It may be time to ask if documentaries about musicians have done it all. There’s rise and fall stories, musical biopics, the history of tales. One of the most popular type are the ones that focus on unsung legends. Suzi Q is a documentary about Suzi Quatro. Quatro is the first female bass player to become a major rock star. She went on to become a huge star overseas. She influenced many future rock legends. Aside from a stint on Happy Days, she is relatively unknown in the United States.
The film starts with Quatro’s childhood. The audience learns how she got into music and her early struggles. Suzi Q is a linear story that chronicles the career of the musician. It is interesting, if predictable. Interspersed is Quatro’s poetry. The writings are used as a segue between important moments in the film. It is a nice touch, but still comes off as unoriginal.
Suzi Q is filled with interviews. Many of the usual suspects are found. Deborah Harry, Alex Cooper, and Tina Weymouth all share memories. Quatro is also very open about her life. In other words, it is a basic music documentary. Is this a bad thing? No, not at all. But, it will be hard for it to attract anyone who is not already a fan of the influential rocker.
Those who are fans of Suzi Q will enjoy what they see. The documentary is a comprehensive look at the songwriter. Between the interviews and narrative, no stone has been left unturned. The scenes involving Quatro’s family are particularly interesting. There is the normal tension that involves someone finding fame. In Suzi Q, there is also differences with the family that still seem to exist.
Just when things seem like they are going to be different, Suzi Q falls back into the music documentary mold. The sound of a bass guitar is heard while Quatro mikes playing, for example. The documentary is content to remain familiar. Ultimately Suzi Q is a standard documentary about a musician. This one follows the career of the titular musician. Fans of Quatro will enjoy this deep dive into her life and career.
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