Status Quo logo


Tributes to Alan Lancaster

Official Quo website Richie Malone John Coghlan Rick Parfitt Jnr
Craig Bennett John Eden Alan Parker Sydney Morning Herald/The Age
The Guardian The Times The Telegraph NME
Planet Rock Classic Rock BBC

Official Quo website

It is with great sadness that we report that Alan Lancaster - one of the original members of Quo, has passed away at the age of 72.

Alan suffered for many years with Multiple Sclerosis, but in spite of his illness was able to play a series of concerts with the original 'Frantic 'Four in 2013/2014'.

Francis Rossi said: 'I am so sorry to hear of Alan's passing. We were friends and colleagues for many years and achieved fantastic success together as the Frantic Four alongside Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan. Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo during the 60s and 70s. Although it is well documented that we were estranged in recent years, I will always have very fond memories of our early days together and my condolences go to Dayle and Alan's family.'

Status Quo Manager Simon Porter said: 'This is such sad news and my sincere condolences go out to Dayle and the family. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to reunite the original line up for two sellout tours in 2013/2014 and to give Status Quo Frantic Four fans a final legacy and such a lasting memory. Although Alan was not in the best of health even then, he got through the tours with determination and grit and was a pleasure to work with.'

During Alan's time with the band, Quo opened Live Aid, sold countless tens of millions of records, appeared on Top Of The Pops dozens of times, and had around 30 hit singles and 30 hit albums, two thirds of which went Top 10, with five reaching Number One. That was just his UK track record - but the pattern was repeated in numerous territories worldwide as Quo became one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. (Thanks to Jason Hodgson)

Back to the top of the page  

Richie Malone (Instagram post)

I can't believe the mighty Nuff has passed away. This was the last time I met Alan Lancaster. It was at the Frantic Four’s last show together in Dublin in April 2014. He was a hero for so many. RIP you legend. #alanlancaster #statusquo #legend #franticfour #rip

Back to the top of the page  

John Coghlan

I am totally devastated at the loss of my dear friend Alan after 60 years of friendship; Gillie and I send all our love to Dayle and the family.

Back to the top of the page  

Rick Parfitt Jnr

I am absolutely devastated to hear of Alan’s passing, he was the most kind hearted, beautiful person, hugely funny to be around and in the truest sense an absolute legend! Quo would not have existed without him. I love you and will miss you. Our thoughts are with your family.

Back to the top of the page  

Craig Bennett

At the request of his loving and deeply cherished family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo. Alan Lancaster passed away this morning at his Sydney home, surrounded by family. Alan had been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 72. Status Quo began Rockin’ All Over The World in 1967. The legendary band amassed decades of hit songs, including Down Down and Whatever You Want. Alan married his beautiful wife Dayle Lancaster in 1978. They met when Alan and Status Quo, along with Slade and Lindisfarne, toured Australia in 1973. Alan, who was a dear and special friend, is survived by Dayle, his children Alan Jr, Toni and David, plus five grandchildren. Dayle said this morning that Alan loved his life in Australia. His mother and father, plus his brother and sister also moved to Australia. Dayle said: ‘we are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus.’ Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours in the UK & Europe in 2013 & 2014. He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans..and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army.

Vale to an absolute legend and one of the nicest people in rock and roll.

Back to the top of the page  

John Eden

Back to the top of the page  

Alan Parker

A gentleman, with a smile that could light up a room, he made me laugh.... And that's never a bad thing. Always pleased to see me, which was cool.... The news hit me just after 3am, although we've known the situation for a while now, that doesn't make it any easier - RIP Nuff

Back to the top of the page  

Sydney Morning Herald/The Age

English rock musician and founder of Status Quo band Alan Lancaster has died following a battle with multiple sclerosis. He was 72.

Lancaster died on Sunday morning at his Sydney home, surrounded by his family.

Entertainment journalist Craig Bennett paid tribute to Lancaster on social media at the request of the bassist’s family.

“[I] am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo,” Mr Bennett wrote.

“Alan married his beautiful wife Dayle Lancaster in 1978. They met when Alan and Status Quo, along with Slade and Lindisfarne, toured Australia in 1973.

“Alan, who was a dear and special friend, is survived by Dayle, his children Alan Jr, Toni and David, plus five grandchildren.

“Dayle said this morning that Alan loved his life in Australia. His mother and father, plus his brother and sister also moved to Australia. Dayle said: ‘We are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus’.

“Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours in the UK & Europe in 2013 and 2014. He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans ... and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army. Vale to an absolute legend and one of the nicest people in rock and roll.”

In 1962, Lancaster co-founded a band with friend Francis Rossi which would form the basis for Status Quo. Seven years later, musician Rick Parfitt joined the band and the following year, the group released Pictures of Matchstick Men, which reached No.7 on the UK singles chart. Lancaster would play bass and sing for the band.

In the decades that followed, the band carved out a place in musical history with their thumping rock sound. Status Quo would open for the 1985 Live Aid Concert, where they shared the stage with Queen, U2, David Bowie and Elton John. The concert aimed to raise funds for the Ethiopia famine.

Fellow rock star Mr Parfitt died in 2016 after suffering from a severe infection at the age of 68.

Lancaster left Status Quo following Live Aid and moved to Australia, where he joined Australian band The Party Boys in 1987, before founding The Bombers the following year.

Reuniting with some Status Quo members, including Mr Rossi and Mr Parfitt, Lancaster performed with them for a UK tour in 2013. His last ever show as a member was in Dublin in 2014.

Lancaster told the Studio 10 in 2016 that when the band first got together, none of its members could play guitar. Over the course of a year, they went from learning to play to performing their first gig.

“It’s a bit strange starting a band when you can’t play an instrument,” he said.

Lancaster also revealed the group lost their sense of brotherhood as tensions grew within the band.

His wife told the network behind closed doors her husband was easygoing, tidy and didn’t cook much except for buckwheat pancakes which he offered to everyone who walked through the door.

“There hasn’t been a boring moment in all the years, he’s been great really,” Mrs Lancaster said.

In 2010, some of the original band members reunited at London’s Abbey Road Studios, where they used their 1975 hit Down, deeper and down track as the inspiration for the Coles supermarket “Down Down, Prices are Down” ad campaign.

Fans took to social media to pay tribute to Lancaster, including American musician Cletis Carr who said the 72-year-old was a “truly lovely, gentle, kind man”.

Back to the top of the page  

The Guardian

Alan Lancaster, who has died aged 72 of complications from multiple sclerosis, was the bass player in the rock band Status Quo from the quartet’s formation in 1967 until 1985, and again in 2013-14 for a short-lived but popular reunion.

A member of the band’s most successful lineup, alongside the guitarists Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt and the drummer John Coghlan, he was the first bassist to step on stage at Live Aid in July 1985, as they opened the show at Wembley Stadium with a performance of Rockin’ All Over the World in front of a global TV audience of more than a billion.

Although Status Quo went on to enjoy a degree of success after Lancaster left later in 1985, it was in the pivotal early years during his membership that the group established their reputation.

Each of the 11 albums released between 1972 and 1983 made the top five, with their best known songs from the period including Paper Plane, Caroline, Down Down, Whatever You Want, Dear John as well as their cover of John Fogerty’s Rockin’ All Over the World. Catchy, simple in structure and phenomenally popular, these singles – they released more than 100 in total, more than any other British rock band – have become an essential part of the canon.

Lancaster was regarded by fans as the band’s “quiet one”, partly because he deferred to the extrovert personalities of Rossi and Parfitt, but also because his bass parts were supportive rather than flashy. Still, he had a more fiery character than his reputation would suggest. “Alan was hard – really hard,” said Parfitt in 2014.

“You wouldn’t want to fight with him, he could really handle himself. I once saw him take on two leather-clad rockers who had bicycle chains – he just went in and beat them up.”

Lancaster’s bass-playing could be elaborate when required, as witnessed on live versions of Forty- Five Hundred Times, initially released on Quo’s 1973 album Hello!, and his skills as a singer and songwriter were also of great use. He took the lead vocal on their version of Roadhouse Blues by the Doors in 1972, and wrote Don’t Think It Matters and Lonely Man two years later.

As he explained: “My game is playing hard rock, but I listen to and enjoy a wide range of genres, with various rhythms and bass styles. Bass-playing that I particularly admire is usually creative rather than clever. A creative bass line frames the song and shapes it.”

Born in Peckham, south London, Lancaster met Rossi at Sedgehill school in Catford in 1962, where they both played in the school orchestra, and he honed his abilities as a bass player in the Scorpions, the Spectres and Traffic Jam, the early incarnations of Status Quo. Although the group’s first years were difficult, with little public interest in their first two psychedelia-infused albums, a style change to hard-driving blues-rock with the 1972 LP Piledriver paid off.

Lancaster soon became known for the consistency of his playing. As his later replacement John “Rhino” Edwards put it: “I saw Status Quo in 1971 at my local club. I thought, ‘It’s pretty good, but it doesn’t look very difficult. I could do that!’ Of course, when you actually do it, it’s a completely different animal. You’ve got to really perform with Status Quo. You’ve got to pile it in or else it doesn’t work.”

The group enjoyed a successful decade in the 1970s, but by 1980 internal tensions and the consequences of rock’n’roll debauchery caused the group to split, with Coghlan departing that year. Lancaster, who had moved to Sydney, Australia, with his parents and siblings in 1983 – causing Status Quo, in his absence, to use a cardboard cutout of him for televised performances on Top of the Pops – quit the band after Live Aid. A co-founder of the group, he issued an injunction against Rossi and Parfitt in order to stop them using the band’s name: it was settled out of court the following year.

In Australia, Lancaster joined the Party Boys, which scored a hit with a self-titled album in 1987. He also formed the Bombers, in which he was initially joined by Coghlan. However, it was a case of diminishing returns for the bassist, and two more groups, Lancaster Brewster Band and Alan Lancaster’s Bombers, made little headway.

Although Lancaster then did some work as a soundtrack composer and producer, it was only in 2010 that his name came up in connection with the idea that the original lineup of Status Quo might reform. He and Rossi met in Sydney, although the group’s then bassist Edwards explained that his predecessor’s health was poor. He added that no bad blood existed between the two sides, saying: “It was great, he’s a legend. You know, I’ll always only be Alan Lancaster’s replacement ... I’m trying to keep his legacy in a safe pair of hands.”

When it was announced in 2013 that the “Frantic Four” were reassembling for UK dates, fans were keen to see Lancaster back on stage. Although he was grey-haired and frail, he did his job in efficient fashion. A Guardian reviewer wrote: “Quo are at their most thrilling – and thrilling is the right word – when they bring on the boogie ... Small wonder the Hammersmith Apollo was as packed as I’ve ever seen it.”

After the reunion ended in 2014, Lancaster revealed some remaining bitterness about the original split, by then more than three decades in the past. Interviewed by the TV channel Studio 10 in 2016, he said: “Status Quo ended up costing me more money than I ever made from it, because I was trying to protect it. I’m not a big corporation, I’m on my own. In the end you have to give up ... None of us in the band have ever received a royalties statement, ever. There’s lots of millionaires going around the world who’ve made their money from Status Quo, but the band themselves struggle to get there.”

Lancaster is survived by his wife, Dayle (nee Thurbon), whom he married in 1978, his three children, Alan Jr, Toni and David, and five grandchildren.

Alan Lancaster, bass player, born 7 February 1949; died 26 September 2021

Back to the top of the page  

The Times

Original bass player with Status Quo who helped to define their no-frills boogie style before his bitter departure from the band

When Alan Lancaster played the biggest gig of Status Quo's career at Live Aid in 1985, he had no idea it was to be his final appearance with the band.

The group had been asked to open the show at Wembley Stadium, which was watched by a worldwide television audience estimated at 1.5 billion. They were followed on stage by Queen, U2, David Bowie and Elton John among others and the event raised millions for famine relief in Ethiopia.

After the concert, Lancaster returned to Australia, where he had emigrated several years earlier, and his bandmates Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt started recording a new album with bass player John "Rhino" Edwards in his place.

To his dismay he learnt by phone that he had been sacked from the band he had founded with Rossi in 1962 when they were at school together in south London. Lancaster's driving bass playing had helped to define Status Quo's head-down, no-frills boogie style on hits such as Down Down, Whatever You Want and Rockin' All Over The World. In total he made 16 albums with the group, four of which went to No. 1. He also wrote some of the groups best-loved songs including the Top Ten hit Ol' Rag Blues, and took lead vocals on several numbers.

"Status Quo was my whole life from when I was at school. It was my identity. It was devastating and it took ten years just to get back on my feet. I don't think I have ever fully recovered," recalled.

Lancaster's relocation to the other side of the world created obvious logistical problems. When he was awaiting the birth of his second child in 1984, the band had asked him to fly back to make a video. When he refused and they went ahead without him and appeared on Top of the Pops with Slade's Jim Lea in his place, Lancaster took legal action and threatened that if there were further appearances without him, he would break up the band. It was a fateful threat.

The rift was widened by the band's drug use. By the 1980s, Rossi and Parfitt (obituary December 26, 2016) were both spending £1,500 a week on cocaine and washing it down with bottles of tequila. "Rick and Francis were out of it and they'd make decisions one day and the next day they'd forget," said Lancaster, who was neither a drinker nor a heavy drug user. "Cocaine changed the dynamics. The camaraderie has gone."

When he discovered that he had been ousted, he attempted to take out an injunction to prevent his former bandmates using the name Status Quo without him, but had to accept defeat in an out-of-court settlement. With bitterness, he told the News of the World that he would never speak to Rossi or Parfitt again.

The rift was finally healed when Lancaster and Rossi met in Sydney in 2010. "Alan had been misled by his attorney, who'd fooled him into believing he could sue us for £30 million," Rossi said. "The poor bastard has been so used. He apologised and we became friends again over a cup of coffee."

Three years later Lancaster, Rossi, Parfitt and the drummer John Coghlan, who had left the band in 1981, reunited for a series of concerts. Although Lancaster was by then in frail health, the reunion was enthusiastically received.

Status Quo's meat-and-two-veg style was often criticised for being repetitive and simplistic. A decade after Lancaster had left, the band were struck off Radio 1's playlist for being "too dull" and attempted to sue the corporation. Yet such brickbats failed to dent the ardour of their hardcore fans, who retained a particular affection for the classic "Frantic Four" line-up.

Lancaster is survived by his second wife, Dayle (nee Thurbon), an Australian dancer, and by their son David, a musician, and daughter, Toni. They met in 1973 when Status Quo were touring Australia and married five years later, after his divorce from his first wife, Pat, a former typist, with whom he lost a custody battle over their son, Alan.

Alan Charles Lancaster was born in Peckham, south London, in 1949 and educated at Sedgehill comprehensive school, where he formed a band called the Scorpions (renamed the Spectres) with Rossi. Lancaster's father, Joe, who later moved with his wife to Australia, got them their first gig when they were 13 at a sports club in Dulwich. They were good enough for it to become a weekly booking and they were soon joined by Coghlan on drums. Parfitt was added to the line-up in 1967 after they had met while playing at a Butlin's holiday camp.

After a name change to Status Quo, chart success followed with the 1968 single Pictures of Matchstick Men. Initially the group was marketed as a pop band and dressed in dandified Carnaby Street fashions, an image with which Lancaster was less than comfortable. He was far happier when the frilly shirts were exchanged for the blue denim that became the group's trademark, but for a while after the change of image Status Quo found themselves in the wilderness and the gigs dried up, promoters uncertain whether they were a pop group or a heavy rock band.

Their fortunes changed with Piledriver (1972), which was their first album to go gold. Their next album, Hello! (1973), took them to No. 1.

Lancaster recalled Quo's early days as the happiest of his career, although the first cracks in their unity had begun to show as early as 1977, when they recorded Rockin' All Over The World. Lancaster didn't like the original version of the song by John Fogerty, the former Creedence Clearwater Revival singer, and felt it was wrong for the band.

By then he was living in Australia and he failed to return to record a video to promote the record. "So we used a puppet of him dressed in his clothers," recalled Rossi, who claimed that Parfitt was stopped with Lancaster's dummy in his Range Rover by the police, who thought it was a dead body.

After his eviction from Status Quo, he became a member of the Australian band the Party Boys and formed the Bombers with Coghlan.

Despite the bitterness of his departure, he remained proud of Status Quo's music. "When you specialise in something, stick with it," he said, in response to accusations that one song was indistinguishable from another. "We specialised in hard rock boogie and there was nobody bloody better."

Alan Lancaster, bassist with Status Quo, was born on February 7, 1949. He died of multiple sclerosis on September 26, 2021, aged 72.

Back to the top of the page  

The Telegraph

Alan Lancaster, who has died aged 72, was the original bass guitarist with Status Quo, rock demigods in double denim who exported their singular brand of driving, three-chord, no-frills boogie around the world in the 1970s and 1980s; he played on 19 albums and 40 singles before leaving in 1985 and continuing his career in Australia, where he joined the platinum-selling Party Boys.

Alan Lancaster was born on February 7 1949 in Peckham, south-east London, and attended Sedgehill School in Lewisham. There he got to know a fellow member of the school orchestra, Francis Rossi (other musical alumni of Sedgehill include the jazz composer Django Bates and the record producer and engineer Ken Scott, who worked with The Beatles).

The pair formed a band called the Scorpions, and at one of their first gigs, at a sports club in Dulwich, they were spotted by an aspiring pop manager, Pat Barlow, who persuaded Lancaster’s mother to let him look after them. They were joined by local drummer John Coghlan and renamed themselves the Spectres.

They signed a deal with the Piccadilly label, but after three singles failed to chart they changed their name, first to Traffic Jam, and then Status Quo. They got themselves a new label, Pye, and brought on board the guitarist and singer Rick Parfitt, whom they had met a couple of years previously when they were all playing at Butlin’s in Minehead.

With an eye to the main chance they embraced the “psychedelic” pop and rock that formed the soundtrack to the Summer of Love. Pictures of Matchstick Men, released in 1967, reached the Top Ten in Britain and the Top 20 in the US (it was, remarkably, their only American hit), and they had another hit in a similar vein with Ice in the Sun.

But as psychedelia’s bright colours faded, so did Quo’s fortunes, and it was several years before they leapt back to prominence, having ditched the paisley, frills and velvet in favour of double denim.

Their second coming began in 1972 with the album Piledriver and its lead 45, Paper Plane, and a long succession of records, most of them hits, followed, all cleaving to the same workmanlike formula of no-nonsense rock 'n' roll.

But by the mid-1980s they were on a downward trajectory, only to be rescued from imminent oblivion by a triumphant appearance at the Live Aid Wembley concert in 1985; they kicked off proceedings – despite their displeasure at being bottom of the bill – with one of their biggest hits, Rockin’ All Over the World.

But Live Aid was Lancaster’s last hurrah with Quo. He had based himself in Australia after his 1978 marriage to Dayle Thurbon, a dancer he had met on tour Down Under, and had been drifting apart from Rossi and Parfitt, partly thanks to their heroic intake of beer and cocaine (he was one of the more abstemious members of the rock community).

After Live Aid he flew back home to Australia, and subsequently discovered that they were recording their new album with a session player (and soon-to-be full-time bassist), John “Rhino” Edwards.

An embittered Lancaster went to court to try – unsuccessfully – to prevent the band from using the name “Status Quo” without him. He told reporters that he would never talk to Rossi or Parfitt again.

Back in Australia he joined the Party Boys, as well as founding a band of his own, the Bombers, alongside John Coghlan, who had left the Quo in 1981. They supported bands like Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick on their tours Down Under, while Lancaster also worked on soundtracks and produced a platinum-selling classical album by the pianist Roger Woodward.

He did eventually link up with Quo again, after reconciling with Francis Rossi, and he toured with the band in 2013 and 2014.

Alan Lancaster, who had been suffering from multiple sclerosis, married, first, Pat, a typist, with whom he had a son. They divorced, and in 1978 he married Dayle Thurbon; they had a daughter and son. She survives him, along with his children.

Alan Lancaster, born February 7 1949, died September 26 2021

Back to the top of the page  

NME

Alan Lancaster, founding bassist of UK rock greats Status Quo, has died in Sydney, Australia, aged 72.

According to a post shared to Facebook by Australian entertainment reporter and Lancaster’s close friend, Craig Bennett, the musician had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for some time.

“[I] am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo,” Bennett wrote.

“Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours… He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans..and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army.”

Lancaster and Status Quo vocalist Francis Rossi met at Sedgehill Comprehensive School in London, where they performed together in its orchestra. Along with two other classmates, they formed a group known as Scorpions. Undergoing two name changes before settling on Status Quo, Lancaster, Rossi and guitarist Rick Parfitt – who died in 2016 – launched their hit-making career with the release of ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’.

From there, Lancaster performed with the group until 1985, appearing on 15 albums. The band enjoyed more than 60 Top 40 hits in the UK, had 25 UK Top 10 albums and released over 100 singles, including hit songs such as ‘Down Down’ and ‘Whatever You Want’.

His last album with the band was 1983’s ‘Back To Back’.

Reuniting with Rossi, Parfitt and John Coghaln, Lancaster performed with Status Quo for a UK tour in 2013. His last ever show as a member was in Dublin in 2014.

Lancaster’s last performance with Status Quo as a full-time member was there opening slot in 1985 for Live Aid, when Queen, U2, David Bowie, Elton John, and more also performed.

Lancaster had been living in Australia for 45 years, having migrated in the 1980s. There, he formed The Bombers with The Angels’ guitarist John Brewster. He was also a member of Australian supergroup The Party Boys, in 1987, who enjoyed hits with covers of Argent’s ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and John Kongos’ ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’.

The musician is survived by his wife, Dayle, whom he met on tour with Status Quo in Australia in 1973, their children, Alan Jr., Toni and David, and five grandchildren.

Back to the top of the page  

Planet Rock

Status Quo co-founder and former bassist Alan Lancaster has died today (Sunday 26th September) aged 72 following a battle with multiple sclerosis.

Alan passed away this morning at his Sydney, Australia home and surrounded by his family.

In a statement issued to Australian showbiz journalist Craig Bennett, Alan's wife, Dayle, said: "We are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus."

Alan's former Australian band The Bombers said in a statement: “He will be remembered for his amazing musical accomplishments, quick wit, boundless sense of humour, his humility and as a caring human being.

“Alan will be sadly missed by all and we send our heartfelt condolences to his lovely wife Dayle and all the family. Rest In Peace Alan.”

Harrogate based record label Barrel And Squidger Records, who recently released the Alan Lancaster's Bombers ‘Live!’ album, wrote: “It is with immense sadness that we share news of the passing of @Status_Quo legend Alan Lancaster.

“It was a great privilege for us to work with Alan in recent years. Our condolences go to his family and friends. RIP Nuff, sleep well.”

Craig Bennett has also shared more details of Alan Lancaster’s death, writing: “At the request of his loving and deeply cherished family, am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo.

“Alan Lancaster passed away this morning at his Sydney home, surrounded by family. Alan had been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 72.

“Alan married his beautiful wife Dayle Lancaster in 1978. They met when Alan and Status Quo, along with Slade and Lindisfarne, toured Australia in 1973.

“Alan, who was a dear and special friend, is survived by Dayle, his children Alan Jr, Toni and David, plus five grandchildren. Dayle said this morning that Alan loved his life in Australia. His mother and father, plus his brother and sister also moved to Australia.

“Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours in the UK & Europe in 2013 & 2014. He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans..and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army.

“Vale to an absolute legend and one of the nicest people in rock and roll.”

As a young teenager in 1962, Alan Lancaster befriended future Status Quo band mate Francis Rossi at Sedgehill Comprehensive School and they formed a four-piece band called The Scorpions.

A couple of years later, they met future Quo drummer John Coghlan and formed The Spectres. When the group discovered psychedelia, they evolved into Traffic before changing their name to The Status Quo when Rick Parfitt was recruited to the band in 1967.

Alan Lancaster was a pivotal member of Status Quo since their inception until Live Aid in July 1985, which proved to be his final concert with the band for almost three decades.

Following Status Quo, Alan joined Australian band The Party Boys and performed on their self-titled album in 1987.

A year later he formed The Bombers, with John Coghlan serving as the original drummer. Following tours with Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick, The Bombers disbanded in the early 1990s but Alan went on to launch Alan Lancaster's Bombers.

Alongside John Coghlan, Alan rejoined Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt in Status Quo in 2013 for the Frantic Four Reunion Tour in the UK and Europe, which continued into 2014.

The tour was the first time the Frantic Four line-up had performed together since 1981 when John Coghlan left the band.

Alan Lancaster played bass and wrote songs on 16 Status Quo studio albums from 1968’s ‘Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo’ through to 1983’s ‘Back to Back.’

RIP Alan Lancaster.

Back to the top of the page  

Classic Rock

Former Status Quo bassist Alan Lancaster has died at the age of 72.

The news was broken by Australian broadcaster Craig Bennett, who wrote on Facebook, "At the request of his loving and deeply cherished family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo.

"Alan Lancaster passed away this morning at his Sydney home, surrounded by family. Alan had been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 72. Status Quo began Rockin’ All Over The World in 1967. The legendary band amassed decades of hit songs, including Down Down and Whatever You Want. Alan married his beautiful wife Dayle Lancaster in 1978. They met when Alan and Status Quo, along with Slade and Lindisfarne, toured Australia in 1973.

"Alan, who was a dear and special friend, is survived by Dayle, his children Alan Jr, Toni and David, plus five grandchildren. Dayle said this morning that Alan loved his life in Australia. His mother and father, plus his brother and sister also moved to Australia. Dayle said: ‘we are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus.’

"Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours in the UK & Europe in 2013 and 2014. He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans... and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army."

Lancaster was born in Peckham in South London in 1949. He met future Quo frontman Francis Rossi at school and the two formed a band, The Scorpions, in 1962. After adding drummer John Coghlan they became The Spectres, and when guitarist Rick Parfitt joined the band in 1967 the line-up began to solidify, although it would take another three years, two more name changes and the departure of keyboardist Roy Lines before the classic "Frantic Four" line-up of Status Quo began to hit their stride.

Lancaster anchored Status Quo on their most successful albums, a run that included Piledriver, Hello!, Quo, On the Level, Blue for You, Rockin' All Over the World, If You Can't Stand the Heat..., Whatever You Want, Just Supposin' and Never Too Late in the decade between 1972 and 1981.

He departed the band after completing the band's End Of The Road tour in 1984 and the following year's brief appearance as the opening act at Live Aid, but would return as the Frantic Four line-up reformed for a series of shows in 2013 and 2014.

Two years later he told Australia's Studio 10: “It was a cocaine thing that broke Status Quo up. Cocaine was endemic in the business around the time. It makes you feel as if you’re better than everybody else, superior. I think that’s when we started to lose our brotherhood.

"Once John went it was easy to start getting rid of us. And it’s all to do with money as well – once one member leaves you make more money if you don’t pay them."

After leaving Status Quo Lancaster formed The Bombers - with Coghlan behind the drum kit - who released one album, Aim High, in 1989. He went on to play in The Lancaster Brewster Band with Angels guitarist John Brewster, and with Alan Lancaster's Bombers.

Back to the top of the page  

BBC

Status Quo founding member and bassist Alan Lancaster has died aged 72, the band's manager has confirmed.

Lancaster had several international hits with the group during the 60s and 70s including Rockin' All Over The World and Whatever You Want.

Manager Simon Porter said: "This is such sad news."

Lead singer Francis Rossi said: "Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo during the 60s and 70s."

Rossi and Lancaster began performing together in the 1960s under a number of different band names before settling on Status Quo.

The group went on to have four UK number one albums, according to the Official Charts Company.

He said in a statement: "We were friends and colleagues for many years and achieved fantastic success together as the Frantic Four alongside Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan.

"Although it is well documented that we were estranged in recent years, I will always have very fond memories of our early days together and my condolences go to Dayle and Alan's family."

Mr Porter gave his "sincere condolences" to Lancaster's wife Dayle and the family.

"It was an absolute pleasure to be able to reunite the original line-up for two sell-out tours in 2013-14 and to give Status Quo Frantic Four fans a final legacy and such a lasting memory," he said.

"Although Alan was not in the best of health even then, he got through the tours with determination and grit and was a pleasure to work with."

Back to the top of the page