The first show in a mini-tour of Spain saw Quo perform to an encouragable crowd in Madrid on September 4th. The usual Summer set was played and the audience lapped it up, so much so that Rhino grabbed the microphone at the end and shouted "outstanding"!Revisit the September 2009 event list
In sunny Barcelona, Quo performed to a fairly small but noisy crowd on September 6th. The Summer set was reeled out once more but with the surprise inclusion of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" after "Junior's Wailing".Revisit the September 2009 event list
On the island of Mallorca, Quo played in Palma on September 8th. Photos of the band in action can be found here.Revisit the September 2009 event list
Quo moved on to the island of Gibraltar to play a one-off gig, on their National Day of September 10th. Supported by well-received Natura, Quo played the usual Summer set to an appreciative, though quiet (according to Francis anyway!) audience.Revisit the September 2009 event list
In an article entitled "Music and madness: the rock 'n' roll circus", John Harris wrote about rock obsessives in the UK's Guardian newspaper on September 17th. Quo were mentioned a great deal and the Quo-related content is reproduced below.
Status Quo: an oral history. It's like Spinal Tap, only for real
Starring: Francis Rossi (vocals/guitar), Rick Parfitt (guitar/ vocals), Alan Lancaster (bass/vocals) and John Coghlan (drums)
First called the Spectres, the great British institution that is "the Quo" released their first single in 1967: a cod-psychedelic Top 10 hit titled Pictures Of Matchstick Men. By the end of 1969, however, things were on the move: blues-influenced boogie was the new thing, along with a reinvented image, as seen on the cover of the 1970 album Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon.
FR: When it came to doing the photo, we knew about it in advance. We drove, did a gig, didn't wash. Did the next night's gig, didn't wash or shave, and then drove to London overnight. It had to look like that. From then on, I'd always shave at night, so there'd be a bit of stubble the next morning. [Pause] Fucking hell – that's how designer stubble was invented.
The Castle, Tooting, 1970
RP: This was a heads' gig: trenchcoat, pint, album under your arm, sitting on the floor. It was the first time we'd played to an audience that was sitting down, and we were thinking, Blimey, this is weird. The stage was only three inches high, but I remember the audience being down there. You had to get down to the audience – so this is how the legs apart, head down thing happened. And they were all nodding their heads, so we thought, Do the same, copy the audience – you can't go wrong. We only looked up between numbers. And the Quo stance was born.
Bielefeld, West Germany, early 1970s
The town served as Status Quo's base during extensive European touring. There were rum goings-on...
FR: One of the guys we knew had a Cine 8 projector, with these [porn] films. Everyone would check into the Central Hotel in Bielefeld, get a towel, and come back to one of the rooms. The projector was set up so it'd go on to the net curtains – but it would also project across the street. We didn't know this. Everyone would be on the bed, having "a polish". You did everything in each other's company, so having a polish was nothing to worry about.
Francis Rossi's house, 1973
The group's run of peak-period hits began with Paper Plane in January 1973, followed later that year by an LP titled Hello!, which opened with Roll Over Lay Down, a song – as with 1974's Down Down – with domestic inspirations...
FR: I had problems with my wife. She'd sit up on my side of the bed, waiting for me to come in. I have to sleep on my side of the bed, so I'd try and move her over. So that was it: "Roll over lay down, let me get in". People still think it's about sex. The same with Down Down. It didn't mean going down. The idea of going down on someone in the 70s – no chance. People weren't hygienic in this country, let me tell you. You weren't going to go near that.
Various locations, 1980
Somewhat improbably, the group didn't discover cocaine until the end of the 1970s, when Parfitt and Rossi took, shall we say, a great deal.
RP: I'd be away from home for two or three days at a stretch, doing coke, sleeping in top hotels. I couldn't go out unless I had some with me. You start living life at that level, and anything below it is a grey, boring place to be. I suppose I was doing two or three grand a week on coke and booze. You turn into an animal – and the real drag about it is that you don't know it.
FR: I'd get up, have a toot, get in the shower. If I didn't have a toot till lunchtime, what a good lad I'd been. I was doing two-and-a-half, three grams a day, for 10 years. That's how I blew my nose out. When did that happen? I don't know. I just noticed there was a hole one day.
Live Aid, 1985
John Coghlan left in 1980. In 1984, Status Quo announced their retirement from touring, but were persuaded to open Live Aid, starting with Rockin' All Over The World.
JC: Live Aid was hard for me. Alan Lancaster said, "We should get John back for this." I'd gladly have done it. The original four should have been back together. But I thought, Oh fuck it – if they can't be bothered to phone me up, then bollocks.
FR: Live Aid was pretty grim. I thought we were crap.
A British airport, 2000
Rossi and Parfitt formed a new Status Quo without Lancaster (who now lives in Australia) in 1985. Coghlan has been known to occasionally sit in with a Quo tribute band called State of Quo. Meanwhile, the show goes on...
FR: I was arriving back from Amsterdam. The guy [at Customs] said, "Where've you been?" I said, "You know where I've been – it's on the luggage label, and that's why you've pulled me in." This carried on until I said, "Amsterdam". He said, "What did you go there for?" I said, "Well, not that it's your business, but to shag the wife, get away from the children, eat some fantastic food and smoke some dope." He said, "You admit it then." He looked up my arse and everything – "Can you lift your testicles up?" I was there for two or three hours. And at the end he said, "I'm a great fan of yours – I'm coming to see you in Brighton with the girls from Debenhams."Revisit the September 2009 event list
Rhino's band Woodedz with his sons, Freddie and Max Edwards played at London's legendary Half Moon in Putney on September 25th. Following the band's very well-received performance at Quo's Powderham Castle show in July, Carousel Vertigo provided support.
A large crowd saw Woodedz kick off with "Belavista Man" before belting out a rocking set including "Secretary", "Obstruction Day", "Bad News" and "Republican". Rhino called on the services of Alan Crook to help out with vocals on "Get Out Of Denver" before (Rhino's daughter) Mae took the stage with "Lucille" and Crooky finished off with vocals on "Paper Plane". It was a true family affair with Rhino's nephew, Billy, on drums and video producer John Keeling was also in the audience.Revisit the September 2009 event list
After a quick trip across the Channel, Woodedz played at the French Quo Party 2009 on Saturday September 26th at Billy-Montigny (Pas-De-Calais) France organized by the Association Quo France. They were supported by Pay*ola and Wild Boars and the event was attended by just over 200.