STATUS QUO's FRANCIS ROSSI Talks Life After RICK PARFITT - "We All Had To Pull Together"
November 29, 2017, a year ago
With the retirement and then death of his partner in crime, Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi decided to keep Status Quo on the road. Their UK acoustic tour now converted into fully plugged in and electric shows is now underway. Metal Express Radio correspondent Mick Burgess caught up with Rossi to talk about life after Rick Parfitt, next year`s 50th anniversary celebrations, playing with an orchestra and finally playing with the Frantic Four after over 30 years apart. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
Q: It`s hard to come back after a key member of a band passes away. How did you cope initially with the loss of Rick Parfitt?
Rossi: "It was hard. Rick had retired earlier before he passed away so we already knew what it would be like without him there but it was a big shock when he died but we decided to carry on. It`s that British thing with backs against the wall. We had to give it a go. We all had to pull together knowing Rick wasn`t there."
Q: Did it feel strange not to have Rick alongside you for those first few shows without him?
Rossi: "Initially we had Freddie, who is Rhino`s son, playing with us when Rick was ill. Rick then retired when doctor`s said he couldn’t continue and that`s when we got Richie in. I might have been a little off with Richie at first. We said to him that it would be no use trying to do Rick as that just wouldn`t work. He took that on the chin and he developed into something really special but initially it must have been tricky for him and was tricky for us. Rick actually phone Richie and told him to go for it which was fine by me. We could have got a known name in but that would’ve carried baggage. I think we`ve done well getting Richie in and he`s doing a great job. There`s an incredible vibe in the band right now."
Read the complete interview here.
Status Quo have announced that the band are to radically cut back on their touring activities and will only perform a series of summer shows and festivals during 2018. For the first time in around thirty years there will be no traditional Quo winter tour of Europe or Christmas shows in the UK.
As a result, the show already announced for November 3rd, 2018 at the massive Hallenstadion in Zürich has been rescheduled for October 6th, 2018 and will be the final Quo gig of the year. All tickets for the original date will be valid for the new date and ticket holders do not need to take any further action.
Thus, the forthcoming Australian tour and the Plugged In: Live And Rockin’! UK Tour will be the only opportunity for fans to see the band in smaller and more intimate venues for at least two years. Additionally, as a tribute to the late Rick Parfitt, the Quo setlist at these dates will now include two of his best-loved classics, “Don’t Drive My Car” and “Little Lady”.
Comments Francis Rossi, “This year has been one of change and reassessment following the sad death of Rick Parfitt. Although Rick had already retired from touring for six months before he died, it was still a major shock and my immediate reaction was to honour existing contracts and then knock it on the head.
However, since then I have become increasingly confused as I realized just how much I was enjoying touring with two vibrant young guys in the band in guitarist Richie Mallone and drummer Leon Cave.
They have given us old guys a good kick up the backside and whilst it could never be the same as with Rick in the band, it is different now but in an exciting and vibrant way that I can’t fully explain. The 2017 gigs have been absolutely incredible and spirits are high, but we do now need some thinking time to consider all of the options now on offer for 2019, which could well include the recording a new full on Quo rock album!
We would love as many fans as possible to come and really help us make some noise on this year’s dates as we definitely won’t be touring in 2018. This is a massive change for us, and I know that the Quo tour has become a traditional part of the festive season for many fans”.
Status Quo have performed well over 6000 live shows in the career, travelled millions of miles, entertained tens of millions of fans and spent nearly a quarter of a century on the road and away from home. It’s time to take stock. The Winter Tour of 2017 is not a farewell but it will be the last time to see this legendary act touring the UK in their traditional manner for the immediate future.