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That was the Quo month that was ... January 2020



4th - Francis on The Rock Show with Johnnie Walker (BBC Radio 2, UK)

Francis appeared on Johnnie Walker's "The Rock Show" on BBC Radio 2 on 4th January, in the "My Rock God" section. Before Francis revealed his choice, Johnnie played a nice raw live version of "Mean Girl" from a BBC Session on 6th April 1970.

Francis chose Jeff Lynne as his rock god. He talked about meeting him for the first time when he was about 17 in Birmingham and he loved the way he could make a Telecaster sound like a cello! Francis mentioned meeting him again in New York at a party and the Quo and ELO tour managers fell out. Jeff and Roy Wood went to see Quo in Birmingham and Francis asked Jeff how he manages to change his voice on different songs and he revealed his secret, "I pretend I'm someone else". Francis said 95% of Jeff's work has been great and he "loves him to death". In honour of his selection, Johnnie then played ELO's "10538 Overture".

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18th - Rick article in The Mirror (UK)

The following Rick-related article appeared in the UK's Mirror newspaper on 18th January, titled "Status Quo legend Rick Parfitt helps sick relative from beyond the grave" and written by Halina Watts.

"Rick Parfitt used to rock all over the world and is still making waves from beyond the grave.

The Status Quo wild man's legendary status is as powerful as ever - just ask his relatives.

The rock guitarist had been dead three years when his music brought about an incredible change in his sick brother-in-law.

Stanley Beeden, 77, the brother of Rick's ex-wife Patty Parfitt, had been diagnosed with dementia five years earlier.

And in May last year, his condition deteriorated.

Doctors feared he would not make it to 2020 but on Christmas Eve, the third anniversary of Rick's death, there was a little miracle when Patty visited Stanley and Band Aid's hit song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was on.

She said: "Stanley was hardly talking. He doesn't say much but then Band Aid came on and Stanley started saying, 'Ricky'. It was amazing.

"We had been told he wouldn't live past Boxing Day but he is still here. Hearing Rick's music really helps him.

It takes him back and seems to jog his memory. People don't understand the power of music and how it can heal."

Rick and fellow Quo star Francis Rossi were in the background as the 1984 supergroup charity single was recorded in aid of Ethiopian famine sufferers.

But seven months later, they were at forefront of Live Aid - a huge allstar gig for the cause. Stanley and his then wife saw Quo kick off the day by playing Rocking All Over the World, then Caroline.

There had been a close bond between Rick and Stanley, who would sing along to the rocker's music in the car.

Patty, who later rekindled her relationship with Rick, said: "Rick was part of us and my brother loved him dearly. They were always joking."

Stanley was left devastated by Rick's sudden death from sepsis in Marbella, Spain, in 2016.

Rick, 68, had been planning to see Stanley and knew how therapeutic music could be.

The guitarist was an ambassador for Nordoff Robbins, the largest UK music therapy charity, and had been deeply moved by a session with a group of kids.

Patty said: "Rick came home and sat in the living room and was very quiet. He said: 'I'm so emotional, I can't believe what I have seen and heard'."

For two years, Patty became one of her brother's main carers. But the emotional and physical stress took its toll.

She said: "I was looking after him three days a week. They had other carers for him but in the end, it just wasn't enough.

"If he went out, I would sometimes have to carry him back in, and I was only tiny, I couldn't physically do it."

Now Stanley lives in a £1,300-a-week care home and was forced to sell his property to pay for it.

And Patty, who is helping her nephew and niece through this awful period in their lives, insists she would want to end her life if she suffered the same fate.

Patty also praised actresses Prunella Scales, 87, and Barbara Windsor, 82, who have spoken openly about their battle with dementia.

She said: "We need to talk about it more because we have an ageing population who are living longer.

"We won't get a cure for Stanley but people in the future might get a fighting chance."

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18th - Lyndsay Parfitt article in The Bury Free Press

The following article about Lyndsay Parfitt and a UK Quo tribute band appeared in The Bury Free Press on 18th January, titled "The sound of Status Quo is coming to Sudbury with a tribute band promoted by Rick Parfitt's widow" and written by William Mata.

"When Status Quo icon Rick Parfitt died, his widow never imagined seeing his music being performed again.

But three years after the guitarist passed on, Bury St Edmunds-based Lyndsay Parfitt is now paying homage to her late husband in promoting tribute band The Quo Experience.

The unlikely turn of events has now seen Lyndsay become friends with Dave Crawte - the man who plays the role of Rick Parfitt on stage.

The Quo Experience, now with help from their very well connected promoter, are now preparing to play in Sudbury's St Peter's Church on Saturday, January 25.

Lyndsay said the collaboration began after her children talked her into seeing a Quo Experience gig last year.

"I was not sure if I should go as I thought it might be a bit painful for me," she said. "But I went, and met the band, and it has gone from there.

"It was a bit unnerving to see it the first time. When you lose someone there are many firsts - and in this case seeing a band perform the songs of Status Quo for the first time. Once you have experienced some of these firsts you can have some kind of closure."

Rick Parfitt died on Christmas Eve 2016. He married Lyndsay, who was a fitness instructor, in 2006 and the pair had two children together.

Rick never lived in Bury, and the area is a new part of the world for Lyndsay - but the Experience are all Suffolk-based, which has aided the collaboration.

Is it odd for Lyndsay to see Dave perform in Rick's role?

"He is a very good replica and has got it down to a fine art," she said. "It is as close as it can be possibly done to the real thing. It is a quite unique achievement."

Status Quo have been one of the most successful, and prolific, British rock bands of their generation - notching up 31 studio albums since their formation in 1967.

It gives the Experience a lot of material to choose from, but fans are always pleased to hear classics such as Rockin' All Over the World and Whatever You Want.

Lyndsay counts In the Army Now and In My Chair as two of her personal favourites.

"They do a lot of very similar setlists to the band," she said, "I think it is just the quality of the music which has made it popular for so many years.

"It is rock and roll in its purest form.

"I don't think there has been a band that has been so prolific, I know at one point they had outsold The Beatles."

The real Status Quo are still playing, with frontman Francis Rossi the last of the original line-up - backed by Andy Brown, who has been the keyboard player since 1976.

Their 2019 album Backbone and its ongoing supporting world tour is the latest act in a stellar story.

But the Experience's guitarist Dave Crawte says one thing fans can only appreciate from the tribute show is a replica of the stage chemistry between Rick and Francis.

"If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it properly," said Dave of forming the Experience, having previously been part of metal outfit Trespass.

"Most Quo tributes just have four members, but we have a keyboard player as well, which is really important in replicating the sound.

"People will say Quo songs are easy to play - but it is difficult to make it sound exactly right and it takes a lot of work to get the sound effects.

"And having Lyndsay onboard is something we can't really describe. To have her backing is a pleasure and an honour that I struggle to put into words."

The Quo Experience will perform in St Peter's Church, Sudbury, on Saturday, January 25, from 7.30pm. To book tickets (for £21.50) visit www.thequoexperience.co.uk"

Revisit the January 2020 event list