Fifty years ago, Francis Rossi met Rick Parfitt and the rest, as they say, is history.
However, it is not a landmark they are celebrating – Status Quo have too many anniversaries to dwell too heavily on nostalgia.
And, as Rossi admits, “Rick doesn’t like being the band being spoken about before he was in it” – he did not join the band for two years.
Rossi, long-time bassist Alan Lancaster and two schoolfriends set up the band as The Scorpions in 1962, before meeting Rick in ’65.
After several band name changes, Rick was invited to join in late 1967, as the band released their first hit, Pictures of Matchstick Men, and became Status Quo.
Five decades on and they are still doing what they do best - Rockin’ All Over the World, with no signs of slowing down yet.
“We were huge from ’82 to ’92 in terms of money and tracks,” admits Rossi.
“People asked then why we carried on when we have all this money – at least that’s what they wanted to believe.
“It’s not true, although I couldn’t tell them that as it’s part of showbusiness,” adds the 66-year-old Londoner.
Financial security is not what drives the band on – rather a love of performing and a desire to be loved.
And it is this love and desire which brings them to Sheffield Arena next week with their Accept No Substitute tour.
“It’s the little incessant show-off in us,” explains Rossi. “I am a big mouth, although it’s a front. Part of me is really shy.
“I need it reaffirming every night that people love us – and I do get that every night.”
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I am a big mouth, although it’s a front. Part of me is really shy.Francis Rossi, of Status Quo
This tour the band returns to their fully electric set up after the huge success of the Aquostic (Stripped Bare) and Aquostic! Live At The Roundhouse acoustic albums and tour.
Lead guitarist and vocalist Rossi says: “We’ve had such a blast with the ‘Aquostic’ style, but for this tour we are going back to the sound that defines us. I read in the paper that we were breaking up, but we’re not finished yet I can tell you.”
Rhythm guitarist and vocalist Parfitt says: “I guess the name of the tour speaks for itself. This is full-throttle no-nonsense Status Quo.”
And the two famous faces of Status Quo will be joined by long-time Quo members Andy Bown, on keyboards, and John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, on bass, on stage, as well as the band’s latest drummer, Leon Cave.
However, while Rossi admits the band are “not finished yet”, he admits he can imagine a time when they are, given his pensionable age.
“The thing with the Quo is you have to commit to it physically,” he says.
“If you don’t have that, it’s boring – it’s boring to watch and boring to do.
“I compare performing with or gasms. You wish it could carry on, but it does finish and you have to cope with that.”
n Status Quo play Sheffield Arena next Monday, December 7. Support comes from former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson. For tickets, priced from £43.45, visit www.sheffieldarena.co.uk
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