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That was the Quo month that was ... April 2012

6th - Francis on The Rock Report, Radio Nova (Dublin)

Francis was interviewed for Radio Nova's "Rock Report" and the interview was broadcast on April 6th, by way of promotion for the gig in County Wexford in June. Francis sounded exceptionally relaxed and talked freely throughout the interview. He initially talked about the band's unexpected longevity and his near miss of ending up in the ice-cream business. He went on to talk about his time living in Ireland and Quo's numerous Irish tours, before the inevitable discussion of the band's rock and roll lifestyle in the 70s and 80s. "Rockin' All Over The World" was played before Francis came back to answer questions posed by listeners on the radio station's Facebook page. The first question was in regards the potential for the original line-up to play again to which Francis replied that March 2013 gigs with the Frantic Four line-up were being planned! The next question was about the tour with Queen in 1986 and Francis said they lifted their game to make Freddie work harder to lift Queen's game too. He also briefly talked about 'Live Aid' before the segment was played out with "Caroline".

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9th - Francis article in The Daily Mail (UK)

The following article about Francis's battles with migraines appeared in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper on April 9th, entitled "How I finally conquered the misery of migraines: They've wrecked Status Quo Francis Rossi's life since he was four" and written by Lucy Elkins.

"As the frontman of Status Quo, Francis Rossi is famous for his head-banging performances.

Yet as he belted out hits such as Rocking All Over The World during the band’s many concerts, he often wanted to be anywhere but on stage — because he was suffering with agonising migraines. During his 20s — at the peak of Status Quo’s fame — Francis, now 62, would have one a week.

He says: "Being a migraine sufferer is incapacitating. I knew when one was about to come on as I’d get a spinning sensation around my eyes and feel the urge to yawn. I would often be sick. About 40 minutes later I would get this intense pain — as if my brain was going to explode. I had to just lie down in a quiet room."

However, the crushing migraines would often strike when he was preparing for a live show, with flashing lights and thousands of screaming fans. The father of eight, who lives in Surrey with his second wife, recalls: "I would dose myself up with painkillers and try to get through it — you can’t just pull out of a big gig. If I started to feel really bad then I might hang around at the back by the drums and somehow just keep going. Once it was over I would often come off the stage and throw up. During the Seventies and Eighties I don’t know how I carried on. I think it was because I’d been having migraines since I was four, so I was used to having to get through them. I didn’t bother going to a doctor until I was 40." Francis’s bandmates learned to recognise when he had a migraine coming on. But he became frustrated at most people’s lack of awareness.

"They don’t realise how big a deal a migraine is," he says. "They often say: “Yeah, I had a headache like that and took Nurofen. A migraine is nothing like that. In my case, it would be two or three days of agony. Painkillers would do nothing unless you took them before the pain had built up."

Eight million people in Britain suffer from migraines, with women affected more than men. Generally, they start in adolescence and trail off beyond the age of 50. A migraine is a headache accompanied by other elements such as sickness, nausea and sensitivity to light, noise or smells. It can last from four hours to more than three days. Dr Giles Elrington, a medical director at the National Migraine Centre, London, says: "If you get them regularly, they can take over your life." The cause is still not fully understood, but they often run in families — Francis’s mother had them, too. Consultant neurologist Dr Elrington says: "What seems to be the case is that people who get migraines have a lower tolerance to brain stimulation. For example, they find light bothers them at a lower level than those who don’t." A new theory is that there is a problem with nerves. "A nerve sends electrical messages to another nerve by transferring ions," says Dr Elrington. "It is thought that in people who get migraines, the ion channels are at fault and make the nerve malfunction."

Another factor is thought to be a shortfall of the brain chemical serotonin, which as well as helping with mood, is also important for carrying messages around the brain. Dr Elrington adds: "Changes in biorhythms — for example, going to bed later than normal or having a lie-in — can be another trigger, as can skipping meals, fluctuating hormone levels in women and even changes in the weather." Unless migraine sufferers do something about their symptoms, they tend to get worse each time. Dr Andy Dowson, director of headache services at King’s College Hospital, London, says: "After one, you are more likely to have another migraine, and the threshold at which they develop drops. You need to treat the migraine aggressively in the early stages." Finding the right treatment is trial and error — there is no cure-all. Medication such as triptans, which mimic serotonin, can help.

Over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen work for some, but many people are forced to migrate to stronger ones, such as codeine and naproxen. Anti-sickness medication can improve the painkillers’ efficiency by increasing their absorption. There are other options such as Botox injected into the head, which is thought to change the messages coming to the nerves.

However, the National Institute For Health And Clinical Excellence (NICE), which decides how NHS money is allocated, says there is not enough evidence to approve funding for it. Like many, Francis struggled to find the right treatment for him. He has tried various preventative medications and painkillers, such as coproxamol and tramadol.

"They did help, but they would make me feel drowsy and lead to constipation," he says. At times, he would bang his head against a wall in a futile bid to alleviate the pain. "I did it out of desperation — I just didn’t know what else to do," he says. "I was never able to identify a particular trigger for the attacks — they would just come on. I remember being about six and getting this crushing pain. I was often off school for two or three days a week, so lost a lot of schooling. My mum gave me painkillers, but I don’t remember them helping much."

As an adult, he got into the habit of carrying painkillers with him everywhere. "One thing I have found helpful is a cold flannel on my forehead, but it has to be really cold," he says. Dr Downson agrees this can help. "Applying something cold or hot to the painful area can reduce symptoms," he says. Francis’s migraines dropped off in his 30s, but came back in his 40s, when he finally decided to seek help.

"It was ironic really because it was just after I gave up cocaine that they started again," he says. His experience is not typical. "Recreational drugs tend to make migraines worse," says Dr Dowson. "However, any change to the normal routine can trigger them — even a change such as giving up drugs and alcohol may do it." In the end, Francis used a combination of acupuncture, kinesiology (an alternative therapy that assesses how the body moves), and the Asian herb tongkat ali, which his manager recommended after it helped with his bad back. Many migraine sufferers try natural remedies, but there is no hard proof a lot of them work. The only supplements with evidence they are affective are magnesium, vitamin B2, Coenzyme Q10, feverfew and butterbur, says Susan Haydon, of the Migraine Trust. "A placebo-controlled trial has demonstrated each one," she says. Francis, though, believes his regime has helped. "I started having fewer attacks. Ten years ago, I stopped taking the daily pill sanomigran, which helps prevent attacks," he says. "So far this year I’ve had only two migraines."

He is speaking out to try and improve people’s understanding of the condition. "Migraines have stopped me doing masses of things," he says. "People should never think a migraine is just a headache — it really isn’t." Francis Rossi is a patron of the charity National Migraine Centre."

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12th - Francis article in the Wexford Echo

The following lengthy article appeared in the Wexford Echo newspaper on April 12th, entitled "Rock legends Status Quo to rock Wexford" and written by Brendan Keane.

"WHEN VETERAN hard rock legends, Status Quo, walk out onto the stage at this year’s Strawberry Fest in Enniscorthy it will be the first time ever for the band to perform in Co. Wexford.

Their latest album, ‘Quid Pro Quo’, received rave reviews from both critics and long-term fans of a band and was one of the most talked about releases in 2011 thanks in no small part to the fact it signalled a major return to form for an act that can trace its foundations back to the Sedgehill school and the Peckham area of London in 1962.

In this interview with The Echo’s Brendan Keane, Quo frontman, Francis Rossi, discusses the album, the recent reunion of the most iconic line-up of the band and the fact they are working on two movies including the highly anticipated biopic, ‘Hello Quo’, and thoughts of retirement.

Brendan Keane: The last time we talked was in the Point Theatre a few years ago?

Francis Rossi: Yeah, I do like a talk, I remember that chat. I liked the Point. They changed the Point though now didn’t they to the O2 Arena or something?

BK: Yeah, it’s not quite the same as it used to be at all.

FR: I remember the last time we were there I remember Phil Lynott’s mum came along and we hadn’t seen her for years. A lovely woman.

BK: The gig in Enniscorthy from our point of view is unexpected I suppose because it’s a new festival and it’s a place you’ve probably gone through a hundred times when you’re going through Rosslare but it’s the first time that you’re going to be playing in Wexford.

FR: Yeah, obviously I know the area of Wexford but Ireland has changed in the last 20 years. There are towns down there where American money is gone in and there are some very interesting places down there now. It’s pretty pleasant country and still beautifully clean and that’s the point.

BK: The tour you’re on is the Quid Pro Quo tour?

FR: Officially, yeah, they have to have a name nowadays. I remember touring before they had names (laughs). Before the ‘Rocking All Over the World’ tour it was just Status Quo in concert and then it became, you know, each tour had to have a name.

BK: If you don’t mind me saying there is an anger about ‘Quid Pro Quo’, the album, that I haven’t heard since ‘Never Too Late’. It could slot in after that but the actual vibe off the album is like something from ‘Quo’ or ‘On The Level’. Had that anything to do with the plan for the film or was it something else? [Quo were due to appear in a film but the project was put on hold].

FR: There was one track on there that was planned for the film it was called ‘Frozen Hero’ and that was going to be a song called ‘Care Factor Zero’. Something happened I produced half the album and Mike Paxman produced the other half of the album. It was all done in my studio here but the main thing I think was that what happened this time was if Andrew and I wrote a song, which we did with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll And You’, we’d put a template down an the core of the song is the actual song as it was written in its earliest stages. Normally, that would change; Rick and I would play that so it would immediately go away from its original thing whereas this time it stayed. Then when Matthew [Letley Quo drummer] came in, I put Matthew on certain tracks and said listen it’s no good you trying to do Steely Dan meets Quo because it just doesn’t f**kin’ work. So [I said] I want you to go in there and play like you’re the guy at the back going crazy and the f**ker did and it’s brilliant. So I think a lot of it is Matthew’s energy, which he hasn’t really sort of had before he’s been very controlled and the fact that each song maintains its early character which is the very reason you carry on and finish the song because if something happens otherwise they’re all the bloody same not just Quo but all music is the same until you can find that [something special]. They are the only two things I can think of that make that album work. I don’t know why but they did.

BK: Was that something that you fell into doing on this particular album or was it a conscious thing?

FR: It became a conscious thing; some of if we fell into with Matthew but I was aware that when Matthew comes and plays he’s very controlled and there is an angle sometimes between John [‘Rhino’ Edwards Quo bass player] and Matthew John loves drums. So they try to get very, very musical and clever from a musician’s point-of-view but it’s got nothing to do with what we feel as punters. We just want the excitement so if Matthew’s drumming, in terms of technically it isn’t his best drumming probably on previous albums he’s played better but the vibe on some of those songs from Matthew is just tremendous and the whole thing with music is vibe. It isn’t to do with virtuosity otherwise that’s the clinic.

BK: That’s the thing, the first time I heard ‘Two Way Traffic’ was when you played it on Planet Rock and for me it was totally unexpected. There have been some great songs on Quo albums throughout the 80s and 90s but the sound of Quo got lost somewhere along the way.

FR: It did but I think that’s understandable to a degree. If you picture any act that’s been around a long time and I’ll pick on the Stones. There was a period when the Bee Gees were doing really well singing falsetto disco songs and then Jagger did something where he sang something in a kind of falsetto disco style. Status Quo had ‘Rocking All Over the World’ and just after that the Stones had ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll But I Like It [like it]’ so they must have been getting some... The same happened with us. You start to be out of your time and then new drums sounds come along and a new style of playing comes along so you think well you’d better do that to stay modern and that’s where you start to go wrong. We kind of went back with the ‘Under The Influence’ album and the ‘Heavy Traffic’ album and we started to be ‘more Quo’ as it were.

BK: I remember Rick [Parfitt Quo rhythm guitarist] said one time in an interview where he likened it to Coca Cola and said why change the recipe but that’s the impression I got. There were some great songs on the albums in the 80s and 90s but it’s just like they got watered down and the energy of them wasn’t there.

FR: Well yes, yeah, but you have to understand that within the band you get so many positives said about you but as soon as you hear the negatives well they’re the ones that stick and you think well yeah we have done the same basic trance style so maybe we should change and do some modern drums sounds of we’ll do this or we’ll do that but inevitably we’ve come back. One other thing about the last album as well is that John Edwards, on certain things, plays rhythm guitar as well as Rick and I think it’s something to do with John Edwards’ energy too which is really good.

BK: He’s a good bass player.

FR: Yeah, he really is but he’s a good all rounder. A bit frenetic and he tends to go the toilet at the oddest of times but there you are (laughs).

BK: The other thing I noticed about ‘Quid Pro Quo’ is that it sounds like you double-tracked some of the vocals again which you hadn’t done for a long time yet that’s part of your sound.

FR: It is yeah. It’s a part of many people’s sounds and being the singer you don’t often realise. I suppose there’s a certain amount of ego thinking well why can’t my vocal be in a single track. You can now make double tracks so tight that it doesn’t even sound like a double track. The joy of a double track is the variance in the actual track so that it zings a little and makes them slightly out of tune I suppose that’s what makes them commercial.

BK: But isn’t it the complete opposite of the scourge that is auto-tune because it is live and real?

FR: Yeah, you’re right because that’s a completely different ball game. I suppose people have often for years said well if only you could capture what Quo do on stage on a record but that’s a contradiction. They’re not onstage so you won’t capture it will you? I always find when I hear ‘there’s great things about Quo’s ‘Live’ album’ and I wonder well what live album? It was a record of a live show, it was just a record. Most live albums and DVDs are now messed with so much you might as well... but that’s what happens out there; that’s what everybody else is doing. I can’t stand it when people say a live recording because it’s just a recording isn’t it? When I go in the studio I’m not dead recording I’m still live recorded.

BK: From what you’re saying there now was a lot of the album done separately?

FR: Well, we were all there so sometimes we put the whole lot down and then you go ‘now we’re gonna do’ because you want to get the vibe and feel or whatever it would be and then you do them again but initially as I said John and I wrote ‘Two Way Traffic’ so John and I put the two rhythms guitars down to a click first so we got the feel so that when he got to putting down the bass there the bass was being put on to the feel of the song that sparked us off to finish it. Whereas if we had taken John off and put Rick in and started with me and Rick it would change, slightly, but it would change and then when the next thing goes on the bass would be different because it would not be playing to the original [idea] so it keeps on changing and you’d end up going ‘well it’s not quite what we had in mind so why isn’t it what we had in mind’? I just think that’s probably one of the best albums... if there is a criticism of the album it’s that they’re all very similar tempos and very similar keys. We tried to make, or the others are convinced, that a good Quo album is just 12 up-tempo rock tracks and as you know ‘Hello’ and whatever else have mixtures. You’d have a bluesy one, a country one, a ballad, some rock. We almost, if there’s a criticism of the last album, we almost tried to make an AC/DC album.

BK: Yeah, like a ballsy rock album from start-to-finish.

FR: Yeah, I reckon it’s very good though I was trying to play Devil’s advocate there.

BK: A final point about ‘Quid Pro Quo’ was that your vocals were set back in the mix again which was another thing you used to do a lot of and that changed and again it was part of your sound.

FR: Yeah, it was an identity with Quo and the Stones but when you think about it, it comes from being younger and aah I don’t want to hear my voice (laughs) and playing live in those days you couldn’t hear much of the voice because the f**king band was so loud. But now you’re a bit more confident with your vocal and the vocals are a bit better and you have to admit, as much as we don’t like it, with Quo there are songs, there are tunes. If you can’t hear the melodies and it’s just a bunch of guitars you aren’t hearing the tunes and it’s usually the tune that sells it. We aren’t AC/DC we don’t have that screamy voice [imitates Brian Johnson].

BK: But that’s the thing that always marked Quo out a little from other hard rock bands is the melody?

FR: Yeah, but it’s very difficult because Quo does encompass rock, pop, blues and country and it doesn’t stay in any one of those areas. It’s a bit of all of those so sometimes there’s this in congress kind of mix going on between a chromatic scale and a pentatonic scale where there’s a blues... I am terrible at that crossing over the blues pentatonic into the chromatic. Apparently, you can’t do that.

BK: Yeah, the would-be rules don’t allow for that. The elitists would say the rules don’t allow it?

FR: Agreed, I learned many years ago. I was brought up that way that you don’t stretch a word and you don’t breathe in between it. Then one day I heard this Squeeze track and I thought someone was going to come along and arrest him ‘sorry that’s against the law’. No-one said a word, he stretched it and breathed in the middle of it but apparently you don’t do that. So I learned then there are laws and rules in music and in rock ‘n’ roll music and pop music but suddenly someone breaks one and you can do that all the time. That’s the joy of it otherwise making records would be easy.

BK: But it’s also where you would lose the feel of it?

FR: Yeah exactly and that’s what happens with younger bands. I was just thinking about the Undertones the other day and I found them at the time odd because of their style of playing but that’s what people liked about them. But then they start to get more sophisticated, which is what a musician should do really, and then it kind of loses it.

BK: I always equate it to U2 and Rory Gallagher. U2, you know, everything is perfect, everything to a click track but for me it’s Rory Gallagher any day.

FR: I do understand that and I probably want to dislike U2 but all the same there are things they’ve come along with. I think it’s calculated to sing ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ particularly coming from a Catholic country. Or ‘She Moves In Mysterious Ways’, every Catholic thinks of the Virgin Mary and he didn’t mean that at all which was very clever. Now we can either knock that or think f**k me guys you did well with that. A little band out of Dublin who really broke the world I don’t care if they foxed everybody. I’d love to say ahh f**k it you know (laughs).

BK: When yourself and Alan, John and Rick got together in that rehearsal recently what stuff did you play?

FR: I don’t think we went over enough stuff or long enough and Alan was nervous and so was John Coghlan very, very nervous. But I think we did a bit of ‘Railroad’, we did a bit of [‘In My] Chair’, a little bit of ‘Blue Eyed Lady’, ‘Backwater’ just bits and pieces of stuff because we’re probably going to go out and do some shows next March.

BK: Brilliant that’ll be welcome news to many fans.

FR: Well I hope so, we’ll see. I get on very well with Alan Lancaster again which is a joy.

BK: At the end of the day in 100 years time none of us will be around so what’s more important a friendship with the guy you started the band with or a life-long falling out?

FR: Well it really is and I was only talking to him this morning on Skype on the computer and he’s been ill. He apologised to me a couple of years ago saying some lawyers in England had got him and they had... now that’s all aside and we talked through that. I realised, because I never thought I would talk to the man again, I wasn’t interested, I wasn’t bothered. However, we met up, he came to a gig in Sydney. He then contacted me and said ‘my cousin wants to come and see you’, it was a girl I used to know when we lived in Peckham and he lived in Peckham and his uncle I had wanted to see had just died and I was like ‘Ooh no’ and his dad had died about a year before, and I was like ‘Ooh no’ and his mother I couldn’t get to see. I realised they were such an important part of my life Alan Lancaster and his family when I was 11. So it’s a joy to be...(laughs) he makes jokes like 10-year-olds do, you know, and laughs these really kind of childish jokes and that’s what I remember about him and it’s really nice to have that again someone I have known since I was 11 years-old. It is a joy and I look forward to doing some stuff with him. I’m hoping he’s going to come over so we can write some stuff but we’ll keep talking about it we’ll see.

BK: Brilliant. With the ‘Hello Quo’ are there plans for anything new on the soundtrack?

FR: Well they want some new stuff. I have some new things and I’m sure Rick does and John and Andrew but at the moment I can’t seem to write anything or I don’t want to. I got a couple of things but I don’t want to put melodies to ‘em so I don’t know but yes the idea is to have new material in there from the movie. That’s the thing, I didn’t think it would happen I’m sh***ing myself at the thought of doing that but you just never know what comes along in this business and that’s one of the best things about it. I never thought I’d be making a movie and the idea of it being serious and now that it’s going to be a spoofy kind of comedy I think that’s perfect for us.

BK: From what you know of it and from talking to Alan Parker what way would you describe it?

FR: Oh, sorry, I was getting mixed up between two movies, you’re talking about ‘Hello Quo’ the documentary I was talking about another film. Never mind (laughs). I don’t know, I think it’s going to be a definitive documentary about Quo but until it’s finished I don’t know. For us as a band I don’t know how you can judge it because it’s all about us. There are bits where Alan Lancaster and I go around to areas we went when we were boys, certain areas, around to his house and other areas and it’s weird because we used to rehearse in Lambeth Walk and it’s just completely gone. That’s f**king weird believe me, there’s a road there but the rest of it is just f**king gone. I just hope people will receive it well but we’ll see, I don’t really know.

BK: Because you mentioned it, you’re obviously doing something for another film?

FR: Yeah, it’s a film they’ve talked about for a long time but it’s a film I’m not supposed to talk about so I think I’d better shut up (laughs). You’ll find it sooner or later. I’ll talk to you again when it’s official. You come back to me and I’ll talk to you then.

BK: Ok, no problem. So what’s the plan for this year then is it all going to lead up to ‘Hello Quo’?

FR: Well ‘Hello Quo’ I think yeah, Alan Lancaster, hopefully, will be over here for that so we’ll do some writing. Then we’ve got to come and rehearse in late February, March. That’s the other thing about this business I know what’s happening the following February and March so if I want to retire which is what I’ve been thinking about I’ve got to think about it years ahead. You can’t just think I’ll retire next year because you can’t we’re already committed to stuff next year. This is the first year I’ve felt like I could retire and just stay at home and make some music.

BK: The gig in Enniscorthy is the only Irish gig for 2012?

FR: I think so. I don’t kind of look like that anymore. Gigs are gigs to me. I don’t care where it is. They’re all important. Once I get one they’re all important there isn’t this thing with Status Quo where one is more important than another once you’re on that stage, well you know, every gig is important.

BK: At the end of the day for the people who have paid money to come and see you well you’re doing your job?

FR: Yeah that’s it they’ve paid money to see you so you do the job. I’m looking forward to it though."

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17th - Press release for the "Bula Quo" movie

The following press release regarding Quo's new movie venture, Bula Quo, appeared on the official Quo site on April 17th.

Bula Quo!

"Quo are delighted to announce that they are shooting their first ever feature film over several weeks in Fiji from April this year.

A 90-minute action movie, featuring the band as themselves and also starring Jon Lovitz [‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘The Wedding Singer’], Craig Fairbrass [best known for ‘Eastenders’] and Laura Aikman [star of the forthcoming ‘Keith Lemon: The Movie’], this project sees the band moving from gold discs to the silver screen.

Also boasting 12 songs, "Bula Quo!" takes its name from the islanders’ traditional Fijian greeting, and also references the title of the band’s best-selling album “Hello!”

The film is to be directed by award-winning Stuart St. Paul, who has worked on projects ranging from Duran Duran’s seminal ‘Wild Boys’ video, to massive franchises like ‘Aliens’, ‘Batman’ and three ‘Bond’ movies. Having first met the band when asked by ITV to look after their visit on Coronation Street [he also worked on Emmerdale] St. Paul wrote the script specifically with the band in mind. The film’s Producer is Tim Major, who has worked on ‘The Scar Crow’, ‘Not Alone’ and ‘Kill Keith’ and is also a very successful Film and TV actor in his own right. The film is aimed for international theatrical release in 2013.

Francis Rossi of Status Quo commented, "The one thing Quo fans know is to expect the unexpected. Of course, Rick and I have already acted in Coronation Street, one of the biggest TV shows on the planet, so this should be no trouble at all! According to management..." Rick Parfitt adds, "Once I found out that we weren’t going to be shooting anywhere cold, I was all for it. This is an amazing chance for us to do something new and we’re all really excited."

The first production from the newly incepted Status Quo Films [Fiji] Ltd, this movie project has been supported by the Fiji Audio Visual Commission [FAVC]. Stuart St. Paul said: "We have been made to feel so welcome by everyone. Fiji isn’t just a paradise because of its location; it is also because of the wonderful islanders who cannot do enough for us. The production team is grateful for the support from the Fiji Government and Tourism Fiji without which none of this would be possible."

The movie has also been making the news locally in Fiji, as the following article (titled "STATUS QUO: Making movies here soon" written by Tom Major) from the Fiji Sun newspaper demonstrates.

"When UK-based Stuart St Paul, director and writer of the movie Quo Status: Wanted decided that the only possible setting for his family comedy was the other side of the world on the paradise islands of Fiji, he quickly discovered a problem:

Who in Fiji could help?

Answer: almost everyone in Fiji could help beginning with the Fiji Government. The Fiji Government’s film commission, the Fiji Audio Visual Commission (FAVC), provided valuable and timely advice to Stuart, including making the right introductions to local film professionals, who are now working with the production.

The efforts of the FAVC and all the local professionals especially Leo Richmond and Jade Pivac-Jones now assisting the production have made Stuart’s dream a reality and the movie is now set to begin filming in and Nadi in April. The film will bring legendary rock band Status Quo to Fiji, as they play themselves in the movie. After they witness a crime they shouldn’t have seen, the movie follows them on a hilarious chase around the island. We get to see them sample the delights of Fijian culture and island activities as they try desperately to make it to their final concert in Nadi.

Local businesses have already begun to pledge support to the project, including Jack’s of Fiji the Hard Rock Café at Port Denarau, where the Legendary Quo are planning to visit. Other locations include hotels, local beaches, waterfalls and other local scenes.

This film is, no doubt a great promotional opportunity for Fiji, sealing in history for all time Quo’s rock n roll presence on the island. And locals get a chance to be part of the film as well. The producers are looking for local sportsmen to act as body doubles and be involved in some of the movies action sequences. In particular they are trying to find two individuals who could double as Francis Rossi (5ft 11"/1.8M tall) and Rick Parfitt (5ft 9"/1.75M tall) as well as other fighters and bad guys. No particular experience is necessary; they only need be physically fit, good at sports and open to a challenge. Anyone interested should contact Jade Pivac-Jones on (679) 9000125, send an email to or contact the FAVC.

Locals should also continue to watch this space as the producers will be looking to invite anyone interested to be part of the background action in some of the bigger scenes of the movie.

More details to follow. Stuart says: "We have been made to feel so welcome by everyone. Fiji isn’t just a paradise because of its location; it is also because of the wonderful islanders who cannot do enough for us. The production team is grateful for the support from the Fiji Government without which none of this would be possible."

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17th - Francis interview on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show (BBC Radio 2)

As part of the promotional build up for the "Bula Quo" movie, Francis did a phone interview from Fiji on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2 on April 17th. He said that they were having fun making the movie and talked through the plot. He also said it was hard work with long days and that a few original Quo songs had surfaced to be used in the movie. After the interview, Chris played "In The Army Now".

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18th - Quo movie article in the Fiji Sun

The following article about the filming of the Quo movie appeared in the Fiji Sun on April 18th, entitled "Status Quo rocks Port Denarau" and written by Litia Mattewsell.

"Port Denarau became star central yesterday, having a good half dozen actors and rockstars-turned actors strolling around the tourism hub in between takes of the action caper – ‘Bula Quo’, which is being filmed on location.

Evergreen British rock band, Status Quo, are in the country filming their first movie which would also star former EastEnders star Craig Fairbrass, and comedian Jon Lovitz who has appeared in a host of movies like The Wedding Singer, Little Nicky, and The Stepford Wives.

The 90-minute film has been described by the bands public relations manager Simon Porter as "action adventure with big comedic overtones."

A media release was sent to media outlets in the United Kingdom on Sunday, causing a flurry of news spills about the bands filming activity in Fiji. Such publicity is sure to be good for Fiji’s tourism industry.

Filming began two weeks ago and has seen the crew take to different parts of Fiji such as the Mystery Island and the waterfalls in Sabeto.

Explaining the film’s title, Mr Porter said Bula, meaning Hello in the iTaukei language was also an allusion to one of the bands past albums, titled 'Hello' mashed with the latter part of their name.

The film, which has been in the pipeline for around seven years, saw the makers decide on Fiji as its main location because of its exotic beauty and the help of the Fijian Government.

"We really wanted somewhere with a truly exotic and tropical feel, and the Fijian Government and authorities made us really welcome and a lot easier; so it all just worked out," said Mr Porter.

The band would be the country filming for another month or so. Band members Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi were shooting the scenes yesterday morning, with other band members due to come in later. The Stuart St Paul-directed film is due to be released in late April to early May next year."

Revisit the April 2012 event list