Monday 18 December 2017

Status Quo arrive in tour bus for Rick Parfitt's funeral

Status Quo band members, including Francis Rossi, centre, arrive at Rick Parfitt's funeral
Status Quo band members, including Francis Rossi, centre, arrive at Rick Parfitt's funeral
Status Quo band members arrive in their tour bus at Woking Crematorium for the funeral of Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt who died on Christmas Eve

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has been remembered at a funeral attended by his former band mates - who arrived at the crematorium in the group's double-decker tour bus.

Quo frontman Francis Rossi, Parfitt's musical partner for 50 years, led members of the group's line-up past and present as they joined family and friends at Woking Crematorium in Surrey to mourn "Mr rock and roll".

The veteran musician, who married three times, died aged 68 on Christmas Eve after suffering a severe infection while in a Spanish hospital, which he had visited due to complications with a shoulder injury.

All three of his partners were at the service, including third wife Lyndsay, who arrived with his coffin in a four-car procession with floral guitar wreaths, and others spelling the word "Dad".

The couple, who had twins Tommy and Lily in 2008, married in 2006. Parfitt was previously wed to Patty Beedon and Marietta Boeker.

Lyndsay left a white rose for her late husband among the floral tributes, with a note thanking him for their "wonderful" children.

She added: "I miss you and the world is an empty and sad place without you."

Lily and Tommy, who were not seen at the ceremony, also left messages.

Lily wrote: "Dadda, I'm missing you. Nothing will ever be the same," while Tommy added: "I see your bright star each night and when it disappears I say 'goodnight' invisible Dadda".

Parfitt carved out a rock'n'roll career spanning half a century as a singer, songwriter and guitarist for the British rock band alongside Rossi.

The frontman was joined on the band's tour bus by Andy Bown, John "Rhino" Edwards, Leon Cave and Parfitt's replacement as rhythm guitarist, Richie Malone.

Former band members also attended the service, including John Coghlan and Matt Letley, as well as Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley.

Paying tribute afterwards, Hadley said Parfitt was a "terrific fella".

He added: "I've known Rick since I was 20. He is one of the nicest guys.

"The thing is, with Rick he was such a nice guy, such a lovely man - and a funny guy too, very funny."

The band's publicist, Chris Hewlett, said it was a "moving service", adding Parfitt's eldest son, Rick Jr, who delivered the eulogy, "spoke very well".

Parfitt's death over Christmas followed years of concern about his health, which had seen him stricken by multiple heart attacks and a cancer scare.

Most recently, Parfitt had been forced to withdraw from his band's tour after he collapsed over the summer.

Also among the floral tributes were notes from television presenter Chris Tarrant and singer Paul Weller.

Tarrant wrote: "To Rick, one of the nicest men I ever knew. Rest in peace."

Queen's Roger Taylor and Brian May left a message saying: "Many wonderful and hilarious memories.

"Rest in peace old friend. We will miss you, Roger and Brian."

Another, written by Christa and Neil from United Talent Agency, heralded Parfitt as "Mr rock and roll".

The service opened to Frank Sinatra's My Way and included a reading of the last song ever written by Parfitt, which features the lyrics "I'm trying to fly, I think it's goodbye, and this is my over and out".

The funeral also included a reading of If by Rudyard Kipling and closed with Nat King Cole's Smile.

Press Association

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