Legendary Status Quo lead singer Francis Rossi at The Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone


FRANCIS Rossi, founder member and frontman of veteran rockers Status Quo has never been lost for words and this year he has quite a lot to tell us about.

His new autobiography, entitled ‘I Talk Too Much’ is out in March, as is a new album he has recorded with Hannah Rickard, entitled ‘We Talk Too Much’.

And, if that wasn’t enough, he is about to tour the country in a spoken word tour where he will be in conversation with renowned biographer Mick Wall – who he worked with on the book.

“I’ve been talking about it for years,” Francis tells me at his London home. “Even Rick [Parfitt] thought about it, but we both thought the title ‘After Dinner Speaker’ sounded pompous.”

“People say I talk too much, but they also have said that they enjoy hearing my waffle.”

“I want to see if I can do it.”

He laughs. “I was quite confident about it, but as it draws nearer, the bottom is twitching a bit.  But I’m looking forward to it.”

The format of the evening will be Francis and Mick in conversation with Francis talking about his life and career, and there may even be some music.

“I probably won’t do full songs as it becomes a concert, so I may do snippets of songs and show how they were written.”

“Some of the things we talk about may be from the book, but once I go into something, I tend to go off on a tangent. [He laughs] The second half of the evening will be more Q&A from the audience, so knowing me I may get through about three questions in 45 minutes!”

There will also be pictures projected on a screen.

“Yeah, they keep finding pictures I haven’t seen before.” Says Francis.

The new album has been recorded with Hannah Rickard, who played violin on Status Quo’s acoustic tour and is quite ‘countrified’.

“Yes, well a lot of people said that the acoustic albums sounded a bit ‘country’, and I do like country music. I got talking to Hannah on the tours and we found out that we both liked the music.”

He continues. “The first thing we wrote was a song called I’ll Take You Home and it’s full of Americana.”

“We didn’t want to go ‘Nashville’ as it would alienate everyone in the UK and Europe, so we reined it in a bit. It’s not strictly country, but there is a bit of pedal steel guitar on it.”

And it may result in a tour.

“We may tour it if it’s successful and I’d like to do another.”

The autobiography is Francis’ third, but this will be the first one that is just him as the previous two were in conjunction with Quo band mate and musical partner, the late Rick Parfitt.

“The fact that Rick isn’t here anymore may help me as it doesn’t seem that I’m being unfaithful by doing all this solo work.”

“It’s not a bad time to do a book as this year I’ll be [whispers] seventy. I just waffled on with Mick and he put it all together,  but then my manager Simon read it and said that I had to read it myself (I hadn’t read a finished copy), and we ended up changing things around.”

And we may be surprised at what he tells us.

“Yeah, for one thing, at the first gig with Rick – he mimed as he hadn’t learned the songs. But that was Rick being Rick.”

“Everyone seems pleased with the book though.”

And what about Status Quo?

“We have some festivals all over the place, we aren’t doing much as [whispers] I’m turning seventy; but we may do something in 2020, there are things in the pipeline.”

Francis Rossi (with Mick Wall) will be Talking Too Much’ at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone on 17th May.

The book ‘I Talk Too Much’ and the Rossi/Rickard album ‘We Talk Too Much’ are out now.

Interview courtesy of Martin Hutchinson.

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