Status Quo

ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo FROM New Musical Express, March 20, 1976

The reviewer of this album complained that Quo didn`t re-think their formula. If he had only known how much more of the boogie-rock formula they would follow in the coming years, and with great success, I guess he would have been shocked!

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S. Quo maintain the status q.

By Tony Stewart

STATUS QUO: Blue For You (Vertigo)

At this stage in their career, Status Quo should have recorded a live album.
Instead, they`ve returned to the studio environment to make “Blue For You”, which undoubtedly falls into place as a continuation of the formula they initiated five albums ago with “Dog Of Two Heads”.
Of course, the band`s argument will be Why change direction when the sales of the last album were phenomenal? And why tamper with a well-drilled approach when the concert halls are packed fit to bust?
Not for the reviewer`s benefit, certainly. And apparently not for their own, because they seem quite content to tread a well-worn path, which is at the moment as safe as the proverbial houses.
But how long could Duane Eddy have continued playing “Shazam” or the Kinks “You Really Got Me”? Eventually, the formula becomes too predictable, musicians` aspirations too great to be confined within such strict limitations, and punters and players alike get so brassed off that the bubble bursts.
Now, if Quo had given the studio a miss this time around and put out a live album which is a genuine representation of their act rather than a mere extension as their studio sets invariably are, it would have allowed them the time to assess the real structural strength of their formula.

This may relieve the pressure and offer them the opportunity to work on the concept, and perhaps carry out a few crucial modifications. Or can they really continue until pigs learn to fly?
If this album is any guide, then apparently not. Only one out of the four tracks on side two seems to have any impact, and that (“Mystery Song”) is, ironically enough, a digression towards a lighter approach with considerably more care taken over the arrangement.
But when a band reaches their sixth album, you really expect something more substantial than lyrics like, “Sitting in a cornfield / Looking at a cob / Thinking of a long line / Waiting for a job”.
Quo, though, can still pack excitement into the grooves, as the first side illustrates. Of course it`s down to personal choice whether or not you dig it, but the constant boogie rhythm of Rick Parfitt`s guitar, with Mike Rossi adding the limited lead lines, and Alan Lancaster on bass and drummer John Coughlan hammering out the tempo still sounds remarkably fresh; and surprisingly so, considering that they`ve used this technique on practically every track they`ve recorded during the `70`s.
The only evident change between this set and any one of their previous five is a change in lyrics and melody lines, and a poppy top which harks back to their “Dustpipe” days with cuts like “Ring Of A Change”.
Really, if you consider “Blue For You” as a separate entity then its quality is dubious. It does, however, prove they can spint out the secret of their success onto yet another set.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Laura Nyro, The Eagles, King Crimson, Phil Spector, Dick Morrisey and Terry Smith, Zal Cleminson, The Who/Steve Gibbons Band, Bobby Womack, The Tubes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 20, 1975

Since the last time I was active on this blog, Mr. Rick Parfitt of Status Quo unfortunately died. He was a well-loved character among rock fans in general. He was also a very important part of a band who are one of the most successful rock bands in history. Because of Status Quo`s image as down-to-earth rock`n`rollers in denim, it is easy to forget that these guys created something that few others have managed in both record-sales and popularity. They kept their music “simple” throughout it all, but if it was so simple; why isn`t everyone doing it?
Rick Parfitt – we salute you! Enjoy the read.

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Quo maintain foolish image in foreign parts

`Cheapo lighters` tribute as french toilet roll brigade laud artistic triumph

By Julie Webb

“We have to be careful,” says Francis Rossi, “not to learn anything clever like or people might think we`re intelligent and that would ruin the image.”
Coming from a member of Status Quo, that`s a perceptive remark.
Actually, right now it would appear that Quo are going through an identity crisis, because backstage Alan Lancaster is doing Freddie Mercury impersonations singing Mama, just killed a man.
However, seeing as this is Alan Lancaster, by the time he gets to the “Scaramouche” bit he`s singing “Caramoo”. Mercury would not have been amused.
He wouldn`t have appreciated the references to a “hose pipe” either – but then thick witticisms are part of Quo`s charm.

The place is Paris. The venue – the Palaise De Sport. Bigger than the better-known Olympia it`s a strange/looking, tatty venue – a cross between Manchester Bell Vue and London`s Roundhouse. It holds over 5,000 people and already it`s packed with les French.
Now in England you can pick out a Quo freak a mile away. Jeans, long hair combed over face, loose neck (from too much nodding), loo roll in one hand, beer bottle in other. In France it`s slightly different. They don`t look as messy for a start – the jeans are well pressed.
In one hand there`s a pack of Gaulouise, in other a chuck-away cheapo lighter. And judging from the smell there`s a clove of garlic slung in the back pocket.
Quo are huge in France. No hype – they`ve just got a gold elpee there and only four other `foreign` bands have achieved that.
The big white chief from Phonogram, who is based in Amsterdam, has flown in especially to see them. “Yes” he confirms heavily. “They are a big band in Europe”. But not, however, one understands, as big as another of his “products” – the heavyweight, Demis Roussos. Win some, lose some.

Richard Parfitt is looking like thunder, and not in the mood for conversation.
“My gear`s buggered,” he elucidates. “It`s buzzing, but we`ve sent out for new speakers.”
… which it appears have not yet arrived.
He`s beginning to twitch.
“Nervous, course I am. Specially when the gear`s not right. Still it gives us adrenalin and adrenalin makes it sharp so it might be good after all.”
Lancaster, fresh from “Caramoo,” grabs my notebook and writes in block capitals, “We are very rusty.” Later, further inspired, he adds “We have been working solidly for ages and ages, writing, recording and bricklaying so we haven`t done any live gigs so excuse us if we`re not very together tonight.”
The `recording` part of that statement is the nearly completed new Quo album, tentatively titled “The Tuppenny Halfpenny Dance Band”.
Parfitt: “We just went in the studios and did it. No interruptions, nothing. Went in and rehearsed and recorded. We had 15 or 16 songs ready and got it down to nine numbers…”
He tails off, thinking the subject of the album is finished.
No, Richard. That`s not enough. Tell me more.
“Well, it`s black, plastic, round…”
I give up.
“There`s more variation, there are some nicer slower things, some of which we`re even contemplating doing on stage…”

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Manager Colin Johnson profers beer to the assembled company in an effort to maintain an air of normality while Coghlan (John the drummer) wanders aimlessly around the dressing room.
It doesn`t bode too well for the gig.
Still the audience are making enough noise. Support band Nutz aren`t exactly ripping the stadium apart but someone out there likes them.
A quarter of a hour later we`re reminded that it`s Quo they`ve come to see. A chant which at first sounds like “Sieg Heil” turns out to be “Sta-tus” and the band (disgruntled, unprepared nervous and whatever) run out on stage.
And it`s at this point that it comes home to you why Quo are the big draw they are. Okay, so the sound wasn`t wonderful but the band are incredibly good at hiding their true feelings.
Parfitt seems like he hasn`t a worry in the world. Lancaster looks far from rusty as he booms the words of “Junior`s Wailing”. Rossi is his usual cheeky self (but refrains from calling the audience Frogs). And Coghlan hardly seems to notice when half his drum kit disintegrates.
The important factor is that they`re on stage and there are 5,000 odd kids waiting for a show. So they give them what they want.

Predictably the numbers that go down best are “Roll Over Lay Down” (that`s Quo`s version of a love song incorporating those magic seductive words `Roll over lay down and let me in`) plus “Roadhouse Blues”.
In between each number the Frenchies hold Gaulouses packets aloft and with the other hand light their cheapo lighters (so much more effective in the dark than match sticks). They also stamped their feet and made appreciative French noises.
By the encore (“Caroline” and “Bye Bye Johnnie”) equipment hassles are a thing of the past. The audience have been carried by the band`s sheer energy, and the band have been swept by the crowd`s enthusiasm.

It would have been imprudent to have checked the hall for damage afterwards but obviously it wasn`t extensive since the promoter was smiling.
Mr. Big from Phonogram, along with numerous hangers-on, waited patiently for a good ten minutes outside the dressing room door for a post gig chat.
Parfitt appeared…and disappeared back to hotel for bath. Coghlan socialised; Lancaster and Rossi retired to a nearby room to work out some of the songs from the album.
So why not socialise?
Rossi: “Like I said, we`ve got to be careful not to learn anything from other people otherwise we might get intelligent.”
Quo know their onions. I look forward to New Year`s Eve when they bill top at Olympia.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bob Harris, Steeleye Span, Roogalator, Santana, Stephen Stills, 10 cc, Jean-Luc Ponty, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo from New Musical Express, June 7, 1975

Another day, another article. This one with that likeable chap from Status Quo, Mr. Rick Parfitt. Hope you all like it and have a small rest from christmas preparations and work while reading it. Until next time….!

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How Woking`s Cliff Richard and the ice-cream man`s son and all their mates met up and made good

…Being an appraisal of the works of STATUS QUO, essentially a product of our time and their environment, who in defence of critical opinion have been rockin` the underprivileged teenage wasteland for 13 long years. TONY STEWART confronts the faded denim phenomenon in its lair.

This is the story of how a bunch of kids made the Big Time…how they avoided the almost inevitable nine-to-five factory routine by dragging themselves out of the South London streets on a three-chord shooting brake.
It begins back in `62 when Francis Rossi, the son of an ice-cream man (could he be anything else with that surname?), and a factory worker`s lad called Alan Lancaster started a nice little pop group together.
Then along came John Coughlan, and sometime later – when they played a gig at a Butlin`s Holiday Camp – they bumped into Rick Parfitt, described at the time as Woking`s own Cliff Richard because he`d sung “Travelling Light” on the television.
Parfitt always wanted to be famous.
“From the word go,” he says, “when I was playing guitar, looking at myself in the mirror and trying to imitate Cliff Richard, I wanted to be a pop singer. You don`t think about what heights you want to go to. Well, I didn`t. But I would have liked to have been a pop singer, like Cliff.
“That was my ambition and it`s brought me to where I am now.”

He also fancied himself as a guitarist.
“There was nothing else to do but be in a band,” he explains, although football was nearly the thing to do at school. Lots of people wanted to be footballers then. But you`ve got to do what you`re best at really.
“I got my school colours for football,” he boasts. “But I suppose even then I was playing guitar better than I could kick a ball.”
Anyway from such modest beginnings emerged one of the 60s great pop singles bands, with hits like “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”, “Ice In The Sun” and “Down The Dustpipe”. But pop fame was balanced precariously on their shoulders, and quite suddenly it fell away.
So, they went back to the drawing board, and the grisly club circuit, to emerge several years later as one of the 70s` great rock bands.
Now, with four major selling albums to their credit they celebrate their 13th anniversary with their 13th British tour and the release, last May 13, of course, of a 13 minute long EP. Besides acknowledging that they`re not superstitious, what more can you say?
Happy birthday Status Quo, I suppose.

Ten minutes into the interview and it`s obvious that using Rick Parfitt`s desirable detached residence in the Green Belt as our meeting place wasn`t such a good idea.
A capable team of zealous builders seem to be taking the house apart brick by brick and then rebuilding from scratch with as much hammering as possible in perfect tempo with all the hits and more on 194.
The lounge where we`re sitting in company with his wife Mariette, photographer Penny Smith and publicist Keith Altham, is more or less intact, but the household pet – a small King Charles spaniel called George – has a particularly distracting habit of suddenly lurching at the French windows and noisily boxing at the panes with his paws, trying to get at the birdies outside in the garden.
It`s the closest you`ll get to a madhouse without being certified.
But then in a strangely ironic way the ambience is conductive to what progressively becomes a hostile interview as I pump questions at the normally jocular Parfitt in a surprisingly aggressive manner – not for the sheer hell of it, but as possibly the only means available of getting a foot into his mental door, keeping it ajar for a couple of hours and really coming to terms with Quo`s unusual psychology.
I figure it`s the best way of avoiding the trap of nostalgia and reminiscing our way through 13 years of memories.

The alternative is to be positive and examine the validity of Quo`s music now and its possible future.
Hopefully, Parfitt will be needled into giving us some new insights.
Really, the whole exercise is a bit like sizing up your grandma on her 76th birthday and asking yourself if it`s worth keeping her around the place any longer.
On this occasion, however, it`s difficult to tell whether we`re getting to the meat of the stated objective because Parfitt rarely swallows the hook so that we can haul him in. Sometimes his smile turns to a sneer and you can tell he`s thinking, “Why doesn`t this turd stop needling me and sod off?”
But I`m immune to such glares. After all I look at myself in the mirror every morning and ask the very same question.
First of all, let`s be realistic. Quo have existed long enough for them to be in the same league as rock`s other old-timers – such as The Kinks, The Who and The Stones – but they haven`t achieved anything like the same kind of success.
They`re relatively big in Europe and Britain but Stateside they mean very little. And as Parfitt has just returned from their fourth American tour it seems appropriate to ask whether he feels in the least degraded that they should have to play second or even third fiddle there.

“We find it hard,” he responds, “but we don`t find it degrading. Sometimes it brings you down a bit but you get to the stage where you can look at one another and grin and say, `Hell, what`s it coming to?` You know, when you find yourself in the back dressing room of some club where you`ve got to go in individually to change because it`s so small.
“We know we don`t mean anything – or we didn`t anyway – in comparison to people like Zeppelin. But at least it`s a start, and the album`s gone in the charts at 163 there.”
On the surface the comment sounds so ludicrously self-justifying that I have to laugh.
“Well,” Parfitt adds, “it`s like having a number 48 over here. At least there`s a feeling of progress, which is basically what we`re working for. If we`d come back feeling we`d achieved nothing, then maybe we would have felt completely degraded.
“But it`s the same as what happened over here.
“When we first heard that an album (`Piledriver`) had gone into the charts here we all freaked out, `cause it was a big thing to us at the time. Three years ago we were all hoping to get an album in the charts. And it`s all happening again in the States. We`re elated.”

Perhaps degradation was too severe a word to bandy around in this context. Maybe the struggle of trying to make headway in the U.S. has helped Quo to keep a sense of perspective, and stopped them becoming complacent because of their British triumph… the old adage of not allowing success to go to your head.
But Rick seems baffled by a question framed around this point, and Mr. Altham comments a little sarcastically, “because of this overnight success you`ve had after 13 years you must be getting a bit complacent now.”
“Well,” says Parfitt hesitantly, “whatever complacent means… I`ve got no idea, being a lame-brain. I don`t understand those words.”
He`s probably joking – playing on the image. Anyway the question`s rephrased and just as he`s about to answer the dog dives at the window. He shouts “George!” at the top of his voice, and the thread of the conversation is lost.
And for some reason when we resume he`s saying, “We don`t see an end to Status Quo at the moment.”
George might not be as lucky.
“I think we had the added advantage of going through a phase of being pop stars in this country, and then going off the road and coming back as we are. The fact that Status Quo had come round for a second time got publicised, and a lot of people hooked on to it. That helped an awful lot in making us big over here.
“In the States we haven`t got that advantage. We`ve just got to start from nothing as another rock band…George!”

America is – it transpires – an important market for the band. And the way they tackle it reveals an integral element of Quo`s philosophy. Parfitt says they have to make it there on their own terms; in other words on their own merits. As they`ve done in this country.
“We`re not going to try and force anything,” he explains – “Like having a bloody great billboard on Hollywood Boulevard, because that`s not the way Status Quo works. It`d look stupid, I think, to have a billboard up there on a band nobody really knows.
“It seems like a hype, and Status Quo`s always been a long way from that. All we`ll do is what we did over here.
“We`ll work and try and build up a following, and hope that a single breaks some time. And if a single does break I should think an album will break. Then the following will build and it`ll be more or less the same way as we did it over here.
“We`re not going to try and force anything on the people because it won`t work that way. That`s why the album`s called `On The Level`.”
Oh dear, that sounds so crummy he could have lifted the quote from a True Confessions magazine. But when I laugh at Parfitt maintaining this stance of an obviously straight South London boy he responds unemotionally.

“Well, we`re honest. We`ve always maintained that. Always.”
And what`s more he`s right.
Even when discussing their music Parfitt remains candid. After all it has been noticed that certain Quo numbers  sound decidedly alike.
“Yeah,” comments Rick. “I`ll give you that. That`s the band`s playing style.”
For example, “Junior`s Wailing” (six albums ago, appearing on “Ma Kelly`s Greasy Spoon”) sounds similar to both “Roll Over Lay Down” (from “Hello”, three albums ago) and “Little Lady” (from their latest, “On The Level”).
Faced with concrete examples Rick becomes unnecessarily defensive.
“We can`t just change like that,” he reasons, “and say to ourselves, `Let`s do something different`. If we did it wouldn`t be us. If we tried to play in a different style or tried to rehearse songs away from how they were written it just wouldn`t come out right.
“I mean we wouldn`t feel it. We wouldn`t get into it. And it would be a disaster.
“I do agree with you that a lot of the tracks are alike, but in fact they`re all different.”
Think about that one.

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“The only way we can change,” he elaborates, “is if we do songs in drastically different rhythms – rather than in the hard rocking thing of Quo, like the 12 bar.
“There`s a thing being written at the moment which is a collective effort, and it`s totally different to anything we`ve ever done before…at the moment. We`ll see what happens when we get it into rehearsals.
“It`ll still sound like Quo,” he predicts. “You can`t get away from that. But how it will come out I don`t know. It`ll probably come out much the same as ever.
“If that album doesn`t sell because the stuff`s the same, fair enough. But if it does and it goes to number one, who`s to knock it?”
But that`s the artist`s cliched justification: If it`s a hit, it`s quality. Surely they must be looking for something artistically satisfying – which is the journalist`s cliche for starting a row.
“I agree,” he comes back instantly. “I attach an awful lot of importance to self-satisfaction.”
To qualify this he refers to his own feelings when the band has a bad gig, and returning to the subject of records he comments that he was only totally satisfied with four out of the ten tracks on their latest album.

But the similarity between LPs doesn`t end with either the style or structure of individual numbers. It`s more far reaching, in that the approach and concept for each of the four (on Vertigo and so excluding those on Pye) is more or less the same every time.
In this respect “On The Level” is almost identical to “Piledriver”.
“So are all the albums,” Parfitt asserts quickly. And he relates the concept of an album to the way they arrange a stage act.
“We like the album to open lively and arrange everything in between to build up for the end. Which is how `Bye Bye Johnny` becomes the last song (on `OTL`). It`s the last song in the stage set and I thought it was a lovely idea to do it the same on the album.
“So the concept of the album works in the same way as the stage act does. It goes in with a bang and it finishes with a bang.”
He maintains, though, that it`s pure coincidence that the albums should be similar, and he`s explaining how this obviously means they still approach the music in the same way – which is a good thing he thinks -when he has to go and quieten the builders so we can hear ourselves.

As he returns the phone rings.
“It`s your go,” he prompts as the phone`s hung up.
In general terms is there much of a progression musically? Do they, for instance, know more chords than they did when they started?
“I think everybody`s improved individually as musicians,” states Parfitt. “I`ve seen the difference in the playing. If you really listen to those albums, which I expect you probably have, the standard of playing on `Quo` is far higher than it was on `Piledriver`.”
And…
“Collectively we`ve improved – we knitted tighter. The playing`s tighter and better and, I think, a lot more varied. But I don`t think that`s so obviously noticeable in the space of time I just spoke about… like, one of our fans isn`t going to sit down and say, `Crumbs, they`re much better musicians now than they were then`.
“The only thing we`re concerned about is making a better album than the last one,” he continues. “To our minds that`s what we`re doing, and that`s what we`ve done up to now. It`s getting harder and harder to make a better album every time. We always say, `Christ we`ve got to go some to top this one next time`.

“But everytime we come out of the studio we get that feeling we`ve made a better album than the last one. So, as long as we get that feeling we`re satisfied.
“And,” he adds almost as an afterthought, “they do go to number one.”
Aren`t you really just making an extension of previous albums with each new one, though?
“Not to our minds. We`re writing new songs and recording new albums.”
But couldn`t they have put out the four albums, from “Piledriver” onwards, as a quadruple set, because the changes aren`t that startling?
“That`s what I just said,” he replies simply. Touche.
“Hello” is, however, the exception.
“Why do you think the change was so startling on that?” Parfitt asks me. “It`s still the same 12 bars. I mean, we were still playing 12 bars, as we always will do.”
Actually it`s Quo`s definitive statement. And from there the band could have been…
“Don`t you like the band?” he interrupts, virtually as an accusation.
Yes, but Quo could have been the modern-day Chuck Berrys.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I regretted them. That wasn`t what I meant at all.
“We didn`t want to be modern-day Chuck Berrys,” he retorts. “We wanted to be the modern day Status Quo.
“There`s only one Status Quo in this country,” he continues vehemently. “There`s a lot of bands around who`re trying to do what we`re doing, but nobody will succeed.”
He`s very dogmatic.
The import of the “Hello” album, though, is that it was really the first time all the different element`s of Quo`s personality came together successfully. The music is as forceful as “Piledriver” and played with a simple confidence and directness, and of even greater significance, the lyrics are completely complementary.
The songs are not profound statements by any stretch of imagination, but they work because they`re just basic accounts of situations anybody could find themselves in.
For instance, “Blue Eyed Lady” is about a party pick-up. And “Softer Ride” refers to somebody quitting their job because of boredom.
In essence what I`m saying is that Status Quo are not just a bunch of chicken heads, but a band who have a lot going for them because they`ve got a distinctive musical formula, as epitomised by “Hello”.

Parfitt though isn`t into critical analysis.
“To be honest,” he says, “I`ve never thought in depth about the lyrics…and I`ve never really attached too much importance to them, because they`re secondary.
“Status Quo haven`t become big because of the lyrics. It`s because of the drive.”
And further ventures into this area hardly create any response at all.
You can tell Rick Parfitt gets about as much pleasure from a microscopic examination of Status Quo as he would from swallowing darning needles.
Why do such a large number of people enjoy their music? He doesn`t have any particular explanation and can only hazard a guess – besides pointing out that Quo are unique and do have a good stage act.
“If people want to get off easily they`ll go and see Status Quo,” he states matter-of-factly.
The truth is probably that Quo can be related to on a large scale as Working Class Heroes. Slade might have been once, but not anymore. Unlike them, SQ aren`t glitzed up in gladrags and wigs, but dress in the blue denims. They look exactly like the kid standing next to you in the hall.
And they also come from a similar environment to that of most of their audience. But they`ve exchanged anonymity, a secondary mod education and a council house for rock stardom.

One day the kid standing on his seat, swivelling his trunk from side to side as he plays imaginary guitar to Quo`s music, may do the same.
Go into any disco-pub along London`s Old Kent Road between the Bricklayers Arms and New Cross and the records which receive the loudest cheers are by Status Quo.
“We were tagged with that because we came from South London,” says Parfitt, “And our mums and dads are factory workers and cafe people. But I don`t know whether it`s right to describe us as heroes.
“I suppose if we were an involved band playing very, very involved material, somehow it wouldn`t seem right, coming from where we do. It`s rough and ready hard music.
“And I think we`re the only South London band ever to have achieved any success.”
That they eventually would was never in doubt.
“Ever since we`ve had a style of playing,” Rick says, “we`ve never thought to ourselves that we wouldn`t make it. We`ve always felt we would, and we still do – `cause, I mean, we haven`t made it yet. I`ve said this before, but…

“…Status Quo are a First Division Band now, and when we started we weren`t even in the League. But we worked through the Divisions. Now we`ve got to get into the Premier Division which is where The Who, Stones, Rod Stewart and The Faces and all the big bands in America are.
“That`s the goal.”
This ultimate ambition demands a considerable amount of hard work. A week after this interview Quo were to be found opening their 13th British tour at the Leicester De Montford Hall with a completely new stage act covering no less than 17 numbers over a two-hour period.
Later this year they`ll also tour America twice, each time for about two months. And this isn`t so they can make the bread to help them live in the style they wish to become accustomed to.
“We`re not concentrating on how much money we`re going to bring in,” Parfitt states simply. “We`re concentrating on making the band big. Once the band is big, then maybe we can concentrate on earning a few bob for ourselves.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Billy Connolly, Sailor, Rick Wakeman, Elton John, Henry Cow, Robert Wyatt, Report on New bands in New York, John Cipollina, Herb Rooney (Exciters), Chris Squire, Cecil Taylor, Patti Smith and Television.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, February 22, 1975

The last time I posted something with this band in it, I was lucky enough to have someone following my blog to post it on one of the large Quo message boards. Instantly I had several hundred “hits”. That was really inspiring for me, so here we go again!

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The salvation of Ruth Siegenthaler

A poignant story of the good works of Status Quo

– who straightened out a Swiss chick hell-bent for oblivion, and also (much less commendable, this) indulge in picking their noses.

By TONY STEWART

Ruth Segenthaler will arrive in this country next month to study English at a Brighton College, and in her denim bag she`ll carry the Diploma she received on the successful completion of a commercial course in Switzerland. She maintains, though, that none of this would have been possible if she hadn`t been introduced to the music of Status Quo.
The band have been, she says, her saviours.
Ruth, a pale faced 18-year-old with a shock of blonde curls, seems just like any other Quo fan as she weasels her way into their dressing room on the second of two gigs they`re playing near Zurich. She produces an Instamatic camera and cajoles drummer John Coughlan into taking her photograph as she posed with Rick Parfitt.
Before she`s gently guided to the door she collects their autographs and then sits in silence watching the band prepare for the concert.
Half-an-hour later Quo are presented with a small black note-book shaped like a right foot, with the message “To Francis, Ritchie, Alan and John” emblazoned in gold letters on the front.

On the first sheet Ruth has copied the silhouette design from the “Hello” album, and with the greeting “Hi Boys! Herewith I`d like to thank you for all you`ve done for me till now,” she launches into a 17-page explanation of why she is the band`s greatest fan.
It then transpires she had been a sorrowful physical mess during 1974, soaking up two bottles of cheap red wine a day, swallowing limitless quantities of pills, main-lining and smoking an endless supply of dope, searching for, as she says, the reason for existing.
All she found, however, was a drunken state of euphoria and a very expensive habit. But she kicked it.
“Really,” Ruth writes, “with your music you showed me the right way to obtain happiness and satisfaction. I observed that music is the best and healthiest drug on earth (especially yours!!) and that I need no shit, pills, whisky or wine to get happy. All that I need is Status Quo!!
“On hearing your songs I`ve found this certain feeling which I`ve mined (?) and looked for during all the time when I was almost manic. As soon as I feel down now, I only have to hear Status Quo and all my trouble passes quickly. In contrast to the most horrible time in my life, now no day is passing without hearing you, and I`m the most satisfied girl on earth.
“I`m very grateful to you…”

Although generally touched by the letter, Quo play down any inference that their music can have such a profund effect on their fans. Cynically, they tend to align themselves with the popular conception that they`re a bunch of dumbos.
“The lyrics are good,” acquieses Parfitt, “but they don`t change anybody`s life. The majority of people don`t come along to see Status Quo to listen to the words. Well, perhaps some of them do, like that bird Ruth.
“But the main hook of the band, if you like, is the whole thing of the punch in the music and things like that.”
So you don`t see yourselves as saviours?
Parfitt has to think for a moment before he answers.
“When we do a gig anywhere,” he eventually says a little hesitantly, “I think there`s an awful lot of people looking forward to it. If we`re playing somewhere on the Saturday, on the Friday the kids are getting excited about it. But…I can`t really get across what I`m trying to say.”
“That`s `cause,” Rossi injects in typically droll manner, “you`re a lame-brain.”
Even though they may find it difficult to analyse the cause of such enthusiastic reactions, it`s certainly true that the Swiss in particular are demonstrative people when it comes to rock and roll bands.
Take, for instance, our arrival at Zurich airport on the Saturday morning.

Since meeting the band at Heathrow there`d been a continuous comedy routine basically between Parfitt and Francis Rossi, which at one point proved so exasperating to fellow passengers that one lady snapped, “I do wish those two little boys would go outside and play.”
But now, as they sit in the baggage terminal waiting for the manager`s suitcase to show up (it never did) they`ve quietened down a lot. A young airport chick, though, seems particularly impressed with them and she comes over to ascertain they are, in fact A Rock Band.
“Are you doing anything after the concert?” she asks bluntly. “No? Well would you like to come back to my flat then?”
This invitation is greeted by lewd comments as the chick cocks her leg and starts to write out the address, with a twinkle in her eye apparently directed at Coughlan.
“You will of course behave yourselves,” she purrs inticingly handing over the piece of paper.
As the band walk through customs control they`re swamped by a couple of dozen kids – every one of them holding a camera of some description – and a Swiss television man zooms in with a movie camera while a rotund, middle-aged lady thrusts forward a microphone which looks like a giant mango on the end of a stick.

And this pattern follows the band for the next two days. On each of the two gigs these very same kids are there with their cameras and autographed T-shirts. Perhaps significantly the Swiss TV people, who`re filming a documentary on the band, are only seen on the Saturday.
The reason for the movie is because Status Quo have had a considerable amount of success in Switzerland. At a brief reception in their Zurich Hotel, the Nova Park, they`re presented with gold discs for combined sales in excess of 25,000 on their “Hello” and “Quo” albums.
Louis, the Phonogram Records representative, who`s just endured a rather trying time with Eurovision winner Vicky Leandros, quickly points out that both albums had actually sold sufficient amounts to equal gold status for each. And The Beatles and the Stones were the only other bands to have achieved this distinction.
Similarly, both concerts drew 3,000-plus crowds and they proved a good omen for the rest of the European tour which took the band on to France and then Germany.

After spending a weekend on the road with Status Quo you`d expect to come away with a pretty clear picture of what they`re all like individually. But although I do have various impressions, the issue is confused by the fact that Quo parody themselves relentlessly.
They play out a game which, for convenience sake, we`ll call Spot The Rock Star. Variances of this theme can be seen on the colour photo spread on the sleeve of their new album, “On The Level”.
Parfitt acts the role of the amiable clown, whose joke for Saturday runs along the line, “I used to be a tap dancer but I kept falling over the tap.” This is replaced on Sunday by a series of references to “dumping” – a word he picked up on in an adult comic, and is apparently American slang for crapping. Dumping, of course, could be substituted for “yodelling” – their own word for screwing.
Rossi, naturally enough, is the most overtly cynical member of the band who, whenever I entered the dressing room or his hotel room, turned over my lapels looking for a Pass Badge. He has a rather deadpan sense of humour, starting an interview with: “The only reason you`re talking to me is because I`ve been on television. You wouldn`t bother otherwise.”
Alan Lancaster, for some reason known within the band as Nuff, is the traditional snubnosed punk. On occasion he becomes aggressive, launching into a diatribe on any subject that takes his fancy.

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In contrast, John Coughlan seems to stand outside the Game. He`s more content to continuously tap his hands and feet (as most drummers are prone to), drink beer quietly (and frequently well into the early hours of the next morning), or discuss Anglo-French relations – in which he has taken an active part.
It`s all rather difficult to come to terms with – particularly the antics of Rossi and Parfitt, as an incident on the final day illustrates.
We`re in Rossi`s hotel room as Parfitt enters.
“So are we going down to this club tonight?” Parfitt asks. “We can get down there fairly early.”
“No, no, nooo,” France responds, nodding his head in my direction and winking at the band`s jester. “We`ll be doing a rehearsal in the room, and writing songs.”
“Till about nine o`clock though, then we`ll go out,” answers Parfitt, slightly slow on the uptake.
Rossi starts to pick his nose, exaggerating his finger movements. This causes Parfitt to laugh.
“I`ve just had a pick of mine,” he quips. “Bloody terrible. I picked the middle of my head out.”
“Didja?” Rossi keeps on picking.
“Just think,” Parfitt continues, still laughing, “if we pull some birds we`ll be able to go yodelling tonight. I like that,” he muses. “I`ll have to lay that on some of the Woking boys. They`ll love that.”
Meantime Rossi gets up and walks towards the bathroom.
“It`s no good,” he mutters. “I`ll have to go to the mirror. That`s all there is to it. I`m sorry I can`t stay and pick my nose in front of your tape-recorder.”

Even if you find this all a little repulsive, none of Quo`s four members do. Apparently it`s one reason why they`ve stayed together as a unit for the last 11 or so years.
“But we went through a really hard time about two years ago,” Parfitt points out. “Everybody got into a thing where they were trying to prove something to each other. And I think any band that stays together has got to go through this at some stage or other.
“And there was a lot of bad feeling in the band.
“We weren`t anywhere near to splitting,” he quickly adds, “but that`s the nearest we got to it.
“We`ve come out of it, and the band now – and I know they`ll agree with me – is happier than it`s ever been.”
“Sorry,” Rossi remarks, “I can`t agree with that.”
Umperturbed, Parfitt continues: “We`ve forgotten all our little differences and nobody`s trying to prove anything to one another, which makes life a lot easier. But there was a stage when I was home and thinking, `Christ! We`re going away. Oh noo!` It was terrible. I was frightened of the rest of the band.
“Now we just want to get on and get the States done.”
“Then,” adds Rossi with a gob full of bread, “we can break up.”

At concerts halls the more professional aspects of Quo`s stance come over. In design both the halls where I saw them play were the same – giant aircraft hanger-type buildings with appalling acoustics and dressing rooms that were a cross between bank-vaults and school showers.
At each the band went through a painstaking sound check.
Afterwards they tuned their instruments in preparation for the concert, idled away their time, and then changed a good half hour before they were due on stage. Alcohol and so forth was not consumed until after the actual performance.
The second show, at Zoffingham – a half hour drive from Zurich – was the better, and included two cuts from “On The Level”, which they worked into the act during the two hour soundcheck and rehearsal.
A Swiss gig is a rather curious occasion. At Zoffingham light snacks and coffee were sold on one side of the hall, while opposite a young trendy pushed American adult comics and porn books.
Tea, a home-grown band with the distinction of being the Top National Group (as voted in Pop magazine) and the fact Deep Purple were interested in their vocalist when Gillan left, opened and were quickly followed by the remarkable hot-rox outfit Hustler – an English export for the time being.

Needless to say, by the time Quo took the boards the atmosphere these two bands created had started to wain slightly, and it`s indicative of Quo`s high-energy output that from the metallic chop of Parfitt`s rhythm guitar opening the first number, “Junior`s Wailing” (Rossi is a family man), all three thousand people were up and boogie-ing.
The act is considerably better to the last one I saw in England, with tighter playing and finer sound balance – “We`re having a little trouble with the buzz from the electricity”, commented the mixer during the performance, “but we can`t really talk to the electrician about it because we ran our truck into his car earlier.”
The second piece, however, “Backwater” coupled with “Just Take Me”, fell apart on the link between the two numbers, became a little lethargic, and the momentum only built on the next song, “Claudine”.
Quo, as I`ve commented in the past, rely on the simplicity on their playing and the forthright presentation of material, which does cause a certain repetivity of arrangement ideas. For instance, “Little Lady” (from “Level”) proved alarmingly similar in structure to “Junior`s Wailing”.

A little later in the set came “Roll Over Lay Down”, and there their use of dynamics contrasted by a quiet fragile guitar passage appeared to be somewhat similar to the technique used in “Lady”.
Quo`s true forte obviously lies in this quite distinctive ability to sustain the rhythmic impetus, stemming from Parfitt and the strong anchorage of Coughlan and Lancaster, which is no doubt helped by the order of the numbers.
Rossi will never be described as an innovative guitarist, but his licks do heighten the overall atmosphere, maintaining interest just when the chord wields start to become monotonous.
In short, it`s a carefully thought out act, leaving scope in its simplicity for the typical heads-down-together showmanship, the stalking of Rossi (a certainty for the cast of Planet Of The Apes) and the usual focal embellishments.
Concluding with “Roadhouse” they followed with two encores, “Caroline” and “Bye Bye Johnny” (sounding like the engines revving at the start of a rally), finished, sprinted from the stage and out of the hall into the two waiting BMWs – they were on their way back to Zurich before anybody could say, “Parfitt`s forgotten his plectrum.”

On neither night did the band wish to go out to a club, and on Saturday made do with the impromptu appearance of two pimps fighting over a whore in the hotel foyer.
The highlight of this action could have been when Nuff (of course) decided he`d participate, but instead was when one pimp grabbed the whore`s hair to pull her in reach of his right hand. But the wig she was wearing came off, and he tripped over his rival lying bloody nosed on the ground.
So on a Sunday night in Zurich we make our way into the elevator to go up to the rooms. Somebody deliberately breaks wind.
“Oh Christ,” Lancaster says angrily as he sniffs the air, “I`m leaving the band after that, I tell ya.”
“Oh, anything but that Nuff,” their manager, Colin Johnson, jokes gently.
“Tell you what,” puts in Rossi excitedly, “`ave you anything of mine, or `ave I got anything of yours, `coz I`ll give it you back now, then you can go.”
Ignoring the conversation Parfitt boldly announces, “I`m going for a dump.”
Did you Spot The Rock Star?

The band and the girl with no name.

The band and the girl with no name.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Robin Trower, Bryan Ferry, Todd Rundgren, Alan Freeman, David Bowie, Elton John, Larry Coryell, Hank Marvin, Eric Clapton, Kursaal Flyers.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 14, 1974

Here is a nice article from the height of Status Quo`s success in the UK. It is easy to forget that underneath the band`s easy-going nature, this is the most successful rock band ever in the UK. They may play what many people would characterize as “simple boogie rock”, but they forget how genius it is to create so many catchy and popular tunes on the same formula. If it was easy – everyone would do it! These guys have my respect! Enjoy!

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27 chairs broken, front row demolished, manager speechless

Ho Ho Ho. Good fun innit? All the kids are here with their booze and their toilet rolls and it looks like being another major triumph for rockanroll music. It`s STATUS QUO on the road, and JULIE WEBB was there to see the devastation.

“It gives you a sense of power when you see chairs all busted up after a gig. It sounds corny…but as long as nobody`s been hurt all those busted chairs signify a good time.”
That`s Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt talking after their Liverpool Empire gig (27 chairs broken, front row demolished, manager of venue speechless.)
At Quo gigs you can see the pathetic sight of managers beseeching audiences to “sit down,” and adding hopelessly that “No-one is allowed in the aisles at any time”, while the crowd stand on their chairs even before the band have even taken the stage.
At Sunderland – the opening date of their British tour – the manager wanted to stop the show after the first number. But was unsuccessful.
Depending on which side of the coin you look at, Status Quo are either down to earth or common as muck. Certainly they must be the bawdiest band on the road.
(They get toilet rolls thrown at them on stage – as opposed to hats or bracelets.) And they have also, for their sins been described as lame brains.

Parfitt thinks the lame brains bit is quite funny.
“We`ve had a whole lot said about us…dandruff in our hair, lame brains, Status-Quo-are-this, Status Quo are-that- but the houses are always full.
“We`ve never tried to promote an image of being an intelligent band. We just enjoy a loon.”
He thinks for a moment, then adds:
“We`re not so much lame brains – but we`ve always had this kind of humour…basically we`re a lot of scruffy rock`n`rollers.”
Before this present tour, Quo were gigging in Australia – place they alternately slag off or praise. And one thing that does apparently get up the band`s collective nose is the Aussie press.
“Funny people out there, as it happens,” says Parfitt. “The press will build up anything into a big story. Anything seems to make the front page. There was one incident when I was supposed to have had two groupies in a lift. Well, in fact it wasn`t me – it was one of the road crew – and the manager of the hotel caught him, got abused, and came at the roadie with a tin opener.

“So now there`s this big story on the front of Truth magazine and it`s all a load of bullshit because it`s supposed to be about me and it wasn`t because I wouldn`t do anything like that.”
Parfitt doesn`t consider sueing. “I just write it off as a laugh. And we had a laugh in Australia – even when we arrived after 26 hours flying. About eight in the morning it was, and we were hustled into a press room – all TV cameras and half a dozen press men out in front with microphones asking stupid questions.”
Questions like?
“Well, one bloke asked if we played better because we`d got long hair. And there were things like, `Do you take drugs`. So you just look them straight in the eye and say, `Of course we do`. They can`t really react back because you grin at them when you say it, and they don`t know if you mean it or not.”
They look back with pleasure on a TV show.
“There was this big backdrop with Status Quo written all over it, and we were doing a very silly interview. Spud (John Coghlan) pulled the backdrop down. The interviewer lost his cool a bit, and France (Rossi) started undressing me.”

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If you are getting the impression that Status Quo can be destructive, you could be getting warm.
“Yeah it`s both silly and destructive sometimes. Some nights after gigs it just gets outrageous…lot of fun. When you start getting silly you want to do something to keep yourself on that level. Like, there`s a cup on the table and it`s fun to try and do a trick with it that you know isn`t going to work.
“The cup gets smashed and tea goes everywhere, and then it starts with soda syphons…”
After the Sunderland gig, at least four people got drenched by either beer or a soda syphon. Why Bother?
“It`s just the feeling of the band after a gig. It was the first night as well. There`s normally a bit of a piss up on the first night. A few drinks, chat flowing, and then it gets a bit out of hand.
“If everybody`s in the same spirit and everybody`s copped a bit…like, you might have a plate of sandwiches on your head and this bloke has been squirted with soda, then it`s fun.”

After the damages are paid for, is there any money left, one wonders?
“We make a profit in Britain. The gross of a British tour is normally fairly high, but then when everything is paid out -publicity, the hire of halls, damages, whatever – it really does cut it down in a big way. More or less by half. But we make enough out of a British tour to give ourselves a Christmas bonus.
“Financially it`s hard to say exactly where we stand because we`re putting a lot of the money into assets. Companies we`ve set up. We`re not immensely rich but we`re working for the future.
“I`d like to come out of it with a few bob. We`ve all got our houses and cars and basically that`s all we need.
“But it`s a lot of hard work – the next year is going to be ridiculous. Three American tours, hopefully Japan, Europe and a couple of albums.”
The first of those albums is nearly complete and set for release early in the new year.
“There`s ten tracks as opposed to the usual eight, and all of them should be under five minutes.”

Try to analyse Quo`s music and you run into trouble. Suffice to say wherever they play in Britain, they go down ecstatically before audiences predominently dressed in jeans, often with bottle in left hand and bog roll (ready for throwing) in the other.
Parfitt attempts to explain why the audience go wild. “I think the kids are up on their chairs because they`re a rock and roll crowd, and they know what to expect from us on stage. It`s difficult to watch us sitting down.
“We like it when they`re raring to go. It`s great to walk out on stage and see a bank of people. You can feel the electricity in the audience. We`re going on to bash out hard rock music at them, and work hard to them, and if there`s not a vibe from the audience it`s more difficult.”
On stage, Quo`s dashing and wheeling around has in the past presented problems. Rossi and Parfitt have 20-foot leads, but they still get caught up with each other.

“We`ve never had any electric shocks but we`ve often whacked one another. Once I had to follow France around the stage for five minutes because my pegs were knotted up in his hair. The roadies had to untangle us halfway through a number. I pulled half his barnet out.
“Yeah, we`ve whacked one another…but it`s great when it gets like that.”
Any real disasters?
“Well, we`ve fallen over a lot. We call that getting our wings. I remember three years ago doing a small youth club – we`d just gone on and the kids were going mad. France went dashing across the stage, turned round, fell off the stage and knocked himself out. Quite funny, as it happens.”
Everything, fortunately for Quo, has a funny side.
“It`s a kind of warm sarcasm”, says Parfitt. “We don`t think we`re rude but say there`s a bird with big tits we`ll say, nice jumper you`re wearing there.”
Like I said, depending on which side of the coin you look.

Position purely incidental.

Position purely incidental.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: William Jellett, Mike Patto, Kilburn and the Highroads, Hank Marvin, Alvin Lee, Michael Chapman, Barry White, Sandy Roberton.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.