Fake Status Quo rocker cons Dover

'Graham' the stonemason clearly looks nothing like Francis Rossi. Oh, hang on a minute...
'Graham' the stonemason clearly looks nothing like Francis Rossi. Oh, hang on a minute...

You might remember reports earlier this year of a fake David Lee Roth doing the rounds in Canada. Well, it seems that rock star impostors are becoming a global problem.

A conman reportedly tricked local authorities in the English town of Dover into thinking that he was Status Quo star Francis Rossi, despite looking absolutely nothing like him.

Fake Francis, aka 'Graham', is believed to be a stonemason by trade, but he had no qualms about posing as an expert in a different kind of rock in order to get free hospitality from Dover Town Council.

Claiming that he would perform at a festival in the town and invite celeb friends including Paul McCartney, Brian May and Charlotte Church, 'Graham' was treated to limousine rides and expensive meals. He even judged a local beauty contest. We're pretty sure he'd do whatever you want.

Despite being physically much bigger than the real Rossi, sporting a moustache and lacking a ponytail, 'Graham' somehow managed to avoid arousing suspicions until he failed to show up for the promised festival set.

When confronted about his missing ponytail, the conman claimed that it was a fake that was stuck on for gigs as he could no longer get his hair to grow.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, the real Francis Rossi commented: "I last had a moustache in 1969. He must have modelled himself on an old picture. I'd love to know who he is - I want him to come to our next gig!"

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.