The end of an era for music fans as Status Quo legend Rick Parfitt passes away

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By Benjamin Francis Cassidy

People often use the term ‘legend’ without any real thought as to whether the person they are claiming to be a legend really is one. However, Rick Parfitt, one of British music’s biggest names who sadly passed away this month, really does fit the claim. Parfitt played with Status Quo for over 50 years and was as loved by his peers as much as he was by the hordes of adoring fans, providing them with his own brand of good old fashioned rock n roll.

The unique thing about going to see ‘The Quo’, was the age range that you would see at a concert. There were those who had just taken their first steps, those who weren’t far away from taking their last, and pretty much every age range in between. The common denominator was a love for simple music and driving guitar riffs that provided the boogie material. Sometimes branded a ‘Three Chord Wonder Band’ by so-called ‘serious music’ fans, the Quo still sold countless singles, comprising a huge back catalogue of music.

It doesn’t seem natural to talk of Parfitt outside of Status Quo, the band’s most famous performance being opening Live Aid to ‘Rocking All Over the World’. In later years, however, Parfitt suffered massive health complications, undergoing a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, which perhaps served to show his determination to survive. He was a typical example of a British Rock Star, who seem to have a penchant to survive, despite the effects of years of substance abuse finally catching up with them. Parfitt certainly never let this show in his stage performances, displaying energy that a man half his age would easily have been proud of. Sadly, the energy eventually ran out, and Parfitt passed away following being admitted to hospital for a shoulder related injury, which resulted in him contracting a serious infection.

One thing is certain: Rick Parfitt leaves behind a legacy, a collection of songs that he either wrote, or made famous playing on, that are from a time in music that championed bands with determination. It seems impossible to imagine a band like Status Quo, clad in clothing that might be ridiculed, ever gaining a loyal following. More so than ever, modern bands seem to have rules that must be obeyed, to fit in with an image that is marketable. Parfitt and Quo, however, refused to adhere to stylistic scrutiny, choosing to let the music do the talking, and only having one outfit – the trusty double denim that only true kings of cool could ever pull off.

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Benjamin Francis Cassidy

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