"There never was anyone quite like Rick." Chris Wolstenholme
By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association March 2 2018 2:45 AM
The death of Status Quo’s rhythm guitarist Rick Parfitt on Christmas Eve 2016 was greeted with an outpouring of rock and roll memories, sorrow and tributes.
He died aged 68 after half a century of Rockin’ All Over The World as Status Quo became a staple act on the British rock scene. Their influence on music was broad and the sounds of Blue For You and Quo inspired a four-year-old Chris Wolstenholme into music.
The bassist, of course, would go on to form Muse with Matt Bellamy and Dominic Howard. Here, in his own words, Wolstenholme reflects on the power of Parfitt after helping to finish the late rocker’s debut solo album, which had been left uncompleted when he died.
Pretending to be Rick
I was really young when I was introduced to Rick Parfitt’s music. Aged four, my family had moved to a new house where we found an old record player that had been abandoned by the previous owners. My dad fixed it up and my mum gave me a stack of her old records. Amongst them were Blue For You and Quo. Though the albums were already 10 years old, I fell in love with the band and played them to death.
My first guitar lessons took place when I was around 11, of course I wanted to play along with my Quo records, and right from the start I found myself playing along with Rick’s parts. I would get in from school, plug in and pretend to be him for the evening! I was always struck by the precision within Rick’s playing. Most great players have a loose, expressive style but he was like a machine. It is unusual for a rhythm guitarist to be such a driving force; but we all know Rick was a one-off.
Sound checking with Quo
In 1997, my chance to meet Rick came along. As a friend of Andy Bown’s son, I’d been invited along to see Quo soundcheck at a show in Plymouth, where I was at university. However, on the day Rick was unwell and couldn’t do the soundcheck. Whilst I was disappointed, something incredible then happened, I was asked to fill in for him and took to the stage to play his parts, on his guitar!
Quo and I ran through Don’t Waste My Time, though I knew the material so well I could have played the whole set! I’d joined Muse by that stage, but we were still unsigned, and at the age of 17 it was the most incredible musical experience of my life. As soon as we’d finished, I ran off and called my mum!
Finally meeting Rick
As time went by, and Muse became successful, I always thought our paths would cross. Though Rick and I were aware of each other, and I’d been told that he liked my band, it kept not happening. Often Muse would arrive in a city that Quo had just left.
Finally, I met him at 2014 at a Frantics gig. It felt like I’d known him for years, but by then he had been a part of my life for a long time! We stayed in touch, met a couple more times, and the last time I saw him was at an Aquostic show.
Working on Over And Out – Rick’s debut solo album
I had heard that Rick planned a solo album, and of course said that I would consider it a massive honour for me to contribute. There was talk of us writing and recording together, but the last conversation I had with anybody about it was on December 17 2016 before the tragic news broke on 24th.
When it became obvious later that Rick had in fact nearly completed the album, I went into the studio to do a bass part for the track Long Distance Love. The producer then asked if I could double-track one of Rick’s guitar lines – basically replicate it for him. Take it from me, it was harder than anyone would imagine.
Rick’s strength as a player was his immediately recognisable style; very staccato, like his left hand was constantly bouncing off the strings. It’s very hard to do, and I’ve never seen anyone else do it quite like him. But then, there never was anyone quite like Rick.
– Rick Parfitt’s Over and Out is released on March 23. Long Distance Love is out now.
juansupposin: 21st September 91 at Wembley, the 45 min Guinness concert, probably not the best concert to start, only 45 min, I remeber thinking they will play longer because it was the last concert
May 30, 2020 10:16:34 GMT
coluquo: Ok hard to choose in the 21st but my vote goes to Liberty Lane and yes I acknowledge more poppythan classic rock!…
Jun 20, 2020 17:25:19 GMT
Deleted: granny: What! Become the English version of the democratic party? Maybe cummings is a democrat plant plotting a UK take over....
Jul 9, 2020 8:08:48 GMT
Wim Huijsman: Nice item for sale, for real Quo fans. Rick Parfitt`s telecaster. Very nicely aged Fender Tele 1972
Aug 1, 2020 14:48:06 GMT
lorenzo1971: I wonder if Spare Parts will chart..given it has 2000 copies being released?
Sept 19, 2020 20:38:18 GMT
backwater67: Paul Hirch filled in for Quo when Andy’s wife was unable to tour. Aquostic was a complete different project for Quo. I was referring to a standard regular live gig on stage with session guitarists. Jagger does still take the lead vocal.
Nov 3, 2020 15:32:56 GMT
backwater67: of which line up Quo are always a 4 or 5 piece band.
Nov 3, 2020 15:35:13 GMT
coluquo: Agreed every entry a classic....fantastic memories...
Dec 24, 2020 13:37:38 GMT
coluquo: 50 years ago 1971 What a year ..the release of DOG and the greatest FACup shock in history ...13thFebruary!!
Jan 14, 2021 13:18:29 GMT
Pajoe: Hi this is all new to me and i am not sure how it works but can i have a link to your Live Here & Now, PLEASE. Cheer's Pajoe. Quo fanatic since Hello LP. I have quite a few unofficial bootleg CD's am i allowed to share them on this board
Jan 19, 2021 1:15:50 GMT