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Parfitt misses first Quo gig since 1967

Guitarist Rick Parfitt is to miss his first Status Quo gig since joining the band in 1967 after being told to rest following surgery.

The 65-year-old musician (inset) had been due to return to the line-up tomorrow following an operation to correct a problem with his previous heart bypass.

But he has been told to continue with his recuperation, so a last-minute stand-in has been drafted in for a single show.

Freddie Edwards - son of bass player John 'Rhino' Edwards - will substitute for the concert in Nottinghamshire.

Parfitt fell ill during the band's European tour and was flown home from Croatia to be treated in London. He had a stent inserted after it was found that a graft from his 1997 quadruple heart bypass had become furred.

Parfitt said: "Obviously I'm really disappointed to be missing this show, but I'm pleased that Freddie will be able to step up and help the band out while I'm recuperating."

His fellow guitarist and long-time sidekick Francis Rossi said: "It will certainly be strange performing without Rick, but Freddie performed with me when I did my solo tour so I know that he's got what it takes."

Parfitt has weathered drink, drug and health problems over the years, but the band has never gone ahead with a show without him since his arrival in the line-up.

John Edwards said of his son's opportunity: "This is going to be an amazing experience for us - what a day for the family."