Rick Parfitt 1948-2016
By Andy Malt | Published on Thursday 5 January 2017
Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died on Christmas Eve, aged 68. He had been admitted to hospital in Marbella, Spain the previous day, after a pre-existing shoulder injury became infected.
Parfitt met Status Quo co-founder Francis Rossi while working at the Butlins holiday camp in Minehead in 1964. He joined Rossi’s existing band – which had performed under various names since 1962 – in 1967, shortly before they adopted the Quo moniker. They enjoyed some early success with their single ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’ the following year, but the psychedelic sound of their first two albums provided them with little other recognition.
Switching to a more straightforward rock sound for third album ‘Piledriver’, they hit upon a formula that led them to a career that would continue to the present day, making them one of Britain’s most successful bands, releasing 32 studio albums in total.
After a brief split in 1985, Rossi and Parfitt reformed the band with a new line-up, resulting in a lawsuit from bassist Alan Lancaster who attempted to block them from calling the band Status Quo. This resulted in an out of court settlement that left the co-frontmen in legal possession of the name.
The band remained commercially successful, both on record and as a live act, up to the present day, although last year they announced plans to only perform acoustic shows after one final electric tour. However, ahead of the last shows on that tour in October, Parfitt announced that he was leaving the group entirely. This followed the latest of a number of heart attacks in June, which had already caused him to bow out of the tour.
According to a joint statement from Parfitt’s family and Quo manager Simon Porter, the musician had been planning to launch a solo career and publish an autobiography in 2017.
Parfitt is survived by his wife Lyndsay, their twin children Tommy and Lily, and his two other children Rick Jr and Harry.