Rick Parfitt

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Rick Parfitt
Performing with Status Quo in Örebro, Sweden on 18 July 2007
Background information
Birth name Richard John Parfitt
Born (1948-10-12) 12 October 1948 (age 67)
Woking, Surrey, England
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboard
Years active 1964–present
Associated acts Status Quo, Band Aid, 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 rock band Status Quo.

Early life[edit]

Parfitt was born in Woking, Surrey on 12 October 1948. His father was an insurance salesman "who was a drinker and a gambler"[1] and his mother worked in cake shops. He has described his upbringing as "wonderful", and has described his childhood self as a "typical naughty boy". Parfitt first learned to play the guitar at the age of 11.[1]


Early career[edit]

While playing guitar and singing in "The Feathers" pub on Goodge Street in London, Parfitt's father was approached by an agent from Sunshine Holiday Camp on Hayling Island, who gave Parfitt a performing job. At Sunshine, Parfitt joined Jean and Gloria Harrison - performing at the time as the double act "The Harrison Twins" - to form a cabaret trio called "The Highlights". Following the season, the Harrison Twins' manager Joe Cohen, one of the Keystone Cops, arranged for The Highlights to perform at Butlins in Minehead. It was at Butlins that Parfitt met future Status Quo partner Francis Rossi, who was playing with Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan in a band called "The Spectres" (soon to be renamed "Traffic Jam") - a forerunner to "Quo". After becoming friends with the band, their manager Pat Barlow invited Parfitt to join the group as they needed another singer.[2][3][4][5]

Status Quo[edit]

Main article: Status Quo (band)

In 1967, Traffic Jam changed their name to "The Status Quo" (they'd eventually drop the definite article), beginning Parfitt's almost 50-year career in the band. Early successes came with the Rossi-penned hit "Pictures of Matchstick Men", as well as the hit 1972 album Piledriver, which would elevate the band to fame. Along with Rossi, Parfitt is the only remaining original member of the group, having remained in the band for its entire duration. He 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". Quo were highly successful in Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand throughout the 80s and 90, and were the opening act for 1985's Live Aid, and they continue to be successful in the present day. To date, Quo have sold over 128 million albums worldwide. In 2013 and 14, Parfitt and Rossi reunited temporarily with original Quo bandmates Lancaster and Coghlan for a series of reunion concerts on what would be called the "Frantic Four" tour.[5][2][3][4]

Other projects[edit]

In 1984, the year before Quo would open Live Aid, Parfitt and Rossi appeared on the Band Aid charity single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Parfitt 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.[citation needed]

In 2006, Parfitt released his invention, the "guitar facelift"[6] which has the backing of guitar manufacturer Fender.

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.[7]

In April 2015, Parfitt along with his wife Lyndsay and Julian Hall set up "Status Homes" a real estate company based in Marbella.

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.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Parfitt and Status Quo singer Francis Rossi in 2013.

Parfitt was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours 2010 along with his bandmate Francis Rossi.[9][10]


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.[citation needed] 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]


  1. ^ a b McGrath, Nick. "Rick Parfitt: My family values". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Young, Bob (2000). Status Quo: Just Doin' It! (1st ed.). London: Cassell Illustrated. p. 27. ISBN 1-84403-562-X. 
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 417. ISBN 0-85112-072-5. 
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 927–929. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  5. ^ a b Parker, Alan (2012). "Hello Quo". BBC.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hello_Quo" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ "Guitar Facelift". Guitar Facelift. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Status Quo – "It's Christmas Time"". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Rick Parfitt". Statusquo.co.uk. 12 October 1948. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Status Quo stars and Formula One champion honoured". BBC News. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282. p. 11. 31 December 2009.
  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. 

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