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Status Quo’s Francis Rossi says he still loves performing

The guitarist has been in the business for more than 50 years.

File picture of the late Rick Parfitt (left) and Francis Rossi of Status Quo (David Jensen/PA)
File picture of the late Rick Parfitt (left) and Francis Rossi of Status Quo (David Jensen/PA)

By Rod Minchin, PA

Status Quo legend Francis Rossi has no intention of slowing down or retiring, admitting he loves performing.

Rossi, who turned 70 this year, is continuing with his spoken word tour and then Status Quo are embarking on a series of UK and European dates.

The guitarist, who has been performing with Status Quo for more than 50 years, said a combination of the love of performance and the money kept him going.

“People always think we’ve earned millions, we have,” Rossi said.

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Francis Rossi (Matt Crossick/PA)

“But they’ve read everywhere we had drug addictions, drank too much, we had various divorces, Rick (Parfitt) had boats and planes and lost the lot, got ripped off, paid shed loads of tax.

“They think these millions stay in the bedroom stacked up.

“The thing is we had a great lifestyle and still do and probably one of the reasons I still keep going, I don’t want that lifestyle to change and I’m frightened if I don’t die soon enough I won’t have enough money to do that.

“However, I have realised in the last two years that I do actually love this.

“I realised this summer that I love it and its one of the reasons to keep going.

“The money thing is there, I do love it, I just can’t make enough of it, like everyone else.”

Rossi was speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival discussing his book, I Talk Too Much, in which he chronicles the break-ups, selling over 100 million records and the death of Parfitt.

He explained he still had the drive and obsession of his younger days in Status Quo to keep performing.

“We had massive success then it died somewhat after that within a couple of years, then struggling back was the best period of us against the system,” he said.

“That gave us something to fight for, to write for.

“I always feel there is a stick and a carrot, and I have been trying to get that carrot since I was really young and I’m not sure reaching that carrot is the thing I need.

I can’t get off whatever I think I am looking for Francis Rossi

“What still keeps me going to talk about next year and so on and the tour is the fact you are still trying to reach the carrot.

“I’ve become more obsessive in the last 25 to 30 years.

“I’m lucky that my wife Eileen has allowed me to be obsessive about it and that focused on it.

“I’ve got off drink, cocaine and pot and that’s achievable, but I can’t get off this one.

“I can’t get off whatever I think I am looking for.”

Rossi was asked whether there would ever be a film about Status Quo – following in the footsteps of Queen and Sir Elton John.

“The idea of a movie would be great.

“But you have to understand the business angle and if people think there is going to be money to be made out of a movie about Status Quo it will happen,” Rossi said.

“And it’s the same as the musical which has been talked about for at least 12 years now.

“If that happens it’s because people think they can make money.

“If they don’t, it won’t happen. That’s kind of sad but true.

“Who would play me? Some dickhead actor.”

PA

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