Speaking to The Big Issue, Rossi said, "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.
“If I could go back in time I’d like to be there more for Rick when his daughter died [Parfitt's daughter Heidi drowned in the family swimming pool in 1980]. He beat himself up about that, and probably justifiably so, because it needn’t have happened. But I’d like to have helped him. And he was my friend to the end. Right up until he was dying.
“The medical profession do some terrible things to us to keep us alive. When I got to his hospital room in Turkey [Parfitt was hospitalised after a heart attack in June 2016, after playing a set with Status Quo in Antalya], I saw they’d crossed his feet like Christ on the cross. So the first thing I did was uncross his feet.
"After that I didn’t get to talk to him again because he wasn’t really there, the guy I knew. But we’d been such great friends when we were young, we’d had such great times together. It had been us and them, us against the rest of the world."
Status Quo support Lynyrd Skynyrd on the UK leg of their farewell tour this June.
There's is an extensive interview from Francis Rossi in the current issue of Classic Rock, which is on sale now.
Lynyrd Skynyrd 2019 UK dates with Status Quo
Jun 26: Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena, UK
Jun 27: Manchester Arena, UK
Jun 29: London Wembley Arena, UK
Jun 30: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK