Francis ROSSI
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Francis ROSSI - Interview - November 15th 2008

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Palais-des-sports de Grenoble Gerard Drouot Productions

  1. You're in France today for a gig in Grenoble in "Le Palais des Sports".
  2. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    AM : What are your first impressions ?

    It's big. I remember a little bit in the 70's when I came and just remember seen mountains. It seemed to be an airy place, you know and a fresh place for some reason, I remember it. And coming in this morning about 7 or 8 o'clock through the window of the bus, I could see lots and lots of apartments, so my memories are good, it's a nice place, but my memories of France are nice, and I don't mean it cause the English have this love affair with the French. We are, the English have a love affair with the French or they hate them. I think it's the same for the French for the English, it's crazy really. But we like being in France because France used to have the worse roads (laughing) and the worse venues and now it has the best venues and the best roads, so it's the nicest place to be. It's very efficient and I think everybody in England, I said something to someone this morning about it, (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews whenever there is a problem and the French go on strike, we hear about it in England two days later because all the trucks in the South of England are being back up the country. I used to think : "bloody French, why do they do this, why they do it", but however, the English they let the government do anything. The French if they don't like the government they say : "stop" and they have to fix it cause the other governments in Europe say it's getting blocked out. So I really appreciate the French when they do that, because you get things done and that seems what happens in your cities, things get down because the people fight the government really, fantastic - because (looking at the camera) I don't do music !!

  3. Do you like skiing ?
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    No. It's not my favourite thing.

    AM : Because near Grenoble you can ski...

    My family used to come to a place where you can be in the sun sometime (up in the mountains) people find it fascinating. I don't really like to go to a hill to slide down and walk back up again (laughing). And I think it's one of those things that has become very groovy over the years when anything is not very groovy at the moment.

  5. Back to the past, do you remember why you have chosen to play the guitar instead of another instrument ?
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    The Everly Brothers. I saw the Everly Brothers. When I was very very young, I played the mini accordion and I had lessons on that, but I didn't like that much. I like the sound of it, it's the italian thing, you know, but when I saw the Everly Brothers when I was seven I wanted to strum and sing. I didn't want the "dilililililila" I just want the strum and sing.

    AM : What is your favourite guitar ? This one ?

    This is a Yamaha. I think it's a very nice guitar actually, it's one of the green ones they do specially. I don't really have a favourite guitar. I use one on stage I've used it for so many many years, I am kind of used to it, and I'm the kind of person that doesn't change things because I'm like that, but I don't have this "Oh my guitar". I get another one, I can't play them very well anyway so I get the next one and see what happens.

  7. When someone looks at you right in the eye and says Francis you're a legend, what does it mean to you ?
  8. It means the person is confused. (laughing). Legends are normaly dead. There are too many people on this planet now that are legends. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews I understand that some people revere older bands and people in older bands. I understand they do that but to say they were legends, they say that about everybody. It's nice if they think that, but oh..fine... I'm sorry, I'm not being rude. I'm a guy in a band that did reasonably well, we've been very very lucky and the rest of it "Phooey". Remember, this is show business, so it's bullshit. 95% is bullshit and the other 5% is bullshit. It's show business, so it can't be real, it musn't be real. It's for people to go away and enjoy, they don't need to know the truth, what is going on behind, it's just show business. If it was all about music, we'll be staying at home and studying our music, but most of us people want to come out and show people what we can do, we are insecure and we are show-offs....aaagh...

    AM : And rock'n'roll is a dream...

    Rock'n'roll is a fantasy. I think, rock'n'roll is the music. The rock'n'roll lifestyle is stupid. If you take drugs and drink and have sex every night for all the time, part of it becomes boring, you can only do that because people in rock'n'roll are indulged. Most people do it on Friday, Saturday, maybe they rest on Sunday, they go back to work, depressed all week, look forward the Friday, sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, Saturday, Sunday, nice rest, some go to church and say sorry and start all over again. So the idea to me of rock'n'roll lifestyle of throwing things out of windows and having sex, everybody have sex, that's not rock'n'roll and if you want to throw something out of the window, throw it out of the window and go down and buy a new one, that's all that happens. There's this myth all over the years that Keih Moon and all our sixties and seventies generation, we wrecked all these hotels and no one says anything. pay for it in the morning, that's all. So there is not such thing as rock'n'roll lifestyle.

  9. In which country do you prefer to tour ?

  10. Hm...

    AM : You were in Germany.

    I like Germany, it's very good, very efficient. It used to be that we didn't want to start in Germany and then come to France, because as I said France is bad venues, bad roads, and at that time we didn't have catering, so you can only eat (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews at certain hours, we couldn't eat between 2 and 6, and we used to like to eat then, but, now that Germany is efficent, it doesn't matter. France is so good, you have the best venues and you probably have the best audiences because they don't...the French aren't necessarily fascinated with alcohol like the rest of the planet are. The French do this (sipping the bottle) lovely, and then they watch, when everybody else is (drinking like a fish) and they can't see and I watch them, they can't see this far (holding hand close up to his face) and you don't know, but they probably won't remember the following morning. The French aren't stupid like that, the French, they are not going to pay money for a ticket and then forget because they were too drunk, you're sensible people.

  11. And by the way, have you found the Fourth Chord ? I think I found it.
  12. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews Oh I get so tired of the joke, Yeah we probably found it.

    AM : me too, I've found it, see ? (showing Francis Status Quo album called the Fourth Chord").

    Oh it's in there, is it ? that's lovely.

    AM : What is your favourite song in this album, do you have one ? one favourite song, do you remember the songs ?

    This album...Oh yeah. I remember writing two of them on the bus : Electric Arena or Tongue tied. But I like Beginning of the End, I like Pennsylvania Blues, Electric Arena, My little Heartbreaker...probably all my songs but I like them yeah...

    AM : Do you write all the songs, how do you manage to compose the songs ?

    How...I don't know. Some recently I have been doing them on the bus, it's quite good cause the atmosphere when you finish this kind of gig and you're sit on the bus for an hour or so, and you calm down and you play acoustic, the sound is, so I wrote two songs on the bus and I took my time to write them, I didn't rush them, but there is a song on there, Beginning or the End I wrote with John, I had a basical idea, and then I go to John with it, and he goes home and he comes back, and we do it that way and we have written quite good songs like that together, but it's a thing that you think you kind of lose every now and again, and you say you can't do this anymore, and then you start to write one song and it just happens again, it's like going to the bathroom if you're constipated you can't go and then suddenly you go again and everything is fine. What a fabulous analogy...Phew.

    AM : How do you have the ideas, different ideas to write the songs ?

    Sometimes I get an idea for something but it's usually if I'm practising. I sit at home like this in front of the TV (playing the guitar) anything and scales and then you might (he plays a tune) so I put it down on tape because I like that (still playing) so I put it down onto tape, carry on playing and look at it the following day, and if I like it and that's when I take it to John, and we came out with the Oriental...that's a song we tried to do two chords or one chord to see if we could cut down the chords.

  13. If you could have three wishes, what would they be ?
  14. (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews A wishing ring. I've got one, see ! I remember this when I was very very young it was always a thing of having three wishes. I said why do we need three wishes ? I want a ring, it's the wishing ring, see (showing his ring), everything I need I get it on one ring so I cheat. Oh, I don't know, I try not to ask to think about things like that as I said when I was very very young. And I think if I couldn't take three wishes I would get something which can give me wishes, those I always want. I'll be frightened of making the wrong wishes, and then obviously you think it's often struck me when I was young that it will be lovely to say, (as a wish) peace throughout the world. I would is that possible ? We live within the realms of relativity, so for us to know peace, we must know war, for us to know love, we must know hate. It's only here in this incarnation, so for all the people say we must have world peace, it's not possible, I don't think, sad but I don't think it's possible to do that, but I'd like to be proven wrong, but we do live within the realms of relativity so you ask me a question, what wishes I care for, none, so next question...(laughing).

  15. Can you speak some French Francis ?
  16. Can I, do I ?

    AM : Yeah. No. Not at all ? Can't you say something in French ?

    Like what ?

    AM : I don't know... (c) Copyright Rock-Interviews

    Don't do that, It's embarassing, I'm an Englishman, I can't speak anything, I still write like an italian.

    AM : I think you can say "bonjour".

    Well "Bonjour" I can say all this stuff yeah, like I said earlier, yes but I can't speak French, I try and speak Italian, that's hard enough.

    AM : Can you say something for your fans for tonight in French ?

    No (she's laughing - I'm serious - but she's laughing at me !)

    AM : No, I'm not laughing at you.

    You speak, you see the trouble with the English is that we've been brought up to think we're the best, which is a mistake, so we go around the world thinking, we're English, we speak English, how stupid of you, can't you speak English, and very very few English speak anything. When you're English you go to England and speak English and the people don't understand you, so we are taught French and German stuff and we still don't listen, and yet everyone from the Europe you speak perfect English I can speak at normal rate and you understand what I'm saying, I'm not sure they do (pointing to camera and laughing) but we get very embarassed, very easily not speaking another language. I grew up with italians I still have great difficulties talking to my aunts and my uncles in italian because I get embarassed. (speaking Italian) what's the point, so I look stupid (making the noise of a fart with his mouth) sorry, go on...

    AM : I think that's it.

    Good. That's it. Thank you, goodbye, she's a lovely woman.

    AM : Thank you.

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Palais-des-sports de Grenoble