Status Quo frontman: ‘If I dropped dead tomorrow, what a fantastic f**king life I’ve had’

Last year the original line-up got back together again. Frontman Francis Rossi talks to Ronan McGreevy about three chords and the truth in advance of their last concert together in the O2

Status Quo’s Francis Rossi at his home in south London. File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Status Quo’s Francis Rossi at his home in south London. File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Sat, Apr 5, 2014, 10:00

You are billing this as the last ever Status Quo concert. Is that the last with the original line-up of the Frantic Four aka yourself, Rick Parfitt (rhythm guitar), Alan Lancaster (bass) and John Coghlan (drums) or the last of the newer incarnation of the band?

The other three would like to do more. I wouldn’t like to do more. I think it has run its thing. Alan Lancaster is not particularly fit or well. Rick Parfitt and I have worked so many shows. We’re a lot fitter than they are. As a reunion thing, I never thought it would happen.

It happened. It was a great nostalgic event. We went and did this year again so we could take in Europe. If it goes anymore, it will really lose its spec (sic). As far I am concerned, it is definitely the last show we will do together.

As soon as I’ve finished with that, I’m off with the other guys to Denmark and we’ll carry on with the rest of this year. They’re the regular Quo. Nobody thought the original Quo would reform because of the problem between Lancaster, myself and Parfitt.

That being said, it was really been good though it could have been better. We are getting older. I can’t believe I’m nearly 65 (he’s 64). You start to think to yourself, ‘this can’t be f***ing possible. I can’t go on’ .

There is a stick and a carrot and I feel I’ve been trying to catch this carrot all my life since I was 12 or 13 and that generally keeps me going. I’m getting to the point where I feel I don’t need to chase the carrot anymore.

Could you have imagined in 1962 when you started what became Status Quo that you’d still be together more than 50 years later?

No way. We thought in the late 1970s that it was all over because we were spending so much money chasing the Yankee dollar.

What keeps you going?

Many things. Money is one of them. When I was going to a Catholic school we had a teacher called Mrs O’ Sullivan. She said that when you are older and die, you’ll have a place next to God and when you’re older, you’ll be able to do all the things you weren’t able to do when you were working. Those were two of the biggest lies I ever heard.

There’s also a definite ego thing with me. I am an insecure little show-off, but even that is getting to the stage where I’d like it to be enough. I’d like to be satisfied myself with it so there is a frustration when I say to myself ‘when the f**k will you be satisfied? When will it be enough?’. I’d like it to be enough because I’d like to take it out of my head for a while because ever since I can remember, I’m always thinking about Quo.

To balance that, if I dropped dead tomorrow, what a fantastic f**king life I’ve had.

They talk about positive manifestations for young people. If you want it, go for it. The negative side is that I have no education whatsoever. I was a cocky little shit in school and I didn’t even learn to play my instrument correctly because we got successful, but I got everything I ever dreamed of. I’m so lucky. I’ve never had any serious illness. F**k me, I’ve had a charmed life.

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