Rick Parfitt O.B.E.

12th October 1948 - 24th December 2016


"Not a bad life really"

Rick Parfitt
Rick Parfitt was born in Woking, Surrey on 12th October 1948 to parents Richard and Lillian. It was clear he had great musical talent and from the age of 11, encouraged by his parents, Rick started to play clubs in and around London as a solo singer and guitarist. Having gained a contract to play at the Hayling Island Sunshine Holiday Camp at age 15, Rick met and subsequently joined up with twins Jean and Gloria Harrison to form a trio called The Highlights.

In 1965, whilst playing at Butlin's Holiday Camp in Minehead with The Highlights, Rick met with a group called 'The Spectres' that were playing in the camp's rock ballroom. 'The Spectres' included Francis Rossi, Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan and keyboard player Roy Lynes. Rick and the members of 'The Spectres' became great friends and hung out together after their performances, often drinking and talking until the early hours.

Forward to 1967 - 'The Spectres' had achieved some degree of success, along with a name change to 'The Traffic Jam', but decided to branch out with the addition of another lead singer. Rick was the obvious choice and was contacted by the band's then manager Pat Barlow to see if he wanted to audition for the band. Having recently split with The Highlights, Rick jumped at the chance and following the audition he became a full member of 'The Traffic Jam'.

Shortly after this the band decided that another name change was necessary as Steve Winwood had just launched his new band 'Traffic'.
A new name was chosen and in 1967 - 'The Status Quo' - with Francis Rossi, Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan, Roy Lynes and new addition Rick Parfitt went into the studio to record two songs, one of which was 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men'. The single was released in January 1968.

The rest, as they say, is history - and is well documented in the many books, documentaries and articles about Rick and Status Quo.

Rick Parfitt Rick was one of the greatest rhythm guitarists in rock music. His tough uncompromising style of playing was the backbone of Status Quo's best rock albums and powered the band's driving live performances and their repeated success in the album and singles charts. He also wrote and co-wrote some of Quo's best songs including " Mystery Song", Whatever You Want", "Backwater", "Living on an Island" and "Rain".

Rick and Francis Rossi were appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours 2010.

After a history of heart related illnesses, Rick died in a Marbella hospital on 24th December 2016 from sepsis following a shoulder injury. His funeral was held at Woking Crematorium on 19th January 2017. He leaves four children - Richard, Harry, Tommy and Lily.

Rick played a major part in developing the great legacy of music that Quo continue to play live and he will forever be missed by band members and Quo fans alike.


Rick Parfitt - Wikipedia
The Guardian - Announcement
The Guardian - Obituary
ITV.com - Obituary
Michael Schiller - A Tribute From Friends

Credits - Photos:
Top - Christie Goodwin
Bottom - Roger Johansson (2006)
Thanks to David Oxley for information from his book:
'Rockers Rollin - The Story Of Status Quo'