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That was the Quo month that was ... August 2014



2nd - Quo concert at Pula Arena, Pula, Croatia (cancelled)

The concert in Croatia planned for 2nd August was cancelled at the last-minute as a result of Rick's poor health. The following story appeared in the UK's Daily Mail by Mia de Graaf, titled "Status Quo axe European tour after Rick Parfitt is hospitalised in Croatia ahead of concert tonight".

"Status Quo have been forced to cancel their European tour hours before taking to the stage after guitarist Rick Parfitt was taken ill in Croatia.

The band, known for hits such as Whatever You Want and Rockin' All Over The World, had been due to play in the northern city of Pula tonight.

But just hours ahead of their performance, they have been forced to cancel the show - and the following six.

Parfitt, 65, who had a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, was forced to cancel a series of shows nine years ago to have tests for suspected throat cancer. He has since spoken of his concern that he 'will not live to see my children grow up'. But he maintained that he would not become a 'born-against Christian', embarking on a 32-show tour.

Little has been disclosed about the nature of Parfitt's condition today, although a spokesman said the band will release more information on his condition when it is known next week.

The band's manager Simon Porter said: 'The band do not cancel shows lightly, as any of our fans will tell you, but in this instance we have no option but to follow medical advice.'

It is not known whether or not the band's UK tour, scheduled for December, will be affected.

The band's dates in Monte Carlo, Switzerland and Germany - up until August 10 - have been cancelled on medical advice.

Within minutes of the statement being issued, fans from all over the world were flooding forums, Twitter and the official Facebook page with messages of concern.

Many were consulting photos of him at their latest gig in Austria, remarking that he looked 'tired'.

One wrote on a forum: 'Always makes me nervous reading stuff life this, hope he's ok', while another said: 'All the best from me. I saw you play when you came to Swindon in 1990.' And one well-wisher said: 'Hope he will bounce back like he has in the past. Get well soon Rick.'

Some fans speculated he may be suffering from sunstroke or heat exhaustion in the summer heat wave across mainland Europe.

On the band's Facebook page, a fan wrote: 'Get well soon Rick! Best wishes from Argentina!'

Fans also took to Twitter this afternoon to express their concern for the guitarist's wellbeing.

User Johnny Main wrote: 'Not good news. Hope it's nothing serious', while Sally Newhouse said: 'Get well quick #RickParfitt - #StatusQuo and the world of #rock #music needs you.' Another user simply wrote: 'Terrible news.'

In 1997, doctors warned Parfitt that he could die at any time following a hard-living lifestyle involving drink and drugs.

Even after the life-saving surgery, the guitarist said he still enjoyed the 'odd pint'.

But after his scares, he insists he now never spends more than three weeks away from his family while touring with the band in order to spend as much time with his children as possible.

His 54-year-old wife Lyndsay underwent gruelling IVF treatment in order to become pregnant five years ago, and they now have twins Tommy and Lily.

Speaking to the Mail last November, he said: ‘It upsets me to think that I won’t see them fully grow up. 'I probably won’t. Even if I live to 80, they will just about be 20. I would love to see them get to 21.

‘It frightens the life out of me when I think I’m not going to see them grow up, and to see what they do and what they become.

'I know it’s morbid, but I’m only being realistic. I won’t be around.

‘That really scares me. I’m going to try and do as much as I can.

'I’m going to travel with them and take them to Disneyland.

'I want to be able to see their faces when they see that sort of thing. And just be with them as much as I can. I won’t go away for more than three weeks now.’

Status Quo currently hold the record for the most British singles, at 64."

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7th - Press release about Rick Parfitt's health

The following press release appeared on the official Quo website and Facebook page on 7th August in regards Rick's health.

"Rick Parfitt was flown home to Britain early this week by air ambulance from Croatia where he had been taken ill, leading to the cancellation of planned European shows up to and including 10th August. An angiogram undertaken as part of various tests done at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London has revealed that one of the grafts inserted during his original 1997 quadruple heart bypass had become furred, leading to this current problem.

The situation has been remedied by the insertion of a stent and Rick is now recuperating.

The band's management have confirmed that shows at Clumber Park NT in Worksop, Notts, and Holkham Hall in Norfolk (on 15th and 23rd August respectively) will go ahead as planned.

Manager Simon Porter added, “We are all obviously delighted that Rick has made such rapid progress, especially as the band is shortly to unveil another exciting and innovative new project, details of which will be announced in the next couple of weeks.”

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8th - Article on Rick's heart surgery in the Daily Express (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's Daily Express newspaper on 8th August, titled "Rick Parfitt recovering from surgery to correct heart problem".

"STATUS QUO star RICK PARFITT is recovering after undergoing surgery to correct a heart problem.

The 65-year-old singer/guitarist's medical woes began last week when he was hospitalised in Pula, Croatia after falling ill onboard the group's tour bus.

He was flown back on Monday night to continue his medical care, and he underwent subsequent tests which revealed a graft inserted during his 1997 quadruple heart bypass had become furred.

Parfitt was treated at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, where he had a stent inserted, and the band's manager Simon Porter says the procedure went off without a hitch and Parfitt is recuperating nicely.

Porter says in a statement to the Irish Independent, "We are all obviously delighted that Rick has made such rapid progress, especially as the band is shortly to unveil another exciting and innovative new project, details of which will be announced in the next couple of weeks."

The Whatever You Want hitmakers were forced to cancel six shows on their current European tour, including stops in Germany, Switzerland and Monte Carlo, Monaco, due to Parfitt's condition.

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15th - Quo concert at Clumber Park, Worksop

August 15th 2014 marked the first time the band would perform as "Status Quo" without Rick Parfitt, due to his recovery from heart surgery. The decision to go ahead with the gig, rather than cancelling, was supposedly due to pressure from the promoter and so Rhino's son, Freddie Edwards, did the honours on rhythm guitar. Some excellent photos of this "one off" line-up can be found here.

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15th - Article on Rick missing the Clumber Park gig in the Daily Mail (UK)

The following article about Rick missing his first Quo gig since 1967 appeared in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper on 15th August, titled "The first Quo gig without Parfitt since 1967: Guitarist will miss show after being told to rest by doctors following heart surgery".

"Rick Parfitt is to miss his first Status Quo gig since joining the band in 1967 after being told to rest by doctors following surgery.

The 65-year-old guitarist had been due to return to the line-up tonight following an operation to correct a problem with his 1997 quadruple heart bypass.

But he has now been told to continue his recuperation so a last-minute stand-in has been drafted in for a single show.

Freddie Edwards - son of bass player John 'Rhino' Edwards - will step in for the concert at Clumber Park in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

Parfitt fell ill during the band’s European tour and was flown home from Croatia to be treated at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. He had a stent inserted after it was found a graft from his 1997 quadruple heart bypass had become furred.

Parfitt said: 'Obviously I’m really disappointed to be missing this show but I’m pleased that Freddie will be able to step up and help the band out whilst I’m recuperating.

'I know all the Quo fans will make him welcome and I’ll be back onstage soon.'

His fellow guitarist and long-time sidekick Francis Rossi said: 'It will certainly be strange performing without Rick, but Freddie performed with me when I did my solo tour so I know that he’s got what it takes - and, of course, he’s part of the Quo family.'

Parfitt has weathered drink, drug and health problems over the years but the band has never gone ahead with a show without him since his arrival in the line-up.

John Edwards said of his son’s opportunity: 'This is going to be an amazing experience for us - what a day for the family.'

Parfitt has been cleared to return to the band by the time of their next show at Holkham Hall in Norfolk on August 23.

Quo manager Simon Porter said: 'Our priority is, of course, to do everything we can to get Rick back onstage as soon as possible, but we hate letting down the fans and we’re delighted that this show will still go ahead.

'Rick is making a fantastic recovery, but his doctors have yesterday advised just a few more days’ recuperation before hitting the stage again for a full-voltage Quo show.

'This is a real piece of Quo history in the making. Rick will be back soon but, in the meantime, we look forward to welcoming Freddie into the fold for what we are sure will be a memorable one-off.'

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23rd - Quo concert at Holkham Hall, Norfolk

Rick returned to his rightful place in the band at Quo's concert at Holkham Hall on 23rd August. He passed his comeback test with flying colours and the 8,000 strong crowd loved every minute of this good gig. The following review by Richard Tree comes from EDP24 (and the online review includes some good photos of Rick in action).

"After an hour-long slow moving traffic jam - which we learned later stretched right back to Fakenham - it was a relief to get settled on a balmy summer's evening at Holkham Hall along with an estimated 8 thousand expectant fans.

Norwich based rock band Walkway did a sterling job as support and warmed up the very happy and relaxed crowd.

The moment the initial fanfare blasted from the huge wall of Marshall amps the entire crowd rose up almost as one and Status Quo launched into Caroline followed by Paper Plane and seamlessly hit after hit. It was a pleasure to witness the sheer fun and enjoyment that Messr’s Rossi and Parfit were having as the night progressed - lots of silly dance steps, daft quips and patter too. Francis Rossi did a great job with the chat to the enthusiastic crowd and had us in the palm of his hand almost from the first moment of his intro with references to the cold temperature.

At one point when he was struggling with his capo he made comments in a delightfully off-hand way about keeping the cameras ready in case he was ‘going down’ too, as he (Rick Parfitt) ‘had just come back from being repaired’.

That simple reference to Ricks recent heart scare - which lead to several gig cancellations over, the show rolled on and on with hit after awesome hit with the crowd clapping, singing and, at Francis’s invitation becoming his backing singers.

At various points jelly babies and inflatable guitars were thrown onto the stage much to the bands delight.

What You’re Proposin’, Down the Dustpipe, Honky Tonk Angel came and went sounding fantastic from a great sound system.

A particular hit with the rapturous capacity crowd were In the Army Now and after an amazing drum solo, Roll Over Lay Down. If it could get any better we then had Whatever You Want and the finale Rockin’ All Over The World.

The encore was a version of The Beatles If you Wanna Dance With Me with Rick in great form on lead vocals.

My lasting memory of a wonderful night was the image of a grey-haired bespectacled flat-capped fellow in a body warmer rocking and bouncing to almost every number the whole night long.

A totally awesome night with one of the most popular and experienced live bands around - and it showed.

David Horton-Fawkes, Estates Director at Holkham said: “We were delighted to welcome the national treasures of rock to the jewel in the crown of Norfolk’s visitor attractions. It was wonderful to see Status Quo rocking around Holkham Park. A fantastic night was enjoyed by everyone.”

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23rd - Rick article in the Daily Express (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's Daily Express newspaper on 23rd August, titled "'I don’t want to die': Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt tells of heart attack agony" and written by Benjamin Russell.

"STATUS Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has vowed to give up his rock ’n’ roll lifestyle after suffering a near-fatal heart attack.

Despite a history of health scares, Rick, 65, was downing a bottle of wine and smoking 30 cigarettes a day.

But the multi-millionaire now claims the latest incident, which caused him to miss his first gig with the band since joining in 1967, has convinced him to end his hedonistic habits.

He said: “I’ve made a pact with myself.

"That part of my life is over because I don’t want to die.”

Rick, father to twins aged six, told how he had the attack while lying alone on his tour bus after a sellout concert in Austria.

He said: “I was an inch away from dying.

"I remember the bus stopping at about 4.30am in the middle of nowhere.

“I started to feel very ill. I felt a terrible pain in my chest and down both arms and across my shoulders.

"It felt like an elephant starting to sit on your chest.

“You don’t know whether you’re going to die or not.”

He woke an aide and was rushed to hospital. He was flown back to the UK in a private jet for emergency surgery and suffered another heart attack on the operating table.

He had a quadruple bypass in 1997, a throat cancer scare in 2005 and heart attack in 2011."

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30th - Quo appearance on "Gabalier - Die Volks Rock n Roll Show" (Germany)

Quo made an outdoor appearance in Fussen, Germany, on 30th August as part of the TV show, "Gabalier - Die Volks Rock n Roll Show". Introduced by Austrian folk singer Andreas Gabalier, Quo performed "Rockin' All Over The World" in the TV show then played a live set at the "Volks Rock 'n' Roll Village" outside the Festspielhaus venue.

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undated - "Down Down" included in BBC Radio 2's Greatest Guitar Riffs

BBC Radio 2 in the UK held a poll to decide on the greatest guitar riffs and, somewhat surprisingly for a chart of this type, Quo scored an entry at number 7 with "Down Down"! The full list - headed by Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" - can be seen here.

Revisit the August 2014 event list