Tributes paid to Status Quo’s ‘ultimate rocker’ Parfitt
“We all thought that Rick was invincible,” said Simon Porter, given his numerous recoveries from heart attacks and health scares.
Parfitt was taken into hospital in southern Spain on Thursday due to complications with a pre-existing shoulder injury. He died on Saturday.
In nearly five decades in the business, marked by hard rock, hard drugs, hard drinking and an unwavering style, Status Quo were synonymous with rock and roll.
Queen guitarist Brian May said Parfitt had “joyfully rocked our world”, and Live Aid co-organiser Midge Ure said he was a “lovely man”. The Who and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi sent their condolences.
Def Leppard said they “grew up on Status Quo” and had great respect for the band’s legacy.
Parfitt had been forced to withdraw from his band’s recent tour after he collapsed and briefly “died”. He had survived multiple heart attacks.
Porter said he had dinner with Parfitt in Malaga earlier this week, adding he was in “good spirits”.
“Rick had come to terms that he would be unable to tour with Quo again, but he continued to be very much part of the Quo machine and we discussed future plans for the band,” he said.
“We all thought that Rick was invincible, given his numerous and astounding recoveries from situations which would certainly have killed the average human being.
“Sadly, as we now know, his luck had run out and his line that ‘it will take more than death to kill me’ has taken a hollow ring.”
– Topping 2016 death bill –
Porter said his 30-year relationship with Parfitt had included “incredible highs, numerous laughs and some extremely dark periods.”
“Rick was the ultimate rocker and lived the dream, plus a whole lot more,” he said.
“In perhaps the worst ever year for showbiz deaths, it is perhaps fitting that he topped the list right at the end of the year. He would have liked that.”
David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frey and Greg Lake were among the other music stars to die in 2016.
With his flowing blond hair and denim outfits, belting out the riffs on a roadworn white Fender Telecaster guitar held at 45 degrees, Parfitt was an instantly-recognisable figure on stage.
The Quo are known for their three-chord hits such as their signature song “Rockin’ All Over the World”, a cover with which they opened the mammoth 1985 Live Aid concert in style.
Parfitt and frontman Francis Rossi were never afraid to poke fun at their reputation for sticking to the same formula.
One of Britain’s most successful bands of all time, Status Quo have sold more than 118 million records.
“Down Down” topped the UK singles charts in 1974, as did “Come On You Reds” in 1994, recorded with the Manchester United football squad.
Other big hits included their debut single “Pictures of Matchstick Men” (1968), “Caroline” (1973), “Whatever You Want” (1979), “The Wanderer” (1984) and “In The Army Now” (1986).
It is estimated that Status Quo have played more than 6,000 live shows to more than 25 million people.