Status Quo, also known as The Quo and simply Quo; are one of the original boogie rock bands still performing today.
Formed in 1967 by school friends Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster, with the initial name of The Spectres, the band line-up settled down and eventually became known as Status Quo. For a brief time the band also became known as Traffic while they experimented with psychedelia.
The current line-up is Francis Rossi (lead singer and guitarist), Rick Parfitt (singer and rhythm guitarist), Andy Bown (keyboard and bass guitar), John "Rhino" Edwards (bass guitar) and Matt Letley (drummer). Throughout their illustrious career, the band line-up has changed several times.
Throughout the 1970s while Status Quo were trying to establish themselves with their ever changing line-up, they employed outside producers to help them to come up some of their most popular singles including "Rockin' All Over the World" (1977) and "Whatever You Want" (1979). By the late ‘70s, the band was touring relentlessly and built up a loyal fan-base.
In the early 1980s Status Quo had become big enough to fill the Milton Keynes Bowel in 1984 and performed at the massive benefit concert, Live Aid in 1985. Founding member Alan Lancaster left the band in 1987 because of artistic differences and after a lengthy legal battle ensued, an out-of-court settlement was reached and Status Quo continued to release the album In the Army Now (1986).
Status Quo continued to connect with a growing audience and performed at the concert Queen's Live at Wembley '86 and the band went on to support rock legends Queen at Knebworth in Hertfordshire and many other European shows which reflected their popularity at the peak of their career.
Throughout the 1990s, Status Quo’s relationship with the public began to fade and sales fell, however; the band still performed across the UK and played at the Christmas Blackpool Illuminations lights switch on to a packed crowd of 25,000.
In 1997 Rick Parfitt underwent extensive surgery but went on to recover. Status Quo toured Australia and brought out a ‘greatest hits’ album, Whatever You Want – The Very Best of Status Quo' which achieved silver sales and enabled the band to tour all over Europe in 1999.
Status Quo remained in the public eye throughout the 2000s and turned to cameo acting and recording more music. The band had a number of tour dates booked in the UK but unfortunately Rick Parfitt became ill again and all dates were cancelled with the exception of the NEC Birmingham show, which became Status Quo’s 40th show at the venue.
All eyes were on the band as they performed at the Concert for Diana that took place at Wembley Stadium and this reignited interest in the band which led to a collaboration with German dance makers Scooter on a re-work of Status Quo’s Whatever You Want" entitled "Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want)" and onto a further show at Glastonbury in 2009.
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt both received an OBE in the New Year Honours 2010 for their services to music.
Status Quo continued to tour the UK and embarked on their first ever QuoFestive tour in December 2011 which saw the band tour with Roy Wood and Kim Wilde and the band performed at the O2 Arena, London.
Moving on from their hugely successful arena tour at the end of 2011, Status Quo headed off to the exotic Fuji, to record their debut film-documentary ‘Hello Que’. The film was received well by Status Quo fans which included revelations from Rick Parfitt on why the band had split up, and the highs and lows along the way.
Ex-drummer John Coghlan described some of the band’s best moments in the docu-film: “Playing at the Albert Hall, Wembley stadium and a football stadium with Elton John…… and the Glasgow Apollo…” while frontman Francis Rossi discussed the dynamics of the band getting back together later on “…like putting on an old pair of shoes or gloves….I was amazed they still fitted – I thought it was going to be a lot rustier than it was. It was quite fun.”
Status Quo had their status elevated further, when the band produced the single “The Winner” which was used in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and also gained publicity from signing a big TV deal with an Australian supermarket to record a version of “Down Down” which tied in with a big Christmas themed performance of “It’s Christmas Time.”
The band went from strength to strength and a second QueFestive tour was repeated, this time with support from Bonnie Tyler and Eddie and the Hot Rods. After the tour, drummer Matt Letley announced his shock departure from the band, although returned in February 2013 for the Status Quo Australia tour.