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That was the Quo month that was ... January 2022



11th - Release of Rhino's Revenge "Charge!" live album

The new live album from Rhino's Revenge, titled "Charge!", was released on 11th January. Consisting of tracks from live gigs in 2018 and 2019, the album was made available in 12" gold vinyl (10 tracks) and Digipak CD (16 tracks) formats with a limited edition of hand-numbered copies via a pre-sale. The vinyl and CD can be purchased from rhinosrevenge.com.

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14th - Announcement of cancellation of Rhino's Revenge UK tour dates (due to his COVID infection)

The following press release was made by the manager of Rhino's Revenge, Mike Hrano, on 14th January.

"Due to illness, all dates on the Rhino's Revenge UK Tour, 2022, are cancelled. Rhino tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of December, has struggled to recover ever since and symptoms have now affected his voice. For the sake of his own health and the safety of others, the tour cannot now go ahead. There are no plans to reschedule any of the shows. General admission ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for refunds. VIP ticket holders will be contacted by the Rhino Store. Thank you for your support and understanding."

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14th - Rhino on The Friday Rock Show with John Keeling (Zetland FM, UK) (cancelled)

Rhino was scheduled to be interviewed by John Keeling on Zetland FM's Friday Rock Show on 14th January. Due to his COVID infection, however, the interview was postponed.

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16th - Francis interview in The Telegraph (UK)

The following interview with Francis appeared in the UK's Telegraph on 16th January, titled "Francis Rossi: 'In Romania, I had two bodyguards - who came to the toilet with me' The Status Quo musician on gigging in Eastern Europe, cycling around Amsterdam and performing for cows in Ireland" and written by Samantha Rea.

A chauffeur in Paris told me a great story about Tommy Cooper

I was in Paris with my first wife and two eldest children in the 1970s. He had driven the comedian around and, on the last day, at the airport, Tommy shook his hand and said: "You've been really good, lovely work." Then he put something in the chauffeur's top pocket and said: "There's a drink for you, for later." "And you do not look, you know?" the chauffeur told me. "It is rude to look." So he gets home and goes to show his wife - and it's a teabag! He thought Tommy Cooper was the living end and found the whole thing hilarious, so he keeps that teabag and tells that story.

We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris on that occasion

We were there for a week, in an amazing suite with four or five rooms. We had our own maids to press our clothes and look after us, and the chauffeur who told us that story.

I went everywhere by bike in Amsterdam

In the morning I'd go swimming in a lovely old building around the back of Leidseplein. The pool was huge - one width was about a length of a normal pool - so I'd swim 40 widths, then at lunchtime I'd go to Burger King (they did a lovely fish burger!), and in the afternoon I'd go out on my mountain bike. I'd get a train 40 miles out, and follow a trail back to Amsterdam. Every night I'd eat at an Italian restaurant, called Sette Bello, which looked like it had been there since the late 1930s. I loved it there. The guy who owned it reminded me of my dad. I'd order gnocchi with arrabbiata sauce and it was like being at home, eating food from my nonna.

The best night's sleep I have ever had was at the Address hotel in Dubai

This was five or six years ago and I still can't forget it. I tried to buy one of the beds from there, but they're made in California. It was when Status Quo were playing at the Dubai opera house. It's fantastic - all the balconies can move. It's so over the top there.

We were given two bodyguards each in Romania, 20-something years ago, when we were there for a gig

At first you think "Great!" Then you think: "Wait... what have I got a bodyguard for?!" It was quite intense; you'd go for a pee in a restaurant and they would come with you. We had a police escort from the airport in Romania. We were whizzing along and, as we overtook other cars, these huge guys were leaning out of the windows, whacking people's cars with their truncheons! They were bashing other cars to get them out of the way because we were coming through - it frightened the life out of me.

I sang to a semi-circle of cows in County Clare in 1979

I was staying at Dromoland Castle, which is a 16th-century hotel. Americans had bought it in the Sixties, so the place had showers – which you didn't much get in England at that time! There was a horse that I'd feed every day, and I used to get delicious sausage sandwiches from a place called Brown Thomas's.

When my songwriting partner Bernard Frost visited, we'd wander round acres of beautiful Irish countryside

It was fabulous being in the middle of nowhere with no buildings or people in sight. We'd sing and play acoustic guitars in the fields, and all the cows would come and stand within a foot of us. It was quite something.

Last year my family and I went to Cornwall between lockdowns

We rented a house for a week and some of them went kayaking, but I was happy to just "be". It was nice, all of us being together. I took my guitar and played some Everly Brothers and my kids sang along.

In 1988 we travelled to Moscow on the old Siberian Express - which felt like it was coming off the rails

We played in one of three buildings built for the 1980 Olympics. We did 14 nights, across three weeks, at 17,500 people a night. I never thought that many people there would come and see us, but they were so grateful to have someone come and play for them. I think the tickets must have been very cheap - except for the elite, who sat in the front few rows.

Our gear was left on the stage, unattended, while the only place with an armed guard was the catering room, because it was food that people wanted

And yet, in the hotel where we were staying, there were four shops where you could buy all the stuff we have in the UK. They were called 'hard currency shops', because you could only go in with hard currency - dollars or pounds - which it was illegal to have."

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20th - Announcement of John Coghlan's farewell tour

John Coghlan announced that he'd be retiring from live shows on 20th January. A final John Coghlan's Quo tour - with a fitting final gig at the FTMO convention in Minehead - through 2022 provides the last chances to see John behind the drumkit. The announcement and tour dates follow.

"After an incredible career spanning 60 years, former STATUS QUO drummer JOHN COGHLAN has finally decided to hang up his drumsticks. John and his band John Coghlan's Quo will be playing a series of dates this year, giving fans the opportunity to see John onstage for the last time!"

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29th - Francis on James Martin's Saturday Morning (ITV, UK)

Francis joined TV chef James Martin on his Saturday Morning show on ITV on 29th January. The promo for the show said "James serves up some mouth-watering plates of food for Status Quo's Francis Rossi, while chefs John Hooker and Ravneet Gill share recipes for brill and Japanese cheesecake."

The show can be viewed online (for those in the UK) here.

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