With a week to go in 2016, the Grim Reaper keeps on taking. We’ve just lost Rick Parfitt, a principle member of Status Quo (est. 1962), one of the most British of all UK bands and the seller of nearly 120 million albums. He died in Marbella, Spain, from a severe infection that set in after he took a fall that injured a shoulder.
Rick was a hard partier. At one point in the 70s, he was consumer £500 a week in vodka and another £1,000 week on cocaine. His first major health issue resulted in a quadruple heart bypass in 1997. He gave up pot, coke and (most) drinking and had settled into a life of semi-retirement while still playing the occasional Quo gig. But after another heart attack earlier this year, he was feeling on the poor side. That stopped any touring activity.
Today, though, he passed away. Quo’s manager issued this statement: “We are truly devastated to have to announce that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has passed away at lunchtime today.” (December 24)
Status Quo’s hits included “Pictures of Matchstick Men” in 1968 (covered in the 90s by Camper Van Beethoven), “Rockin’ All Over the World” (1977) and “In the Army Now” (1986).