Passings: Rick Parfitt of Status Quo (1948 - 2016)

Rick Parfitt (right) &
Francis Rossi
by VVN Music

The music world woke up on Christmas Eve 2016 to the news that Rick Parfitt, longtime vocalist and guitarist for Status Quo, had died at the age of 68.

Rick' family and Status Quo manager Simon Porter made the announcement:

We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today.

He died in hospital in Marbella, Spain as a result of a severe infection, having been admitted to hospital on Thursday evening following complications to a shoulder injury incurred by a previous fall.

This tragic news comes at a time when Rick was hugely looking forward to launching a solo career with an album and autobiography planned for 2017 following his departure from Status Quo’s touring activities on medical advice.

He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, fellow band members, management, crew and his dedicated legion of fans from throughout the world, gained through 50 years of monumental success with Status Quo.

Rick is survived by his wife Lyndsay, their twins Tommy and Lily and Rick’s adult children Rick Jnr and Harry.

No further comment will be made at this time and Rick's family, and the band, ask for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time.

Parfitt was born in Woking, Surrey and began playing guitar at the age of 11. After playing in a few local pubs, Rick was offered a job performing at the Sunshine Holiday Camp where he played in a trio called The Highlights.

While performing with the group in 1965, Rick met Francis Rossi of the band The Spectres and, in 1967, was asked to join the band. Now using the name Status Quo, they recorded Pictures of Matchstick Men prior to Parfitt joining to group. It went on to become their first big hit in the U.K. and their only song to make the top forty in the U.S.

Status Quo had one more hit in Britain, Ice Melts in the Sun (1968 / #8 U.K.) before hitting a dry spell that would not be broken until their big breakthrough album, Piledriver, in 1972. Hitting number 5, it would be the first of thirteen straight top ten albums through 1986. Their singles also regularly charted high in the U.K., totaling 23 top tens including the number ones Down Down (1974) and Come On You Reds (1994).

Between 1972 and this year, Status Quo released 28 studio albums with only two not making the British top 40. Their last four albums, Quid Pro Quo (2011), Bula Quo! (2013), Aquostic: Stripped Bare (2014) and Aquostic II (2016) all made the top ten, proving that Quo's popularity still endured.

In 2010, Rossi and Parfitt were awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empires) by Queen Elizabeth; however, Rick soon began to have severed health problems. He had already had a heart attack in 1997 and a throat cancer scare in 2005. He suffered additional heart attacks in 2011, 2014 and earlier this year and, this last September, announced his retirement from touring.

Parfitt is survived by his wife, Lyndsey, and four children.

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