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



5th - Lyndsay Parfitt interview on Lorraine (ITV, UK)

Lyndsay Parfitt appeared on the popular Lorraine morning TV show on ITV on 5th July. Talking about her life since Rick's death, a six-minute clip of the interview can be seen here.

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7th - Press release announcing return to electrics for UK Winter 2017 tour

The following press release was made on 7th July, to notify fans that the Winter 2017 UK tour was being changed from acoustic back to electric. So much for the 2016 UK "Last Night of the Electrics" tour then!

"If the term ‘Status Quo’ can be defined as representing ‘the existing state of affairs’ then maybe the band, despite being known for 50 years for their no-nonsense winning formula, need a name change. For nothing has stayed the same for this iconic band over the last year. Francis Rossi and the band have faced the retirement from live performance of the iconic Rick Parfitt, followed late last year by his tragic death, and have kept the flag flying, to honour his memory and the band’s commitments, and to bring the fans what they want and deserve.

And it’s the fans that have prompted yet another change. In late April the band announced their long-planned ‘Aquostic’ tour of the UK and immediately found themselves with a dilemma. The shift to ‘Aquostic’ tour had been deemed necessary as the inevitable rigours of the Electric set were considered to be too much for Rick to take on. Yet demand from fans for Electric shows was undiminished. Taking into account all changed circumstances, and the band’s movement out of the cycle of the successful ‘Aquostic’ albums, a decision has been made to plug back in. The renamed ‘PLUGGED IN – Live and Rockin!’ tour will now be fully Electric. This change applies to UK dates only, the band have not toured the ‘Aquostic’ show in Europe and promoters have requested that the shows stay in that format.

Francis Rossi said, “This has been a year like no other. In many ways the band has felt out of control. Rick’s passing was a huge blow. Much of what we had planned was envisaged initially to accommodate what would be right for him; those sands have obviously shifted. Now everything has changed. The band is not the same - it can’t be and shouldn’t be – and the plan has changed too. We’re still listening to the fans, we always have, and we’re hearing that this is what they still want. We’re going to give it to them”.

And so ‘the existing state of affairs’ does indeed change. It has to. Quo, perhaps more than any other band, are defined by their touring and by their fanbase. Francis Rossi and Quo have spent a lifetime on the road. Travelers on all roads eventually reach a crossroads, where a decision needs to be made, and Status Quo are no exception. This is their decision."

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7th - Francis interview in the Daily Mail (UK)

The following interview between Francis and Neil Sears appeared in the UK's Daily Mail on 7th July.

"Surviving Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi has claimed the family of his late bandmate Rick Parfitt failed to arrange his funeral – and suggested 'money and ego' played a part in his friend's demise.

Rossi denied claims by the dead rocker's son Rick Jr that his father had been treated 'awfully' by the veteran band.

Speaking for the first time since Parfitt's death aged 68 on Christmas Eve, Rossi said he was still 'lonely' following the departure of the bandmate and 'mucker' he played alongside for half century.

But he claimed 'I wrote most of the songs that were successful', and suggested that while he could handle fame, Parfitt could not and was doomed by trying to live up to a 'wild man of rock' stereotype.

The veteran rocker spoke as he and his fellow surviving band members announced that their Live and Rockin tour, starting in November, would involve electric guitars.

Last year they had to switch to acoustic guitars, because famed long-term cocaine and alcohol abuser Parfitt was so unwell after a heart attack following a show in June that it was deemed better for his health.

In October however Parfitt revealed he was giving up touring for good, then died weeks later.

Now the band have announced that they are going electric again, as well as releasing an album next Thursday.

But Rossi, 68, was keen to respond to criticisms from the family of Parfitt.

Parfitt was working as a holiday camp entertainer when they met at a Butlins, and joined Rossi's band in 1965. Their run of hits began two years later.

Rick Parfitt Jr, 42, had said in April that the lack of a tribute to Parfitt at Quo's first show since his death, in Estonia, 'speaks volumes', going on: 'Dad was treated awfully.'

But Rossi said he was upset to be criticised by Parfitt's son, saying the band had brought his body back to England from Spain, and that his estate was still being paid handsomely.

Speaking from the Wimbledon studio Quo share with the Stereophonics, Rossi said of any suggestion the band mistreated Parfitt, 'It's far from the truth – Rick was on his full money, everything was the same, and still today. We were earning money, and he was being paid. We couldn't do it any other way.

'I can't understand why his boys were saying that, or why someone would tell them that. Rick Jr only had to come to us and ask. We wouldn't do that to Rick.'

Parfitt had been living in Malaga, where he had just separated from his third wife – and Quo ended up flying his body home.

Rossi, a father of eight who lives in Purley, south London, with wife Eileen and his children, said: 'We had to fly him back. I don't know why, there was some procrastination of some sort with the insurance.

'And we also paid for the funeral because his family were dithering somewhat. I said 'There is some responsibility.'

'Ricky was my partner, I do miss him. We've been a duo for so long. And it feels quite lonely at times.

'Even though it might have got fractious at times, I knew where I stood. I don't have that now. It's all very strange.'

Rossi – who no longer sports his famous pony tail and now has short hair – went on: 'We were great friends when it started out.

'It starts out with a band as 'Us against the world'. But you grow older. We all grow up and become independent people.

'Rick was a 'wild child of rock and roll', and in the end I think he tried to live up to this image of this person who was 'wild Ricky Parfitt'.

'But the Rick I knew wasn't like that at all.

'I can see where ego, money and everything else gets to us in the end. And some of us can control it, some of us can't. I don't know.

'He could not see what he had.'

He added that problems between them began after the global success of their biggest hit Rockin All Over the World, released in 1977, and became clear in an airport row in 1981.

Rossi said: 'It all began to change between us after Rocking All Over the World.

'I think it was after the Pope was shot, we were at Nice airport. And Rick said 'I'm fed up being Number Two'.'

He went on: 'We were always a democracy but people always treated me like I was the leader. It was always me they came to.

'And I wrote most of the songs that were successful.'

He added that around the same time he gave up trying to control Parfitt's alcohol and drugs excesses, saying: 'I thought 'that's Rick'.

'Rick had a fabulous voice, then starting doing more of a 'rock' voice.

'He said 'I have to do that – it's rock'.

'Someone was always pulling his insecurities, I think it was a girlfriend. It was sad because he had that special something.'

But he said he and the rest of the band had laughed at Parfitt's claim last October that he was considering some solo work, saying they heard that rather than working on new material he was 'stark naked, on the sofa, watching the snooker'."

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7th - Francis interview on Sky News

Francis was interviewed by Ian Woods of Sky News on 7th July and his interview appeared on their website, titled "Status Quo's Francis Rossi reflects on death of bandmate Rick Parfitt".

"Francis Rossi admits he's not shed any tears for his Status Quo partner Rick Parfitt who died on Christmas Eve.

But in an exclusive interview with Sky News, Rossi defended himself against claims that he treated Parfitt unfairly in the final months of his life.

Parfitt, a rock guitarist, died from an infection six months after surviving a major heart attack.

However Rossi, who watched paramedics trying to resuscitate him last June, said they should not have fought so hard to save his life.

Talking in the recording studio at his home, Rossi admitted their relationship had become strained in recent years.

"People think I hated Rick.

"We got fractious between us at times, and he could be a pest, but he was my best friend for a long, long time.

"There were times when we would still sit together and we'd laugh and we'd joke."

But he said their comedy double-act on TV was a facade, they would spend less and less time together, and there were arguments about Parfitt's drinking.

"He was desperate, trying to be this rock person, to live up to that image. It wasn't who Rick was at all."

Because of Parfitt's health problems, Status Quo seemed to be heading for retirement.

They started performing acoustic sets, and a final tour called The Last Night Of The Electrics was planned.

But in June 2016, shortly after a concert in Turkey, Parfitt suffered a major heart attack in his hotel room.

The rest of the band witnessed paramedics fighting to resuscitate him and Rossi was horrified.

"I know what I feel for Rick inside.

"That's when it hurt.

"That's when I should have stopped them.

"I wanted them to leave him alone.

"They were physically hurting him and if you saw the state he was in and what they were doing to his body...

"I wanted to hurt the people who did that."

When asked whether he wishes Parfitt had died that night, Rossi said: "No, that's a thing a journalist would get me saying on camera.

"He was dead as far as I was concerned."

He said that in the weeks after Parfitt regained consciousness, he had mental problems and thought he was back in the 1980s.

Parfitt agreed he wasn't well enough to continue playing in the band, and revealed he was quitting in a Sky News interview in September.

Three months later, complications from a shoulder injury led to an infection which spread quickly.

He died in a Spanish hospital on Christmas Eve.

Rossi admits the death came as a shock.

"But once you get over that shock... do you shed tears?" I asked.

"No."

"People will be surprised at that, Francis," I said.

"I didn't cry when my mother died. I didn't cry when my father died.

"For me, (Parfitt) died in Turkey."

Some fans have criticised Rossi for failing to pay tribute to Parfitt during concerts since his death, but he said: "I don't believe in opening up a show saying 'it's really, really sad tonight that Rick's not going to be here'.

"I'm digging a hole for myself."

"But some fans want that," I said.

"They're not getting that from me.

"I'm sorry if that upsets them, I really am. I'm just not like that."

Rossi said the band paid for Parfitt's body to be flown home, and for his funeral.

"There were such squabbles within his family.

"Let's not go there, it's kind of ugly.

"I just wanted to get over it and bury my partner and get on with it."

Status Quo have now shelved retirement plans, with Irish guitarist Richie Malone replacing Parfitt.

Extra concerts have been announced, and an album and video will be released of the new line-up in concert, recorded shortly before Parfitt died.

Rossi said he was enjoying playing as much as ever.

"I'm not saying it's better or worse. It's different.

"Now, some Quo fans don't want to know about different but I'm enthused again."

Rossi said if he had been the one to die first, Parfitt would have wanted the show to go on."

A video of the interview from the Sky News website can be seen here:


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8th - Rick remembered at Party in the Park, Woking

Woking’s annual "Party in the Park" took place on 8th July and was dedicated to hometown boy, Rick Parfitt, and aptly renamed "Rockin' All Over The Park". A great video of the fan wall showing pictures of Rick with various Quo fans can be seen here. John Coghlan's Quo played at the event (taking an early 5pm slot as they had to shoot off to another gig at Kingston later in the evening), were introduced by Jackie Lynton and their setlist follows.

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10th - Rick Parfitt article in the Mirror (UK)

The following article appeared in the UK's Mirror on 10th July, titled "Status Quo's Rick Parfitt only left £230,000 after blowing his fortune on rock star lifestyle".

"He was part of one of the biggest bands from the golden year's of British rock music.

But, despite a lifetime of touring and recording, Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died with an estate in the UK worth just a couple of hundred thousand pounds.

The 68-year-old rocker's estate has been valued at a little over half a million pounds, but after debts and costs it amounts to £230,753, according to his will.

The veteran musician died on Christmas Eve after suffering a severe infection while in a Spanish hospital, which he had visited due to complications with a shoulder injury.

His will, which he signed just four days before his death last year, shows that his estate is divided between his third wife Lyndsay and his children. He had four children from his three marriages.

Richard and Heidi with first wife Mariette Boeker - though Heidi tragically drowned aged two in the family's swimming pool - Harry with second wife Patty Beedon, and twins Tommy and Lilly with Lyndsay.

Parfitt's rock'n'roll career spanned half a century, as he helped steer Status Quo into a role as one of the British rock scene's staple acts.

One of their hits, Rockin' All Over The World, became immortalised when it opened the historic 16-hour Live Aid concert at the old Wembley Stadium in July 1985 - a performance broadcast globally.

Parfitt had a series of health scares in his later years, undergoing a quadruple heart bypass in 1997 after doctors said 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 would not become a "born-again Christian" and still enjoyed the "odd pint".

Parfitt married his third wife Lyndsay in 2006 and the pair had twins Tommy and Lily two years later.

The star, a father-of-four, was previously wed to Patty Beedon and Marietta Boeker, and all three women attended his funeral service in January.

The will, which gives Parfitt's address as Marbella, Spain, is one of 41 million stored and digitised by Iron Mountain on behalf of HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Once thought to be worth millions, the axe-slinger is reported to have enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Francis Rossi said: "Rick was a 'wild child of rock and roll', and in the end I think he tried to live up to this image of this person who was 'wild Ricky Parfitt'.

"But the Rick I knew wasn't like that at all.

"I can see where ego, money and everything else gets to us in the end. And some of us can control it, some of us can't. I don't know. He could not see what he had."

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10th - Bob Young interview in Fireworks magazine

An excellent in-depth interview with Bob Young appeared in Fireworks Magazine Online edition 79 on 10th July. The full interview is available here.

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12th - Quo concert at SparkassenPark, Mönchengladbach, Germany (with ZZ Top)

Richie Malone posted a few great photos from Quo's couple of shows with ZZ Top in Germany (on 9th and 12th July) on his Facebook page.

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14th - Release of 'The Last Night Of The Electrics' live from The O2, London

Quo's "Last Night of the the Electrics" gig on 11th December 2016 at London's O2 Arena was recorded and released in bunch of different formats on 14th July.

The formats included a double CD set,a DVD, a Blu-ray and of course digital downloads. For the collectors, there was also a limited edition triple vinyl package, available either in black vinyl or in orange vinyl (with one side of one of the LPs etched with the "Last Night of the Electrics" band shot). The other collectors' piece was the superbly curated and packaged earBOOK, with 120 colour pages, an excellent intro written by Ian Woods (of Sky) plus two audio CDs, a DVD and a Blu-ray copy of the gig). Fans who preordered the earBOOK in the early stages were rewarded by having their names included in the credits.

In a press release about the latest offering, Francis Rossi said, “This release captures Quo on incredible form, at a concert that will live long in my memory. It was a difficult time, but we knew what we needed to do and we delivered. This was by no means business as usual, nor should it have been, but the energy of the music, the band and the crowd coming together was palpable”.

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15th - Quo concert at Brentwood Festival, Brentwood

Quo headlined the Brentwood Festival on 15th July. The pre-Quo entertainment came courtesy of the Bishops Stortford Ukulele Band and a YouTube clip of their entire performance can be seen here (and includes the comings and goings of the Quo fans holding the barrier, as well as Richie paying them a visit).

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16th - "Rockin' for Rick" tribute gig featuring Walkway and Backwater at Ivory Blacks, Glasgow

A tribute for Rick took place on 16th July at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow. The event featured Walkway, who supported Quo a few times and recorded "Rain" with John Coghlan on drums, as well as Backwater (billed as" Scotland's Ultimate Quo Tribute"). An excellent set of professional photos from this event can be seen here and a great review (including more photos) can be found on the MetalTalk site here.

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