Francis Rossi

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Francis Rossi
Francis-rossi-2007-07-18.jpg
Background information
Birth name Francis Dominic Nicholas Michael Rossi[citation needed]
Born (1949-05-29) 29 May 1949 (age 65)
Forest Hill, London, England
Genres Hard rock, rock and roll, blues rock, boogie woogie, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1962–present
Associated acts Status Quo
Graham Bonnet
John Du Cann
Website www.statusquo.co.uk
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster

Francis Rossi, OBE (born 29 May 1949 Forest Hill, South London) is a British musician best known for being a co-founder of the English rock band Status Quo, in which he sings lead vocals and plays lead guitar.

Career[edit]

He has enjoyed minor success with brief projects outside the group. In 1985 when Status Quo were on hold, he recorded two singles and a (so far unreleased) album – which was provisionally titled Flying Debris – with his longtime writing partner Bernie Frost. The single releases were "Modern Romance (I Want to Fall in Love Again)" (UK No. 54[1]), and "Jealousy". In 1996 he issued a solo album, King of the Doghouse, which was not a commercial success, although it produced a UK No. 42 single, "Give Myself to Love".[1] Some years earlier, in 1976, he appeared on the soundtrack album and film All This and World War II comprising cover versions of songs by The Beatles. Although the album sleeve credits the performance of "Getting Better" to Status Quo, the track featured Rossi's vocals and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1977, he produced and played guitar on John Du Cann's solo album The World's Not Big Enough.

In 1980, Rossi and Frost contributed vocals to "Ships in The Night", a track from Exiled, a concept album by Bob Mitchell and Steve Coe which featured various other artists, including Colin Blunstone and Dan McCafferty. In 1981, he produced and played the Coral sitar, synthesizer, and guitar on two tracks on Line-Up by Graham Bonnet, one of which was the Top 10 hit, "Night Games".

Rossi at the UK film premiere of Bula Quo! in July 2013.

3 May 2010 saw the release of his long-awaited second solo album, One Step at a Time, including a re-recording of Quo's 1973 classic "Caroline". Rossi wrote and recorded three songs with Guy Johnson, who penned the UK Top 20 hit "Going Down Town Tonight" for Status Quo in 1984.[2] On the news that Rossi will embark on a six date tour of the UK to promote the album, he commented, "I never stop writing songs and melodies but there have been many tracks over the years that just weren't right for Quo. These songs have been gathering dust in my mind for too long and now seems the right time to showcase them. It's a big step for me but I hope to see lots of the same faces out there on the road!".[3] On that tour his son Nicholas shared the stage with him — a collaboration Rossi was thinking about quite a long time before.[4]

Despite Status Quo remaining hugely popular (especially in the UK and mainland Europe and also Australia), Francis has recently hinted that the time might be drawing near for Status Quo to finish as a band. In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine in May 2012, focusing on the reunion of Quo's classic 'Frantic Four' line up, Rossi said "I don't think Status Quo will be around much longer either. It's increasingly difficult to cope with the energy discharge a concert requires". Despite that, the band will be touring for the foreseeable future.

Musical equipment[edit]

Rossi's guitar of choice is the Fender Telecaster and has used several over the years including his main guitar which is a 1965 Fender Telecaster with a maple fretboard, which he purchased in 1968 for £70. It was originally a sunburst that was painted green in 1970. Through the years several parts have been replaced with G&L parts and a third pickup has been added in a configuration much like a Fender Stratocaster. He also owns two other green Fender Telecasters that are both brighter in colour and feature rosewood fretboards. One is used for the song "Down Down" and the other for the song "Whatever You Want". Like his main guitar they are both in a three pickup configuration. For amplification Rossi uses Marshall JCM800 or JCM900 Lead series amplifiers with 4x12 cabinets and a Roland GP8 to boost his signal. The sound from his Marshall rig is blended with Vox AC30 amplifiers that are kept behind his Marshall setup.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Francis Rossi with Status Quo at the Colston Hall in Bristol

Rossi lives in Purley, Surrey, England. He has eight children by two marriages, including his current to Eileen. When not touring, Rossi keeps fit by swimming and exercising. He is a collector of koi and likes clay pigeon shooting. He is known by his bandmates for being a fan of pasta. When not touring, Rossi is known[by whom?] to enjoy simply staying at home and relaxing.

Rossi recently moved from the house in which he had lived since the age of 18, because he considered it pointless to live in a ten-bedroomed house when his children had all left home. He left behind the 'ARSIS (A Roof Somewhere in Surrey)' music studio, housed in an extension to the house which he had built himself. This studio was used in the recording process of his solo effort One Step at a Time and the Quid Pro Quo album.

In March 2009 Rossi decided that his distinctive trademark ponytail of the previous 35 years should be cut off.[6] The ponytail was subsequently won by long-time Status Quo fan Sharon Littleton in a competition organised by The Sun newspaper.[7]

Rossi was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours along with bandmate Rick Parfitt.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 471. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Guy Johnson Official Website – NEWS & GIGS
  3. ^ "Francis Rossi 'One Step at a Time' – Solo Tour – May 2010". Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "entertaim.net: interview with the GOMORR". Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Official Rossi at the official Status Quo website". Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "The ponytail's got to Quo, at thesun.co.uk". The Sun. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Quo fan's got Rossi pony-tail, at thesun.co.uk". The Sun. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Status Quo stars and Formula One champion honoured". BBC News. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282. p. 11. 31 December 2009.

External links[edit]