You Never Knew About Status Quo... | Status Quo
...and 17 things you never knew about the men who tie their instruments up in guitar leads.
• "We originally set out to be Peckham's answer to Kenny Ball or Acker Bilk," Alan Lancaster.
• Francis Dominic Michael Nicholas Rossi, born May 1949, preferred to be known as Mike in his early days, but was nicknamed Frame by the band because of his lanky posture. His first guitar was an acoustic for his seventh birthday and his grandfather was founder of London's Rossi ice cream empire.
• The First Official Engagement (as The Spectres) was the Samuel Jones Sports Club, Lordship Lane, Dulwich in 1962. A whip round got them four quid.
• Original drummer John Coghlan was still a member of Air Training Corps when he joined the Spectres after that gig.
• A Vox AC30 and Strat were the band's first buys, swiftly followed by another Vox and some mikes. Meanwhile, Francis' Dad was still driving them to gigs in his ice cream van.
• The band were gigging regularly while its members were at school. They got home at 4.00am, and were up for school three and a half hours later.
• Rick Parfitt had his first television appearance, on the Steve Race show 'Midwinter Music', singing the Cliff Richard hit "Travelling Light". He was 11. This perhaps tells us more about Cliff Richard than Rick Parfitt.
• Names: They secured their first contract with Pye in 1968 as The Spectres. In March 1967 they changed it to Traffic, moments before Stevie Winwood announced the formation of his band Traffic. They compromised with Traffic Jam, but Winwood still wasn't satisfied. By November they'd opted for Status Quo 'because the words seemed to be in the papers a lot'.
• Their first contract single was a version of "I (Who Have Nothing)", a hit for Shirley Bassey, but not them. Eighteen months later they broke with "Pictures Of Matchstick Men".
• Status Quo got their first roadie when they were on £19 a week. He was on £30, and as 'boss' he used to stop them one pound whenever they misbehaved.
• A typical 1972 gig at the Plymouth Guildhall worked out like this: hire of hall £56, advertising including 6000 handouts £28, hall staff £8, commission and advances £27, door receipts 376 at 60p making £225.60, nett profit £117.60.
• The accident Francis Rossi had been dreading for years finally happened in Germany in 1979. The front trio were 'heads down' playing "Don't Waste My Time" when Rick Parfitt brought his guitar headstock up smacking Rossi on the face and breaking his nose. He played on.
• By the end of 1981 Quo had collected more than 90 gold, silver and platinum discs representing sales of 4,200,000 singles and 2,800,000 albums.
• Drummer John Coghlan left in 1982 to be replaced by Pete Kircher, ex Original Mirrors drummer who the rest of the band had worked with in the studio.
• Parfitt, born October 1948, was once hospitalised by a mystery arthritis, and a tour had to be cancelled.
• Alan Lancaster is the youngest member of the band by a few months (born February 1979) and is nicknamed Nuff Nuff for reasons too convoluted for anyone to believe.
• They split up. Yeah. But who ever believed that.