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Last Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005, 16:44 GMT
The enduring appeal of Status Quo
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt
Parfitt (left) and Rossi (right) first met in 1965
Status Quo have cancelled tour dates after guitarist Rick Parfitt was hit by a health scare. The masters of the 12-bar boogie are no strangers to the troubled world of rock stardom.

The band have fallen victim to musical snobbery, health problems and internal unrest. But Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi have enjoyed huge commercial success over the decades, and their popularity endures.

Parfitt, now 57, first met fellow frontman Francis Rossi at a holiday camp in 1965.

Guitarist and singer Rossi, now 56, had been a co-founder of south London-based beat band The Spectres in 1962, together with bassist Alan Lancaster.

They were later joined by organist Roy Lynes and drummer John Coghlan, but the quartet struggled to achieve success.

Parfitt joined in 1967 and the band became Status Quo.

Psychedelic debut

Psychedelic debut hit Pictures Of Matchstick Men was a hit in both the UK and US.

Despite their early success, changing fashions meant the 1970s did not look promising. But the release of their album Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon did hint at their direction towards a simpler, "boogie" style of music.

The frilly shirts and frock coats were ditched in favour of the denim and long hair that would endure throughout their career.

Status Quo on TOTP in 1982
Status Quo have regularly appeared on Top of the Pops

The decade would go on to provide them with hits such as Paper Plane, Caroline, Down Down, and their famous cover of John Fogerty's Rockin' All Over the World, but see the depature of Lynes.

The 1980s also brought more disquiet amongst the original line-up.

Coghlan left in 1982, to be replaced by Pete Kircher, while tensions between Lancaster and Rossi and Parfitt were growing.

Court cases

In 1985, Status Quo were on top of the world when they opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, but it would prove to be Lancaster's last outing with the band.

He tried to take out a High Court injunction to prevent Status Quo performing without him. But Rossi and Parfitt secured the rights to the name and re-formed the band with a new line-up.

They were joined by John "Rhino" Edwards on bass, Jeff Rich on drums, and keyboardist Andy Bown.

Their 1980s hits included In The Army Now and Burning Bridges, and in 1988 the band re-recorded Rockin' All Over The World as Running All Over The World to promote Bob Geldof's Race Against Time charity run.

Status Quo sprinted into the 1990s on a high by entering the Guinness Book Of Records after completing four charity concerts in four UK cities in the space of 12 hours in October 1991.

But they found a younger music establishment less open to their sound. In 1995 Rossi and Parfitt took the BBC to court after Radio 1 declined to playlist them. Despite the lack of airplay, Fun, Fun, Fun still managed to reach number five.

Drink and drugs

Status Quo's Rick Parfitt
Rick Parfitt has been hit by health problems in recent years

Health problems hit in 1997 when Parfitt's old lifestyle of drink and drugs began to take its toll and he underwent a quadruple heart bypass after doctors warned he could die at any time.

But he went on to make a full recovery, admitting he was still fond of the "odd pint".

In 2001 the band - which now featured drummer Matthew Letley - cancelled thee concerts after Parfitt was diagnosed with repetitive strain injury (RSI) and could not play the guitar.

Earlier this year, the band found themselves snubbed again, by organisers of the Live 8 concert. Rossi said they were "desperate" to join the Hyde Park concert, but despite opening its Live Aid predecessor, they were kept off the bill.

But Parfitt and Rossi put the setback behind them, making a cameo appearance in Coronation Street and releasing their 33rd album, The Party Ain't Over Yet - 40 Years of Status Quo.

It was issued to tie in with the tour which has just been cancelled in light of Parfitt's health worries.

Status Quo remain defiantly unfashionable, but they still have legions of supporters around the world. They, like many in the music business, will be hoping Parfitt and Rossi can bounce back once again.



SEE ALSO
Throat surgery for Quo's Parfitt
09 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Status Quo hold UK singles record
19 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Status Quo join Coronation Street
02 Aug 05 |  Entertainment

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