Carrot is still dangling for Quo’s Francis

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FOR A man whose band has sold more than 138 million records, won a Brit Award for its contribution to music and has spent more than five decades in the music industry, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi is remarkably matter-of-fact about his music.

“The best musicians are the ones at home spending hours learning how to play just to play - not to be on a stage.”

Nor does he see the grandeur in being a multi-million selling rock and roll star.

“The bloke in a band tends to know very little.

“I don’t see myself as a ‘songwriter’, I write songs with three or four or five chords - it’s simple and melodic.

“I don’t write deep meaningful lyrics.

“ I saw a documentary on Billy Joel who said that he first gets a chord sequence and then he gets the lyrics by humming through the words that sounded right, whether it was an ‘eeeeeeehh’ word or an ‘oooohh’ word.

“I could relate to that.

“There’s a song called All We Really Wanna Do and I had ‘Polly wolly doodle all the way’ for the chorus because it just seemed to fit.

“I had to come up with something else so I came up with ‘Cos all we really wanna do is what we wanna do and do it all the day’ and that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?”

This is also clearly one of Rossi’s life philosophies.

“When will the drive stop? I am 63 now and I am still doing this.

“It’s ridiculous to look at me but it’s like I’ve got a stick on the end of my nose dangling a carrot and I wonder what would happen if I got that carrot.

“You look at Michael Jackson and the fact he sold 45 million albums in America, but there’s a lot of people that he didn’t sell to - you have to see it like that”

This dichotomy of confidence and self-doubt is something Rossi thinks a lot about.

“Sometimes when people are watching me I think ‘if you’re watching me don’t look at me’ but then I think ‘why aren’t you looking at me?’ It’s this Gemini thing.”

And it’s part of this part-cocky, part-modest attitude that keeps Status Quo - which formed in 1962 - on the road, even though its members are all sexagenarians.

Status Quo are not afraid of playing the hits the fans want to hear.

“You should be playing to the audience, that’s what matters.”

Status Quo play at the City Hall tomorrow.