The following travel Q&A with Francis appeared in the UK's Daily Mail on 2nd June, titled "Status Quo rocker Francis Rossi reveals how the band spent a night in prison after a run-in with airport security and recalls a hellish stay at a Lancashire B&B with holes in the floor" and writted by York Membery.
This week Status Quo rocker Francis Rossi checks into our travel Q&A.
He talks about his earliest holiday memory, his favourite country, his summer travel plans - and more.
EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
My Irish mother had a nervous breakdown when I was eight, in the late 1950s, so my Italian father took us children to his rural Italian village near Naples for three months. I had a wonderful time - the smell of Italian food still takes me back to those days.
ARE YOU FLUENT IN ITALIAN?
We spoke Italian at home when I was a boy. But growing up in the UK back then, I was badgered into speaking English, so it's very rusty. I wish I'd kept it up now.
HAS TOURING CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
Massively. We'd bomb up and down the motorway in a Ford Transit van in the early Quo days and, sometimes, find ourselves in a fix after a gig because all the petrol stations had shut.
MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE?
I was getting into the band's van with my overnight canvas bag one day when some bloke called out: 'Got your p***ter bag, have you boy?' Ever since then I've called my overnight bag my 'PB'!
Nowadays, I usually sleep on our luxury tour bus. So all I need is my 'PB', which has everything in it from family photos to nail clippers.
HOTEL FROM HELL?
I certainly stayed in some dodgy places in the early Quo days - one Lancashire B&B I remember had holes in the floorboards and I could see into the room below. As for a lock on the communal loo door, forget it.
EVER HAD A RUN-IN WITH AIRPORT SECURITY?
The band once got banged up in a prison cell for the night after fists flew en route from Vienna to Stuttgart. Goodness, that was a miserable night.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOREIGN COUNTRY?
I like Germany and particularly Holland - I lived in Amsterdam for a year in the 1990s. I loved cycling along the canals. The Dutch are so friendly, too.
TOP TIP FOR ANYONE VISITING HOLLAND?
Hire a bicycle and just go - it's as flat as a pancake, so it's made for cycling.
I'd love to take a train journey somewhere in Britain this summer, just so long as I've got a crossword puzzle to help pass the time.
80s Rock Down (3CD) is out on May 21; Francis Rossi 'I Talk Too Much' Spoken Word Tour starts June 29, 2021; Status Quo 'Out Out Quoing' tour starts February 27, 2022.Revisit the June 2021 event list
Francis was interviewed by Dave Sweetmore and the interview then broadcast on Rossendale Radio on 11th June. You can listen to the full interview on YouTube below.
(Note that the same interview was replayed on Tameside Radio on 14th June.)Revisit the June 2021 event list
The following article discussing Francis's original Telecaster appeared in Total Guitar on 14th June, titled "I put a Tune-o-Matic bridge on my Tele like the old Gibsons. I think all that stuff, and taking off the lacquer, added to the tone" and written by Jonny Scaramanga.
For much of Quo's career, you and Rick Parfitt had the two-Tele setup. Whose idea was that?
"I started with a Gibson and Rick had an ES-335. Then I got the Tele. Rick being who he was wanted to get a Tele but early on he had an SG. A lot of the stuff that we recorded on Piledriver and Hello was an SG, not a Telecaster. Later on he got carried away that people were going, 'Oh! The Telecasters!'"
Where did you get your Tele?
"I swapped my Gibson Stereo 335 for a Les Paul copy with a guy from Badfinger. Within a few months the bridge collapsed into the body, so someone sent me two Telecasters to try, and I kept a sunburst one. I painted it black but when I got to the gig, where it dried out in the case, it looked fuckin' 'orrible. I was painting furniture at home with this green paint where you could see the grain underneath - quite phenomenal at the time!
"So I repainted the guitar and realised I was late for a gig. I put it back together quickly and just never got to paint the other side of it. One night someone got backstage and nicked the two guitars either side of my Tele. That's when I thought 'No-one's going to nick that because it looks like a sack of shit!'"
What was with the hole in the body?
"I kept ripping out guitar leads. I thought I'd drill a hole in it and slip the guitar lead through the hole first. That kind of worked, but really I should've replaced the jack input."
Why did you change the bridge?
"If it's a traditional Tele bridge, people go, 'You gotta have that!' Well, you don't like your guitar in tune then, do you son? What a stupid design. I put a tune-o-matic bridge on it like the old Gibsons. I think all that stuff, and taking off the lacquer, added to the tone. It did sound quite unique."
How come you changed the pickups in the 90s?
"I went for Lace Sensors, then later I changed the neck pickup for one of those Hot Rail things. I suppose I always wanted to get a sort of humbuck-y, Gibson-y noise because I started on Gibsons, and we would get a lot of interference with the single coils, particularly in English venues.
"People were like, 'Don't like the Lace Sensor! If only you'd played that on the original...' When people talk about guitar tone, I always ask, 'Do you like the song?'"
Read the article in full here.Revisit the June 2021 event list
The following press release about the cancellation of the first part of Francis's "I Talk Too Much" in light of changed coronavirus restrictions was issued on 15th June.
"Francis Rossi and A Way With Media regret to announce the forced cancellation of the first fifteen dates that had been rescheduled for the Francis Rossi Talk tour 2021. The dates affected are between June 29 and July 18 [Margate - Stockport]. With the exception of June 30 [Stamford], which has been re-scheduled, these dates are now cancelled, with refunds available with immediate effect.
This is entirely due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, which prevents theatres from operating without social distancing. Despite three reschedules and despite extensive efforts and goodwill on behalf of all parties - the venues themselves, the promoters, Francis Rossi and his team - it is not possible to reschedule these again.
Francis Rossi said, "Of course I am extremely disappointed to have to cancel these dates but there really is no other course of action open at present. I am sure that the fans will understand and I look forward to getting on the road for the remaining dates".
Venues are extremely congested up to 2022, with reschedules from 2020 and 2021 into over-crowded calendars and so only one date has been successfully rescheduled for later in the year, June 30 [Stamford] is re-scheduled to September 1. To receive your refunds please contact the relevant venue.
Please note: the rest of the tour from the show on 19 July in Wolverhampton through until the last night in Winchester on 5 September are unaffected and will continue as planned."Revisit the June 2021 event list