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That was the Quo month that was ... January 2017

14th - Rick article in The Mirror (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's Mirror on 14th January, titled "All THREE of Rick Parfitt's ex wives will attend Status Quo rocker's funeral" and written by Halina Watts.

The three wives of Status Quo rocker Rick Parfitt all plan to go to his funeral this week, as a battle looms over his £10million fortune.

The star will be laid to rest at a private gathering for friends and family on Thursday, including his estranged wife Lyndsay.

But she will come face to face with Rick’s exes Marietta Boeker and Patty Beedon.

A source told The Sunday People : “All of the wives have expressed a wish to be at the funeral. It could be incredibly awkward.

“His closest showbiz pals will also be there but it’s not open to the public. He didn’t want a big, over-the-top thing, so it will be very simple.”

Rick, who received an OBE in 2010, died in hospital in Marbella, southern Spain, on Christmas Eve from a severe infection following complications to a shoulder injury. He was 68.

The musician, whose band have sold more than 125 million albums, had a string of business interests and properties across the world. But tensions are mounting over just how it will be split up.

Rick and Lyndsay were married at the time of his death – even though he had called time on their relationship, with their Marbella home on the market.

He reportedly dumped Lyndsay, 58, by phone in October.

They have eight-year-old twins Tommy and Lily. Rick also has adult sons Rick Jnr, from his first marriage to Marietta, and Harry, who he had with second wife Patty.

Rick once told how he avoided organ­­ising his finances. Asked who looks after household cash, he said: “My wife Lyndsay does some but I have a personal assistant who takes care of most of it as I’m not very good at admin.

“I know there’s enough money there so I’m not really bothered.”

As Rick had not divorced Lyndsay there could be legal issues over her ­entitlement, with most of the rocker’s assets likely to go to his children.

Rick Jnr, also a musician, tweeted after his dad’s death: “To many he was a rock star, to me he was simply ‘Dad’, and I loved him hugely. RIP Pappa Parf.”

Quo frontman Francis Rossi, expected to attend the funeral, described the guitarist as “the archetypal rock star”. Rick once told how he spent £1,000 a week on cocaine and £500 on vodka at the height of his fame.

But his wild past took its toll and Rick had a third heart attack last summer. His funeral will take place at Woking crematorium, Surrey."

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14th - Rick article in The Sun (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's The Sun on 14th January, titled "'I'VE FINALLY GOT THE LIFE' Status Quo star Rick Parfitt achieved ‘life of his "dreams’ just weeks before tragic death"" and written by Laura Armstrong.

"STATUS Quo star Rick Parfitt told of his joy that he had finally achieved the life of his dreams – just weeks before he died on Christmas Eve.

In a poignant interview, the 68-year-old spoke of his happiness at being able to spend time with his eight-year-old twins, Tommy and Lily.

And after moving to Marbella with wife Lyndsey, he vowed to devote even more of his life to his family.

He said: “I’ve finally got the life that Lyndsey and I dreamed of – a beautiful family villa, no traffic jams, it’s not overly crowded with people.

“You can move, you can breathe and on any given lunchtime we can nip to the beach and have fresh fish by the sea. It’s just wonderful.”

“Nobody knows what the future holds, but a little bit of Rock and Roll, a little bit of being an estate agent, a little bit of being dad and husband…

“What more is there?”

He went on: “Coming home to Tommy and Lily is like stepping from one world into another.

“From the sometimes rainy, cold and bustling lifestyle on the road into the sunshine and being a dad to twins – and keeping up with them at my age!

“I’m not sure what is more taxing – doing an hour on stage or spending a day with the children – but they are beautiful and I cannot imagine my life without them….

“Even though getting them to bed in the summer months before 9pm is very hard when it is still sunny outside. It’s one of my biggest struggles!”

Dad-of-four Rick was rushed to hospital by air ambulance on 24 December after a shoulder infection he had suffered became badly infected.

The guitar ace had been unwell for much of the last year and had technically ‘died’ after suffering a cardiac arrest during a Turkey gig in June before being revived.

He had heart attacks in 2011 and 2013.

His wife Lyndsay was by his side when he passed away – despite the pair having separated in October."

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19th - Rick Parfitt's funeral, Woking (UK)

Rick's funeral took place on 19th January at Woking Crematorium, his home town. Although the funeral was a private affair, there were press in attendance and wide coverage in the UK media as a result. A collection of photos from across many different media sources have been put together on my special page dedicated to the funeral.

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21st - Rick article in The Mirror (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's Mirror on 21st January, titled "Rock legend Rick Parfitt lets rip on Status Quo pal Francis Rossi from beyond the grave" and written by Halina Watts.

"Status Quo legend Rick Parfitt has fired a salvo from beyond the grave and revealed his relationship with band pal Francis Rossi had broken down, down, deeper and down.

The rocker’s broadside – in which he also said he was quitting Quo – came as loved ones are still wiping the tears away, just weeks after his sudden death.

Rossi was among mourners at Parfitt’s funeral at Woking ­crematorium, Surrey, on Thursday – alongside fellow Quo stars Andy Bown, John “Rhino” Edwards and Leon Cave.

But while they were raising a toast to him, the ink was still drying on 68-year-old Rick’s ­unfinished autobiography written in the weeks leading up to his death. In the synopsis for the tome, ironically titled Fighting For Every Heartbeat, Rick let rip about Quo singer Francis, 67.

He said: “I want to tell the whole story, warts and all. I’ve never been able to speak freely before, because of my commitments to the band.

“Now, though, it’s time for the truth. You don’t know who to expect from day to day with Francis. He is a colourful character but you never know which colour he’s going to be.

“Over the last few years we’ve drifted a long way apart, Francis and I. It’s fairly obvious to me that he doesn’t care very much about me. And the feeling is mutual.”

The synopsis was sent to four publishers at the start of December.

Francis launched a band in 1962 and after various name changes Status Quo was formed after Rick joined five years later.

They went on to become ­Britain’s most endearing rock band with hits like Rockin’ All Over the World, Whatever You Want and Down Down.

But cracks in the frontmen’s relationship started to show in 2015 when the pair both admitted that they didn’t speak to each other off stage.

Dad-of-four Rick, who received an OBE in 2010, died on Christmas Eve after an injured shoulder became badly infected.

Francis paid an emotional tribute, saying: “Rick Parfitt had been a part of my story for 50 years. Without doubt the longest relationship of my life, this was also the most satisfying, frustrating, creative and fluid.

"We were a team, a double act, a partnership and yet also two very different people, handling the pressures of growing older, constant touring, dealing with success and keeping the creative flame burning in different ways.

“He developed his own sound, his own style, casually inspiring a generation of players.

“He never lost his joy, his mischievous edge and his penchant for living life at high speed, high volume, high risk.

“His life was never boring, he was louder and faster and more carefree than the rest of us.

“There were any number of incidents along the way, times when he strayed into areas of true danger and yet still losing him now is still a shock.”

It is not clear whether Rossi knew his old mate was planning to leave the band.

In the unfinished autobiography Rick vowed to never perform with Quo again and revealed plans for a solo career and a record with the same title as the book.

Rick’s synopsis continued: “I’m a rocker. People know that. But I don’t think I shall ever perform with Quo again. How I see it is I’m almost going back to that day when I was 15, and passed an audition to become an entertainer in the holiday camp.

“Where I’m gonna start again and build a new career for myself, doing things exactly how I want to do them.”

The guitar ace had been unwell for much of the last year and was brought back from the dead after a cardiac arrest during a gig in Turkey in June.

He also had heart attacks in 2011 and 2013. They were clear signs the hellraiser needed to slow down.

At one stage he owned 10 Porsches, had a £1,000-a-week cocaine habit, was an alcoholic and cheated on his wives with more groupies than he could remember.

On Top of the Pops in 1983, he was so drunk that he fell off stage, taking the drummer with him – as Rossi played on.

By 2014 he had seemingly left behind the lifestyle his doctors told him would kill him, although he still enjoyed “the odd pint”.

In 2005, shortly before the release of their 62nd single, Quo were listed by Guinness World Records as having had more British hit singles than any other band.

But in some of his haunting last words for the book, Parfitt added: “My life has been one big adventure.

"So many amazing highs and terrible lows. I’ve helped Quo sell more than 100 million records and I can’t walk down the street without people stopping me to say hello.

"But I’ve also suffered depressions, black moods that haunted me and almost drove me to suicide. Three failed marriages and decades of drug and alcohol abuse will do that. So will other things.

“Drugs are such a cliché. Like the one that goes: things have to get worse before they get better. That was certainly true for me. Things got as bad as anyone could imagine.

“I’m lucky to be here, I know. But seeing as I am, I’m going to make the most of it, thank you.”

Rick was also planning to write about the death of his two-year-old daughter Heidi, who drowned in the family swimming pool in 1980.

He added: “It took me a long time to recover from the death of my beautiful little girl. I remember going into the garden at night and screaming at God, crying ­hysterically, demanding to know why.”

Rick’s ex-wives Marietta Boeker and Patty Beedon attended his funeral – along with third wife Lyndsay, 58, who the star dumped by phone only last October. A battle is believed to be looming over the rocker’s £10million fortune.

Most of the money expected to go to his children. He has eight-year-old twins Tommy and Lily with Lyndsay as well as adult sons Rick Jnr, from his marriage to Marietta, and Harry, who he had with second wife Patty.

But his ex-wives may be hoping the planned auto-biography is never published as Rick had also vowed to spill the beans on them.

He said: “My relationships with women have all been unbelievably complicated. I’m still trying to figure them out myself!

“All I’ll be able to do is tell the stories truthfully and let people make their own minds up.

“You couldn’t make up my life. People don’t now the half of it. Stand well back!”

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29th - Lyndsay Parfitt interview in the Daily Mail (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's Daily Mail on 29th January, titled "Cruel betrayal of Rick Parfitt's widow: She forgave all to care for him in his dying days... but the Status Quo rocker left her nothing – and had been getting intimate with another of his ex-wives" and written by Angella Johnson.

"The death of British rock star Rick Parfitt last month was mourned throughout the music industry and by fans around the world.

The legendary Status Quo guitarist enjoyed huge success with 21 gold discs and was one of the most outrageous characters of rock, at one point owning 10 Porsches, spending £1,000 a week on cocaine and once claiming it would ‘take more than death to kill me’.

But while his widow Lyndsay Parfitt endures her own personal grief, it is combined with an acute sense of bewilderment and betrayal.

For Lyndsay is learning far more about her reckless rock star husband in death than she ever did in life – and the startling revelations have left her reeling.

Astonishingly, just five days before he died suddenly on Christmas Eve in a Spanish hospital, aged 68, the ailing musician abruptly changed his will, leaving her with nothing. Despite amassing a fortune with the band over their remarkable 50-year career, his only remaining asset – the Parfitts’ heavily mortgaged family home in Marbella, where Lyndsay lives with the couple’s twin children Lily and Tommy and her elderly mother – is now set to be sold from under their feet.

And if this was not insult enough after Lyndsay nursed Rick through several recent bouts of serious ill health, a far worse betrayal was yet to come.

While Rick lay dying in intensive care, Lyndsay discovered a series of shockingly intimate emails from his second wife, Patty Beedon, on his computer – suggesting that they were planning liaisons together.

In a final bitter blow, she says she was even sidelined at Rick’s funeral just more than a week ago, where she was prevented from playing an active role.

Now, fearful for her future, she shakes her head in frustration. ‘I’ve been such an idiot. Looking back at the way he lived I think I was a fool to think I could tame the wild man of rock, as he was known.

‘I let him get away with a lot. He had this amazing childlike quality about him which was very endearing. He also had an off-the-wall sense of humour. It feels like such a betrayal.

‘He always said his children were his priority and that they would always be looked after, but now he’s left it so that the roof over their heads could be taken away.

‘I long to ask him why he has done this, but of course I can’t. And I don’t know how I will explain it to Lily and Tommy when they are older.’

To say that Lyndsay, 56, Parfitt’s third wife, is now rather confused is an understatement.

Although the couple had been living separately in Spain for two months after he suddenly ended their relationship and moved to a nearby flat, they ate breakfast together every morning and had planned to spend Christmas as a family.

‘We were not estranged at the time he died, but had talked about getting back together,’ she says adamantly.

‘We even planned to spend Christmas together as a family. We had shopped for the children’s presents together and for the turkey.

‘I’m not saying everything was fabulous, but I still loved him and believe that he loved me back.

‘We did have problems in our relationship but I never stopped loving him even though I didn’t like him at times.’

She has clearly not yet fully processed his untimely death which, she reveals, was caused by a devastating infection by the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis.

It is a sad and sorry end to what should have been a blissful semi-retirement for the ageing rocker.

Rick fell for Lyndsay who, by her own admission, is not a ‘rock chick’ and was not a Status Quo fan when they met at a gym in Twickenham.

The pair married and settled down for a new life in the sun in Spain.

Their perfect family life was complete with the arrival of their longed-for miracle IVF twins, now aged eight.

On the face of it, they had everything they wanted.

Now, she questions whether she ever truly knew the husband she cared for until the end.

But there were more revelations to come.

Rick’s body had not even been laid to rest before she was being hounded by the executors of his will to sell her home and hand over all of her husband’s personal possessions – including a guitar, photographs and his prized OBE medal.

Lyndsay’s emotions are still close to the surface when we meet in the gleaming marble surroundings of her five-bedroom home in a quiet suburb.

Her voice croaking from a heavy cold, she confesses that ‘so much rubbish’ has been written about their marriage and Rick’s death that she feels compelled to set the record straight.

There is, for example, the £10 million inheritance he reportedly left his four children.

Lyndsay now wants to make abundantly clear, however, that there is no money.

‘He has left me nothing,’ she says, simply. ‘I’m going to have to take the children out of their private school and get a job.’

The family home, purchased a few years ago for £1.3 million, is half-owned by Lyndsay but it has a £600,000 mortgage and the estate agency they set up together is struggling because of Spain’s property crash.

‘I am shocked to find myself with no financial means to look after myself and my children,’ continues Lyndsay.

‘No one has given me a full account of where all the money went.

‘I cannot pay my children’s school fees and we’d have no food without my mother’s pension.’

As for his prized personal possessions, she says: ‘My children, it seems, are to be left with no mementoes of the father they have lost so early in life.’

So how could his life have ended this way? With more than 60 chart hits including the classic Rockin’ All Over the World, Status Quo is one of the most popular and enduring British bands in history.

Some of those hits, like the top 20 singles Whatever You Want and Living On An Island, were co-written by Parfitt, who amassed millions at the height of his fame.

But his excesses were legendary; everything from drugs and drinking to lavish spending on supercars and designer watches.

He even managed to get through Lyndsay’s money too.

‘I’ve known for a while that his spending was out of control and tried to do something about it but he would just go behind my back. He bought a Bentley and kept it at someone’s house, just so he could drive it when visiting Britain.’

The daughter of a bank manager, Lyndsay knew the value of balancing a household budget. She was born in Southampton and grew up in middle-class comfort in Salisbury.

After a secretarial diploma at Loughborough College, she worked as a personal assistant for a banking executive, followed by several years at Thames Television. By the time she met Rick, however, she was a successful businesswoman.

‘I certainly had more money than him. I owned a three-bedroom house in Teddington, Middlesex, a beauty salon business in Richmond, Surrey, a Porsche, a brand-new Golf GTI and a boat.

‘I was worth probably about £1.5 million. He was living in an apartment with a big mortgage because both divorces had cost him £3 million, which was a considerable sum back then.’

There’s no denying Rick’s relationship history had been particularly colourful. He married his first wife, Marietta Boeker, at the height of the band’s fame in 1973.

They had two children – Richard, now 42, a London-based DJ, and a daughter Heidi, who tragically drowned in the family’s swimming pool aged two.

The guitarist later married Patty Beedon, his former childhood sweetheart, in 1988 and their son, Harry, now 28, was born the following year.

Ironically, they divorced when Parfitt had an affair with ex-wife Marietta, but was reunited with Patty again in 2000.

However, his attention was instantly drawn to Lyndsay after they met in 2006.

Rick had just survived a throat cancer scare and was on a fitness programme.

With extravagant romantic gestures he set out to woo her. He sent his chauffeur-driven Bentley to take Lyndsay and her mother to watch the band play in Birmingham, took on her on helicopter rides and spent nights at the Dorchester Hotel.

But such reckless spending depleted his modest fortune and Lyndsay eventually sold everything so they could start a new life together – including paying a £100,000 tax bill he had left unsettled.

‘His son Rick Junior once told me “I think Dad would have died a long time ago, if not for you”.’

Others tried to warn her that behind the charm lay a different man. ‘Francis Rossi, Rick’s lifelong bandmate, told me: “Get out now, girl, while you can.” I sometimes wish I had listened.

‘The truth is that I fell hard and fast for him despite the 13-year age gap. He had this amazing childlike quality about him which was very endearing.’

Lyndsay suffered numerous miscarriages during two previous marriages, but had never given up her dream of a family.

‘I yearned for children and Rick supported me because he wanted a second chance of being a father. He regretted that he was never around for his two older sons.’

At the time, a delighted Rick described the birth of his twins as the ‘crowning glory’ of his life.

But Parfitt’s hedonistic lifestyle eventually caught up with him.

Prior to the throat cancer scare, he had a quadruple heart bypass in 1997 and a heart attack in 2011.

However, it was Lyndsay’s health scare – a cancerous lump found in her right breast in 2013 – which first put their relationship under strain.

Rick needed further heart surgery in 2014, but it was his near-death collapse when the group was touring Turkey last June which finally tested the marriage to the limits. He moved into a rented three-bedroom apartment last October.

Lyndsay says he became addicted to sleeping tablets and was on a cocktail of medicines including tranquillisers and statins.

‘I think it changed him. The light had gone out in his eyes.

‘He was not the Rick I knew anymore. It was almost as if he knew that his career was effectively over and he was drinking himself to death.’

The week before his death, the rocker injured his shoulder after bingeing on wine and sleeping pills, and falling out of bed.

A few days later Lyndsay found him in bed with a raging fever.

She suspects the infection which killed him may have started by bacteria getting into a cut on his finger from his soiled sheets.

‘It was absolutely harrowing for me to see him in such a bad way because I still loved him very much. He was in so much agony.’ He was admitted to intensive care with a severe infection a few days later. It was not the only shock for Lyndsay.

‘The doctors wanted to cut away the poison, so the doctor asked me to look for a scan they had emailed Rick. That’s when I found emails from Patty sent earlier in the month, with intimate messages and photographs.’

For Lyndsay, her suspicions were confirmed that Rick and Patty had become close once more.

‘I think Patty never really got over him,’ she says.

At the funeral, the three former wives looked to have presented a united front but in reality there were frosty receptions for Lyndsay.

Then came the devastating news that she had been left destitute.

After he died she received a letter from Rick’s lawyer saying that there was no money and that Rick’s share of the house would need to be split between his four children, including his two older sons from his previous relationships. Yet in 2009 the couple had drawn up a will which left everything to each other.

Lyndsay is, understandably, suspicious. ‘There are some who might have sensed he was dying.

‘A lot of money went into his private health insurance and medical bills. It makes me angry now to think that in 2015 he wasted £135,000 on a Porsche.

‘I am stunned to find myself worrying about how I’m going to look after myself and my children.

‘I will have to take them away from the private school they love, so I really don’t want them to lose their home as well as everything else.

‘I’m hoping their brothers will understand and we can come to some understanding.

‘For, no matter what my stepsons’ feelings are towards me, I hope they will understand the children need a sense of stability after losing their father. Surely they are owed that much.’"

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