it!!
Thank you Suzi Quatro for sharing your life with us, and for taking the time to jot it all down. Even if you are not a fan, well worth the read!!
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on 1 January 2014
Bought this hard back and used t a great price. Great story and great pictures. Thirty years on she still stirs my blood. She was and is amazing and worked hard for her success, but could like us all have been much more with the right guidance. If a fan you gotta have this.
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on 7 October 2012
I was a fan of Suzi's in the 70's and 80's, and had a big crush on here!!.

This his her life story from growing up in Detroit and how she first got started, right through to making it BIG, her marriage to Len Tuckey, Her great friendship with Micky Most, and loads of other people she has met along the way.

If your a Suzi Quatro fan, then you will enjoy this, if you want to be taken back to your youth, you'll enjoy this book.

You will discover things about Suzi, you never knew..... like she lives in Essex (like me.. lol)

Very interesting and entertaining book, thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 9 April 2013
This was a good book explaining the whole of Suzi Quatros life no holes barred. The reaction to when her Mum dies brought me to tears reliving the same reaction I had when my Mum died. A good book to buy well worth the money .
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on 22 March 2015
I am a pretty big fan of Ms Quatro. I even got her to sign my copy of this book and one for a female friend. And this gift revealed an insight into the effect the book has on an audience. I found it all a bit too emotional and heavy on 'relationship' issues and far too light on the creative process and recording of her catalogue of albums. My female friend, on the other hand, thought it was a great read and that the relationship, touchy-feely stuff, was riveting and brave.

I was dying to hear about what drove her to write certain songs, what the creative tensions were in the recording studio given the obvious influence her uber-producer, singles songwriter Mike Chapman and her image-building manager, Mickie Most. She is far clearer about their effect on her band-mates than on her. And the albums are dispensed with disappointingly quickly, with her often saying she liked certain songs she wrote, rather than explaining much about them. There are some precious creative insights for the ardent fan to grasp at, just not near enough. I also didn't get much of a sense of what it was really like to be an almost lone female in the 70s rock scene. Then there is the psychic stuff, which adds to the odd rambling nature of the second half. Interesting, though, to read her raw honesty about the devastation of things like the failure of her turn in Annie Get Your Gun on the West End and the implosion of an album she recorded in the late 90s with a French producer.

There is also the unsuccessful decision to write the book in two voices - Little Suzi from Detroit and 'Suzi Quatro' the rock star. This never really works and, by book's end, overwhelmingly makes her sound like her ego is much bigger than the levels of enduring success she retains and her generally accepted (ie unfairly overlooked) position in the pantheon of rock. A ghostwriter would no doubt have shaped the book and this device to greater effect and diffused the egotistical self aggrandizing side of it all with a greater sense of humility. As it is, her writing style is too often dismissive of things that seem like they would have been momentous personal or creative events and often too conversational and slightly ungracious.

It is a shame, because this is an interesting life. Her achievement is probably to graphically and honestly illustrate that she was nothing like her hard rocking image, but rather, a sensitive fallible woman working hard to keep her family relationships on an even keel and to salvage and hold together a once extremely successful career. This is harsh - but for a big fan, I was surprised how bored I was at times. In the end, it just feels like her story could have been told a whole lot better with some strategic outside help.
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on 18 July 2015
I am only too happy to have read this book.Suzi is so much lovely and passionate person and I am happy for her success.She worked so hard to achive it and people should read the book to understand sth more about it all.Strongly recommended!!!
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on 14 December 2007
What an excellent book, so easy to read yet compeling at all stages. The use of her talking to herself throughout the book worked well. She's led an amazing life, but at great cost, but I doubt she'd have it any other way. I remember that first TOTP appearance, the leather, the girl, the music. My school could talk of nothing else; and we still do! Suzi really is the leader in her field and at nearly 60 still rocks in concert. I found the book bring to us all a new side of her life that's been kept very private over the years. Long may she rock and issue new CDs and play live. I look forward to the next book update in around ten years as she rocks after getting her pension, but will she collect it from the post office? I would recommend this book not only to her fans, but to anyone who wnats to know more about 70's glam rock, and how to make a career last 40+ years in the rock business. As young men we all thought we'd stand a chance of 'pulling' Suzi, given the chance. How wrong we were and how many of us could have kept up with her six hour sex sessions! ha ha, can that can.
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on 15 August 2009
This a superbly written autobiography and is both poignant and amusing. It is written in such a style that you feel that Suzi is conversing with you...and who could wish for more ?
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