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That was the Quo month that was ... June 2011

1st - Quo appearance on Loose Women (ITV,UK)

Quo made an appearance on the popular Loose Women show on ITV on June 1st. Andrea McLean, Coleen Nolan and Janet Street-Porter welcomed Rick and Francis to the studio and the guys took part in a light-hearted interview (preceded by very old clips of "Down Down" and "Whatever You Want"). They talked - well, Rick did most of the talking - about the new album (which Rick described as their "best for 50 years"!), the set list debate and the "In The Army Now" re-recording. They concluded their appearance with a professional playback performance of "Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You" to an encouragable audience (with no hitches this time!).

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4th - Rick article in The Daily Express (UK)

Rick appeared in the "Celebrity Traveller" section of the Daily Express newspaper on June 4th. A transcript of the article follows.

"Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt, 62, has homes in Spain and Wiltshire and lives with his third wife Lyndsay and their three-year-old twins Tommy and Lily.

What is your most memorable holiday?

When I was young we went to one of Butlin's Cliftonville hotels in Kent. I think it was The Grand. I won my first talent content there when I was 12 years old. I was singing Baby Face and playing my guitar and I absolutely loved it. I was a complete fan and in 1965 I met bandmate Francis (Rossi) at Butlin's in Minehead.

What gadgets are essential?

I used to take assorted little gadgets like a Swiss Army knife and a torch but the way life is these days you can't take anything with you on a plane any more. If we're going on the tour bus I always take my binoculars because we have a lounge on the top deck and we go through some lovely countryside.

Best holiday book?

I like a nice autobiography and I do love my sport so the autobiography of a sporting personality is the sort of thing I read.

How do you spend your time on holiday?

I live in Spain so life is one big holiday anyway. The band is on tour so much, so when I'm on holiday I just want to laze by the pool, drink sangria, go out for dinner and crash out. I like to try local food but I'm not too adventurous. I love tapas and the Spanish tortillas are out of this world.

Where would you re-visit?

Not so long ago I went back to Butlin's in Minehead where we all met; where Status Quo was formed if you like. I did also go back to the Sunshine Holiday Camp (now Mill Rythe Holiday Village) on Hayling Island, Hampshire, where I actually started work singing with my guitar in the bar. It was wonderful to return after 40 years.

Where to next?

Venice. I've only been once and the band was playing so I didn't have a chance to look around. Lyndsay has been before and just loved it."

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8th - Article about Alan Crook's "Any Way You Like It" in Eastern Daily Press (UK)

The following article - entitled "Quoís biggest fan pens a rocking song for new album" by Rebecca Gough - about Quo fan, Alan Crook, and his song "Any Way You Like It" making its way onto the band's 'Quid Pro Quo' album appeared in the Eastern Daily Press on June 8th.

"Heís seen them rocking all over the world and now one of Status Quoís biggest fans has realised a life-long ambition.

Not content with becoming a personal friend of the rockers following years of gig-going, Alan Crook is now over the moon after writing a song which features on the new album.

Now, his song Any Way You Like it, which features on the album Quid Pro Quo, is likely to become a household name across the world.

Mr Crook, 49, a full-time driver, from High Street, Brandon, who has been singing and song writing in his spare time for more than 30 years, said his aim had been to write a commercially viable song.

"This particular song I sent to their keyboard player about 18 months ago and about three months ago he said there was a very strong chance it was going to make it onto the new album," he said.

"I was thinking about Quoís song Whatever You Want, which everybody knows, and tried to write something that was a bit commercial rather than about a particular subject. I wrote the lyrics and Andrew Bown [Quo keyboard player] got together with the bass player and they worked their magic and put a tune to it and changed a couple of lyrics, and there it is."

Mr Crook uses his everyday life as inspiration for his songs and carries a dictaphone with him while he is driving. He said he was attracted to the band by their energy and ability to get people up on the dance floor at any occasion.

He added: "Itís amazing for me and though you try to keep your cool you do realise these are world famous, multimillionaire rock stars. If Iím in the area Iíll give Andrew Bown a call and Iíve been round his house on numerous occasions and we go down the pub but I still get a bit star struck."

Mr Crook, who is in a tribute band called Quo No!, is a regular at Status Quo gigs, first attending one of their concerts in 1977, and has seen them play 420 times. He is known by band members Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Andrew Bown, John ĎRhinoí Edwards, and Matt Letley as part of a group of fans called the Rabble Bunch.

Most recently Mr Crook spent an hour backstage with the band at a gig in Holland and has also played in his tribute band alongside John Edwardsí group Woodedz.

He said he had gradually got to know Status Quo over the years and added: "Itís through having seen them so many times and meeting them as they arrive, theyíve got to know me down the front of many concerts. Weíve gradually become friends. When I was in my teens Iíd turn up early and have a chat with them while they were doing their sound check and then Iíd hang around backstage afterwards. Theyíre such a down-to-earth band and imply a certain amount of respect for our opinions and a certain amount of trust, which is nice. Iíve written songs for about 30 years and itís a life-long ambition to co-write a song with them. Itís also an awesome album, the best in 25 years."

Mr Crook is now planning to concentrate on his tribute band, but has not given up hope of more of his songs appearing on a Quo album.

He is also looking forward to seeing the band at Thetford Forest tomorrow.

It is the first of three gigs at High Lodge this week and Quo are followed on Friday by Erasure and Saturday by Simple Minds."

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9th - Quo concert at Thetford Forest, near Brandon, Suffolk, UK

Quo played one of the now familiar "forest" gigs with a well-attended outdoor show at Thetford Forest on June 9th. Although it was a cool evening, the large crowd enjoyed a solid Quo performance, but no new songs from 'Quid Pro Quo' made their way into the set, which was as follows:

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11th - "Statoz Quo" tribute band gig at The Hard Rock Cafe, Surfers Paradise, Queensland

The scene was set - an iconic venue in the shape of the Hard Rock Cafe in Surfers Paradise, a long holiday weekend, and a killer British Invasion ticket of Statoz Quo and the Rolling Stones Experience. Despite last-minute flight cancellations, the Rock Doctor made it to the Gold Coast on Friday evening in readiness for a great weekend (or perhaps longer...).

A cool and showery Saturday saw the famous Surfers main beach largely deserted but for a few diehard surfers. An early load-in to the Hard Rock was a slow process thanks to the small lift, but once the gear was in the band soon set up and the lengthy process of getting the sound ready for soundcheck could begin. The diners were in for a shock (an eruption of sound, see volcano theme later!) when soundcheck started proper with the band belting out "Don't Waste My Time" and "Creepin' Up On You", even earning some applause as they went! Fulfilling a dream for a friend, Gary stood aside on drums while they played through "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Whatever You Want", that marking the end of a powerful and impressive soundcheck.

It would be a long wait before Statoz took the stage again, after the main dinner sitting and once the music revellers had taken over, so cue a slightly late start at 10.40pm.

The band kicked off by tricking us with the familiar opening riff of "Caroline" then morphing into "Paper Plane" (a la Quo, circa 1997). Always a ripper live song, Statoz did it proud and immediately got the Hard Rock crowd on side and dancing around the circular bar. Sticking with the popularist material, next up was "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" before Steve took centre stage to crank out the note-perfect opening to "Don't Waste My Time". The band had really hit their stride by now and the knowledgeable audience lapped up this well-played Quo gem.

A surprisingly inclusion next, in the shape of "Again and Again", saw Dave stepping up for a belting performance before going into the crowd-pleasing boogie classic of "Slow Train". Keeping the harder rock theme going, "Roll Over Lay Down" played to the band's strengths, with a thumping bass performance from Tony, great drumming from Gary, the dueling guitars of Dave and Steve, and top keyboard work from Paul - while the inclusion of Steve's "Advance Australia Fair" solo roused the massed rabble even more! It was becoming a Quoverdose of top tunes when the band insisted on following up with "Softer Ride" with the crowd lapping up the idea of not working any more (especially on a holiday weekend!).

A brief moment of respite with a talky bit before the onslaught continued with a quality reproduction of "Down Down" and into a popular "Hold You Back" with some inspired jig action from the front row! Tony took the mic to talk up the impending "Big Fat Mama" but the band preferred to let the song do the talking and this song was a highlight of the night, played with real drive and appreciated by the fans and regulars - this was hard rock at the Hard Rock!

Fast-forwarding thirty years, the much less familiar "Creepin' Up On You" took a while to find its crowd, but the pumping relentless rhythm was always going to win them over in the end and the whole band worked hard on this one to produce a faithful version of this great example of modern Quo. Just as quickly, the time machine was sent back thirty years and landed upon the magnificent boogie masterpiece that is "Don't Think It Matters". This was an inspired choice and the band played it splendidly, being rewarded with great audience participation and rewarding themselves with broad smiles all the way through - we got the impression that this was a fun song to play!

Nice work from Dave saw us into "Whatever You Want" to keep the crowd on the boil, before a cringeworthy recording that transcends its cringe when performed live in "The Anniversary Waltz". This gave the whole band room to shine and Paul on keys continued to show his great skills here, while the audience simply loved it! If it's the place to go for a "real good time", it should really be renamed "Hard Rock Blues" but, no, it was "Roadhouse Blues" and this stonking number was well crafted by Statoz and given some serious bottom end by Tony. Paul did the honours in setting up the final song in the shape of "Rockin' All Over The World". This one got the crowd excited as always with some great singalong to mark the end of the set.

The noisy mob calling themselves the audience showed no signs of wanting to leave so the band were soon back on stage with Dave leading us off into the heaven they call "Caroline" - and suddenly the place was humming again! Dave tried to fool us with some spiel about a new number, only to start playing "Living Doll" (a la Quo, circa 1998), before storming into "Rock 'n' Roll Music" and, judging by the audience reaction, that was more like it! Of course, this meant that "Bye Bye Johnny" couldn't be far away and so, after some excellent audience interaction to bid them farewell, it was all over... and it was only 1.15am!

The sizeable audience at the Hard Rock enjoyed a quality performance from Statoz Quo and the band's energy, enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment of what they do came across well. The beaming smiles as they left the stage said it all, job done. Having not seen the band for over a year, they have tightened up considerably and are now playing with both fun and passion - and are a credit to the Quo brand. Look out for more gigs at the Hard Rock Cafe coming soon!

Photos from the gig can be seen here. As an aside, my weekend ended up being stretched out for a further two days as flights back to Melbourne were cancelled due to the volcanic ash cloud over Southern Australia, so thanks to the guys for their support during those couple of days stranded in sunny Brisbane!

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16th - Rick article in The Daily Express (UK)

Rick appeared in the "Express Yourself" section of the Daily Express newspaper on June 16th. The following article was entitled "I've finally learned how to be a dad" and written by Kay Goddard.

"With Fatherís Day approaching, Status Quoís Rick Parfitt, 62, explains what his three-year-old twins have taught him about life...

If anyone had said to me a few years back that by 60 I would meet the woman of my dreams and be a father all over again I would have thought they were mad.

This is the third time Iíve been a husband and a father but the first time Iíve really been there and watched my miracle babies grow.

When I had my two eldest sons I was still young and bound up with my career. Status Quo was taking off and my life centred on the band. I didnít have the time or want to be bothered with the details of their everyday life. I was rarely at home and if I was I was out of my head on drugs and booze. Iím sad to say I donít remember much of Richard and Harryís earlier days.

Things like nappies, first words, homework or even being accessible for love and discipline went out of the tour bus window. Donít get me wrong, I took good care of everyoneís material needs, just not the emotional ones.

In those days life as a rock and roll dad was tough. We were on the road for seven or eight months of the year, touring the world and living a life of excess. It was a marriage-buster and a home-wrecker.

Both of my previous marriages failed and Richard, who is 36, and Harry, who is 22, naturally distanced themselves from me.

Am I proud of that? Of course not. Now Iím older and wiser and I bitterly regret our lost time together. You canít turn the clock back and thatís how it was as a successful rock star living the dream. It was the only life I knew.

Today I have the benefit of looking at my past parenting mistakes through the lens of experience and wonít be making the same ones with Lily and Tommy. Today is a different story. I may have lost my two eldest sons as toddlers but Iím so lucky in that weíve since found each other. Today we are closer than ever and both Harry and Richard have been a great influence on me. Theyíve matured into two lovely boys and I am very proud of them.

Meeting Lyndsay, who is 51, was the turning point in my life. Sheís made me grow up and for the first time in my life I feel like a full-on husband and hands-on dad.

So why did I want to become a father again? I wanted to do the right thing by Lyndsay who had not had children (she became pregnant through IVF aged 48). Also when we met I finally found the peace and contentment Iíd been searching for.

Up to that point my personal life had been a shambles and she rescued me.

I thoroughly recommend late fatherhood. This time round it feels so right and like many older fathers Iíve proved to be a much better parent in later life than I was to my sons.

I admit at my age itís not easy when it comes to sleepless nights but Iím taking it all in my stride. Iím having a ball as an older father and itís put a spring in my step.

No doubt there will be some people who disapprove of a man fathering a child in his 60s but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Iíve grown up and realise what the most important things in life are Ė love, good health and family. I understand what being a dad really means. Itís showing your love through sleepless nights, changing nappies and altering your life so you can be there for the kids.

In the three years Iíve spent as an older dad I have finally discovered true happiness and contentment and I am doing all the things I should have done years ago. I am more settled, more patient and more confident and tolerant. I make more time to spend with the family and enjoy nothing more than sitting watching the kids playing. Unfortunately itís also made me realise what Iíve missed out on.

It doesnít sound very rock and roll but now I rarely drink except for the odd glass of wine. I donít smoke and the only pills I take are aspirin and vitamins. Iíve completely changed my lifestyle and no way would I go back to how it was. It was fun at the time but I didnít appreciate the harm I was doing to my health or my family.

I would be lying though if I didnít say there are a few disadvantages to being an older dad. The first is the sheer energy requirement in raising twin toddlers, especially when you are kicking a football about in the garden.

I love being a dad to two bright and energetic kids but together they need more than just double the energy of one. Having twins also means double of everything, cuddles, attention, time and toys.

Then thereís the sleep deprivation that comes with toddlers but itís a very small price to pay for the sheer joy they bring us.

There are awkward moments when youíre an older father. Lyndsay and I were having lunch with the twins near our home in Spain recently when a woman complimented us on our beautiful, well-behaved grandchildren. We just laughed. There is also one other unavoidable disadvantage and thatís the worry of not being around to reach certain milestones in our childrenís lives.

My father was around to see my success and he was so proud. If I could see the twins reach 21 or even see them make their own successes then Iíll be a very happy man. All I want is for my kids to be happy, healthy and to know who they are.

The most important lesson Iíve learnt from being an older and wiser father? No matter how old you are a good dad is a good dad."

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17th - Quo concert at Amphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Quo kicked off the German leg of the new 'Quid Pro Quo' tour with an outdoor show at Gelsenkirchen on June 17th. The small crowd endured less than ideal weather, but were rewarded by the first live outings for three songs from the new album, all of which sounded great in the live setting. The full setlist follows.

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18th - Quo appearance on "Wetten Dass..?"

Quo interview backstage at Wetten Dass (click for larger image) Quo on Wetten Dass (click for larger image) Quo made an appearance on the number one TV show in Germany, Wetten Dass..?", on June 18th. The show was broadcast from a bullring in Mallorca with a massive audience and hosted by (Quo fan) Thomas Gottschalk. Quo kicked off with a new medley of "Ice In The Sun", "Whatever You Want" and "Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You".

Quo closed out the show with a playback performance of "Rockin' All Over The World" with great audience participation, Thomas rocking out with them on stage, and pyrotechnics at the end. Rick and Francis also did a great eleven-minute interview on ZDF television.

This was a very well-timed promo appearance on this special edition of Germany's most popular show (the last Summer show to be presented by Gottschalk and watched by over 12million in Germany alone!) and can only help with both concert and album sales.

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22nd - Quo concert at Stadtpark, Hamburg, Germany

Quo played an open air gig in Hamburg's Stadtpark on June 22nd. Despite the wet weather which plagued much of the show, the large crowd enjoyed a solid Quo performance of the new set. Support act Morris played "Leave A Little Light On" from the 'Quid Pro Quo' album. Photos of Quo in action in Hamburg can be seen here.

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