Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 08:16 UK

Talking Shop: Status Quo

Status Quo
Status Quo had their first hit in 1968, two years before Glastonbury began

Veteran rockers Status Quo will wake up the Glastonbury festival faithful with a main stage slot on Sunday lunchtime.

It will be the first Glastonbury for the band, who recently celebrated their 40th anniversary and who are expected to play hits like Rockin' All Over The World, Whatever You Want, Caroline and In the Army Now.

But with a dislike of mud and smelly toilets, singer and guitarist Francis Rossi says he's not relishing the prospect.


Have you ever been to Glastonbury?

No, I'd never go to a festival. Someone asked if we would be staying to watch the other bands. What for? Do you go to the bloke next door and watch him work?

You've got dodgy, stinky toilets, I don't like those much, and I don't like muddy fields

Why do you dislike festivals?

I've been to them - I've been this side [performing] and it's bad enough this side, let alone that side [as a festival-goer].

There's too many people. You've got dodgy, stinky toilets, I don't like those much, and I don't like muddy fields. And if the weather's particularly suspect I don't like being outside.

Someone asked if this is the weirdest thing I've ever done. No, I've played at the bottom of a quarry, we've played in castles, I've played in a sandstorm, I've played in a tornado.

Aren't you interested in exploring Glastonbury's delights?

We have some place else to be - we'll get on the bus and eat and go to wherever we're going to next.

Francis Rossi of Status Quo
I never have expectations for a gig - don't tell me it's important, I'll mess up

Are there any festivals you have liked?

One of the best is the Skanderborg Festival [in Denmark]. It's in this forest and they don't disturb the trees, you work in between the trees and there's all these stages up. It goes on 24 hours a day for three or four days.

I remember walking onto that gig and as we were coming up, this guy came up covered in blood. He said, 'I killed my friend'. Yeah, all right, we've got to get on. Security took him away and we went on. I kept thinking, somewhere out there there's a dead friend.

What's the current status of your ponytail?

What ponytail? I had it taken off about two or three months ago and I'm still rubbing the back of my head because I'm still fascinated with having no hair. I've had long hair since I was 16.

I feel quite rebellious because I've got short hair. There's millions of people with short hair but to me it feels different. It feels great.

What's happened to it?

We were playing the other night and this woman said, 'I've got the ponytail'. I thought, where have you got the ponytail? Luckily, she said, 'It's at home'.

When I saw it cut off, it was far from a ponytail. No pony could have that. It looked like a sprig come off its bum. So I was very glad to lose it.

Status Quo on Top of the Pops
The band have enjoyed a total of 22 top 10 hits in the UK

How did it feel to turn 60 recently?

It's a big number isn't it? That whole age thing has really hit me. We all get the Victor Meldrew thing - you start seeing things that are ridiculous. They keep moving the decimal point.

Did turning 60 make you think about retiring?

No, not whilst Uncle Mick and Uncle Keith are doing it. They set the precedent and we just follow. We're still that generation that's trying to prove that my parents' generation wrong.

Everybody at the time was laughing at the Stones and the Beatles, saying it's not going last, they don't have an education, it's never going to go anywhere. And it did. And it is valid. And it's still a great job.

Do you think Glastonbury will be the catalyst for a Quo chart comeback?

What's this comeback? I'd smack your legs. We had a hit album in November, and the year before we had a small hit. Admittedly they're not in the charts for months at a time.

But we still need that affirmation that we're successful, even if we get in the top 10 or top 15 for a week or two.

Will you be belting out the classics at Glastonbury?

We'll do the same set we did the night before. Our set has got one track from the last album, two tracks from the album before that, but it's only an hour.

There will be all the favourites, and some new ones. I never have expectations for a gig. Don't tell me it's important - I'll mess up.

Francis Rossi talked to BBC News music reporter Ian Youngs. The band are on tour across the UK and Europe until December.



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