The Status Quo Autobiography “XS All Areas”

I love reading autobiographies, and this one didn’t disappoint. It is absolutely mesmerizing to follow the path to stardom of someone who made it. The thing I find the most curious is that there are no rules one can apply to become rich, famous, and loved by millions. Every star’s story I’ve read could have easily been a story of failure, although, of course, in that case, we wouldn’t have a chance to read it.

The Status Quo autobiography is on my personal top list of autobiographies along with Agatha Christie’s and Will Smith’s. I have no doubt that Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt didn’t share everything on these pages, but having read quite a decent number of such books I wish to believe that I can feel if the story is sincere or it was yet another promotional trick to attract attention to a fading star’s persona.

The book was released in 2004, and the updated version with an added chapter was published in 2005; eleven years before Rick Parfitt died. Both he and Francis Rossi shared their plans for the future in that added chapter. Knowing that Rick Parfitt had only a decade to fulfil them is sad; as is the fact that this year Status Quo celebrates its sixtieth anniversary.

Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi tell the story of how two boys from the part of London we don’t usually see on screen when the movie setting is the capital of Great Britain transformed their love of music into one of the most successful bands in the world.

Their way to the top wasn’t smooth and easy. Everything changed: the band’s names, its members and managers, even its musical style. Success came and went. There were times when it seemed Status Quo would be no more.

Both Parfitt and Rossi speak openly about their drug addiction, and the proportions of that addiction are truly inconceivable. I apologise for probably misplaced British humour, but the thing that came into my mind reading about how much cocaine they used was “it’s incredible they made it even to fifty.” But speaking seriously, the fact they virtually didn’t emerge from drug- and alcohol-induced stupor for ten years and managed to outlive it, is a direct promotion for using addictive substances rather than a warning against them.

The book is definitely worth reading, even though I’ve never been the band’s fan. 

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