Rick Parfitt

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Rick Parfitt
Background information
Birth name Richard John Parfitt
Born (1948-10-12) 12 October 1948 (age 66)
Woking, Surrey, England
Genres Hard rock, rock and roll, blues rock, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboard
Years active 1964–present
Associated acts Status Quo
Graham Bonnet
Rolf Harris
Website www.statusquo.co.uk
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster
Fender Esquire
Gibson SG Junior
Gibson Les Paul Junior

Richard John Parfitt, OBE (born 12 October 1948) is an English musician, best known for being a singer and rhythm guitarist in the English rock band Status Quo.


Born in Woking, Surrey, Parfitt attended Goldsworth School, Woking and first met band member Francis Rossi in 1965 in Butlin's Minehead whilst he was playing as Ricky Harrison in a musical trio called 'The Highlights'.[citation needed] Rossi was playing with the Spectres (forerunner of Status Quo) at the time and Parfitt was sufficiently impressed to approach him with a view to working together. Nothing came of the meeting until 1967 when Parfitt joined Rossi, Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan and Roy Lynes to form the first line-up of the band under the name "Status Quo".

Parfitt has been a continuous member of the group, and has penned some of their greatest hits, sometimes in collaboration with the group's keyboard player Andy Bown, among them "Whatever You Want", "Again and Again", and "Rain". He recorded a solo album in 1985, but it was never released. Among musicians on the record were bassist John Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich, formerly with the Climax Blues Band and Judie Tzuke. He has earned the nickname 'The WOMORR' (The Wild Old Man of Rock 'n' Roll). Parfitt is known for his trademark white Fender Telecaster – a 1965 model.

In 2006, Parfitt released his invention, the "guitar facelift"[1] which has the backing of guitar manufacturer Fender.

On 16 June 2007, the presenters of the British children's television show, Tiswas, reunited for a special one-off show. Parfitt performed with the rest of Status Quo on the show (all of whom were constantly plagued by the show's trademark practical jokes during their performance), and presenter Chris Tarrant alleged that during a broadcast of the show in the early 1980s, Parfitt was smoking cannabis on live children's television.

On 15 September 2007, Parfitt and Rossi appeared on Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, earning £50,000 for charity.

In December 2009, Parfitt teamed up with Rolf Harris for the single "Christmas in the Sun". This follows on from the 2008 Status Quo hit "It's Christmas Time", which Parfitt wrote with current songwriting partner Wayne Morris.[2]

Musical equipment[edit]

One of Parfitt's guitars is a white 1965 Fender Telecaster. In addition he also plays a Gibson SG Junior, a 1981 Zemaitis tuned to a B, a Schecter telecaster, a Fender Esquire, a custom made Fender Telecaster Thinline, a Gibson Melody Maker and a Chet Atkins acoustic guitar. For amplification, Parfitt uses Marshall JCM800 or JCM900 amplifiers with 4x12 cabinets combined with VOX AC30 amplifiers and a Roland GP8 signal processor.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Parfitt and Status Quo singer Francis Rossi in 2013.

Parfitt had a relationship with his childhood sweetheart Patty after meeting her in 1968. After the pair split up, Parfitt married Marietta Boeker, and they had a son, Richard; (born 1974) who also became a musician, and performs as Rick Parfitt Jnr.,[4] and a daughter, Heidi Marie Elizabeth Parfitt, who drowned in the family pool at the age of 2. Parfitt and Marietta divorced, and he married Patty – they had a son, Harry (born 1989). They also divorced, before Parfitt reunited with Patty in 2000. The couple lived in a £1 million mansion in Teddington, but after paying out more than £3 million in divorce settlements, Parfitt vowed in 2005 that he would never marry again. However, in August 2006, after meeting 46-year-old fitness instructor Lyndsay Whitburn, they married in a £40 ceremony in Gibraltar.[5][6] On 26 May 2008, Lyndsay gave birth to twins – a boy named Tommy Oswald Parfitt, and a girl named Lily Rose Parfitt.[7] The family live in Spain.

Parfitt was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours 2010 along with his bandmate Francis Rossi.[8][9]


Following a heart attack, Parfitt had a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, when he was told by doctors that he could die "at any time" unless he changed his lifestyle of drugs, smoking and heavy drinking. In December 2005 he underwent tests for suspected throat cancer, but just before Christmas that year, the tests found the growths to be benign.[10] He suffered a heart attack in December 2011 and underwent surgery on the following day.[11] On 1 August 2014, while on a European tour with Status Quo, Parfitt was hospitalised in Pula, Croatia, forcing the cancellation of six shows on the tour.[12] It was later revealed that Parfitt had suffered another heart attack, and had been fitted with a stent, but that he planned to be healthy in time for the Quo tour to resume in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire on 15 August.[13]

Parfitt later told the Daily Mail that he had stopped smoking and drinking for the first time in fifty years following the 2014 heart attack.[14]


  1. ^ "Guitar Facelift". Guitar Facelift. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Status Quo – "It's Christmas Time"". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Rick Parfitt". Statusquo.co.uk. 12 October 1948. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "The stress of my dad's divorce brought on my Crohn's disease, reveals RICK PARFITT JNR". Mail Online. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rick dumps love & weds mystery girl". The Sunday Mirror. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "Exclusive: Rick the Rat.. By the lover Quo star dumped". The Sunday Mirror. 10 September 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "Status Quo's Rick Parfitt and wife welcome twins Tommy and Lily". Celebrity Babies. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "Status Quo stars and Formula One champion honoured". BBC News. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282. p. 11. 31 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Rick Parfitt: I wept with fear when told I had cancer". Mail Online. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "In the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, Status Quo's Rick Parfitt says: 'Everybody was at it on Top of the Pops'". Telegraph.co.uk. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Status Quo cancel concerts because of Rick Parfitt illness". BBC News. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Status Quo's Rick Parfitt to be back rocking on stage TWO WEEKS after heart surgery". Mirror. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Rick Parfitt gives up alcohol after heart scare". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 

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