"Quo were always cocky": the gospel according to Francis Rossi
He’s cool with homosexuality and proud of meeting the Queen, but hates today’s kids and has fallen out with the Frantic Four – again. The Status Quo singer/guitarist lets rip
Born in Forest Hill, South London 67 years ago, Francis Dominic Nicholas Michael Rossi has sold 128 million albums as a member of Status Quo. Here are his innermost thoughts as the veteran band prepare to morph into an acoustic-based act.
IT COULD ALL HAVE BEEN SO DIFFERENT (PART ONE)
Had I stayed with the family’s ice-cream business I might have been asking people: “Would you like a Flake in that?” But I wanted to escape it all. My childhood was post-World War II bomb-site England.
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AN INSECURE LITTLE SHOW-OFF
I like to have people looking at me, but each night before I go on stage there’s an element of: “Please don’t make me go out there and do that.” No, I’ve never felt the need to visit a shrink about it, because doing so would suggest there’s something wrong with me, and I can’t have that.
QUO WERE ALWAYS COCKY
At secondary school in South London, with a mother who had a northern accent and a father who spoka like dis [imitates an Italian twang], I stood out. People said I spoke poncey. So I made up for all of that with bravado – “Oi! Fakkin’ ’ell, you c**t.” And it seemed to work on stage. Perhaps it masks another insecurity.
WE ARE JUST TOO POLITICALLY CORRECT
An innocent conversation can be a minefield. I hate that if you voice an opinion on something, you suddenly become a racist. I could say I don’t like the government of Romania, but if I said that about Israel then I’m anti‑Semitic. I’ve no issue with any race at all, but I reserve the right to say what I’m thinking without being accused of having some kind of agenda.
RELIGION IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
I was named after Saint Francis of Assisi and raised a staunch Catholic, but I’m very much lapsed. If there’s an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful God, then what’s all the other shit about? Religion is responsible for so much misery and negativity. If you ask me, all religions are looking for trouble.