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That was the Quo month that was ... May 2023

2nd - Francis interview on Beyond Radio (UK)

Francis was interviewed by Greg Lambert on Beyond Radio on 2nd May, talking about his upcoming "Tunes & Chat" show in Lancaster on 21st May (which was postponed to 10th October at short notice). The following piece appeared on the radio station's website and includes a link to listen to the engaging 30-minute interview.

"Status Quo legend Francis Rossi has spoken exclusively to Beyond Radio about how much he still loves to perform live after 60 years in the music business.

The 73-year-old rock front man was speaking ahead of his visit to the Lancaster Grand Theatre for a one-man show on Sunday May 21.

Francis will be taking up his acoustic guitar to perform a selection of well-known hits and some previously not-played-live-before songs in a show called 'Tunes and Chat'.

Expect acoustic versions of Quo classics from a remarkable career which began in the 1960s and has included 22 UK Top 10 singles, 25 UK Top 10 albums, and around 6,000 gigs playing to 25 million people - including famously opening Live Aid at Wembley in 1985 with 'Rockin' All Over the World'.

Francis spoke to us about how much he is enjoying touring his intimate 'Tunes and Chat' shows, the early days of Status Quo, the story behind their Live Aid appearance, performing with Status Quo at Lancaster University in the 70s, and much much more."

Revisit the May 2023 event list  

3rd - Article about Quo's attempts to conquer the US in Guitar World

An article about various UK bands' attempts to conquer the US appeared in Guitar World and featured comments from Francis. The article appeared on 3rd May, titled "The British Invasion that failed: why Slade, Status Quo, the Sweet and Dr. Feelgood never conquered the USA" and written by Mark McStea.

Francis's comments from the long article are reproduced below.

"Status Quo, to this day one of the biggest bands in the world, had a couple of minor American hits at the tail end of the '60s with Pictures of Matchstick Men in 1968, six years after they formed in 1962.

That single and its followup hit, Ice in the Sun, were very much of their time - a mix of light psychedelia and pop that bore little resemblance to their later blues 'n' boogie approach, which has served them well since Down the Dustpipe broke into the U.K. charts in 1970.

Quo realized that all they really wanted to do was wind their amps up to the max and rock out, abandoning the pop elements and replacing them with their own particular blend of heads-down, no-nonsense, boogie. The cover of the band's 1972 album, Piledriver, tells you all you need to know, without even needing to hear a note of their music.

Quo managed the neat trick of keeping the blues and rock elements of their music real, while also knowing their way around a memorable melody. The riff masters have scored an amazing total of more that 70 hits to date - and counting.

Founding member, guitarist and singer Francis Rossi remembers their first forays into the U.S. circuit. "When we first went to America, I remember we went to this Travelodge in La Brea [in Los Angeles], which was a shithole, really, but light years ahead of what we'd been staying in in England - 24-hour TV, beautiful showers, etc., but the funniest thing was when the phone rang in the room and Rick [Parfitt, rhythm guitarist] and I just looked at each other and went, 'Fuck, it's just like on the TV.' [Laughs]

"Everything about America was so wow, you know? For most bands going over to America in the early '70s, it was the first time we'd ever been there, so all we knew was what we'd seen on TV and movies. It wasn't really that common to go to the States for a holiday back then.

"The first time we went to California, we just thought, 'Wow, for fuck's sake!' I loved it, but you certainly wouldn't have wanted to be poor in California in 1973. [Laughs] What that meant was that everything was almost a little intimidating to a degree - the accents, the full-on confidence everybody seemed to have.

"I think, though, with hindsight, that if we'd had someone based over there, working for us, he could've given us a shakeup, maybe said, 'Come on, you fucks, pull it together,' you know?"

Rossi thinks that's one of the key reasons Quo didn't break the U.S. market. "Our manager told us we needed management in the U.S. When the idea was presented to me back in about 1971, I didn't realize the importance of having representation in the States and rejected the suggestion.

"Unfortunately, what that meant was that whilst we were getting support and promotion during the time we spent in America, we had nobody working for us at all when we weren't there. I think that happened to a degree for Slade and the Faces as well.

"There was also the well-known fact in the '70s that if you wanted to get radio play you very often had to sweeten the deal with a couple of grams of coke for the DJs when you gave them the album - all those kinds of things that we didn't have in place. I think, looking back, we should have been prepared to give away a percentage of our management for some U.S. representation, [because] if things had taken off, it would have paid for itself many times over."

The full article can be found on the Guitar World website.

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19th - John Coghlan, Bob Young and friends visit the 'Celebrating Seven Decades of Quo' exhibition

As the 'Celebrating Seven Decades of Quo' exhibition at the Barbican Music Library in London drew to a close, John Coghlan, Bob Young and other notable Quo-related names held a drinks reception at the exhibition on 19th May. Familiar faces in the crowd included Patty Parfitt and Danny Clifford.

Some great photos from the exhibition can be found on John Coghlan's Facebook page.

Revisit the May 2023 event list  

22nd - Rhino on Flawes "Meet At The Hotel Bar" podcast

It was time for Rhino to be interviewed by his son, Freddie (and his bandmates in Flawes) for on their "Meet At The Hotel Bar" podcast on 22nd May.

The 40-minute podcast covered a lot of ground and Rhino shared some very funny stories. His passion for music and pride with his son's achievements shone through in this entertaining episode.

The podcast featuring Rhino is episode 8 of "Meet At The Hotel Bar" podcast on Spotify.

Revisit the May 2023 event list