Status Quo album-by-album thread (50 Years of Quo)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JulesRules, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester UK
    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.
     
  2. 12stringbassist

    12stringbassist Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester UK
    I do think that's a great album.
    Because we produced it ourselves. That album wasn't even co produced by him. But he was a big influence on those albums. It was all because of the relationship between him and Rossi. That gradually changed the way we worked. Before that we used to rehearse 12 hours a day, work the songs out and then do the recording. But now we were going into the studio unrehearsed, doing the songs in little bits and after a song was done we sometimes couldn't even recognise the song because it all changed so much. The whole character of the band changed. Not live on stage but even then Rossi started to get into this celebrity media style you know. Cause Rick was always trying to become a media celebrity and that was just not the ideology of the band. When I put the band together nobody could play at the time. We were learning how to play our instruments. We were just ordinary people that wanted to play certain things. That was the ideology of Quo. To be a peoples band. But when Pip came in it changed. Rossi and Parfitt got a bit lazy because of their drugs.

    The boredom set in for John Coghlan because of the hanging around and messing around. For a start, they weren't getting on together which makes it more difficult. But we did have this sense of humour. We always had that, always sucking on one another. Every day someone would be sucking on Bob Young, as part of our humour. Even when we had arguments. That would always end up in a laugh because someone said OK, you're sacked. A similar thing happened with John which now Rossi tries to turn around and make it sound like it was some kind of set thing. There was this argument, not humorous but semi serious from which we all thought this will blow over and everything is fine again. There's no problem. I've never known Rossi for doing things on his own back, he had always somebody to do things for him. But now, for the first time in his life he came up to me and Rick and told us he was phoning up Pete Kircher cause John was leaving the band. Is that allright, he asked. We agreed to that and me and Rick just looked at one another and thought that this will be blown over by the morning when the managers get to know about it. But to keep the peace, cause you had to work with one another we said, yeah fine. And he actually did it. And the next day we heard that John had flown back to the UK. The real thing was he was really pushed out of the band. He was an owner. You can't be pushed out. If John leaves the band, it's over. The band should be broke up. He's an owner. You can't have someone leaving the band and going on without his permission. He was still part of the band for the next 18 months or so.

    Well, John told me that he got the feeling that his leaving the band was sort of planned. Forced maybe.
    Well it wasn't planned by Rick, it wasn't planned by me, it wasn't planned by our management but the one that pushed it was Rossi. It was a semi serious kind of argument but you get over these things the next day. I mean, you have arguments all the time in long relationships. But we did get on with each other. You don't stay together for as long as we did if you don't get on with one another. But some of the things Rossi did were terrible. But nothing interesting happened in his life you know. All Rossi ever saw were dressing rooms and backstages. He doesn't do anything else. He stays in his hotel room. Goes to the gig, plays the gig and goes back to his hotel room and then on to the next gig the following day. That was his life. Everybody else got out and did things. Try to make something of it. The only thing he ever did on his own was to get rid of John Coghlan. Because he actually forced the issue. We all got upset sometimes. That happened a thousand times in our career. But this time it was taken a stage further. And it wasn't intended to. John leaving the band was actually a mistake. But it was forced by Rossi. He just phoned Pete Kircher and asked him to come over. Cause I was the first one that has used Pete on some demos. He got to know him then. He played in the Original Mirrors and Shanghai. And he just phoned him up.

    The next moment John was flying back to London. Iain Jones was our tourmanager at the time and that was another one that came into the Rossi camp. He got Iain Jones to do some of his dirty work. That's what happened. John got pushed out. He was intimidated to leave and that was disgusting. But the thing that disgusted me the most was when we got presented one of the highest awards you can get. That was the outstanding contribution to British music. It's a very high award. This was a surprise. We all turned up and the award was made out to Alan Lancaster, Francis Rossi, Richard Parfitt…..Pete Kircher and Andrew Bown!! Andrew was never a part of the band but always a sideman. I didn't want him. But although John left the band, he was responsible for developing it, making it famous over those twenty years. So when I brought this up to the management I said this is wrong. This is John Coghlan's award. Not Andy Bown's or Pete Kircher's. Pete had only been around for a few months. Andrew Bown was never even a member of the band before 1982. He became a member in 1982, not a partner. I said, I don't care what anybody thinks, this award is John's property. It belongs to him, it doesn't belong to Kircher or Bown. But that was rejected. That was the day that I realised we've made a terrible mistake. A big, big mistake.

    I realised then that Andy Bown had now become a member of the band, we had Pete Kircher, we had Iain Jones and Rossi had Bernie Frost to write him songs while he was on the road and this whole thing turned into another band. A completely different band. On stage it didn't change that much. The old set was fine on stage. It was still the same as always. You can replace someone in that respect to a certain degree. Cause you can learn the style of the other drummer. It's like a singer can come in and sort of sings to the other singer. But to get the right feeling of the band, that's another thing. And when we were in the studio creating new stuff, that's when I noticed the most. Although Pete Kircher is an excellent drummer he didn't had the feeling that John had. It showed when we were recording. Not when we were playing live. You can actually mimic somebody live, but to mimic somebody's creating ability is simply impossible. He couldn't create the same thing as Coghlan did. John contributed immensely to the arrangements. He should really have got more song credits to his name. But we were to naïve to think about things like that in those days. So with that 1982 award I really felt that something was wrong and it showed I think. It showed in the records after that. The live performances were still good though. I must admit I really enjoyed the live performances although it did lose some of the raw edge that Coghlan had. Pete did do very well with the live performances. I don't think the band lost the edge live. Cause we copied the same things that we would have been playing if Coghlan was there.


    But beside the fact that I missed John on the records, the biggest disappointment for me was the fact that the songs just weren't as good anymore as before. I don't think John playing on it could have changed that.
    That's right. The reason being is that from then Status Quo were playing songs. Before Pip Williams came into the scene, Quo would never play songs. The song had to fit the performance of the band. The performance would come first and the song would be written around the performance. Now, each individual member was writing songs of their own and bringing them into the band to play. Which created diversity in style and confusion. You see, when we were working together and producing our own stuff we performed stuff in rehearsals or on stage during soundchecks. Then we wrote songs around those ideas. That worked. When you write a song on your own without the band around, then nobody knows where it's coming from when you want to record it. Nobody knows what the performance is to try to fit the song to. That's the way we worked. Most people try to find good songs and perform the song.

    Status Quo weren't like that. We performed good performances and try to find songs to fit that performance. This is the reason why a lot of Status Quo songs have never been covered. Because they demand a performance. The only way you hear a Quo song covered is as when some coverband are playing it live. Because the songs are not really recording songs. And around the time John left, we would bring songs into the studio to which we would try to find a performance to fit. That was the wrong way around. And that was Pip Williams' legacy. He got that into our heads. Rossi started to go his own way. He got to write songs with Bernie Frost and came back to play around with them. But they were Bernie Frost songs. This a fact, if you’re a good writer you only hope to create two very good songs per year. You might write twelve, but you can only really hope for those two. If you're a solo artist you can't write an album with only top songs every year. The thing is, when you're on the road there's very little time to write songs. You can think of a few ideas and put those together with the ideas of the others. But we didn't write together. Francis fell out with Rick, he fell out with Bob, he fell out with Bernie, he got people to write songs for him. You know the song Going down town tonight?

    Yes.
    Would you consider that a Status Quo song?

    No. I've never liked it.
    That's because it's not a Status Quo song. This is to give you an idea of what went on and what broke the band up. No member of Status Quo is playing on that song.

    Really?
    This is a Rossi thing. He did this behind our backs. I was in Australia and although we had plenty of songs to put on the album he put that on the album behind our backs. That's not a Status Quo song, that's somebody else. I don't know who it is, but it's not Rick and it's certainly not me. Francis might be playing a bit somewhere on it. Well, he's singing it, that's for sure. But can you imagine what we felt or what I felt when that was released as a single and we had to make a videoclip for it? This was when we start to lose control. You can't argue with cocaine.

    But it did happen. Couldn't you do anything about it?
    I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't stop the release of the album like I tried to do with In the army now because you're outvoted. I could have stopped it but that would have broken the band up. But the band was breaking up. And before that we had Marguerita time. I did that for Rossi's solo album. He got me to play that for him. I sat there and put as much work into it as I did anything. I put my heart and soul into it. Thinking it was for his solo album. That's the reason why we were doing it.

    Do you consider that the worst song you've ever recorded?
    No, it's not the worst song I've ever recorded. It's just not a Quo song. It was never meant to be a Quo song. Going down town tonight is not a Quo song. That's somebody else. This wasn't Rossi's business or band, it was our business, our band. It's a group, a partnership. We had contracts together. But these guys were so blown away on drugs that you couldn't talk to them. I couldn't go to my management because they were also blown up on drugs. You never contacted the record company cause they were on drugs as well. I knew our record company man personally. Brian Shepherd was our man for many years. In fact he was there all those years. It was when he left the company in 1984 and when the new man came in, that 's how they managed to get all these things going. Doing things without my permission. And this is why in the end I had to sue them. But we settled that out of court. What I want to get straight is that they never went to trial.

    All this is incorrect, misquoted. All the things they say in their biography's. It's simply wrong. We went to court to stop In the army now from being released. That had nothing to do with the trial. Rossi and Parfitt never stood trial for there wrongdoings. Rossi left a contract with me. There were no arguments with me, there was nothing wrong with me and him. The only argument was that he was not fulfilling his contractual obligations. Which meant that I could get sued or Rick could get sued. He just wouldn't work. He later used me as an excuse. You know, Alan this, Alan that, but that was never the case. There was never any problem whatsoever. The only problems were between Rossi and Parfitt not getting on with one another. But that was a jealousy thing I think because I could get on with either of them. I was always fresh and ready to go. There were never any problems with me and Rossi like he likes to make out. Or pretends there is, because he's got a guilt thing. And that thing is that there was no reason that we should have broken up, except for the fact that he was on drugs. Totally out of it. And the only reason they got away with it is because the record company was there and they paid the money for the record. What they didn't know was that they paid advantage for a record without me. They only found this out when I sued them. This is when the new managing director was in Phonogram and they said they were all prepared to except the record as his. So what could I do? They paid the money for the record and said OK, we accept it as it is.

    Rossi said that the record company would only accept Status Quo with Rick and him. The record company got nothing to do with any of this. They are not the band, they don't tell the band what to do. They don't own my property or anyone's. We tell the record company what we're going to do. We went to the record company to get money to make a record. But instead of Status Quo making a record, Rossi went in made it on his own and the management allowed him to do that. Than Rick followed him! So when I complained all hell broke loose and in the end I had to sue them. But when I sued them the record company came in and said look, we accept the record as it is because if we don't do that we have to sue you all for not giving us the record as contracted. But the record that was contracted was us three making a record. So I had no choice to allow them to use the name. The record company was allowed to use the name Status Quo for the next three records or so. I received money for that and allowed them to do that. So have Rossi and Parfitt. The record company said, leave it as it is and try to solve the problems. But they didn't care. They just wanted to release the record under the Status Quo name.

    They already wasted a lot of money on Rossi and Parfitt's solo ideas so they were prepared to accept the album as it was. They didn't wend to bloody court to own the rights of the name!! It's ridiculous. That's the story. And the fans, the Quo army were sending me the wrong messages. Everything I said, about Quo being an ideology, anti establishment and being a peoples band, was turning into something else. The Quo army bought the 1+9+8+2 album. The one without John Coghlan. It spent 26 weeks in the charts and went to number one. That's simply the wrong message. It said, you don't agree with my ideology, you agree with Rossi's ideology. You want songs like Baby boy and stuff like that. That was the message for me. The next message the fans send me was Marguerita time. It was against everything I thought Quo stood for. It sold 400.000 copies in the UK. One of our biggest singles. So I couldn't do anything. Then I had a number one record in Australia. It sold over 100.000 copies and went gold.

    We also had a platinum album. We released He's gonna step on you again in the UK, it got lots of airplay but it got nowhere. And a Punkband recorded a funny version of it six months later and it went to number one. I was getting the wrong messages from the Quofans. It was like they don't want this stuff, they want stuff like Marguerita time and Going down town tonight. And The wanderer, that was another stupid idea. That was again an idea by Pip Williams. He thought that would be a great Quo track. We thought, Oh really? We discussed that many years ago. We always said no to it. It should have been recorded 5 or 6 years previous but we always said no. Rossi wanted to record it so we tried it but it wasn't right. But in the end he got his way and got Pip Williams to do it.

    And again that was a big hit.
    Yes it was. But again, the wrong messages. I mean, If you can't stand the heat is a bit of a naff album. But even the bad stuff on those albums did have the right style. It still had a certain feeling. But how do you feel when you buy a record with the name Status Quo on it when it's not a Status Quo record?

    I remember being very disappointed when I bought and first heard the 1982 album. Same with Back to back.
    Did you buy Going down town tonight?

    Yes, but only because I'm a fan and I collect everything that's got the name Status Quo on it.
    You've bought somebody else's demo. Rossi did that. It misrepresents Status Quo. This is what was happening. It wasn't a question of argument, it's a question of trying to prevent somebody from misrepresenting the band and the fans. Quo were never like that. We were the same, we were fans. I didn't agree with that. But these albums and singles all sold a lot of records so what could I do? I couldn't break the band up and get sued, so I had to let Rossi misrepresent us. This is what happened. Everybody seems to want to know about it, so I'm telling you.

    About the music Alan, which of the songs you've written are you most proud of?
    Most of the songs that I'm most proud have never been released. It's very difficult to explain. When you write songs you have to write a performance for the band. Status Quo was a different band than most bands. It's a performance style band. It's very difficult cause when you write a performance style song you know for sure it's not going to be a single. If you tried to write a single it's a different story. When you write a single, nine times out of ten it can't be a performance based song. It's hard to do that. Lot of our singles weren't performance based songs. That's why the singles didn't really matter so much. We also didn't play a lot of singles on stage because of that. Down down for instance. There's this certain point in Down down where you have to play and step up. A certain performance or adrenalin mode. That song does not work unless it's played with this adrenalin type mode. Almost like racing ahead of the beat. It enquires a lot of energy to play that song. That's why we didn't play it at first. Because you don't realise what kind of energy it requires to make it work. The Bombers used to play Down down. The energy was absolutely phenomenal

    But isn't the Quo album from 1974 your personal creative high point? You've written most of the songs on that album with Rick. Stuff like Backwater, Just take me, Don't think it matters. Really great songs!
    Yeah, stuff like that. Rick wrote most of the riffs on there. Me and Rick were sort of like that. I wrote most of the stuff as far as lyrics and melodies were concerned. And Rick came up with riffs and things. Although Lonely man was the other way around. Even then it was strange. We were going into the right direction, but there's this song called Fine fine fine. And that was so far removed from the whole thing we were into. And the solo on it was such a struggle. Cause Rossi's solos always had to be directed to a certain degree. I still got the tape here. We had to pick every single note to put them in the right chord structure.

    Really, cause I think some of the guitar solos on that album are the best Rossi ever made. Like the ones in Backwater, Just take me, Don't think it matters and also Fine fine fine.
    If you had heard the state the original solo was in, it was all the wrong notes. I had to sort that solo out. It was almost funny, sort of spinal tap. He's playing the same notes but all in the wrong places. He wasn't hitting the chords in the right places. Just wrong. A lot of work went into that. Slow train was a just a bunch of ideas altogether. Rick wrote lots of ideas in that, some ideas of mine. It was all bits. An arrangement. It's tricky to get the right balance with writing. If I didn't write with one of the band it was always a lot harder to get the song to work. It's always a lot easier to work on songs you wrote with another member of the band. I never wanted to write with anybody else. I always wanted to write with Rick or Francis. But Francis never wanted to write with anybody else.

    He left Rick at an early stage, he left me at an early stage. Then he went with Rick again, and left him again, then he went with Bob and left Bob, and he went with Bernie and left Bernie and went to work with somebody else. The reason being is that when he's on the road he can get Bernie or all these people to write songs for him. That's very easy. Everybody else is trying to find the right formula. This is why the band broke up. It wasn't because of arguments or bad feelings, it was a bad thing that happened. From that, so many different stories have been made up which have given a whole different scenario to the band. You've got to realise there's two different bands. If the band that calls itself Status Quo today are on albums with songs or recordings that I made, then it's illegal.

    But if it's illegal, why does it happen?
    Well Arjen, I can sue Rossi, I can sue the record company for a million things, I can sue the management for a million things but that will cost me years of my life and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds. It stops you from working and makes you emotionally stressed. This RSD that I got in my hand comes from stress to what Rossi has done. Because I had to now sue them again and John had to sue them again. Not only them, I also have to sue the record company and their management. Because they have been taking royalties from mine and Johns and were suing them for it. For unpaid royalties. For taking our money. I don't know if you have any idea how a band works, but a band works on advances. They get an advance from a record company and from that advance we'll buy studio time and make records. Then we'll supply them to the record company and they release them and pay us royalties. They don't pay off any royalties until the advances have been paid up.

    When John and I left the band there were still advances to be paid up. Rossi and Parfitt kept our money. This caused a lot of problems. Not only that, they have been using our performances and advertised with it. John's performance belongs to nobody else than John. If somebody makes a copy of that performance like on a compilation album, that's copying his performance. That's illegal without his permission. All these things that's been done to us is why reunion's and all that kinda stuff is out of the question. The ideology of Status Quo no longer exists. It doesn't exist in the band now. This reunion can't happen because it just can't be what it was. You can't change Rossi's mind. He's got his mind set for a number of years now. This didn't changed overnight, this was a very subtle thing. First of all getting rid of Coghlan, using Iain Jones to get rid of Colin Johnson, get Pip Williams in, stuff like that.

    Alan, how do you look back at the End of the road tour? Francis and Rick always said that the band were on a real low point then. Do you agree?
    Well they were. Nobody else. That's their perception. This is when they were probably at their worst. They could hardly function. It was so embarrassing to go on stage cause Rossi was drunk most of the time. He was drinking and on drugs. Rick was the same. Although I must say that on stage we always put our heart and soul into anything we did. Even when John left. The audience was always number one. Live, we never falter. It always had to be as good as we could do. Even though someone was feeling sick. Which hardly ever happened cause that's how fit we were. We almost never missed a gig. We did this for years so we must have been fit and healthy. But the audience always came first. Even in those later years. But Rossi could hardly function. On stage he'd gone to automatic pilot. He did play everything he had into it but because he was drunk then he did things that were stupid. Like talking to you while you're singing. You just can't play when somebody's shouting in your ear.

    Did you do some recording after that tour?
    We only did The wanderer. Cause Rossi didn't wanna work. And Rick was going thru a terrible hard time then. I flew over to Rick because of that. We went to visit accountants. Rick asked me to fly over to come and help him. Which I did. He later turned around and said that wasn't true. That's how he changes things around. Also the story that I wanted this Status Quo mark 2 thing to happen without Francis. That is not true. I would never have done that. It's just laughable. But both of them just couldn't function anymore. All Rossi wanted to do is to sit down with a computer or a drum machine and write pretty songs with Bernie Frost. That's why he didn't wanna work anymore, cause he had Bernie Frost and himself, Andy Bown and Pete Kircher. That was the band. He was trying to use the name Status Quo to launch his own private band. Rick wasn't a part in that, nor me. That's what he was trying to do. So after I resigned, that was the end of Status Quo. That was a broken marriage.

    How have you experienced Live Aid? That was around the same time all this was happening.
    Live Aid was just another gig. Just some time out while Rossi was making his solo album. He was doing his solo stuff. Rick had to do that too, so all this time was being wasted and we weren't making a Status Quo record. And when that was a failure, he just wouldn't take it easy. He wanted to make another record of his own and call it Status Quo. Like he did with Going down town tonight. I can't believe the fans bought Going down town tonight.

    Well, it wasn't such a big hit. But a lot of fans just want to buy and collect everything from the band. No matter how good or bad it is.
    Yes, but if I release something like Break the rules and it sells, I'm sort of proud of that. But with Marguerita time I expected everyone to turn around and say hey, this is not right. But when it was sold I didn't had a leg to stand on. It was like the market has changed. Alan is out of date. But of course I wasn't. The best band I've ever played is was the Lancaster Bombers by the way.

    Better than Quo??
    The Lancaster Bombers was the most phenomenal band. Very enjoyable. The Bombers was something special but the Lancaster Bombers was like Quo again. They had something else. It had the thing. The Bombers was a great band. Especially live. But Tyrone was too much of the great rock singer if you like. He's such a great singer but sometimes the public can't relate to it. But it was a great live band. But when the Lancaster Bombers got into a four piece with Brett Williams on guitar, it was something else. I've got some old demos here where we are playing Big fat mama and stuff like that.

    The Aim high album from the Bombers is fantastic. I really think so.
    Oh thanks. I don't know what to think about that anymore cause it didn't really do much. There were some great reviews on that album. Even a few 5 star reviews. It's made it's way to the shops, but the record company A&M got bought out. When we released that record we had so much going for us all over the world. But A&M got bought out by Phonogram so we didn't had a record company. Although A&M had just put the record out, there was nobody there anymore. We had videos done to promote it.

    It's a shame. Very energetic record I think.
    Yes, it had enormous energy.

    Do you still have contact with Rick?
    No, I don't speak to anyone anymore. I'm suing them. He knew that the things I said are true, so the last time I spoke to Rick he said, you're going to bloody prove it aren't you? In other words, he knew he was taking my money. So how can you talk to someone like that?

    In 1994 he came to see you at one of the gigs you did in Sweden. How was that for you then?
    Yeah, that's right. It was good. I mean, I've never had anything against Rick. He's just Rick you know. With anyone that does what he does, you just take him for what he is. He's just one of those guys. You've got to realise, cocaine changes everybody Arjen. It really did change Rick and Francis. It was a real band before then. We were really together. And all those terrible times together as they said, it's not true. We had an incredible time together. It was all genuine. I can't really talk to Rick much now because of all this. Which is terrible.

    We have spoken to Rhino last year and he said that Rick still speaks very well of you.
    Well, Rick can change tomorrow. You know what I mean? Over the years you get to learn. If Rhino said that Rick speaks very well of me, then I don't see any reason why he shouldn't. I only ever done good things to Rick. I haven't done anything to hurt him, but at the same time I can't rely on the man. He's unreliable. As is proven. We were very much together, all friends. Long term friends as well as business associates. It takes a lot of balancing when you're in business together to be friendly as well together. But it worked. The chemistry worked. But when you get a drug situation coming in as much as it did, it changes everything to the worst.

    You also went to see Quo around the same time in Gothenburg. How was that?
    It was embarrassing. Very embarrassing. I've been raving about Quo, and The Lancaster Bombers were covering some of the Quo stuff doing it in a kind of energetic way it should be done. With all the moves, everything done. No bits missing but done properly. So I took the band to see Quo in Gothenburg and it was an embarrassment. I'm sorry to say that but it was just a joke.

    In what way?
    It was like cabaret. A parody. It was like a bad covers band. Status Quo now is a covers band. They cover Status Quo. This is Status Quo mark 2 were talking about now. Which is different to the original band. When I played our songs with The Bombers like Roll over lay down, Break the rules and all that stuff that we were known for, I was actually playing covers. Although I'd co-wrote and produced those songs and formed them, I'm covering them. Because it was not me that did them, it was Status Quo that did them. The four of us. When Rossi and Parfitt are playing those songs, they are covering Status Quo. Because they didn't make those songs, Status Quo made those songs. That's Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coghlan. They are a covers band today. There's no argument about that. It's a fact.

    If they make a new recording of an old song, although they are covering that old song, they won't be regarded as a covers band because they are doing a new concept, a new expression. But when they copy the expression of the original band, they are a covers band. That's the way it works. A writer of a song is also the producer of a song. When you buy a record you're buying the producers rights, the songwriters rights and you're buying each of the performances rights. If Rossi wrote a song and we recorded it, that means I have performance rights. John does, Rick does and Francis does. Rossi has writing rights. And the producer which was the four of us, have producers rights. That means nobody else can touch those rights without our permission.

    You've also played with John again in that period. That must have been special?
    That was great. He made all the difference. In fact, I consider our drummer in The Bombers Peter Hackenberg, as one of the top drummers in the world. But when John Coghlan was playing with The Bombers live, it was a really satisfying feeling. It was just the studio stuff where it was different. John's always been a live drummer and Quo have always been a live band. Our studio stuff was always different than the live thing. And when you get into the studio something happens. It's not the same thing. I've listened to some live stuff of the new Status Quo doing the same songs we played, but the sound is just completely missing. It's just not there. A completely different feeling. I've heard cover bands doing our songs and they have studied it so much that they have actually got that feeling.

    John is playing with the guys from State of Quo, and they are really, really good.
    Yeah, they have probably studied the material very well. That's good. But the Rossi/Parfitt Quo just doesn’t play the old stuff the way it should be played. As you can see on those videos and DVD's. It's just a joke. The fact that he doesn't play the solo in Break the rules is not because he can't, it's because the way they play it, it doesn't make him feel to get the right notes. You can't play Status Quo songs with your fingers like Rhino does. It's ridiculous. It's a different kind of chunk. I used to play with my fingers and my thumb. A thumb works better than fingers but you cannot get the same feeling with fingers. You can't control the depths of the notes. If you play live you can get away with it to a certain degree, when you have a big production. But when you record a show and play it back you hear the difference.

    Have you talked to Bob Young in recent years?
    I did when Malcolm Kingsnorth died. Mal was Quo's soundman. He died very suddenly from al lung disease. He was told he had about three weeks to live. So Bob phoned me about that. I haven't spoken to Bob much lately for obvious reasons. He's writing again with Rossi isn't he? Rick doesn't do much writing these days. Seems uninspired. I wonder why that is.

    Your songs always had a different edge than songs from the others. I don't mean better or worse, just different. Which was a good thing cause it balanced the albums. Especially some of the later songs like Mountain lady and The wild ones. I consider that some of your best songs.
    I was always trying to progress. Once we got the boogie shuffle sorted out I tried to change things around sometimes. Trying to progress. Always trying to look for new things.

    The strange thing about the songs I mentioned is that it's Francis singing those songs. I can imagine you want to sing your own stuff, especially great songs like that.
    Well., they are melodic songs and he sang Mountain lady slightly different than I wanted it but those songs were more like singles. Stuff that I thought might be a single I let Rossi sing. It's very difficult, like I said earlier. We all had different styles. Rossi was very poppy. Even more poppy than country. Rick was very much cabaret. More of the old school cabaret type. With chords and things. I was more of the rock side. Not Rock and Roll, although I was influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis and things like that. I was more influenced by Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan. But together it worked. And John was always so much into John Bonham and different things. And when we wrote together it worked beautifully. But as individuals we had different styles. Rick was brought into the band as a singer. Cause none of us could sing. We are singers but were not vocalists. We were Status Quo, we couldn't do anything else. We don't do Abba, we don't do ELO. We probably could do ELO in the studio but we couldn't do it live.

    But is the story true that you were not happy with Rick singing lead vocals on some of the singles?
    That's absolute nonsense. Me and Rick were actually tired of Rossi doing his bloody vocals all the time. It became a bit boring. Cause he wasn't singing them on stage. The stage set didn't really represent our singles. The live set was the live set. And Rossi was singing the singles but it got a little bit too much. So at that time we had a little change. The two songs that Rick had were both singles. And great singles. Rain and Mystery song are two of my favourite singles. I never had a problem with Rick doing that stuff.

    And what about the story then about Ol' rag blues? It seems you were not happy with Francis singing that song. You wanted the version with your vocals to be released.
    That's correct. Have you heard the version with my vocals? You've probably have heard the version with my vocals but not the one with the proper mix. That recording went missing for some reason. That was supposed to be released. But Rossi went into the studio and put his vocals on it. I wasn't happy with that. It's my property. You don't do that to other peoples property. When I say no, it means no. It's not for the record company to decide, it's not for Rossi to decide or the management. It belongs to me. I have the rights of the producer, the performer and the writer. Nobody else can take that. But he did. That's the whole point. No, I didn't want his vocals on Ol' rag blues. I don't know if the original vocals have ever been heard.

    There is this version with you singing on it on the Rockers rollin' CD box.
    I'd like to hear that cause I don't know which version that is. The original version I have on an acetate here. The proper version. That's the version we all wanted to be released. But Rossi managed to get his vocals on it. It's the principle of it. We all agreed to it. It was all done, mixed and paid for and he went out and spent my money to change my property around. Which is not on. It's the principle of the thing that mattered the most. It was all down to his drug problem. If the managers weren't on drugs as well he wouldn't have got away with it.

    Did the band recorded songs that haven't been released yet? We have the remasters now which got some bonustracks, but it's nothing really special. The remasters do sound fantastic.
    I don't know what's been released and what's not. Everything that's been released is done without my permission. So I don't know what's been released and what's not. I know about the remasters but I can't explain how much that hurts me. It drives me nuts. It affects me very badly that they do this. They act like they own these things. They don't. But there are probably bits and pieces around somewhere. I do have some stuff here at home that me and Rick did around 1984 or 1985. Some demos. Good stuff.

    I always wanted to know if the lyrics from Is this the way to say goodbye, are about Rick and Francis.
    Absolutely. It's an emotional song written basically about leaving the band. And the way it was done. It's a shock Arjen when that happens to you. It's something you own. Status Quo was never looked on as a business. It became a business cause we had to earn our money from it to survive. To make it work. So it became a business and it meant we all had our responsibilities. And we built up this structure and when you've done something like that, it's yours. You don't expect to be pushed away. It's personal as well. If you can't work with the people you built it up with, you split up. It's like a marriage. That doesn't mean you loose what you've made. That's your property. It was a bit of a shock. If it was a slow thing and you can see it coming it would have been different. You can make arrangements and talk. But this was a sudden cut off. It wasn't nice. It was aggressive and violent.

    Rhino told me that he thinks the original band should get together one day for a final gig or tour. I was very surprised to hear that from him, but when I hear you talk that will never happen.
    It can't happen. The original band was the original band. Putting us four back together again doesn't mean the chemistry will be there. There's no problem us playing the stage set the way we played it. That will come off in six months or so. But to make a new and exciting product you have to have the same mind set. It's not like putting session musicians together. If you put four great session musicians together and you copy a bands set, you could almost be better than the original. But you cannot capture that creativity. It's easy to copy, very difficult to create. And when you create something you have to have the same empathy with one another. The same goal. We all had that. Now there's betrayal. Terrible things have been done. I had to sue them for my own property. To survive, to keep what I already own I had to sue my own partners cause they won't talk like reasonable human beings. Instead they go around slandering me.

    The fact of the matter is, they did the wrong thing and they have made up stories to cover themselves. And now those stories are about to be believed. So now I have to speak up, although I don't want to. Cause when people say things that are lies, you can't let that happen. So I had to speak up. And a reunion can only happen if some magician can turn Rossi and Parfitt into the nice guys they once were. Cause they were my best friends. No doubt about that. I spent more time on the planet with Rossi than any other human being on this earth, which is my mother. So why couldn't he talk to me? Why did have to do what he did? And that was because of cocaine.

    John is really up for a reunion. He even thinks it will recreate the same magic as before. But although it would be great to see you on stage together again, I just don't think the same magic can be captured.
    Put it this way Arjen, if it ever happens it would mean that we have to capture the same or a better magic. Because I wouldn't do it otherwise. And for that to happen there have to be a big cleaning out. Cause it couldn't happen without the mind sets. You know what I mean? You can't think by yourself while your creating something, this guy might run off and take it away. It's a matter of trust. It's not a question of not being able to do it. I'm actually no different now to what I was 25 years ago. I have the same weight, I can still wear the same stage clothes. I still got them so there's no difference as far as that's concerned. But it's the mind set. It's the way you sit down and work together cause it's an intimate relationship. It's different when you're a session musician when you just take the notes.

    When you're a real band you can't make things happen unless you create them. And to do that you need a very intimate relationship. And when you got betrayal in that relationship it's very difficult to do it in a mental sense. Physically there's no problem. As far as the last live set we did, we could get up on stage tomorrow and play that. No problem. But as far as creating new and exciting stuff, it enquires a lot more than that. I won't even consider releasing something that is absolutely out of this world. That's why I don't release things. Cause I like to release the best as I can do and it cost a lot of money to release things.

    Have you been following the band in recent years?
    No I haven’t actually. Here and there I looked at some things but I haven't really been following them. All I know is that they have been working their arses off in small places.

    Well, they are playing small and big venues.
    What are the huge stages they have been playing then?

    They are still playing the NEC and Wembley Arena to name a few.
    I've heard that at most of those big places they had to screen off a lot of space.

    The NEC is always pretty full and at Wembley they do screen off space but that's just because they are doing these huge tours over the last couple of years. The people who usually travel to London don't have to do that anymore because Quo is playing everywhere. People from places like Ipswich, Cambridge, Brighton and Folkestone don't need to travel anymore.
    It shows how a legacy can carry on, isn't it. I wonder if they could do that without the name.

    Is Quo still a big name in Australia?
    No, the new Status Quo is a joke. It actually affected me. Cause when I used to too get out and did my thing and did Status Quo stuff it was like hey great, we're going to see that. Now, because of the new Quo it sort of spread off a bit. When you mention Status Quo it's like, oh leave it out. It affects other things.

    You never had the need to go and see them when they were in Australia?
    No I never have. I knew they were playing here, but no. I watched a video the other night with their new drummer. He wears headphones. There's not really much body action coming from him is there? He might be a great drummer but the fact of the matter is, he's not performing, he's trying to play somebody else's lines. And those headphones, I don't know when I watch that stuff what to think. It leaves me cold. Absolutely cold. It's just a joke.

    One of the first things I was about to do when I left Quo was joining the Rolling Stones. But the thing is you get so type cast. Everywhere you go you are Status Quo. So whatever you do it kind of stops you doing it cause you got this icon. You're Status Quo. People see you as that all the time. Even when I was with The Bombers. I tried to get away from that as much as I could. And because I didn't use the name Status Quo with The Bombers we didn't take off the way we should have done.

    Do you have any plans for the future to play again when you're capable of playing again?
    Yeah, I should be doing that in about a year now. Well, not be doing it but getting it together in a years time. But I will be playing quite different than you would normally expect. I'm not going to do the same thing again.

    It must be hard for you not to be able to play at the moment.
    It breaks my heart Arjen. It's a terrible thing. I can still play but I can't play professionally at the moment. I still play but not properly. But that's only because physical things with my hand. But it's nearly gone now. I think it should be gone in another couple of months. That's the hardest part. Not to be able to play.

    I hope it works out for you Alan. Thank you very, very much for this interview.
    Anytime Arjen, thank you.
     
    Man at C&A and vudicus like this.
  3. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Absolutely fascinating read. Thanks for this.
     
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  4. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Wasn't Dire Straits Alchemy released around this period? That was a good 80-90 minutes in length on VHS. So I don't think that could be the case.
     
  5. Johns44

    Johns44 Member

    Location:
    Yateley, UK
    I guess out of kindness I should review Back to Back. Oh and the Alan interview, seen him say lots of things and he's as contradictory as Francis or Rick, except that he just comes across incredibly bitter. Anyway on with the review -

    . A Mess Of Blues (Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman) 3:23 Decent enough single and one of the better tracks on here
    2. Ol' Rag Blues (Lancaster/Lamb) 2:51 Great song and great decision to have Rossi sing it. The Lancaster vocal lead version is not a patch on this
    3. Can't Be Done (Rossi/Frost) 3:07 I quite like this one.
    4. Too Close To The Ground (Parfitt/Bown) 3:43 This is ok, but don't get why a lot of people rate it so highly. Maybe because the album in general is tosh! Was going to be released as a single. Remember seeing ads in the music papers for it.
    5. No Contract (Parfitt/Bown) 3:40 Just kind of grinds along in a not very good way and sounds incredibly naff now
    6. Win Or Lose (Rossi/Frost) 2:35 Remember hearing the Lew Lewis version of this on Radio 1's Roundtable show and Rossi was a guest. For those that don't know this was a Friday night show reviewing the latest releases. Not bad but not amazing
    7. Marguerita Time (Rossi/Frost) 3:27 Don't care I like it.
    8. Your Kind Of Love (Lancaster) 3:24 Awful. How he could slag off Marguerita Time and write something as bad as this is beyond me
    9. Stay The Night (Rossi/Frost/Andrew Miller) 3:02 Pretty terrible.
    10. Going Down Town tonight (Guy Johnson) 3:33 Just too damn squeaky with the keyboards and very little guitar

    2006 reissue bonus tracks:

    11. The Wanderer (Ernie Maresca) 3:27 [7”] Thought this was great and still do.
    12. Going Down Town Tonight 3:38 [Album version, NOT Single version] as above
    12. Going Down Town Tonight 4:20 [7” Re-Recording] [correct version on later editions] didn't improve it
    13. I Wonder Why (Rossi/Frost) - 3:59 [intended b-side for “Too Close to the Ground” single] no great
    14. Ol' Rag Blues [Extended version] 4:54 [12” A-Side] Not really that different. It was all the rage to repeat bits and shove the song out as a 12" without really adding anything interesting to it
    15. A Mess of Blues [Extended version] 4:48 [12” A-Side] as above
    16. Cadillac Ranch (Bruce Springsteen) 4:15 [“The Wanderer” session outtake]. Love this and it should have been a single
    17. Ol' Rag Blues [Alternate vocal version] 2:49 awful with the Lancaster vocal
    18. The Wanderer [Sharon the Nag Remix] 3:34 [B-Side “Who Gets the Love”] Again not much different

    As Quo albums go, this is nothing short of terrible though it is a bit better than 1982.
     
  6. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Okay, I know the singles, I suggest that will be enough and ill refrain from listening to the album on youtube. Maybe just Your Kind of Love and Cadillac Ranch.
     
  7. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident



    One of my favourite Bruce songs. Why wasn't this on the album??
     
  8. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Your Kind of Love is very poor. I'll refrain from posting. No wonder stuck near end of side 2.
     
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  9. If it is indeed from the "Wanderer" sessions, that happened after the release of "Back To Back".
     
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  10. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Germany
    1984: 12 Gold Bars Volume II
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    1984: 12 Gold Bars Volume II

    Coinciding with the farewell tour, Quo released another compilation with 12 singles, and again omitting only one that had flopped (“She Don't Fool Me”). The cover design was inspired by the Q-U-O-shaped stage the band had used on the End of the Road Tour.

    There is an error because “Going Down Town Tonight” is the album version instead of the single recording. This wouldn’t be corrected on future compilations (and even the first pressings of the “Back to Back” remaster had the album version twice instead of including the re-recording) until “Pictures” 2009.

    The ‘rare’ tracks on this release are “The Wanderer” and the single edit of “Rock ‘n’ Roll”.


    Francis Rossi & Bernard Frost – Flying Debris (1985)

    1. Modern Romance (I Want to Fall in Love Again) 3:28 [A-Side]
    2. I Wonder Why [B-Side of “Modern Romance”]
    3. Jealousy 4:05 [A-Side]
    4. Where are You Now 3:45 [B-Side of “Jealousy”]
    5. That's All Right 3:14 [B-Side of “Jealousy 12”]
    6. Eyes Are Cryin' (aka Isaac Ryan)

    7. Modern Romance [Extended Version] [12” A-Side]

    The RossiFrost dolo album has never seen the light of day; however six tracks did slip out on two singles, one of which was an extended version. Whether “Eyes are Cryin’” (written in 1973!) was supposed to be on the LP is not clear but it was at least tried out. This song later ended up on Francis’ first actual solo album “King of the Doghouse”, and “That’s All Right” was later re-recorded by Quo whereas “Jealousy” and “I Wonder Why” had already been recorded by Quo before.

    Chances are we’ll meet some of those tracks again…


    Rick Parfitt – Recorded Delivery (1985)
    1. Halloween 5:
    2. 999 (One Good Reason) 3:23
    3. Lonely Nights 3:27
    4. Only Love (Can Break Your Heart) 5:30
    5. Don't Give It Up 4:19
    6. Long Legged Girls 5:32
    7. Show Me The Way 3:46
    8. Late Last Night 2:56
    9. (I Miss) My Baby 3:36
    10. Living My Life Without You (Richard’s Song) 3:32

    11. Only Love [sound check recording]

    Unlike Francis’ solo project, Rick’s solo album did see the light of day in form of bootlegs. But before that, four of the songs had already been used as Quo b-sides.
     
  11. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    I also see the issue here with band members getting their songs on the album regardless of quality. Your Kind of Love is a b-side at best. Shouldn't have been included just because Alan wrote it. Quality control lacking. Ol Rag Blues is up to the task, good single. But the other track, no!

    Internal politics. Same as with 1982, did the record company not stand up to the band, just because they've sold millions doesn't mean they cant be told when a song stinks.
     
  12. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    As mentioned previously a great double vinyl collection. First LP better but second still worthy despite a few mis-steps.
     
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  13. KAJ1971

    KAJ1971 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Worcester, England
    I've never heard their version of 'Cadillac Ranch' before. Man, I'm going to have to put 'Piledriver' on or something to get rid of it from my brain. Awful. Horns! There should only be horns on a Quo LP if they're recording with a rhinocerous.

    Thanks for the interview, interesting reading.
     
    JulesRules likes this.
  14. They've been recording with Rhino since around 1985!
     
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  15. JulesRules

    JulesRules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Germany
    Just wait until we get to the Army era, there were some great sax solos on the b-sides...!

    Also, not to forget that both "Blue-Eyed Lady" and "Forty-Five Hundred Times" feature two saxophonists.
     
  16. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    Is this the end of the Lancaster era then? End of the Road posted. Are we onto In The Army next and the new line-up?

    Maybe a quick mention of Live Aid of course, mustn't forget that.
     
  17. KAJ1971

    KAJ1971 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Worcester, England
    Got the ITAN from when it came out. Not heard too many b-sides from around then. "Blue-Eyed Lady" and "Forty-Five Hundred Times" I like. "Cadillac Ranch" sounds like it should've been the end of the road.

    I don't think there's any performer who I like everything they put out. I'd give "Back To Back" a spin but the girlfriend's in and Quo are on the 'Play it when I'm out' list. :cool:
     
  18. KAJ1971

    KAJ1971 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Worcester, England
    Live Aid. Always went to Grandparents on Saturday. Had to go home to video Quo because they only had a 17" b&w tv. Still have the Radio 1 audio taped bit from then somewhere.
     
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  19. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    Ah yes, well there you go then!
     
  20. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    Back to Back - not much to say other than I think it's complete and utter sh*te. It's either just really pedestrian Quo by numbers, or else it's really really embarrassing. Going Down Town is the worst thing they ever did, Too Close to the Ground is godawful MOR pap, while No Contract is simply laughable...I DON'T GOT NO CONTRACT!!!! Awful. I do quite like Marguerita Time - a good tune's a good tune at the end of the day.
     
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  21. David Robinson

    David Robinson Member

    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Just read a bit of the interview above, I'm not a huge fan, but like bits and pieces.

    The part about a group having partners or owners, is I think being played out at simple minds as well at the moment with one of the Kerr brothers and Derek Forbes.
     
  22. Almost Simon

    Almost Simon Forum Resident

    I've often thought Lancaster was hard done by but as mentioned his views have contradicted several times over the years, as have Ricks and Fran's. You wonder in the end what the truth is. As I said before I really wish Hello Quo had been longer/more detailed. Quo are one of those bands where their history has been covered many times, in many documentaries. Each time i watch one of the retrospectives it seems to cover each part to varying degrees of detail. Its almost as if a fan could pick and choose which bit from each documentary would cover the best bit of the career to make their own Hello Quo style retrospective. I think Hello Quo, which i own, is a bit of a washout.

    That said we're done with the original line-up. Aside from Live Aid Lancaster is now gone (not a bad gig to end on, until the Frantic Four reunion.)

    Onwards.................
     
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  23. carlwm

    carlwm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    wales

    I don't agree with this. To my ears, Back To Back, is Quo's most consistently enjoyable record. However, I am happy to admit that my ears are made from an alloy of cloth and tin :).

    I promised to do a song by song of BTB. I'll post tomorrow, if that's okay.
     
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  24. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I love that Back To Back is unashamedly your favourite Quo album.
     
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  25. carlwm

    carlwm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    wales
    I have no shame :)
     
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