Monday 26 August 2019

Status Quo's manager pays tribute to 'ultimate rocker' Rick Parfitt

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died aged 68 after a rock'n'roll career that spanned half a century
Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has died aged 68 after a rock'n'roll career that spanned half a century

Status Quo's manager has paid tribute to "ultimate rocker" Rick Parfitt, following the guitarist's death aged 68.

The veteran musician suffered from a severe infection while in a Spanish hospital, which he had visited due to complications with a pre-existing shoulder injury, his manager said.

His death at lunchtime on Saturday followed years of concern about his ill health, which had seen him stricken by multiple heart attacks and a cancer scare.

Simon Porter said he had dinner with Parfitt in Malaga earlier this week, adding he was in "good spirits".

Most recently, the musician had been forced to withdraw from his band's tour after he collapsed and briefly "died" over the summer.

In a statement on the band's Facebook page, Porter thanked fans and friends for their messages and said his 30-year friendship with the musician had been an "absolute rollercoaster".

"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.

"More importantly, however, Rick was ecstatic and excited with the news and contracts that I was able to give him for his autobiography, a solo album and a UK 'evening with' tour, all scheduled to take place in May of next year.

"Sadly and less than three days later, all of our exciting plans have now gone bust in an instant."

He added: "I really think that we all thought that Rick was invincible, given his numerous and astounding recoveries from situations which would certainly have killed the average human being.

"Indeed, early this morning when I initially heard the news that he had taken a serious turn, my mind instantly thought that he would come around by Boxing Day.

"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. Quo fans should know and take comfort in the fact that his passing has, ironically, come at a time when Rick was in a happier place career wise than he had been for a long, long, time."

Porter said his 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. 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."

On Saturday his family said they were "devastated" to announce the rock star had died.

His son Rick Jr - one of four children the guitarist leaves behind - posted a tribute online.

He wrote: "I cannot describe the sadness I feel right now. To many he was a rockstar, to me he was simply 'Dad', and I loved him hugely. RIP Pappa Parf."

From 1967 onwards, Parfitt helped steer Status Quo into a role as one of the British rock scene's staple acts.

Hits such as Rockin' All Over The World became immortalised when they opened the historic Live Aid concert in 1985 - a performance broadcast globally.

In 2015, the band eventually passed a milestone enjoyed by only a handful of musicians, spending a total of 500 weeks in the UK album charts.

But despite international success, the Surrey-born musician's various vices caught up with him in 1997 when he had a quadruple bypass.

Despite doctors warning him he was on the verge of killing himself, he vowed not to become a "born-again Christian" and still enjoyed the "odd pint".

Following the announcement of his death, Status Quo's official website updated to show a full-screen picture of the rocker on stage with his guitar.

Parfitt becomes the latest in a long list of celebrated musicians to have died this year, including David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen.

PA Media

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