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That was the Quo month that was ... March 1998

2nd - Jackie Lynton's "Pinboard Wizards" released in the UK

Jackie Lynton's first new studio album for 15 years was released on March 2nd in the UK on "A New Day Records" with catalogue number ANDCD14. Quo fans may recall his name from the intro to the famous "Live" album recording at Glasgow Apollo, "is there anybody out there who wants to rock", etc.

The CD features the Jackie Lynton Band - comprising Chris Bryant (guitar), John Cook (keyboards), Stuart Hughes (bass) and Steve Bruce (drums) - plus the following special guests:

The CD is nicely packaged for a small label - a substantial fold-out colour inner features on one side the track listing with thanks from Jackie and David Rees (producer), while the other features an array of photos of the musicians involved in the album, including three featuring Rick Parfitt. The CD was recorded at Running Frog Studios, Windsor, and has a total running time of 71:28. The tracks are as follows.

1. Get Over 'Ere (Jackie Lynton) (4:02)

A pretend 'phone conversation between Jackie and David Rees (producer) concerning recording of the album and the musicians involved. "Parfitt's here, he won't start playing. Ricky won't start until someone gives him a tenner...He's Quo inneh? He's earned money, he knows what money is...he won't start unless he gets a tenner!".

2. Let It Rock (Chuck Berry) (4:47)

Features Ian Anderson on flute and Rick Parfitt on guitar. Classic Berry number with obvious Parfitt rhythm included, would make a great Quo number.

3. If You Wanna Get A Band Together (Jackie Lynton / Graham Cooper) (4:08)

More bluesy track, sounds like the perfect track for "4 Bills And A Ben". Neat guitar work from Dick Taylor, Martin Barre and Mick Abrahams.

4. Call Me Mister Lucky (Jackie Lynton) (5:36)

Typical Lynton song, three chord boogie.

5. Losing Ground (Jackie Lynton / Andy Bown) (5:26)

Co-written by Andy Bown and his influence is very clear, with strong lyrics and integral keyboard. Impressive drum performance from Steve Bruce here.

6. Odd Socks Blues (Jackie Lynton / Bill Farrow) (5:09)

Rather tongue-in-cheek blues number from Lynton, with sweet and clear guitar backing from Mick Abrahams. Remarkably simple and effective with it.

7. Hi Lilly Hi Lo (Deutsch-Kaper-Bronisiav) (2:21)

Dedicated to Rick's mum, Lil Parfitt. Features Rick being very restrained on this semi-acoustic little tune.

8. Monday Morning (Jackie Lynton) (2:49)

Bizarre track featuring "The Jackie Lynton Butcher's Shop Quartet" !!

9. Getting By Blues (Jackie Lynton) (5:38)

More traditional Lynton fodder, with good guitar work from Mick Abrahams and Dick Taylor. Good foot-tapping blues number.

10. Bleak House Blues (Jackie Lynton) (4:32)

Featuring Mick Moody on guitar, Another nice blues track, lovely rhythm, would suit the 4 Bills perfectly again.

11. You Gotta Go (Jackie Lynton) (4:37)

Featuring Mick Moody on guitar and Ian Anderson on harmonica. Slow pace blues-flavoured track with a prominent and impressive harmonica performance from Anderson.

12. Blues As Blues Can Get (Delbert McLinton) (5:32)

Lovely warm production on this souly track with impressive keyboards from John Cook. Not what you'd expect from Lynton perhaps, not standard blues.

13. Shut Up, I'm Playing Me Guitar (Jackie Lynton, David Rees and The Guitar Wizards) (5:09)

Jam intro with Mick Abrahams, Clive Bunker and Mike Summerland then into six solos by Mick Abrahams, Dick Taylor, Martin Barre, Chris Bryant and Al Hodge (performs twice). Classic rock blues instrumental.

14. How Much Do You Cry? (Jackie Lynton / Mick Abrahams) (6:16)

Surprisingly heart-rendering ballad from Lynton with simple guitar and bass backing. A little too long maybe?

15. The Meaning of Life (Jackie and Vanessa Lynton) (2:50)

Another piece of dialogue from Lynton - and "thanks for buying the CD" message plus "old Ricky got his ten pound!".

16. (unlisted) Big Tom (Jackie Lynton) (1:45)

Poem from Lynton.

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6th - John Coghlan on "Never Mind The Buzzcocks"

John Coghlan made a guest appearance on the BBC2 pop quiz "Never Mind The Buzzcocks" on Friday 6th March. They showed an old clip of Quo, "Down Down" from 1978, the teams did not see the clip, then they had to pick John out of a line up of five people. They picked him out with ease, well Lemmy from Motorhead did!

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7th - '4 Bills And A Ben' concert at The Half Moon, Putney

Arriving early at the now almost completely characterless Half Moon, it was good to see a good crowd of familiar faces already firmly planted and awaiting the Bills. A noticeable younger element to the clientelle signalled that Mark Rich and his band were supporting the Bills and had attracted more than a few school friends. The arrival of Mike Paxman was a great opportunity for me to catch up on some news and it was soon time for the support band.

The back room of the Half Moon was over half-full to see Mark Rich and his band perform an excellent and professionally executed half hour set. None of the youngsters in this four-piece showed any signs of nerves and Mark displayed great skill in his lead guitar work, playing off the rather cocky lead singer who whipped up the crowd to join in. Previously seen supporting the Bills at Teddington School, the band are growing in confidence all the time and show some temerity in including quite a few of their own tracks alongside more well-known covers, their highlight song being "Alright Now". A nice warm-up for the Bills and a delighted Jeff Rich looked on with more than a little pride.

The brief interlude between bands allowed some list members to meet up, many for the first time - our full compliment included Rick and Donna Norman, Matthew Fearn, Matthew Bradshaw, Kevin Sullivan and myself, plus Mike Paxman. It's good to see more of the list attending these gigs, and I've yet to find anyone who's gone away disappointed !! By 9.30, the room was packed and already hot when the Bills took the stage - in possibly their best line-up; Johnny Warman (ever present on lead vocals), Rhino Edwards (bass), Jeff Rich (drums), Andy Hamilton (sax), Steve Byrd (lead guitar) and Spike Edney (keyboards and rhythm guitar). As far as I can remember, the last time this particular line-up performed together was in October 1995, but it was worth the wait.

Rhino on vocals for the Bills From the moment the band took the stage, it was clear that everyone was out for a good time, both band and audience in a playful mood. Warman certainly feeds from adulation and his enthusiasm is the spark which makes the Bills tick. The pure class and talent of every one of the five members was evident from the word go, but what makes this line-up so special is the superb way they work together. The set was wide-ranging and long-lasting, Warman spouting his "we only have time for one more song" at 10.50, the band finally closing down at 11.10, and even then only at the mercy of the Half Moon management rather than their own desire to call it a night. The place was boiling hot, the youngsters and the more seasoned campaigners enjoying themselves side-by-side. John and Jeff looked fit and enjoyed the gig, while Spike Edney was a star, laid back as ever and it just looks so easy. The set is given below, as complete as I can get it from their set list (which was not adhered to) and my own recollections:

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14th - "Next of Kin" featuring Francis and Simon Rossi on BBC2

Francis Rossi and his son Simon appeared on the BBC2 programme "Next of Kin" on Saturday 14th March, part of the series "Having It All" discussing the problems of balancing working and family life.

Most of the ten minute programme consisted of separate interviews with Francis and Simon concerning how they felt about each other and how their relationship had ebbed and flowed with the problems in the past of marriage breakdowns, drug abuse and Francis' hectic touring schedule. Francis was very candid and serious, while it was unusual to see Simon giving an interview and he seemed the more nervous. The Rossi features are quite noticeable in Simon and he seemed to me to be a lot like Nick in his mannerisms. The interviews looked like they were filmed at Francis' house. It was interesting to hear that Simon is training as a classical singer and that his job as Quo PA is largely a vehicle for funding this new career.

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21st - Quo on "Hey Hey It's Saturday" (Australia, Channel 9)

Quo made their first promo TV appearance for the 1998 Australian tour on Melbourne's Saturday evening variety show "Hey Hey It's Saturday". They closed the show with the greatest hits medley ("Caroline"/"Down Down"/"Whatever You Want"/"Rockin' All Over The World") and the crowd in the TV studio joined in, especially during the "Whatever You Want" section.

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23rd - Quo on "In Melbourne Tonight" (Australia, Channel 9)

Greg Holden introduced Quo on "In Melbourne Tonight". They played "Rockin' All Over The World" with live vocals, the stage being a proper affair with impressive lighting. The audience were just like at a gig - right up to the stage and standing and clapping all the way through Quo's short performance.

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24th - Quo concert at Pura Milk Arena, Geelong

The following review of Quo's concert in Geelong was written by Chris Niven from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

Quo played an absolute blinder last night in Geelong. The venue was a small one, which made it better for the fans I believe and I think the boys may have been treating it as a warm up for Melbourne tonight. About 1000 people I would say.

Geelong is a kind of industrial, seaside city about 45 minutes drive south west of Melbourne. The Arena was only a small venue, however this made for a great night. Most of us diehards were very close to the band, which was sensational. The set-list seems the same as for the British Tour however the inclusions were good from last year. Mean Girl, In My Chair and Roadhouse were fantastic. A huge Aussie response also to faves Down Down, ROLD, RAOTW and Caroline.

Rick Parfitt was sensational - his voice and energy is definitely back. Francis was unbelievable. He bounded around the stage like an 18 year old and really got things going with the crowd. This time I noticed what a great drummer Jeff Rich is - the guy is actually awesome with his speed and energy. Rhino of course was also marvellous and had a great time as did Andy. All in all a brilliant Quo gig, probably the best I have seen. Francis had an early problem in Softer Ride when his in-ear monitor system failed but this was quickly fixed. They were tight, hard, fast and loud. What a band! It's no wonder we love 'em so much!

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25th - Quo concert at Melbourne Entertainment Centre

The following review of Quo's concert at Melbourne was written by Chris Niven from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

This gig was at the Melbourne Entertainment Centre, in the heart of Melbourne, right across from Melbourne Park where they play the Australian Open (tennis that is). Running alongside is the famous Yarra River and the night was pleasant with the temperature in the low twenties (Celsius). This venue is much bigger than last year's Palais Theatre, and I would guess around 5000 people in the gig. Marvellous to walk up to the front of the building and see the huge Status Quo sign - Yep, they were back!

The crowd was again an extraordinary mix of ages, with a range from seven to seventy I reckon. My group of about ten or so fans from Bendigo, about 100 miles north of Melbourne, shuffled in with great expectations as we knew that three of us were meeting the band and that this year, they had all of their backline on stage.

We put up with the support band, sorry guys, they were only just....Paul Rogers would have been sensational!!...until about 8.30 pm when we were supposed to go back stage for the meet and greet.

Finally David Walker marched us around to a lounge area and said wait here for the band. There were about 15 or so people including the three of us who suddenly realised what was about to happen. The band appeared and started towards us, Rick being first, then Jeff, then Francis, Rhino and Andy. Well, the rest seems a blur, however they were all very very pleasant and signed all of our things with some quips and typical Quo humour. We have a photo of us and Francis which could be bad as I suspect it may have three dopey looking guys and a rock superstar looking cool, as ever... Francis made sure he spoke to all in the room and was last to go, much to the annoyance of the crew. We wandered back to our seats with very big grins in a sort of trance I think.....

I snapped out of it to the sound of Matchstick Men wafting out of the PA and the house lights dimmed to a huge roar!!! The classic intro to WYW got the whole house rockin' from the start and Quo were hot indeed! Rick's voice was just great and no way was he holding back for anyone! Softer Ride was fantastic; fast, tight, frenetic. Just the way we expect our beloved Quo to be. I think even after all these years we are still blown away as to how bloody good they actually are LIVE! Sensational!! This was a ripping gig, different to last year and the fans were really putting in this time. Everyone could feel that this was special I think. I would say the band were much happier with the sound which was great out the front. Francis leapt around the stage like an 18 year old and is just fascinating to watch. His playing live is truly extraordinary.

Highlights were the inclusions of Mean Girl, In My Chair, Gerdundula and Don't Waste was in instead of Burning Bridges. A memorable In The Army Now went down a storm but the Aussie faves which seemed to really get the house rockin' were Roll Over, Down Down, Rockin' and of course, Caroline. The revised Roadhouse without medley was much better also. The pace of the set was just amazing and after a very short break, there they were again, blasting out Anniversary Waltz Pt 1, without Wanderer. The crowd were pumped up for sure as they finished us off with Bye Bye. A fantastic gig, now takes it's place as the best ever Quo gig I have seen and one which will go a long way to the gradual re- emergence of Quo as a force over here.

We wandered out again with that kind of blown away look and legs like jelly from nearly two hours of solid rockin'. Status Quo are back again big time in Australia. By the way, this is still the greatest little rock and roll band in the world...

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29th - Quo concert at Burswood Theatre, Perth

The following review of Quo's second night in Perth was written by Heather Lord (who also attended the first night).

Well, once again, the boys were loud, fast, and rockin'! I have ringing in my ears (which is out of synch with the ringing in my ears from the night before), I'm hoarse from all the singing, my calf muscles are shot to pieces, my knees hurt, my neck's sore and once again I had a great time :))))) If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm one of the older fans on the mailing list ;) I've been following Quo since I first saw them on Hastings Pier in England in 1972 when I was sweet 16!

The audience were much better than Saturday night. Saturday night's crowd was a bit subdued (except for the ones who'd spent a couple of hours in the bar!), and the atmosphere on Saturday wasn't the "normal" friendly Quo gig atmosphere. But last night's was better. There were a *few* people who went to both gigs. Thank goodness my penfriend and fellow fan club member (can a woman be a fellow, I ask myself - but you know what I mean!) Tannia (who's over here from Adelaide for both gigs) and I knew the words to most of the songs, 'cos we couldn't hear the band singing for some of them!

Rhino was in good spirits, despite having a few problems with one of his guitars (where's the volume control on this thing?). Francis was running around the stage like an 18 year old and the band's antics were much appreciated by the audience.

At one point, Rick seemed to decide that he'd worked his cute little bum off for long enough, and sat down on Jeff's drum riser and refused to play :-)

Once again, they were on stage for about 1 hour 45 mins. OK, enough of my waffling, now the important stuff - the set list (can't remember what order the songs were played in, but *I don't think it matters at all*, because neither could the band ;) :

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31st - Quo on "The Midday Show" (Australia, Channel 9)

Quo rounded off their Australian TV 'tour' with an appearance on Kerrie-Ann's "The Midday Show" from Sydney. They played the greatest hits medley under an impressive light show, and allowed live vocals. A small crowd invasion of enthusiastic ladies swamped Rick and Francis as they finished their performance.

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