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I Wanna Be Your Man: Suzi Quatro's musical androgyny

  • PHILIP AUSLANDER

Abstract

As a woman who performs rock music in an unabashedly ‘masculine’ fashion, Suzi Quatro is often criticised for trying to be ‘one of the boys’. Through close examinations of Quatro's performance strategies, including her repertoire, physical performance and vocal presence, I hope to show that Quatro's performances of gender and sexual identity on sound recordings and video belie such an uncomplicated characterisation. Focusing particularly on Quatro's ability to construct multiple subject positions that are ambiguous or mutually contradictory with respect to gender and sexuality, I shall argue that the role of female cock-rocker, as she performs it, is a paradoxical one that destabilises the gender codings from which it is constructed and celebrates the polymorphousness and performativity of identity.

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