Saturday, December 24, 2016

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt dead at 68

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died Saturday in a hospital in Spain at the age of 68.

The rock veteran passed away two days after being admitted to address complications from a shoulder injury he sustained in a fall.

“We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today,” said the Parfitt family and Status Quo manager Simon Porter in a joint statement. “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.”

The guitarist faced a number of health issues over the years, including a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, a throat cancer scare in 2005, and heart attacks in 2011, 2014 and one this past June that forced him to retire from the band.

Following their formation in London in 1962 as The Scorpions and, later, The Spectres and Traffic Jam, Parfitt joined the group in 1967 as they changed their name to Status Quo and released their debut album a year later, 1968’s “Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From the Status Quo.”

The project delivered the group’s only US Top 20 single, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”, while Status Quo found its biggest success in their native UK, where they delivered Top 10 hits into the 1990s and continued to chart as recently as 2014.

Parfitt was among the performers on the 1984 single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?", by the charity supergroup Band Aid, founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure; a year later, the pair organized the global Live Aid concert that saw Parfitt and Status Quo have the distinction of serving as the event’s opening band when they performed three songs at London's Wembley Stadium.