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That was the Quo month that was ... March 2019

2nd - Francis on The Graham Norton podcast (BBC Radio 2)

Francis appeared on the Graham Norton podcast on 2nd March as his "guest of the week". The fifteen-minute interview focused on the "I Talk Too Much" book and Francis sounded enthusiastic and happy to chat. Other topics included the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody", his relationship with Rick, and the speaking tour. Graham then played the Rossi/Rickard single, "I Talk Too Much". The final section of the interview consisted of Francis answering a few listener questions.

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5th - Godslave "Rock on, man - Tribute to Rick Parfitt" single released

Heavy rockers Godslave released their tribute to Rick, "Rock on, man" on YouTube on 5th March. The song features on their 2018 album "Reborn Again".

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7th - Francis article in The Sun (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's The Sun newspaper on 7th March, titled "Status Quo legend Francis Rossi on sniffing coke every day for FOUR years and bedding nearly 1,000 women" and written by Stuart Pink.

"HE was one of our biggest rock hellraisers, but Francis Rossi insists he was never a major womaniser – as he has not slept with more than 1,000 women.

The Status Quo frontman had the ultimate sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll career, spanning six decades.

And most astonishing of all, he lives to tell the tale — which he does in new autobiography I Talk Too Much.

Speaking to The Sun from inside the music studio in the garden of his mansion in Purley, South London, the 69-year-old father of eight says he does not regret a thing — but insists his number of conquests is not at “Rod Stewart levels”.

When I ask if he can put a number on his romantic encounters, he responds: “Not even in the thousands. Now you’re disappointed.

“Do you know how long it would take to sleep with 1,000 women? Even two minutes at a time...”

Francis does not scream veteran rock star, the silver ring in his left ear perhaps the only giveaway.

There are no supercars in his driveway and no swimming pool with the Status Quo logo at the bottom.

He has lost his trademark ponytail, opting for a civilised brushed-back trim, and wears a tight, black North Face jacket over the top of his white shirt and thin black tie.

He is bubbly, funny and honest, admitting the sole incentive behind his new book was the cold, hard cash he was offered to tell his story.

Part of that tale covers the death of Quo bandmate and close pal Rick Parfitt from sepsis on Christmas Eve in 2016. Together, the pair made the most of their fame with the opposite sex during the Sixties — yet it was not always an enjoyable experience.

Revealing one particular night with Rick and a female fan that still haunts him, Francis says: “We went to sleep and all of a sudden she says, “I’m going for a p***’ and then she said, ‘I feel like knifing some c***’.

“So when she got physically aroused, she’d get violent. So the pair of us didn’t f***ing sleep all night ’til she went.”

Both men also dabbled with their fair share of hard drugs.

Francis reckons he spent £1.7million on cocaine during the Eighties and took so much that his septum fell out of his nose in the shower.

He recalls: “I sniffed coke every day for four years. But it’s not like the massive amounts you see in the movies.

“We did what was called a ‘tuke’, a quick sniff just to keep things going until the dip would come in. It would be quite good if I could knock two before midday.”

Francis, who was awarded an OBE in 2010, eventually managed to go clean, unlike Rick whose levels of excess were even higher. In fact, Francis still finds it hard to believe that his bandmate’s death was unrelated to a lifetime of drink and drugs.

He says: “It was amazing he lived until 68. He was an extremely tough man. He had three heart attacks. But sepsis is getting a bit too frequent for everybody these days.”

The pair enjoyed a love/hate relationship. At first, Francis was jealous of Rick’s blond-haired good looks. But he was not that impressed with him musically — and the rest of the band initially did not want him to join back in 1967.

Francis also got frustrated with Rick’s desperate bid to act like a rock star.

He explains: “I loved him when we were younger.

“The first night he played with us he hadn’t learned anything. He just pulled the plug out and stood there miming. But he looked the part.

“He looked the archetypal rock star, but in reality he wasn’t.

“That’s the other thing that frustrated me. He had a fantastic voice and he started acting the rock thing. I was like, ‘Ricky, what are you doing?’ So he was soiling the guy I loved.”

Francis believes Rick struggled to deal with the fact that for all the fans who loved the band, there were many who hated them.

He says: “Rick hated the thought of people hating us, which I do too, but I would have to be in a position where I say, ‘It’s just how it is, it’ll be alright’.”

“But we are Marmite. People say, ‘I love them two, have you seen them?’. And for others it was, ‘I can’t stand those c***s’.”

He adds: “Rick used to think he looked cool when he was drunk. But he never looked cool when he was drunk. He wasn’t very nice when he was drunk, but in his defence lots of people aren’t very nice when they’re drunk.”

Rick’s levels of excess grew following the death of his two-year-old daughter Heidi, who drowned in his pool in 1980. And according to Francis, he was never the same after an encounter with a female fan in a San Francisco nightclub.

Francis, who speculates she may have “laced his drink with LSD”, says: “Whatever she did to him it really, really f***ed him over. He never told me what happened.”

Rick and Francis enjoyed decades of success with the Quo, thanks to hits including Rockin’ All Over The World and Whatever You Want, selling 120million records.

After a row with their US label, they lost interest in cracking the States. Francis says: “I think if we’d made it in America I’d have probably died. We’d have both got killed because they’ll give you more drugs. Not just indulge you, but it’ll be like ‘Yeah, yeah, give it to them,. F*** it, give it to them’.”

By the mid-Eighties, relationships in the band hit an all-time low and Francis wanted out.

They played a farewell tour in July 1984 but Sir Bob Geldof reunited them to record charity hit Do They Know It’s Christmas?

They opened the resulting Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium the following year.

During the recording of the record, Francis and Rick bonded with younger stars including Boy George, Simon Le Bon and George Michael over their drug use.

Francis says: “That whole generation of people was doing all sorts. Mainly coke I would think.

“We were called The Doctors on that day because we had all the joints and stuff. “Ricky got really rat-arsed again.”

And Francis refutes Bob Geldof’s view that no drugs were taken during the record.

“Silly arse,” he rants. “Why would you want to lie? It don’t make sense. One minute sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll are synonymous then Bob’s trying to say they all got together one day and didn’t take any.”

Nowadays, Francis lives a more quiet life with second wife Eileen, who he has been married to for 29 years. They live with his kids from both of his marriages.

Daughter Bernadette, 36, from his relationship with rock publicist Liz Gernon, is also a regular visitor.

He will shortly be releasing his first country album, with singer Hannah Rickard, called I Talk Too Much, and is continuing with the Quo, with guitarist Richie Malone filling Rick’s shoes.

On the band’s new look, he says: “It’s a joy — it’s just a pity that I’m so f***ing old.”

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14th - Francis interview on Good Morning Britain (ITV, UK)

Francis appeared on Good Morning Britain on 14th March and was interviewed by Kate Garraway and Susanna Reid as another promo for his current products. The subject matter included the band's longevity, career highlights, the book, the speaking tour, his relationship with Rick, and some shame around his past especially in terms of alcohol and drug usage. The GMB studio is in the same building as the original television centre where "Top of the Pops" was recorded and Francis told a story of how the band used to hide curries in the suspended ceiling back in the day! He also mentioned that Quo are thinking about an album...

Laura Tobin also presented the weather with a Quo twist, including nine Quo song titles in her brief segment - watch it here.

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14th - Francis's autobiography "I Talk Too Much" released

Published by Constable, Francis's autobiography "I Talk Too Much" was released on 14th March. The book can be purchased here.

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15th - Rossi/Rickard "We Talk Too Much" album released

Francis's collaboration with Hannah Richard resulted in the "We Talk Too Much" album which was released on 15th March. The twelve-track country-oriented album includes four tracks in which Bob Young had a hand in the writing and a previously-released Rossi/Frost track, "Rearrange", gets another airing here. The album was released on the earMUSIC label and entered the UK's Country chart at number 1 on its first week of release!

The following short review of the album appeared on the Classic Rock website, written by Nick Hasted and achieving a rating of 2.5 stars (out of 5).

Sentimentality is something Francis Rossi keeps under wraps.

Exasperation was his more usual reaction to Rick Parfitt’s rocker mind-set, which electric Quo’s semi-retirement seemed set to make surplus to the band even before his death in 2016.

So there’s no obvious mourning in these new songs. Instead, young Aquostic violinist Hannah Rickard co-writes and duets on a collection of generic, mostly country tearjerkers.

Outside of Quo, Rickard has rougher rock’n’roll form with her band The Relatives, but her high, dominant voice is strictly Country & Western here. It’s a style Rossi loves, and the songwriting is serviceable.

But Oughta Know By Now’s relatively rollicking glam and the boogie conclusion of Maybe Tomorrow are the only red meat among very Radio 2-friendly tears in beer."

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16th - Francis article in The Independent (Ireland)

A controversial article about Francis's "I Talk Too Much" book appeared in the Irish newspaper, The Independent on 16th March, titled "'Women do not need sex as much because they're on the receiving end' - Status Quo's Francis Rossi on sex, money, and his candid memoir". You need a free Independent registration to read the article in full here.

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16th - Francis interview with Clive Anderson on Loose Ends (BBC Radio 4, UK)

Francis was interviewed by Clive Anderson on BBC Radio 4's "Loose Ends" show on 16th March and the focus was stories from the "I Talk Too Much" book. He started by talking about how he met his wife Eileen and how he feels about live performances. Inevitably, talk soon turned to alcohol and drugs and how Rick was spoiled by the rock and roll lifestyle ("he became a caricature of himself"). There was nothing new in the discussions on "Live Aid" and three chords, plus some promo for the Rossi/Rickard album and speaking tour to close out the interview.

The show is available online here (Francis is featured at around 14 minutes into the show).

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17th - Francis interview on Sky News (UK)

Francis was interviewed in the studio on Sky News on 17th March. A two-minute clip can be seen here, in which he was introduced as "part of the soundtrack of this country" and he revealed his thoughts on the "rock and roll lifestyle": rock and roll was the music and the lifestyle was "unacceptable" and he's "ashamed of all that".

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19th - Francis interview on Steve Wright Show (BBC Radio 2, UK)

The promo tour rolled on with Francis being interviewed on Radio 2's very popular Steve Wright Show on 19th March. He described the new album as "country-ish" and he spoke fondly of meeting Rick for the first time at Butlins in Minehead. Francis talked about hearing "Roadhouse Blues" and how that changed the musical direction in the early seventies. He sounded very enthusiastic about the current bunch of products and said he was "enthused" about Quo's live work too. Steve reeled off the full list of spoken word tour dates and Francis described how he expected the shows to run.

The show is available online here.

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24th - Francis interview in The Sunday Times (UK)

An interview with Francis was published in The Sunday Times on 24th March, titled "Francis Rossi: ‘My lifestyle is the opposite of my Status Quo image’" and written by Angela Wintle. You can read the article via a free (30-day trial) subscription here.

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24th - Francis interview on Planet Rock

Francis was interviewed in Planet Rock radio and the interview was published on YouTube on 25th March. This excellent twenty minute plus interview can be viewed below.

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undated - Francis interview in Classic Rock magazine (April edition)

An excellent eight-page feature around an interview with Francis formed part of the April edition of Classic Rock magazine. The feature included some great archive photos and the article can be viewed here.

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