Francis and Rick appeared on the Jonathon Ross Show on BBC Radio 2 on September 3rd. DJ Mark Lamarr & Jo Brand were standing in for Ross and conducted a long and entertaining interview. Two new songs were played ('The Party Ain't Over Yet' and 'Velvet Train') along with a number of older songs like 'Ice In The Sun' and 'Down Down'.Revisit the September 2005 event list
Quo scored a coup with a live session on BBC Radio 2 on September 9th (their first such session on national radio for decades). As part of the Ken Bruce Show, Quo played five songs live from the Maida Vale studio. First up was "Caroline", then a second stint of "The Party Ain't Over Yet" and "Whatever You Want", before a closing set of "Bellavista Man" and "Rockin' All Over The World". Ken Bruce also interviewed the band between sessions and a few lucky competition winners got to be in the studio for this session.Revisit the September 2005 event list
Proving that any publicity is good publicity, the lead up to Quo's appearance on Coronation Street resulted in articles in many UK newspapers this week - including the Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Sport, The Sun, Birmingham Evening Mail and even the Swindon Advertiser!Revisit the September 2005 event list
The first worldwide showing of the full 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' video clip was on Australia's "Rage" music show on ABC - in amongst the death metal clips at 4am on a Saturday morning! Still a great effort by Sanctuary to get Quo some airplay in Australia.Revisit the September 2005 event list
The title track from the forthcoming album, 'The Party Ain't Over Yet', was released in the UK and Europe on September 12th.
The single was available in three different formats via the Sanctuary label - a CD single (catalogue number SANXS400) with the 'single mix' of the title track and an album reject in the form of "I'm Watching Over You' (Rossi/Young), a nicely-packaged 7" vinyl single (SANSE400) with the 'album mix' of the title track and 'Gerdundula' live from Liverpool Pops (27th July 2005), and a DVD single (SANDX400) of both the single and album mixes of the title track, along with the official "wing-walking" promo video.Revisit the September 2005 event list
Quo appeared on the ITV morning TV show, GMTV, on September 13th by way of promotion for the newly-released single, 'The Party Ain't Over Yet'. Francis and Rick gave a brief early interview, then another towards the end of the show before going out with a playback performance of the new single.Revisit the September 2005 event list
Quo performed for two nights at the Carnival City Casino, just outside Johannesburg on September 16th and 17th. This was the band's first visit to South Africa in almost 20 years following their ill-fated gigs in Sun City. This time, the gigs served as breaking grounds for two new 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' album tracks in the live set. The full set list follows (the set on the 17th was cut slightly short due to the band's commitment to be back in the UK for their appearance on the "50th Birthday Avenue of Stars" show on September 18th).
The first single from 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' album entered the official UK Top 40 at an astonishing number 11 in its first week of release (even more bizarrely, the single entered the official Indie chart at number 1!). Helped along by the three-format release and also downloads counted from the iTunes, Woolworths and Virgin websites, this is Quo's biggest chart hit in 15 years.
Additionally, this hit means that Quo have had more hit singles than any other band in UK chart history, according to research published by Guinness World Records! The following article about the new Record appeared on the BBC website.
"Veteran rock group Status Quo have had more hit singles than any other band in UK chart history, according to research published by Guinness World Records. The band has scored 61 chart successes, dating from Pictures of Matchstick Men in 1968 to You'll Come Around in 2004.
The group, who make a guest appearance in Coronation Street this week, release their 33rd album on Monday.
Queen came second with 52 hits, with the Rolling Stones and UB40 just behind them with 51 hits each. Irish rockers U2 and electro-pop band Depeche Mode follow with 40 hits apiece.
Status Quo, who appeared on ITV1's Avenue of the Stars show on Sunday, were presented with an award to mark their achievement while filming their Coronation Street cameo in August.
"We are delighted and honoured to receive this impressive accolade," Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi said at the time.
"Forty years have flown by and we intend to keep rocking all over the world for many years to come."
The figures are contained in the latest edition of the Book of British Hit Singles and Albums."Revisit the September 2005 event list
Quo rushed back from South Africa to perform on the primetime "50th Birthday Avenue of Stars" show to mark ITV's 50th birthday as a TV station. Playing atop a building with fireworks exploding behind them, they performed a playback of a unique medley of 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' (complete with the cheerleaders!), 'Caroline' (based on the Riffs version) and 'Rockin' All Over The World' (also the Riffs version).Revisit the September 2005 event list
The new album 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' was released worldwide on September 19th. The UK & Europe issue was on Sanctuary Records SANCD 389 (the Australian release came on the Shock Records label) and the track listing for all issues was as follows.
As part of a week-long set of Quo-related articles in the Daily Mirror, an interview with Francis was published on September 19th. Written by Clare Raymond and titled "40 years of Status Quo: Everything in life winds me up", the interview was performed just before the band's recent gig in Zurich.
"HE has survived 40 years of drugs, drink, sex and rock 'n' roll. Francis Rossi has lived life to the full - even by the excessive standards of the music business. But the Status Quo frontman hasn't marched into middle age completely unscathed.
He can still pass a cottonbud from one side of his nose to the other, through a septum ravaged by years of cocaine abuse. But he'd still rather his kids smoked dope than drank alcohol.
"Alcohol led me to cocaine. Hash hasn't led me to anything," he says. "I'm not saying everyone should be taking drugs but there is a lot of hysteria about it."
But the drugs have gone from Francis Rossi's life. So have the groupies. Today he prefers walking the dog or pottering about in the garden.
Then there is the middle-aged grumpiness... "There's millions of things that wind me up," he admits. "You get older and you start thinking: 'Why the f*** is that like that?'"
He detests bullies, for instance. "These days there are even teachers being bullied by teenagers. We should bring back borstals," he says.
"And what's all this happy slapping thing? We should ban mobile phones for under-25s. And if that doesn't work, ban the phones."
Fiercely protective of his family, Francis was horrified when he discovered the misery his own young son Patrick had suffered at the hands of school bullies.
"He was being picked on, partly because of me, and the other kids were doing all sorts of nasty things to him," he says. "They were spitting at him, tearing up his school books and p***ing in his bag. They'd beat him up, throw him in the road... He went through it for eight years and I just didn't know what to do."
Patrick, the fifth of Rossi's eight children, is now 16 and has learning difficulties. The first time Francis and his wife Eileen became aware of the hell their boy was going through at school each day was when he got into trouble for hitting one of the bullies in self-defence.
"I was shocked when I heard he'd hit someone," he says. "But when I found out what had been happening, I said: 'Well done.' We didn't realise it was going on for some time. Some of my other boys went to the same school - which is very well-respected - and didn't have any problems.
"I've told my kids that whenever anyone says: 'Your dad's a d***head and his music is s**t', to reply: 'Yeah, I know! You should try living with him.' But Pat can't take it."
Next month Status Quo embark on a special 35-date UK winter tour to mark their 40th anniversary. And they'll make a guest appearance on Coronation Street this Friday.
Today Rossi is sitting in his dressing room, waiting to go onstage for the next gig in the Swiss leg of their tour. He is wearing white socks and specs and alternates between boiled sweets and cigarettes while he works on a cryptic crossword. Rick Parfitt, his band-mate of 40 years, says he looks like Uncle Bulgaria from the Wombles.
His little grey ponytail is scraped back, leaving a receding hairline and well-worn face. He says he's had a hair transplant - he calls it "reclaiming" - but you can't really tell.
"I'd like to shave the f***ing lot off, it drives me nuts," he says. "But whenever I threaten to do it so many people say: 'Ooh, don't.'"
With that Rossi, 56, jumps on stage and performs with the energy of a man half his age. Off stage, he prefers a more sedate life. While Parfitt still revels in the party lifestyle, Rossi prefers to hibernate in suburban bliss when he returns home to the leafy streets of Purley, Surrey.
"I'm almost reclusive," he says. "I don't go anywhere, and I don't go on holidays. I'm lucky my wife understands that. I can't contemplate the idea of living out of a suitcase."
So he walks his golden retriever, Honeybun, goes to the gym, does the crossword, tends his vast garden and messes around in his home studio. "It's the complete antithesis to being in the band," he says. "It's always so hard to go back on the road."
He hasn't had a drink for 17 years and says his wife has no fears about him being away from home and in the clutch of willing groupies.
"Who's going to pull me now?" he shrugs. "In the 1960s it was always a challenge to pull in the hotel bar after a gig. But many times, I would find myself upstairs thinking, 'What have I done?' I knew they were going to tell all their mates and give me a rating."
One of the reasons he still works so hard, he admits, is that he has eight kids to support. There is Simon, 37, Nicholas, 33, and Keiran, 26, by his first wife Jean to whom he was married from 1967 to 1979. Then there is daughter Bernadette, 21, from a three-year relationship to Liz Gurnon in 1979. And with current wife Eileen, he has Patrick, 16, Fynn, 14, Kiera Tallulah, 11, and Fursey, nine.
His eldest son, Simon, is gay, which seems to delight Rossi.
"He and his husband Johnny are a lovely couple and his gay friends are just adorable," he says. "People ask me if I mind that he is gay, but I don't care. Besides, he could be with some horror of a woman who I didn't like. I've always liked gay people. I'm not a manly man. The older I get the more effeminate I realise I am. I'm more girly than anything." Which brings him back to the bullying...
"I remember being bullied at school. I was beaten up and knocked about. The only way I could stop it was to learn how to swear. I became Jack-the-lad."
While this year's 40th anniversary is an amazing milestone for Status Quo, the now-much-quieter Jack-the-lad has an even greater reason to celebrate. He has been reunited with his estranged daughter Bernadette, 21, who lives in Canada and had refused to see him for nine years. Now they hope to be the new Ozzie and Kelly Osbourne or Frank and Nancy Sinatra and plan to release a record together.
"I'm knocked out to be with her," says Rossi. "I knew she would come home when she was ready, and she did. She lives with her mother and I hadn't seen her since she was 12.
"It was just fabulous. She's like me in a lot of ways. When I'm working, the tiniest little thing can destroy my mood and she's the f***ing same."
Next year he plans to slow down the relentless slog of life on the road by working for just four months. But retirement is a way off yet.
"A lot of the time I feel like chucking it in," he says, "but what else would I do? I'm very insecure and doing this means I'm somebody. And I've been doing this since I was 16. I really don't know anything else."
STATUS Quo have sold more than 112 million records. QUO recorded 60 British hit singles, 22 in the Top Ten. STATUS Quo's first hit, Pictures Of Matchstick Men, reached No 7 in January 1968.
ROSSI ON RICK...
"WHEN I first met Rick 40 years ago, I thought he might be gay. One of the things I most liked about him was that he was very camp. I've always liked gay people and we can both camp it up.
"He was wearing a light pair of trousers and had that blonde hair. I thought he was a flash little git, but we became mates.
"A lot of the relationship between Rick and I is the humour. We make each other laugh. But we haven't got a lot in common and when we're not working, we never see each other. He's much more out-going than I am, much more rock'n'roll. When we are working in the UK doing promos we get on extremely well. But when it comes to gigs, it gets a bit quieter between us.
"We had a row in Munich a few years ago, something to do with tempo on stage. He threw a towel at me, so I threw it back again. But if we ever hit each other, it's finished.
"I left him alone when his two-year-old daughter drowned 25 years ago. Maybe he needed me to be more sympathetic, but how do you get somebody through that? Everything you say is wrong. We carried on working.
"Our relationship has lasted longer than any of our marriages - though these days the sex ain't as good as it used to be. He doesn't close his eyes any more..."Revisit the September 2005 event list
This show was rescheduled following its cancellation on June 25th (the venue was also changed from the Burghalde to the indoor Big Box Arena). Quo played to a good crowd of 3500 and wheeled out the exact same set as in South Africa a few days before.Revisit the September 2005 event list
Dave Berry, a school head teacher from Nottingham, appeared on BBC TV's Mastermind, BBC2 on Tuesday 20th September. His specialist subject was Status Quo and he scored an admirable 14 out of the 18 questions he was posed. The questions and their answers follow - how did you do?!
1) Name the gas fitter who became manager of the band in their early days and came up with the name Status Quo?
2) What was the first status quo album to be released on the vertigo label?
3) In August 1997 which venue did Rick Parfitt make his first concert appearence after heart surgery?
4) which single includes the line "by the way she motored thought we might have made the eiffel tower"?
5) Which road manager and occasional harmonica player for the band became Francis Rossis regular writing partner in the early 70's?
6) In which south london pub did the band perform their first gig under the name The Status Quo?
7) On the 21st september 1991 which city did the band perform the first of their four major concerts in one day?
8) Which duo wrote and originally released the song In the Army Now, which the band later took to number 2 in the uk singles chart?
9) Which school friend of Francis Rossi and Alan lancaster completed the original line up of the bands first incarnation as the Scorpions?
10) In Which venue where Rossi and Parfitt first met, did status quo play their 25th Anniversary concert?
11) According to Rossi who left the band when he got off the train heading north to a concert and never got back on?
12) What prop did the band use to stand in for Alan lancaster when they performed Rocking all over the world on video and top of the pops?
13) With which award was status quo presented with at the 1991 brit awards?
14) At which venue was the 1977 status quo Live album recorded?
15) On which label was Pictures of Matchstick men released in america, where it became a hit single?
16) Which former Honeybus drummer joined the band when John Coghlan left?
17) Which Lennon and McCartney song did the band perform on the sound track All That and World War Two?
18) In August 1992 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of what, did the band headline a concert in Sutton Park Birmingham?
1) Pat Barlow
3) Norwich City Football club
4) Break The Rules
5) Bob Young
6) The Welcome inn (Altham)
8) The Bolland Brothers
9) Alan Key
10) Butlins Minehead
11) Roy Lynes
12) A puppet
13) Outstanding contribution to British music
14) Glasgow Apollo
15) Cadet Concept
16) Pete Kircher
17) Getting Better
18) Radio One
As the second in a week-long set of Quo-related articles in the Daily Mirror, an interview with Rick was published on September 20th. Written by Clare Raymond and titled "40 years of Status Quo: Drinking led to big mistakes... I ended up in bed with an electrician called Nigel and his wife", the interview was performed just before the band's recent gig in Zurich."EVEN by Rick Parfitt's standards, this was a booze-fuelled bender best forgotten.
Waking up in his Harrogate hotel room, the Status Quo legend found himself in bed with a couple of fans - a 46-year-old lookalike named Nigel and his wife Angie. Not only did the sordid threesome mark a low point in the guitarist's wild life, it nearly wrecked his relationship with long-suffering partner Patty.
"That was a slip and it was alcohol-fuelled," admits Rick, without even blushing. "I'm a bloke in a rock 'n' roll band and I'm only human. The temptations are there."
Rick had a 14-month fling with glamorous blonde Angie, 40, and indulged in several sordid threesomes with her electrician hubby Nigel "Nobby" Hewitt... until Patty found out in February.
"She nearly left me over it but I convinced her not to," says Rick, who stubs out another fag as he talks about the sex sessions for the first time. "Certainly, if it happens again I think she would. We talked it out and she's a very strong girl. She stood by me and things are fine now."
It's not the first time Rick has promised to be faithful to Patty, the mother of his youngest son. He vowed never to cheat on her when she took him back after their divorce three years ago. They married in 1989 but he left her six years later to go back to his first wife Marietta - and the divorce cost him £1.4million.
He has lost count of the hundreds of fans he's bedded during his 40-year career with Quo - and he often spots past conquests in the crowd. "Sometimes I look out and think: 'I know her.' So many faces ring a bell and I think: 'Did we...?'
"I still get the odd wink and once upon a time I'd have gone to the bar and followed it up in a drunken stupor. Then I'd wake up and think: 'Christ, who are you?' Which is terrible when I think about it now. But it was alcohol-fuelled and not something I would have done in the cold light of day."
BUT after years of casual sex, Rick now faces the stark choice of turning over a new leaf or losing his wife. "This is my last chance," says the shaggy-haired rock legend. "I could go back to living the bachelor life again but I would come unstuck. If I was able to get out there and do what I wanted to do, it would be a disaster for me. My life is set up nicely now and I don't want to ruin it again. I feel comfortable, nestled. The key to all this is staying away from alcohol. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life because of drink. Now I don't drink, I don't do drugs and I don't go out after shows. I have a cup of tea and go to bed instead."
Patty is on the wagon, too, in this last bid to save their tempestuous relationship. The couple's screaming, crockery-throwing fights are legendary at their plush riverside apartment complex in Teddington, Middlesex, says Rick, who celebrates his 57th birthday next month.
"Patty and I would start drinking at 5pm and some nights I'd end up completely out of it," he says. "The monster would come out of me and we'd end up rowing. When we don't drink, we're calm and cool, and it's lovely. There are no arguments now. We're soul-mates and are very relaxed with one another. Patty and I are very alike. We have the same tastes. I know that she could decorate a room and I would come home and say 'perfect'. But I don't want to get married again. I've done it twice and I don't want to do it again. Luckily, she's fine with that."
Backstage at their gig in Zurich, while his grey-haired band-mate of 40 years Francis Rossi sucks boiled sweets and grapples with a crossword, Rick bounces around strumming George Formby tunes on a ukulele and flicking back his golden hair.
"I can't visualise myself growing old," he says. "When I do it will be time to give up rock 'n' roll. But I can't stop now. It's in my blood. I love it and it keeps me young at heart. I certainly don't feel 56."
Rick had a quadruple heart bypass eight years ago but it hasn't slowed him down and, despite warnings from doctors, he still smokes.
"What pulled me through was wanting to get back to my rock 'n' roll lifestyle. When I left hospital, it didn't enter my head to stop smoking. I just went back to work. But I'll take two tablets every day for the rest of my life - an aspirin and something for my cholesterol. Patty worries about me. Everybody does. But I'm a man unto myself and I do what I want."
He says he has no regrets - apart from getting into the drugs so badly. "I wouldn't want to change the way that things have happened because I've enjoyed it. You've got to have the ups and downs."
Rick and first wife Marietta had the worst down imaginable when their two-year-old daughter Heidi fell into their pool and drowned in 1980.
"I lost my little girl," he says. "You never get over it. It's the lowest you can go. But you learn to live with it, you have to... She'd be 27 now. I went to see her at her resting place the other day in Hambledon, Hampshire. But I don't go there that often because it does me up."
Both Rick's sons want to follow him into the industry.
"Harry is 16 and twice the guitarist I was at his age," says Rick, who has rebuilt his relationship with eldest son Richard, 30, after a rocky patch in the 1980s, when the star was spending £1,400 a week on cocaine.
"He's a good lad. He drinks socially but has never touched drugs. He saw me at my worst through the 80s. After I divorced his mum, he saw me as an ogre - which I was. He didn't talk to me from the age of nine to 15 and I hardly saw him."
RICK says he didn't care about his son's feelings. "I didn't care about anything. I was playing at being a rock star and doing drugs. It strips away any feelings. Then one day, his mum called me and said: 'It's time you two got to know each other.' By then, things had calmed down a bit and we hit it off. We've been great pals ever since and he has stood by me."
The British public has also stood by Rick and his band, which has racked up more than 100million record sales and more than 50 UK hit singles over the past four decades.
But the 40-year milestone means little to Rick. "For Francis and I, it's just another year," he says. "We're getting all these accolades and praise, which is great, but we're just working like we always do.
"We don't talk about giving up. If I woke up one day and there was no Quo, I wouldn't know what to do. This is all I have wanted to do since I picked up a guitar when I was 10. I'm so pleased that I'm doing it more than 40 years later."
QUO have made more than 100 appearances on Top Of The Pops - more than any other group. THE band have spent a total of eight years (416 weeks) in the British singles chart. QUO entered the Norwegian Big Brother house in 2001 and played a gig for the housemates.
RICK ON ROSSI
"WHEN we first met at Butlins in Minehead, Somerset, 40 years ago, Francis became my best mate and we hung out a lot together.
But as we've grown up, we've realised we have very different personalities.
He likes to go home, close the gates and stay in. I like to party with my mates and go to the pub. He's not gregarious like me. I like shopping and going to the Porsche showroom. He doesn't like clothes and he doesn't like cars.
He sits in his dressing room like Uncle Bulgaria, with his glasses and a crossword. But when he gets on stage, he's a rock 'n' roll star.
We are very different characters but we have our music in common and that keep us bouncing off each other. Sometimes the friction kicks in. His indecision winds me up. Or when he isn't being positive. If we have any little disagreement he'll dig his heels in and it's difficult to get him to compromise.
We try to resolve our differences before we go on stage but that doesn't always happen. About three years ago, we had a row and almost came to blows in the dressing room. I grabbed him and there was a struggle. We lost our rags with each other. It doesn't usually get that far but it cleared the air.
When we started out we used to share a dressing room but now we need our own space. It's nothing personal but it's important to be chilled out before a show. We spend seven months of the year together and when we're not working, he's the last person I want to see.
.. ON BIG HAIR
I'VE been blessed with this head of hair. I rarely have it cut. I never use conditioner and I use the roughest shampoo I can find, because that gives it body. Apart from that, I just let it do its thing.
.. ON LIVE AID
I REMEMBER going on stage in 1985 and doing the opening set but I don't remember another thing about the day because I was so out of it. I saw very little of this year's Live 8 but I heard about Chris Martin's Status Quo tribute and it was great that he chose to do that.
Everybody got behind us and campaigned for us to play there. To feel that affection was lovely.
We would have loved to open the show with Rockin' All Over The World but there was a lot of politics involved. We didn't lose any sleep over it."Revisit the September 2005 event list
Following cancellation on June 26th, the gig in Leipzig finally took place on September 21st. The lucky fans got to see a very different set, with the two new 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' songs in the main set joined by an all new medley of "What Your're Proposing", "Dear John", "Rockers Rollin'", "Juniors Wailing" and "Down The Dustpipe" in the encore!Revisit the September 2005 event list
As the third in a week-long set of Quo-related articles in the Daily Mirror, interviews with Francis's wife Eileen and Rick's partner Patty were published on September 21st (written by Antonia Hoyle and titled "The Women Behind Rock Legends Quo").
"LIFE WITH MY FRANCIS
WHEN Eileen Rossi and Quo frontman Francis exchanged vows, there were no celebrities, no costly outfits and no flashy celebrations. Instead, they said "I do" at a local register office, with their cleaner and driver as the only witnesses.
If their 1992 wedding wasn't glamorous, neither is their marriage. With her short, dark hair and casual clothes, Eileen is not how you imagine a rock star's wife to be.
"I'm not one for the showbiz lifestyle," says the 49-year-old musician. "Patty's far more of a rock chick than me. We are friends, but we don't see each other much. When Francis is at home we have quiet dinners together, walk the dog and do the gardening."
Their relationship may not be gripping stuff, but the way they got together certainly is. American-born Eileen was married and four months pregnant when she fell for Francis.
"It was 1988 and I was living in New York when Francis came to visit," she explains. "He was friends with my cousin, Patrick. I'd already met him a few times when he invited me to breakfast with them both. But Patrick didn't show up, so we ended up sharing pancakes and chatting on our own. And as we said goodbye, we kissed. The Quo weren't famous in America at the time. The attraction wasn't the fact that he was a rock star - I just found him sexy and easy to talk to."
The next day she told her husband, Ray, she was leaving him and moved out. "We both knew it wasn't working," she says. "But my family and friends were shocked. It was completely out of character for me to do something so reckless, but I had to follow my heart. Ray was hurt, but it would have been more painful for everyone if I hadn't ended it there and then."
Two months later, she flew to Purley in Surrey to be with Francis. The following February she had her ex-husband's son, Patrick, who is now 16. She and Francis went on to have three children of their own - Flynn, 14, Kiera Tallulah, 11, and nine-year-old Fursey.
"From the start, Francis treated Patrick as one of his own - he's great with the kids," says Eileen. "We didn't tell Patrick that Francis wasn't his natural dad until he was 10 and old enough to understand."
Francis might be a model family man but he is not very big on romance. "He can't even remember when we got married," laughs Eileen. "He doesn't do Valentine's Day and always forgets birthdays. I'm 50 tomorrow but I'm not expecting a present - it's not what he's like. He's not very talkative, but when he does speak he tells me he loves me and that I'm beautiful. He calls me three times a day when he's on tour. I trust him to be faithful and don't get jealous. I still find him sexy. There's not much left of his ponytail, but I like it. I like his clothes, too. He gets most of his stuff from Marks & Spencer."
This picture of domestic bliss is a far cry from Rossi's wild past. He took so much cocaine that he has a hole in his septum.
"I'm not into drugs and don't think we'd have clicked if I'd met him when he was doing them," says Eileen. Now Francis is clean I don't even drink in front of him much. We enjoy the odd Tequila, but that's about it."
Doesn't he have any spicy secrets?
"I go to bed earlier than Francis, but for years I've heard a tap, tap, tapping as I drift off," reveals Eileen. The other day I turned over and realised the noise was Francis playing pocket solitaire. Very rock 'n' roll!"
LIFE WITH MY RICK
HALFWAY through Patty Parfitt's birthday dinner she hurled a chicken madras over her husband and stormed out of the restaurant.
And no wonder. The husband in question - Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt - had just admitted he'd been having an affair.
"I was furious," says Patty, 54. "It was my birthday - and my curry. So covering him with it seemed the obvious revenge. I took him back after three weeks, but I didn't forgive him. I simply learned to deal with it."
It was the first time that Rick, 56, had confessed to cheating on Patty. But it was by no means the last. Their 30-year relationship has been peppered with screaming rows over his infidelities.
"To the rest of the world Rick seems like a lovable guy," she sighs. "People don't understand he can be a right bastard, too. He can't resist temptation. With rock 'n' roll comes sex and groupies - it's part of the package. It's like someone's dangling a carrot in front of his nose and he can't resist it."
Patty and Rick, who live in Teddington, Middlesex, were childhood sweethearts, but split up after two years. Rick then got married to Marietta, before leaving her for old flame Patty. They got hitched in 1989, but divorced six years later - when Rick had an affair with his first wife, Marietta.
"I know, it's a merry-go-round," admits Patty, who has been back with Rick for five years now, although they haven't remarried because "we've just never got round to it".
Rick reportedly bedded hundreds of groupies while on the road with Status Quo, but Patty won't reveal how many times he cheated when they were married.
"I don't want to ask him about it," she says. "I don't want to drag up the past."
The latest scandal to rock their relationship was in February, when Rick was caught cheating with a lookalike fan and his wife.
"He called and said, 'You're going to hate me'," says Patty. "I knew he was at it again. I called him every swearword under the sun. For the next few days I could only communicate by text - I was too angry to speak to him." A week later the couple met in a hotel room to discuss their future together.
"I'd had a couple of vodkas to calm my nerves," says Patty. "I yelled at him for being so stupid and threw a glass at the wall. I told him he was hurting me badly and that I was just flesh and blood after all. To prove it, I picked up a bit of broken glass and pressed it against my wrist. Blood started gushing out."
Alerted by their noisy slanging match, the hotel management called an ambulance. "The next thing I knew, I was being rushed to hospital with sirens blaring," she says. "Rick had taken a sleeping pill so he was out of it as well. When we got to hospital the nurse told him I was the reason we were there. When we finally made it back to the hotel, the management refused to let Rick in, so I had to take him home with me."
The incident was reported in the press as a suicide attempt.
"It was farcical," says Patty. "There's no way I'd ever take my own life. I'm scared of needles, let alone slitting my wrists. Luckily, Ricky went on tour the next day. I still couldn't bring myself to talk to him."
Over the next few months, Patty plunged deeper into depression.
SHE says: "I went down to eight stone and my hair started falling out. I felt betrayed, humiliated and degraded. I made him tell me everything. He admitted he'd had two other affairs in the past year. Our son, Harry, was 15 and beside himself. No one wants to think of their parents having sex - let alone threesomes."
She prepared to move out, but Rick went away on tour again which, "gave me some time to think". Two months ago, she wrote him a 10-page letter explaining her feelings.
"I got all my emotions out," she says. "I warned him that if he ever cheated again I'd be gone for good. I was sick of being made a mug of."
Since then, she says, Rick has changed his ways.
"Neither of us drink much nowadays," she says. "It was the alcohol that caused the arguments in the past. And we don't take drugs any more either. Rick is spending more time with Harry now and being much more loving and attentive. He also buys me my favourite yellow roses and we enjoy hanging out together. Friends tell me that I'm a sucker for standing by him, but I feel like we've started a clean slate. I'm not just with Rick Parfitt the rock star any more - I'm with Ricky, the man I love. And I'm thrilled to have him back."Revisit the September 2005 event list
The first of Quo's appearances on the UK's longest running and most popular soap opera, Coronation Street, were broadcast on September 23rd. The storyline involving Quo fan Les Battersby managed to include Francis, Rick and Matt in the famous Rovers Return pub in these two episodes - ending with both Rick and Francis punching Les! Further appearances are to follow including Quo playing at the wedding of characters Les and Cilla.Revisit the September 2005 event list
Quo played to about 2000 eager fans at St Leon-Rot on September 24th, some photos from the show are available here. The setlist was as follows, note the slightly changed version of the new medley in the encore!
Swedish radio station Sveriges Radio P4 played the complete Quo set (with the ability to listen live over the internet) from the Sweden Rock Festival which took place on June 10th 2005.Revisit the September 2005 event list
To complete their week of Quo-related articles and promotion, the UK Daily Mirror included free CDs with their weekend editions on the 24th and 25th of September. Each CD was entitled 'Status Quo and Friends' and featured four Quo hits recorded live at Liverpool Pops on July 23 along with a 5.48' album sampler for 'The Party Ain't Over Yet'. The live Quo tracks were "Rockin' All Over The World", "Whatever You want", "Break The Rules", "Roll Over Lay Down", "Down Down", "Caroline", "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" and "Rain". Each CD also featured several tracks from a variety of other artists.Revisit the September 2005 event list
The new album 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' was reviewed in the September edition of Mojo magazine. It received three stars (out of a possible five) and the review, penned by Paul Elliott, follows.
"Their 33rd album. Sounds not unlike the other 32.
Now in their fortieth year, and soon to guest star in Coronation Street - truly a meeting of two great British insitutions - Quo are aging rather better than expected. as the aptly naed Riffs tour of 2004 proved, they're still very much in tune with what made them great in the 70's, hence this, the second decent Status Quo album in three years.
Not everything works - even at their peak, Quo's albums were patchy- but Gotta Get Up and Go is a stinging boogie shuffle that wouldn't sound out of place on the classic Piledriver and Rick Parfitt's Familiar Blues has a melancholy feel evocative of his underrated hit single, Living on an Island."Revisit the September 2005 event list