I’ve been a Status Quo fan since the early seventies, and while I haven’t seen them live since 1980, I’ve always loved their music. Having said that, I did feel a little sceptical about reading this book, as whenever I saw them interviewed, Rossi often came across as a bit aloof compared to the laidback Rick Parfitt. And of course, there was all that criticism of Francis in the press after Rick died. However, the formidable frontman does seem to have laid down a fairly honest and open account of the ups and downs of life in the band, as well as lifting the lid on his own demons (of which there were many). Through his years snorting coke and knocking back bottles of Tequila, to the on/off in-fighting between band members, particularly the disagreements between himself and Alan Lancaster, Francis Rossi tells the story of his life, his relationship with Rick and of course the history of Status Quo.
The book is written in a style that’s pretty much the way the man himself talks, so it’s an easy read, though may be a bit of an eyeopener for anyone who isn’t too familiar with the band’s history. It also goes into great detail about the time leading up to and following Rick’s death, a section which I have to admit, was very hard to read. In some ways the book explains why fans accused Rossi of not caring about his bandmate, but in my humble opinion, what comes across quite clearly, is that aside from the rows and back-biting all rock bands are prone to, for the most part, the pair were the closest of friends.
Whether you’re a die-hard original-line-up fan, or are happy to see any format of the Quo team on stage, this is a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable read.