Francis Rossi has penned a brutally honest Letter To My Younger Self in this week’s Big Issue, revealing his thoughts about former bandmate Rick Parfitt becoming a “caricature” of himself.
Reminiscing on when his band, Status Quo, first rose to fame, he said: “When I look back at how I behaved when we were first successful… oh dear. I suppose it’s helped me become more regimented as I get older, trying hard to do the right thing.
He had this archetypal hard-rock look that people loved. But he wasn’t that person inside.
“I watched Rick, somebody I loved dearly, who was such a great friend, become a caricature of himself. He had this archetypal hard-rock look that people loved. But he wasn’t that person inside. Poor Rick, always trying to be the rock star his fans thought he was. The poor shit was in such a mess.”
The London-born singer and guitarist also told The Big Issue that he was lucky to be able to give up a life of drugs and drink so easily, unlike other rockstars who continue to the grave.
“When you’re in a band, there’s so much pressure to behave a certain way. I was never naturally a big drinker but all around you it’s ‘Come on, have another drink’. It’s hard to give my younger self advice about drugs,” he said.
I was lucky. I was able to just give up. I had so many late nights and mornings feeling shit,
“It’s one of the lies we tell people, that drugs are horrible and bad. It’s like telling the little lad who’s tweeking his knob, ‘Don’t do that, it’s dirty.’ And he’s thinking, you’re wrong, it’s f**king lovely. It’s the same with drugs, at first. But then there’s a payback, whether it’s drink, amphetamines, coke or downers. And it’s horrible. I was lucky. I was able to just give up. I had so many late nights and mornings feeling shit, I just woke up one day and said, I don’t think I’ll do that again.”