Status Quo rocker Francis Rossi talks about his travels in the UK, the Netherlands and Italy


Status Quo rocker Francis Rossi reveals how the band spent a night in prison after a run-in with airport security and recalls a hellish stay at a Lancashire B&B with holes in the floor

Francis Rossi checks into our travel Q&A

This week Status Quo rocker Francis Rossi checks into our travel Q&A.

He talks about his earliest holiday memory, his favourite country, his summer travel plans – and more.

EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?

My Irish mother had a nervous breakdown when I was eight, in the late 1950s, so my Italian father took us children to his rural Italian village near Naples for three months. I had a wonderful time — the smell of Italian food still takes me back to those days.

ARE YOU FLUENT IN ITALIAN?

We spoke Italian at home when I was a boy. But growing up in the UK back then, I was badgered into speaking English, so it’s very rusty. I wish I’d kept it up now.

HAS TOURING CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?

Massively. We’d bomb up and down the motorway in a Ford Transit van in the early Quo days and, sometimes, find ourselves in a fix after a gig because all the petrol stations had shut.

MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE?

I was getting into the band’s van with my overnight canvas bag one day when some bloke called out: ‘Got your p***ter bag, have you boy?’ Ever since then I’ve called my overnight bag my ‘PB’!

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL?

Nowadays, I usually sleep on our luxury tour bus. So all I need is my ‘PB’, which has everything in it from family photos to nail clippers.

HOTEL FROM HELL?

I certainly stayed in some dodgy places in the early Quo days — one Lancashire B&B I remember had holes in the floorboards and I could see into the room below. As for a lock on the communal loo door, forget it.

Rossi says he particularly likes Holland and lived in Amsterdam for a year in the 1990s

Rossi says he particularly likes Holland and lived in Amsterdam for a year in the 1990s

EVER HAD A RUN-IN WITH AIRPORT SECURITY?

The band once got banged up in a prison cell for the night after fists flew en route from Vienna to Stuttgart. Goodness, that was a miserable night.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOREIGN COUNTRY?

I like Germany and particularly Holland — I lived in Amsterdam for a year in the 1990s. I loved cycling along the canals. The Dutch are so friendly, too.

TOP TIP FOR ANYONE VISITING HOLLAND?

Hire a bicycle and just go — it’s as flat as a pancake, so it’s made for cycling.

WHERE NEXT?

I’d love to take a train journey somewhere in Britain this summer, just so long as I’ve got a crossword puzzle to help pass the time. 

  • 80s Rock Down (3CD) is out on May 21; Francis Rossi ‘I Talk Too Much’ Spoken Word Tour starts June 29, 2021; Status Quo ‘Out Out Quoing’ tour starts February 27, 2022. 

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