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"Women don't need sex so much because they're at the end" – Francis Rossi Status Quo on sex, money and his sincere memory

Francis Rossi on stage in 1984. Photo: Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Francis Rossi on stage in 1984. Photo: Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Direct Speaker: Francis Rossi turns 70 in May. Photo by James Eckersley

The MeToo movement has changed many things, including how men talk about women. There is much greater care in the language used, so that the wrong choice of words does not cause insult. But it seems that Francis Rossi did not get this comment. Rocker Status Quo speaks sincerely and in a way that can cause jaws to fall. And he is relentless.

He talks about his brutally honest monograph I Talk Too Much – which, as it turns out, is well-named – and the conversation goes to accept the book he spent much of his life marrying. Readers of sensitive dispositions may want to turn away.

"It's a crazy thing we have," he says. "They're my friends and we had a fiery discussion the next day and told them," What you don't realize is that we have this thing and when they stand up, they have to go somewhere. "

"Women," he adds, "you don't understand and you don't need it [sex] "He doesn't say if his female companions threw drinks on him at that moment. And he doesn't seem to realize how his words can't hear more and more intolerant in such a world of such Neanderthal thinking." a woman's thing, but women have to understand what this thing is doing, just as they could say, "Well, then leave it," try it.

Direct Speaker: Francis Rossi turns 70 in May. Photo by James Eckersley

Direct Speaker: Francis Rossi turns 70 in May. Photo by James Eckersley

He suggests that it is easier for a member of a huge rock group to indulge in a marvelous sexual "adventure" than an ordinary man on the street. Being in the spotlight on the stage is a "bonus", he adds. "See how the word" bone "came in?"

The Groupies was a major feature of the world life-trotting groups of the 1970s and the 80s, including Status Quo. "It wasn't just us who would call them 10," he says. "They would do that to us, believe me."

He admits that his infidelity has caused a great deal of injury to some of those close to him. "It's true. That's what happened. And I can't pretend I didn't hurt people because of my actions. Reading back." [the sexual exploits passages] and I think, what d ** k. & # 39;

And yet he thinks he deserves some sympathy. "Look," he says, "this does not excuse the man, but it is one of the most difficult things to control. And that leads us to the Catholic Church and the way they continue to sex" – Rossi, Irish and Italian Mining, Catholic – "and they just don't live in the real world."

"I would probably still be a godly Catholic if my mother didn't go so ugly about the madness of religion, upstairs. When a child touches his k ** b, it's dirty – that's what the Catholic said. But it's My Son – son number three – said that religion destroyed our family.

It's all in the book – and it's not in our conversation. Rossi, who is 70 years old in May, is steadfastly simple, even when he is working to memorize his monograph. "Why would anyone want to buy a book about a head in the status quo?" He wonders. “If I did, it would have to be a real life, not a showbiz.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't want to write this book. I thought they would want me to pull down Rick." [Parfitt, his deceased bandmate] off. But then they threw me money and after that there is something about the numbers with zeros and I thought, Hmmmm. & # 39;

If Londoner says it is annoying about sexual and gender relations, it is at least refreshingly honest about financial motivation. "I know a lot of people pretend it's not about money – but people have always done things for money, and so I do.

"I remember that we made an Australian supermarket advertisement years ago – it was one of the biggest ads they ever made – and that was Marmite: Some people loved us so it worked and some people hated us so it worked too . In any case, we come back from Australia once and these Australian boys are with their first-class women – they look at us and then one of them says, "I bet you did it for money." , we did it because we like supermarkets. ”

Commercial is available on YouTube and is based on the nicest reimagining of one of their great 1970s hits, Down Down. Even their most ardent fans can look at their ads through their fingers. One hopes the band was really well paid. "Oh, we were!"

Rossi says he has never been considered cold, especially in London's snooty music press, and Status Quo is hardly a name to impress anyone. But sometimes it was forgotten how big the band was in the 1980s. Rarely did places smaller than stadiums and sell album trucks. "It was a really good time to be in the music business," says Rossi. "It's so different today – people expect to get their music for free."

His mother's father, Paddy, came from Ireland, but he says it's his Italian side, which was more pronounced. “There was a time when I was [his daughter] Bernadet's mother Elizabeth and I lived in Ireland and I had a really strong feeling for Ireland. I feel a sense of belonging when I hear the accent. And I also love Irish jokes, "he says strangely." Not that it knocks into Ireland, mind. "He says some traditional Italian songs have influenced the status quo music and sing the rhythm of one of them. And it really sounds like the chugging beat of so many Status Quo anthems. Status Quo would make a blues page, but also a less "cool" side. "

Rossi has been making music since his teens. Much of his guitar love was supported by his friendship with his old classmate and future member of Status Quo Alan Lancaster. "We got our first record deal in 1966. Then we were a group. That's the word they used. Rory Gallagher started this" band. "

He is involved in talking about how the industry has changed, especially when he talked about the sharp practice of some unscrupulous character in the 1960s. "Then it was a tough business," he says. "You wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of some of them. I remember in America that this man we were dealing with was angry with me and said he could kill me. I don't think it would be idle threat.

His wealth changed when he met Rick Parfitt in the mid-1960s. The two immediately jumped. "Writing about those early years helps to balance the negatives about how it went later." The two of them died of sepsis in 2016 in the years before Parfitt's death, saying that writing the book helped him remember how close they were in their youth. I always liked being around gay – I can't say phagas anymore – and I thought they were a little stinking until I met Freddie Mercury. The terminology used is another fascinating example of its archaic perspective.

"I and Rick have had some great times together, and some aren't that big," he continues. He says Parfitt has changed over the years. "Someone got to Rick. He became an archetypal rock star and eventually became a caricature of himself. It's a lifestyle of a hole and the problem is that rock stars indulge in. I stayed at home like a boring old fart – music is rock & Roll to me.

"When he started trying to do a rock thing, we'd meet there. I'd go," What are you doing? "They did things between us [bandmates] I wanted to get rid of him after the first concert, but I said no. When the band was young, we were against the world, then it was me and Rick against the other three [in the band]. We always wore these striped blazers together. There is a time when we would ring each other to see what we are wearing. Now it sounds a little pathetic, but we were close. Then we grew up and got married and had children, and that's different. "

He says he wants to remember Parfitto positively. "He was extremely honest, so he might appreciate what I was trying to do in this book. And he was a nice guy with a lot of charisms. [to a gig] They look like Lemmy on a bad night and look like Michael Bublé! "

Despite the pooh-poohing rock lifestyle, Rossi certainly also indulged. In the book, he notes that he had an epiphanal moment at the end of the 1980s when he realized at the age of 38 that he had been a cocaine user for over ten years. "I figured it out late and that probably helped [when it came to getting clean]. The alcohol cocktail was where the problems started for me.

Despite these excesses, the band remained professional, playing one big-ticket after the other. It says nothing compared to the passion of playing Live Aid. "It was [Bob] Geldof, who convinced us to play it, "he says." It's a funny look, because it was the Loadsamoney generation [in reference to Harry Enfield’s comedic creation from the time]and here we tried to raise money for Africa. When I was at school, we collected money for what Irish nuns say, "little black kids."

"But Live Aid … was the greatest feeling I remember – and I never felt the atmosphere out of the crowd before or since." Status Quo got a legendary show at the Wembley Stadium, which in June 1985 on Saturday, with Rocking All Over the World, played the first song (after Coldstream Guards completed their depiction of Save the Queen).

Despite his recognition for Live Aid, Rossi says it could have done much more. "Why didn't a big deal take part in Live Aid? I'm not trying to be negative, but much more could be raised if British British Britain were put to shame." this is happening with Comic Relief and Children in Need and all this and none of this is that Geldof knocked because he had a vision and a disc to make Live Aid happen and would probably never happen without it.

Rossi, who has eight children with three women, says he is grateful for the life he had, and his desire for music has not diminished. "He's still there," he insists. "The excitement never goes."

And he says the criticism that he and his group sent from day one makes him stronger. "The music press told us that he had beens in the early 1970s, and the best people did for the first Status Quo was that he criticized us. Today you are the kids you said to be great because day one – the whole generation of X Factor – and can't handle the slightest bit of criticism.

"But, weird, as it sounds, I think criticism is a good thing because it assures you you don't deserve it. And we certainly have been criticized. But you know what we did? We dug up. Now people say, you & There's nothing good without Rick, but I'll try and I'll try.

I Speak Too Much: My Autobiography & # 39; by Francis Rossi with Mick Wall is published by Constable on £ 20.

Irish Independent

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