Rick Parfitt presented a series of five programmes detailing the history of the electric guitar on the BBC's Radio 2, starting on Thursday January 27th. The following is the writeup from The Guide, a listings pullout of The Guardian newspaper.
"Having made a career out of sticking within a very narrow segment of its potential spectrum of sound, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo presents The History of the Electric Guitar (Radio 2, 10pm) starting the five-part series this week with the 50s. Early guitarist Les Paul invented the basic set-up by putting an electric pick-up and strings on a solid block of pine, and in so doing, created the first electric guitar. Jazz, blues and country musicians like Muddy Waters and Chet Atkins soon began to champion it, leading to what became rock and roll, and the rise of Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, and a thousand string-twanging teens."Revisit the January 2000 event list
An excellent series of photographs from this gig may be found at Duncan Wainwright's State of Quo page.Revisit the January 2000 event list
The following review by Dave Ling appeared in Classic Rock magazine (issue 10, January 2000).
Wembley Arena, London, 23.10.99 Quo set-length: One hour, 40 minutes Tickets: 22.50
Quo set-list: "Down Down"/"The Wanderer"/"Little Lady"/"Twenty Wild Horses"/"Under The Influence"/Medley:"4500 Times", "Roll Over Lay Down"/"Living On An Island"/"Gerdundula"/"Rain"/"Keep 'Em Coming"/"In The Army Now"/"Whatever You Want"/"Rocking All Over The World"/"Somethin' 'Bout You Baby (I Like)"/"Roadhouse Blues"/"Anniversary Waltz" Encores: "Pictures Of Matchstick Men"/"Caroline"/"Burning Bridges"
Gwyn Ashton will have been overjoyed at the reaction of an almost full Wembley, although should the Australian translate this well-received Quo support into sales, he'll succeed where the likes of Firehouse, Honeymoon Suite and FM all failed. The Australian, who refuses to be weighed down by comparisons to Rory Gallagher, certainly proved his credentials as a gifted slide player on "Just A Little Bit" and "Ain't Got Time For That Stuff" although not all of his material was so immediate.
How ironic, then, that Quo would employ a support band with plenty of fire and spirit, but lacking quality tunes. For although their back catalogue is extensive and predominantly impressive, their own execution often left plenty to be desired. Guitarist Francis Rossi insists that the current rhythm section is more competent than former bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan, but present incumbents 'Rhino' Edwards and Jeff Rich simply don't possess an iota of their charisma. Indeed, from "In The Army Now" onwards, everyone appeared to be on auto-pilot. Reacting to Internet criticism, Quo had taken the astonishing step of returning "4500 Times" to the show - sadly in truncated form - and it was a joy to hear "Gerdundula" and "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" brought out of retirement, to the bemusement of much of the audience. Meanwhile, guitarist Rick Parfitt's weedily sung "Living On An Island" reminded us why it's played so rarely. With keyboard player Andy Bown often contributing third guitar as well as harmonica, Quo contrived to rock harder than in many years, new tunes "Twenty Wild Horses" and "Under The Influence" cementing Parfitt's back-to-basics promises. How sad, then, that standards like "Caroline" were rushed, and that they chose to persevere with the execrable "Anniversary Waltz" medley and the unforgivably naff "Burning Bridges".Revisit the January 2000 event list