Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

Main MenuConcept Refinement The Author..Wayne JancikGolden Age Of The 50sGolden Age Of The 60s1970s and There After




(Francis Michael Rossi)

Cadet Concept 7001

No. 12   August 3, 1968




For decades now, Status Quo has been dishing out three-chord bone-crunching music, and there seemed

no end in sight.   Critics have consistently dis­missed the band’s trademark sound as low brow and

monotonous, but Status Quo has acquired a legion of British fans who don’t want them to ever stop

playing, though the guys have tried.   At the end of their 1984 European tour, and prior to their

appearance at the Band Aid concert (1985), members declared that after more than 20 years it was,

indeed, all over.   But after many such announcements, Status Quo usually returns in their tried and true

form to the British charts.


Despite the group’s sole appearance on the U.S. Top 40 with “Pictures of Matchstick Men”–an early and

atypically psychedelic pop platter–main man Mike Rossi and his rockers have racked up more than 40

U.K. hits (surpassing the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and the Hollies), making them one of the most

successful British groups in rock history.   Half of these singles went Top 10, and every Status Quo album

issued in the U.K. since 1974 has made the British Top 5.


Guitarist Francis Michael Rossi (b. Apr. 29, 1949, London), bassist Alan Lancaster (b. Feb. 7, 1949), and

guitarist Alan Key met in their school orchestra in the spring of 1962.   All were 12-year-olds with a desire

to make some music, and for a while, they played togeth­er as a traditional jazz combo.   Keyboardist Jess

Jawors­ki replaced Key, drummer John Coghlan (b. Sept. 19, 1946) stepped in, and the group’s sound

began leaning toward rock’n’roll.


In 1965, the Spectres, as they were now known, started gigging around holiday camps outside London.

Jaworski dropped out, and his spot behind the organ was filled by Roy Lynes.   The Spectres signed to the

Pic­cadilly label and issued three singles–“I (Who Have Nothing),” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” and “We Ain’t

Got Nothin’ Yet.”   All of them sank without a trace, as did a single credited to Traffic Jam entitled (aptly

enough) “Almost but Not Quite There.”


By 1967, the group, now called Traffic Jam, was working mostly as a back-up band for MADELINE

BELL, Tommy Quickly, and a miscellanea of touring U.S. rock’n’rollers.   Steve Winwood of Traffic

reportedly com­plained about the similarity of the guys’ new name to his own outfit’s moniker.   To avoid

any possible legal problems, Rossi and Traffic Jam became Status Quo.


Then guitarist Richard Parfitt (b. Richard Harrison, Oct. 12, 1948, Woking, Surrey) joined the group, and

Status Quo recorded “Pictures of Matchstick Men.”   Before that bashin’-boogie trademark style had fully

evolved, Lynes quit the band.   Several similar-sounding follow-ups were cut and canned: “Ice in the

Sun” (#70, 1968), “Technicolor Dreams,” and “Black Veils of Melancholy.”


The group persisted on a pile-driving path through the ’70s and ’80s.   Coghlan retired in 1982, and their

line-up has shifted repeatedly over the years, with Rossi and Parfitt as the mainstays.   At various times,

key­ boardist Andy Bown, bassist John Brown, ex-Original Mirrors guitarist Pete Kirchner, and ex-

Climax Blues Band drummer Jeff Rich have been touring and/or recording members.   Toward the end

of the 80’s, Sta­tus Quo went through some label changes; releases are now more sporadic, and

sometimes are not even issued in the States.


In October 1991, Status Quo made history–being entered into the Guiness Book of World Records for

competing four charity concerts in four different British cities in a 12-hour period.   “Come on You Reds,”

a sin­gle cut with league football champions, Manchester United, returned the group to the top of the U.K.

charts in 1994.   The group and their head-banging brand of boogie still prevail; outside of the States.