I've been asked to put the whole interview on here. I don't want to hijack the topic with it, but I guess it IS part of the whole historical context. I hope the original poster doesn't mind. Here it is: LOYAL FAMILY INTERVIEW ALAN LANCASTER, 22-03-05 I've said it many times before, it's very special for a simple fan like me to get the chance to talk to some of your musical heroes. An interview with Alan is a little bit more special because we haven't seen or heard a lot from him the last few years. And more important, Alan was founder member of the band and has contributed immensely to the Quo sound during the glory years. But the only reason we are doing these interviews is because of you, the fans!!. The fans deserve good interviews. It was great talking to him and he's a very nice person indeed. I don't know what it is with bass players, but like Rhino, Alan also couldn't stop talking. It made a big impression on me and it took me about a week to recover from it. Cause like I said, you don't get to talk to your idols every day. I hope you all enjoy it!! Alan, the question all the fans want to ask you: how are things at the moment with your hand? Can you describe exactly what the problem is you're having? Yeah, that's still a problem. I have R.S.D. (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) in my hand. I can't really play guitar at the moment properly. I can play but not at the standard I used to. It's a bit stiff. Not my hand, my fingers. It is almost better now. But I can't really play at the moment. It stopped me from playing. There's nothing wrong with me other than that. But it is getting better? It's getting better now yeah. I should think another six months. I doesn't hurt or anything like that. It's just like when you pick up a cup of tea, it's a bit weak. That's like when you hold your plectrum. But other than that I'm fine. I pulled my old jeans out the closet the other day. The ones I used to wear in the seventies. They still fitted me. So I haven't changed in shape. Alright then! Alan, how do you look back at the years with Quo? Do you think about the good times or are you still bitter about what happened later on? It's a bit strange really. They were good times. And looking back, it's amazing how much fun we had. How good those good times were and to the picture that's been painted these days. It's almost like someone has rewritten the whole story. A lot of the things you hear did not happen! It's absolutely ridiculous. Like what? For start, those days were never sex, drugs and rock and roll. The band was very fit and you didn't had time for any of that stuff. The band was never into drugs. Just a naughty joint of the end of a gig or something like that. But that's about it. I didn't drink. John had a little drink but that's it. There was nothing going on. It's only when Rossi and Parfitt started to get into cocaine. Then everything changed. But that was later on? Yeah. It started when Pip Williams started to produce us. It gradually and slowly crept up. In the late seventies I moved to Australia and I didn't notice it creeping up. And of course, it destroyed Rossi and Parfitt. Rossi started drinking. John and I were basically free from it. John liked a drink but that's it. And now we saw this change of personality with Rossi and Parfitt. Basically, they hated one another's guts. And it was a very tricky balance to keep it together. It became very tense around 1981. That period. What happened was, Pip Williams came in to produce us and it changed us. It changed the whole concept of the band. And the sound also I think. Well obviously. Everything about the band was real. I think we had an ideology. And that was, we were anti establishment, anti the music business. We didn't wanna become media celebrities. We were into what we were into. We were one trick ponies. What we played and what we did, that's what we could do. We couldn't really do anything else. We were like a modern day folk band, a peoples band. And we had a certain niche which we identified with, with our fans. We were like the same. More like a football crowd in some respects. We played hard rock boogie with our own style. And to do that it enquired a lot of energy. And you can't deliver that kind of energy if you're on drugs. Or if you're out of it all the time like Rossi makes us all believe. That's untrue. It's simply wrong. The band were quite fit and we were travelling around the world constantly doing two to three hour shows. You had to be fit. You had to eat the right food. And that's why it lasted so long. You have to be fit when you're going on stage. You can't be under the influence. When you put as much energy into a show as Status Quo's music requires, you have to be very energetic. Rossi would have always told you that in the early days. You cannot be on drugs or drinking when you're on stage. It's allright to have a beer or something like that when you're there. Parfitt and Coghlan were the only ones to have a drink, but both very small. Anything large was afterwards. But that wasn't as often as made out. So the band were quite fit and quite together. Brain and body. Around that 1981, 1982 period, it started to get a bit sour. And that was because of certain circumstances. Which really were all caused by the drugs. And if the managers weren't on drugs, on cocaine, and the record company directors weren’t on cocaine, and the lawyers weren't on cocaine, and Rossi and Parfitt weren't on cocaine, than perhaps we could have made some difference. The fact of the matter is that they were all on cocaine. So it didn't matter what decisions were made in those days because anybody that understand what cocaine does to you knows that it changes your personality. It makes you feel like if you're invincible. This is what was happening. It started quite innocently during the recording of the Rockin' all over the world album. Because up until then we produced all our own albums. Except for the Pye stuff. Every single one of them was produced by us. Even though someone like Damon Lyon Shaw has his name on the sleeve on some of the early stuff, that's all nonsense. That's just us putting a name on it to give somebody credit. All that stuff was totally arranged and produced by the four of us. The Pye stuff was a different era. When we were doing so well producing ourselves, America came into the picture. That's when Pip Williams was put up. I didn't really want to have another producer. But he seemed good and we were prepared to give it a shot. But what it did was, it threw the band apart without us realising. Because we were a live band. Status Quo were never really a recording band. The live performances were always the main thing. The recording stuff, although it was a main thing too, it never was as important as the live thing. Because anything we did in the studio could never ever be a main track unless it was played live. In other words, the performance came first, not the song. We wouldn't perform to a song, a song was out to fit our performance. Because we had to stand on stage and face the public. There's no good getting on stage and play stuff like That's a fact or other songs like that. Cause it just didn't work for us. The performance always came first. The best stuff were the songs that were road tested and taken into the studio. That was the stuff that stood the test of time and has been performed on stage. And then we went into the studio to record it. Like the Piledriver album. The stuff that was written in the studio or somewhere else, always turned out weaker. It might be nice songs but they didn't have the same magic. You can do them right in the studio but you couldn't do them right on stage. So that's two different sides of Quo. There was the live side, which was our most important side and we had the studio side which was very important but it had a different outlook of what we were. And all that stuff in the Pye era like Spare parts and the first album was all preconceived. The band wasn't doing any of that stuff on stage. We were doing stuff like Bloodhound, You really got me, stuff like that. It was all pretty hard rock. That psychedelic stuff wasn't what we were doing on stage. We got dressed up in those Carnaby street clothes, somebody took a picture of us while we were trying those clothes on and that picture goes all around the world. We only tried these things on in a shop and someone takes your picture and that gives you an image which was pretty ridiculous. The psychedelic era was an era that really confused me because we were always a together band and we wouldn't be pushed around or pushed into certain things by others. We were a bit naïve. As soon as Pictures of matchstick men became a hit we were kind of sucked into that pop/psychedelic star idol type thing for a while. That was completely different to what we were playing live. That was a strange era and an era that taught us a big lesson because when we came out of that era we really were much more anti establishment than before. Offcourse the band changed then as well. We didn't really change as far as our music but as soon as Roy Lynes left the band it all tightened up because the keyboards were ruining us. Cause Roy really came from a different era. He came from that Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent era. Which was Rock 'n Roll. We weren’t really Rock "n Roll. We were rock boogie. And Roy really got sick with our style and as soon as he left us the whole band tightened up as this four piece unit. Made it what it was. Obviously the best period of the band was 1970 to 1982. That is Status Quo. There's no other period. The psychedelic years were just a development. We had a partnership back then. You've got to realise that this partnership was developed even before Rick Parfitt joined the band. We had the whole infrastructure set before he even came in. Rick Parfitt would be playing on stage during the first six months without his guitar plugged in. He wasn't even playing. He didn't even play on Pictures of matchstick men. But the best period was from Dog of two head to Never too late. After that it was a different band. Because John left. Well, you can't have a Mr. and Mrs. Smith who have been married for 25 years, and then Mr. Smith divorce his wife and Mr. Smith goes off somewhere and he marries another woman and then they become Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Then a million dollars are coming through for Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the new Mr. and Mrs. Smith keeps that million dollars. But it doesn't belong to that partnership. It belongs to the original Mrs. Smith. It's her property. So you have to realise that a name of a band is not a name of a company or a person, it's a name of a partnership. This partnership is owned by four people that put in exactly the same effort to make it what it was. That name is owned by John Coghlan, Alan Lancaster, Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi. That's who owns the name Status Quo. It's not a company or anything else. We had members come into the band like Andrew Bown. But they are members, not partners, not owners. They are not the producers of the music. They have contracts like employees. It's like Rossi and Parfitt with these other guys now. That's a different band. They might have the same name, but it's a different band. When I see Rossi and Parfitt with all these compilations, DVD's, all these records, it upsets me very, very much. Because they have not got the right to do so. It's against the law. My performances belong to me, John's performances belongs to him, just like Rossi and Parfitt's performances belong to them. If Parfitt's performances belong to him, they just don't belong to me or anyone else. So when you see all these compilations, they are not records I agreed too. What upsets me is what Rossi and Parfitt are saying in interviews and books, is all a lie. It's not the truth. For instance, everybody thinks that they went to court to prove they own the name Status Quo. That's what they have written in their autobiography's. It's just simply wrong. Rossi and Parfitt never stood trial for their wrongdoings. They only went to court because I didn't want In the army now being released. That's the only thing. But that was a hearing before the trial. They never stood trial for what they did. That little hearing had nothing to do with the name, it had to do with the injunction to stop In the army now from being released. Obviously I was not successful. The only reason In the army now was released is because Phonogram came in and said they had this contract and that they could release it. And if I objected to that they were going to sue everyone. So I allowed them to release it. That's what happened there. The court case was settled out of court. They never went to trial. When Rossi says he goes to court to prove he owns the name Status Quo it doesn't make sense. You don't go to court to prove you own something. You are the owner or you don't. The only people who owned that name were Rossi, Parfitt, Coghlan and me. That was the partnership and the only reason that they are carrying on under the name Status Quo is because I allowed them to. I settled it out of court and allowed them to finish up this contract under the name Status Quo. But what I didn't allow them to do is act as they are the old band. The last ten years or so they acted like they are the old band by saying they have been in the charts for five decades. Untrue. And they sold 120 million records. Untrue. They couldn't have sold more than about one million records on their own since I left the band. The most records we've sold were around 35 million. But it's around 35 million. Not 120 million. The most they have sold is about one million. The sales of the Rocking all over the years compilation is not only theirs, it's also from me and John's. This is how the cocaine changed them. This is why they just carry on as if they are entitled to do things which they are not. They just make people sue them. That's why I had to sue them again. There's nothing worse than to sue your friends. But these guys turned in to different people. Status Quo had an ideology. It had a packed. It was a real thing. But it became a farce just after John left the band. John actually left the band in 1983. In November 1981 he departed and was replaced by Pete Kircher. But John was still a part of the band up until may 1983. He didn't departed in 1981, he was just replaced. This is when the whole thing was started to go wrong because nobody realises how important a drummer is. But how was it for you to be playing with another drummer after all those years with John. Was is strange? No, not really because Pete Kircher tried to imitate John Coghlan. He just had to play what John had played. In the studio it was quite different. A drummer has a kind of philosophy about how he hits the drums. And John being an owner of the band, had a certain say in a way things would go in arrangements. There was a certain way he played. If we wanted him to play things in a different way that he couldn't play or wasn't his style, then he wouldn't play it. In other words, we would lock ourselves into what we know as the Status Quo style. That's just what we played. I will always be looked at as Alan Lancaster from Status Quo. Not Alan Lancaster of the Bombers or the Party Boys. No matter what I'll do. I can't go anywhere, can't get away from that. Even if I want to. It's just something I've become. It's attached to me. It's your whole social life, your financial life, everything. Your personal life is based on it, your friends, your family worked to it. You lived a certain style. You become that. But John didn't exactly leave the band. As I said, the band was very close up until Pip Williams started to get into the band. I don't mean it was his fault but just the effect it had on the band. When he came in we weren't playing as a unit anymore. It was all broken up into bits all the time. So we lost a lot of feel. Although we were kind of impressed with what he was doing we left a lot of things up to him. But it was very boring in a lot of ways. It wasn't the band doing what we did best. We weren't sitting there arranging our own stuff. We had Pip Williams sitting in front of us telling us what to do. We weren't used to that. We used to do our own thing instead of somebody else directing us what to do. We were actually producing the album ourselves and Pip Williams was hired by us as a designer. But we left it all by him. So songs we weren't normally consider doing were being introduced into the set. The way that was being done was, we weren't going to each other to talk about what we were going to record or not but Rossi was going to Pip and Pip was doing his songs. Before we knew what was happening we were doing songs we normally wouldn't be doing. So this other avenue was creeping into the band and Rossi would use Pip as a channel to get songs recorded that we wouldn't normally do. Not only that, at one point all the solos were being preconceived and everything was taking so much longer. It was making the band as individuals feel bored. And long periods without playing. And when we had to play after a long break, we had to warm up again. So it was completely the wrong way to record Status Quo. We didn't realise that at the time. We thought this was perhaps a new way. But what crept in was that Pip Williams was the channel for Rossi to get some of his stuff recorded by us. That was one of the bad things and caused a bit of friction. He was getting things done that we didn't want done as a band. It wasn't Rossi's band, it was our band. He wasn't the producer or the owner, he was just one of us that put in as much as anybody else. But not more that anybody else. So nobody wanted Pip for the next album but Rossi insisted. We went along with it in the end but again, we said never again. But the next album after that was Whatever you want which was co produced by us because we said no to Pip Williams but it was Rossi who wanted him again. So we had him as referee.