I thought I might as well be brief and do a little message to you all before Christmas, it's not like anything has happened in the last 12 months has it...

Rockin' Rockin'
I was walking into my house at lunchtime on Christmas Eve last year when I got a call to say Rick was seriously ill, and this time he probably wasn't going to make it. To say it was a shock was an understatement. In fact I believe I actually went into shock, the next few hours were among the most surreal of my life.

I got a text an hour later which just said "he's gone". A bit short, but what else was there to say? Then it became public, isn't it funny how all of a sudden you're popular with the media when something like this happens? My mobile didn't stop ringing with requests for quotes or interviews, I'm not the right person for that. I listened to our former drummer Jeffrey Dennis Rich on the radio, I thought he fielded the somewhat banal questions very well, things like, "what was Rick really like?" That's easy to answer in 20 seconds, isn't it. I was pleased it wasn't me talking, I ignored the media shit, and went for a long walk with my lovely family in Bushy Park, where Rick had got up to all kinds of mischief over the years, and we thought and talked about him. My kids all grew up with him around, so we all had our memories to share.

Over the last 11 months I've thought about him almost every day, and luckily the good memories are far outweighing the bad ones. He had a dark side, and he could be an absolute plonker, but isn't that true of all of us? I have so many memories of him, but one that sums him up for me is an email he sent me when I was very ill a couple of years ago, I'll just see if I can find it, back in a mo...

Found it:

Dear Rhino-I was really shocked when speaking to Hrano today when he told me how ill you have been for the last couple of weeks.  I had no idea of the seriousness of what you had based on the Skype call when you showed me your (********)! I assumed that you were over the worst and had been recovering for the last couple of weeks and was very concerned when I heard how serious it was.  Anyway I have to tried to call a couple of times and left messages so when you feel like talking give me a call.
I wish you a speedy recovery and if there is anything I can do, you can fuck off!
Ricky xx

As you can imagine, for a lot of you reading this as well I'm sure, Christmas was a sad affair. I don't know why, I never thought he would be the first of us to go. Of course on reflection it was a minor miracle he made it that far, but, even at the end typical Rick, he confounded us all and died of septicemia instead of heart problems. But then he would.

Over And Out His solo album will be out in May next year - www.statusquo.co.uk/over-and-out.htm. I've played on a couple of tracks, as has Chris Wolstenhome from Muse, and Jo Webb has done an amazing job on the production. It's very varied, and shows he was in a good place when he got sick, this might sound stupid, but Rick would be sooo pissed off to know he was dead.

By the time of the funeral, (where Richard junior spoke affectionately and candidly about his dad, not a dry eye in the house) I was getting my head around what had happened. It struck me at the reception, or whatever you call it afterwards, I was thinking Rick would have just loved to have been there. In person I mean, not spirit, which of course he was, if you believe in all that.

Anyway, that's all I shall say about him at the minute, I'm sure he'll crop up from time to time. This would appear to be morphing into a one volume tour log, so brace yourself Sheila, here I come...

Rhino Before I start, what do you think of this definition of PC? I just read it:
Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, logical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!

I'll let you know who wrote that later.

We continued where we'd left off basically, taking the Last night of the Electrics tour to Scandinavia, starting in Tallinn, Estonia. Supposed to be spring there, it was bloody freezing!

Mid April and still snow on the ground, I don't know how they do it, still, I've been there in the summer and it's boiling, maybe that makes up for it. Nice place, and cheap as chips for us, the poor/sick man of Europe. Did you vote for Brexit? I didn't. I'm not a fan of the EU by any stretch of the imagination, I just think we're too involved to leave, and look at the farce the negotiations have become. Still, what do I know? The only good thing to come out of it in my book is that Boris Johnson blew his chance to become PM, now THAT would have been a real farce, proper Brian Rix, I'd be expecting his trousers to fall down in front of Angela Merkel or something of that sort, as he might say.

Sorry, yes, packed gig, I met a very nice girl who'd flown over from Israel for the gig. That's dedication for you. In fact she was at Manchester the other night as well. Impressive. Also a few Brits who'd come over for the craic, I've learned how to spell that word now we have an Irishman in da band. Lovely ferry ride to Helsinki, where myself, Leon and Richie were invited for a tour around a Gin distillery, where we met some very nice Finns, who also gave us alcohol to take away. This being in a band thing isn't a bad life really. They told me 2 jokes, one of which is so unPC, even I can't bring myself to retell it, it's that tasteless, but the other one was "How can you tell the difference between a Finnish introvert and a Finnish extrovert?" Answer: "A Finnish introvert will look at their shoes while they talk to you, a Finnish extrovert will look at your shoes" I thought it was funny, if a bit subtle.

The gig was a bit like that, they look quite stern at gigs, but they enjoyed it. I think. They clapped. We did an encore. We then went to Turku, the former capital, see there's a History factoid there, which is also where that IS nutjob killed 2 women recently, poor people. I don't know why, but it seems bizarre to me that I know exactly the place where it happened, same in Barcelona, what a strange world we live in today.

Day off in Gothenburg, yay! My favourite Scandinavian place, fantastic art gallery there, yah? Serious, it is, I always make a point of going there when I'm in town. There was a demo going on outside the place while I was there, they do put on a good demo over there. I don't know what it was about, but the PA system was amazing,they were handing out free food and it all seemed very good natured. I'm all for it, whatever it was they were demonstrating about. Quite a weird gig, last time we played this town we had 28 thousand punters, ok it was a free concert in the Tivoli gardens, but this time it was a really strange place, and we didn't sell 28 thousand tickets I can assure you. Which was a shame, 'cos we played reely reely good like.

Stockholm next day, which was a Sunday I recall, beautiful day walking around in the Spring sunshine, again it was tempered by the fact there had a been a recent murderous incident with, as Donald Trump calls them, a loser. Crazy.

Vigelends Park Another day off, in Oslo this time, we get about, don't we? Bloody freezing here as well, I got the tram, (yes, even rock gods get trams) to the Vigelands park, he was a sculptor, and I love his work.

It's all such a bonus to do these things while playing my guitar for a living, I'm a lucky man. I think I had a glass of water for dinner, it was all I could afford. It's actually not as expensive as Australia now I reckon, that's for another time, but how much over there? You're having a laugh mate? They don't do that any more in Oz? End a sentence with the voice going up like they've asked a question? Actually, they really don't do that any more, so the's the end of that. Is it? Lovely venue, an old(ish) theatre, thirties I'd say, packed, noisy and hot, just how it should be.

Then, guess what ? Day off? No, 2 days off, in Naestved, Denmark, where I got totally hammered, brain damage, the gig was a bit of a struggle for me, what an idiot. I am not going to do that again by the way, I have changed my ways. Honest. On show days and days of I am now Rhino the Wine, no. It works, but it's a bit boring, still, the bonus, as most of you probably know is waking up feeling good, although one (yah) has to reconcile oneself (double yah) to the fact it's the best one (done that now) will feel all day.

Packed houses in Denmark, I ate rather a lot of hotdogs there (I think they could be their national dish) and went to a Ceramics museum with Richie, it's a great country, nice and laid back. Just like me.

Couple of days off on Cologne, another one of my favourite places, lots going on there. I had my first Thai massage, which was a strange one, as it was done by a woman who was definitely a bloke. And, no, there wasn't a happy ending, before you ask. I thought he/she was going to break my back, but it was absolutely amazing.

Paris, another old theatre, I'm going to stop mentioning terrorism now, because it's depressing, and even at my dismal level, I'm not going to give those Fuckers the oxygen of publicity. Sorry about the F word by the way. Anyway, we did a rather special show to our French friends and buggered off home. I then went and did 10 R****'* R****** shows, with a kick arse band who were absolutely brilliant, in a van with all the gear, some good rockin' was had by all, serious stuff at times. It was such a good time I'm doing it again next April, but more of that later. Lots more of that later. My shows are listed below and on my site - www.rhinosrevenge.com and my Facebook page by the way, hope to see some of you out there.

Anyway, last show finishes, I have to fly back from Dusseldorf for a Quo show at Wentworth gold course. German Wings, nice early flight, get home, ready to drive myself to the gig as it's not far from where I live. Turn on the TV, news flash, all British Airways flights grounded. Shit! I'd never have made it if I'd booked on BA. See? Sometimes getting the cheapest flight available is a good thing. Plus I have my reputation as the tightest bass player in rock to consider.

That's all folks. Tara xx

P.S. The statement on political correctness came from Mr. President. Not the Donald, but President Harry Truman, by the way. Just thought you might like to know.

Quo in Oz

Rhino's Revenge will be touring in 2018 - come along and give him a shout!

Tuesday 16th JanuaryThe Water Rats, 328 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8BZ Tickets and information www.rhinosrevenge.com
Wednesday 17th January02 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Opening for King King
Thursday 18th JanuaryTown Hall, Birmingham
Opening for King King
Saturday 20th JanuaryForum, Bath
Opening for King King
Friday, April 6The Iron Road, Evesham. www.wegottickets.com
Saturday, April 7 Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, Stockportbluefunkclub.wixsite.com
or by calling 07818 884324
Friday, April 13 The Half Moon, Putney, Londontickets.halfmoon.co.uk
Saturday, April 14 Vic Biker's Pub, Coalville.www.wegottickets.com
Sunday, April 15 The Diamond, MansfieldTickets can be bought at the venue or by calling 01623 456617
Thursday, April 19 Bootleggers, Kendalskiddle.com
or by calling 01539 723824
Friday, April 20 Octagon Live, Keighleywww.theoctagonlive.com
or by calling 01274 562252
Saturday, April 21 Backstage at the Green Hotel, Kinrosswww.ticketweb.uk
Sunday, April 22 Eleven, Stoke-on-Trentwww.ents24.com
Thursday, April 26 La Boule Noire, Pariswww.laboule-noire.fr
With support from Carousel Vertigo.
Saturday, May 5QuoFest 10, Kavanagh's Bar, 28 Main St,
Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland

Rick pictures by Rick van Gerven - Belgium 2013.
Rick's album - 'Over And Out' Cover
Sculptures at Vigelendsparken by Gustav Vigelend.
Rhino and Quo in Oz 2017 by Dave Coulson.

To Rhino's Tourlog Index