Quo embarked on a UK mini-tour, dubbed "The Forest Tour 2003", starting off in Sherwood Forest on June 13th and completing in Dalby Forest on the 22nd. The tour was very well attended and gave the UK fans an unexpected Summer dose of their idols.
The first gig in Sherwood Forest resulted in the following article, entitled "Simply Brilliant", in a local newspaper. You can also see some photos of Quo in action at Sherwood Forest (taken by John Harris) by clicking here.
"Last week one of the UK's biggest Status Quo fans said to me in an interview with him "you don't know what it's like until you have been to see them". Now I know exactly what he meant. Friday's gig among the trees of Sherwood pines forest park proved to be something a bit special, for the evergreen rockers - Messrs Rossi, Parfitt and co. put on an outstanding show, blasting out all the old favourites to serve up a real treat for the thousands who flocked to see their wrinkly heroes.
With the familiar sounds of tracks like "Whatever You Want", "Down Down (deeper and down)", "Rockin' All Over The World", plus a handful of tracks from their latest album 'Heavy Traffic', the Quo could do no wrong. It's amazing when you think of the variety of songs they have produced over the years by using the same three chords. But what makes them so great is their never ending enthusiasm for performing - they always look like they are having fun on stage which brings a unique freshness to their music. And beleive me they are as good now as they ever were!
Whether you were a Quo fan or not, you knew you were going to be in for a good time from the outset as the tension built before their long awaited entrance. But for nearly an hour and half, from start to finish, the energy and the electricity they generated on stage could not be questioned. So as far as this summer's series of concerts in forest park is concerned, organisers were spot on in making this the opening show ... it proved to be the ultimate curtain raiser. Let's hope the other scheduled concerts provide as much entertainment as this one."
The next day saw Quo perform to a 5000-strong crowd amidst the trees against, in Thetford Forest. David Hardy's review of the day can be seen here and The Loyal Family also cover this gig in their Forest gig reviews (including the Bedgebury Pinetum show on the 15th).
The next foliage forage would be on the 21st in Delamere Forest to a crowd of about 4000 in the pouring rain, poor Matt Letley copping the worst of it! The mini-tour ended on a drier note with the final gig at Dalby Forest on the 22nd.Revisit the June 2003 event list
Alan Lancaster appeared on Australian TV following the death of well-known production manager Wane 'Swampy' Jarvis. The following article (written by Paul Cashmere) covering this news appeared at www.undercover.com.au.
Australian touring legend Wane 'Swampy' Jarvis died of a heart attack at his home in Sydney on Tuesday. He was 57.
The music industry is mourning the death of a true gentleman and a legend in the Australian and International entertainment industry. 'Swampy' has been working as a production manager and tour manager since 1966.
The first band he worked with was the La De Da's. Swampy was their road manager until 1971.
The list of acts Swampy worked with reads like an Encyclopedia of Rock:
Frank Zappa, Elton John, Suzi Quatro, Rick Wakeman, Status Quo, Eric Clapton, Richard Clapton, The Sweet, Little River Band, John Paul Young, Beach Boys, George Thorogood, Max Merritt, Renee Geyer, The Pretenders, Split Enz, Cliff Richard, Spandau Ballet, Iron Maiden, Tom Jones, A-Ha, Sade, Santana, John Farnham, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Barnes, AC/DC, John Mellencamp, Iggy Pop, Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Sammy Davis Junior, Poison, Diesel, Bon Jovi, Neil Young, Tracy Chapman, Skid Row, The Angels, Cheap Trick, Motley Crue, Bobby Brown, Salt 'n' Pepa, Soul II Soul, Aerosmith, Hall and Oates, Billy Joel, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Black Crowes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Richard Marx, Guns 'n' Roses, Extreme, Arrested Development, Suzanne Vega, Living Color, Madonna, Metallica, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Whitesnake, REM, Kiss, Pearl Jam, Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, James Taylor, The Eagles, Joan Armatrading, Plant & Page, Hootie and the Blowfish, Dionne Warwick, America, Natalie Cole, Peter Paul & Mary, Foo Fighters, Run DMC, Ricky Martin, Shania Twain and the Bee Gees are just some of the artists attached to his resume.
Most recently, Swampy was working on Riverdance and was production manager for the recent Australian tour.
A service will be held for Swampy on Tuesday June 17 at 1.30pm at St Mary's Catholic Church, cnr Ridge and Miller Sts, North Sydney.
His son Robbie passed away in 1999. He was a ground rigger / cameraman for Bryan Adams, Page and Plant and Barenaked Ladies to name a few.
He will be laid to rest at the Macquarie Park Cemetery, in Ryde and his son Robbie's ashes will join him and they will be buried together.
He is survived by his wife Kerrie, daughters Nicole and Tamara, son-in-law Andy, his mother Shirley and brother Garry.
The Australian music industry will gather on Tuesday night for a unique celebration to say farewell. Already, many of the international acts who worked with Swampy have sent video messages to be played on the evening.Revisit the June 2003 event list
Quo appeared at the Arrow Classic Rock Festival in Holland on a bill which also included Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wishbone Ash, L.A. Doors, Uriah Heep, and Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Click here or here for some great photos of Quo in action at this festival.Revisit the June 2003 event list
Quo performed at a special weekend held by British Telecom at the Alton Towers amusement park as a celebration for their staff. They played a one hour set on each of the two days, mixing it with such illustrious company as Tony Blackburn and Madness.
The band hot-footed it from their afternoon slot at Alton Towers on the afternoon of the 28th to Petworth for their gig to 8000 there that night, arriving very late and having a rapid, minimal setup by their professional crew.Revisit the June 2003 event list
The following interview with Francis Rossi appeared on page 142 of ITV's teletext service in June.
Page 1: Veteran rocker Francis Rossi is on the road again with Status Quo, this time playing a series of gigs in British forests. Famed for using cocaine during his wild years, Rossi, 54, says he is now teetotal and finished with hard drugs. Rossi says: "It suits me. I used to smoke dope all the time but I stopped that earlier this year. I have the occasional joint but I go to the gym a lot and work out."
Page 2: Famous for his rock'n'roll lifestyle - which saw him lose part of his nose to cocaine abuse - Francis Rossi has found more conventional means of amusement. He says: "I do the crosswords in The Times and Guardian every day. If we're on tour, I get them faxed over. I don't do the cryptic ones. I don't like following someone else's thoughts. I like learning about the English language. It keeps the brain awake. I don't want to fall asleep."
Page 3: Francis Rossi says Status Quo's current tour of British forests are not the most unusual concerts they have done. He says: "We've played a quarry in Germany and on the backs of trucks. We played in a sandstorm in Malta and we've played in snowstorms before. Today's acts never get a chance to do that. As soon as they appear they are thrown into arena gigs and never get a chance to learn their trade. Pop is all done to a formula today."
Page 4: Status Quo have sold 112m records and spent 22 of the last 35 years on tour. Founder-singer Francis Rossi says they survived by being committed to music. He says: "When we started out, we just wanted to avoid being one-hit wonders. Rick Parfitt and myself don't throw strops. We carry on because we want to. Oasis got big quickly and they started to believe all the hype written about themselves. If you believe you're the greatest, it leads to trouble."
Page 5: Status Quo's Francis Rossi says he does not worry about being called too old for rock'n'roll. He says: "I remember when I was 25, some kid came up to me in the Marquee Club and called me a boring old fart. I'd like to know what he's doing now. Bands like us sell out tours but the singles chart is nothing like it used to be. Our last single made the charts but sold less in its entire run than we used to sell in a day in the 1970s."
Page 6: Status Quo were the first outsiders to enter a Big Brother house during a contest when they played for housemates in the Norwegian show in 2001. Francis Rossi says: "We said no at first as none of us likes Big Brother. Then they said our album was at number three in Norway and might go to number one if we played. So we said: 'What time do you want us there?' We like to push on and keep making new achievements."
Page 7: Status Quo's Francis Rossi says he likes many of today's British guitar bands such as Travis and Coldplay. He says: "I liked Radiohead but they've disappeared up their own derrieres on the last three albums. My other favourites are the Queens Of The Stone Age. They remind me of things we were doing in the '60s and '70s. They throw little things into the arrangements regardless of whether it's cool or not."
Page 8: Francis Rossi of Status Quo enjoys a quieter life than on his early tours and is kept busy by his eight children by three different women. He says: "I'm taking two of my younger sons to the cinema to see X-Men 2. I've not been for about 15 years. I'm only going for the hot dogs. I love the hot dogs they do."
The Quo Forest Tour runs to June 22. Call the Forestry Commission Box Office on 01842 814612 for tickets.Revisit the June 2003 event list