Francis Rossi says his "naughty" late bandmate Rick Parfitt scuppered their chances of receiving knighthoods.
The pair were made OBEs for their services to music in 2010, but the sole continuous member of the legendary rock band could have become Sir Francis Rossi if his bandmate - who died in 2016, aged 68, from an infection six months after suffering a major heart attack - had behaved himself.
Speaking to Classic Rock magazine, Francis recalled: "If you want the truth, just before we got the gong, I was told by a certain individual that we were due for the other gong. And Rick was a naughty boy, as usual.
"Whenever it was imperative that he behave, he couldn't.
"I can't tell you what he did, but it wasn't particularly good.
"So it was a case of: 'You can't have that one, but you can have this one instead.'"
The 73-year-old musician also confessed that he likes to wind Sir Elton John up by calling him Reggie, a shortened version of his birth name Reginald.
He said: "I'm not supposed to call him that because he gets upset, but I can't help it, that's what I know him as."
The 'Rockin' All Over the World' hitmaker recalled the 'Tiny Dancer' hitmaker paying them the highest compliment - but not taking the chart-topper seriously.
He recalled: "He once said to us: 'I wish I could write them rock songs like you do.'
I just went: 'What? Don't be silly Reg, for f*** sake.'"