Status Quo

Status Quo are an English rock band who play boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.

The “Frantic Four” lineup (l-r): Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster & Coghlan (obscured)

They have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock band. In July 1985 the band opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with “Rockin’ All Over the World”. In 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Status Quo was formed in 1962 under the name “The Scorpions” by Rossi and Lancaster with classmates Jess Jaworski (keyboards) and Alan Key (drums). In 1963, Key was replaced by John Coghlan and the band changed name to “The Spectres”. In 1965, when Rossi, Lancaster, and Jaworski had reached the end of their school education, Jaworski opted to leave the band, and was replaced by Roy Lynes.

The Spectres and The Traffic Jam (1963-1967)

The Spectres l-r (Lynes, Lancaster, Coghlan, Rossi)

They began writing their own material and later that year met Rick Parfitt who was playing at the Butlins holiday camp in Minehead, Somerset, England, with a cabaret band called The Highlights. By the end of 1965, Rossi and Parfitt, who had become close friends, made a commitment to continue working together. On July 18, 1966, The Spectres signed a five-year deal with Piccadilly Records, releasing three singles (“I (Who Have Nothing)”, “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, and “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet”) that failed to make an impact on the charts.

By 1967, the group had discovered psychedelia and named themselves Traffic, but were soon forced to change it to “The Traffic Jam” to avoid confusion with Steve Winwood‘s Traffic, following an argument over who had registered the name first. The band secured an appearance on BBC Light Programme‘s Saturday Club, broadcast on June 24, 1967. In June their next single, “Almost But Not Quite There”, underperformed.

The Status Quo (1967-1969)

The Spectres l-r (Lancaster, Lynes, Coghlan, Rossi, Parfitt)

The following month saw Rick Parfitt, at the request of their manager, joining the band as rhythm guitarist and vocalist. Shortly after Parfitt’s recruitment, in August 1967, the band officially became The Status Quo. At this time they achieved two Top 10 hits (“Pictures of Matchstick Men” and “Ice in the Sun”) from their debut album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo.

Status Quo in the 20th Century

Status Quo – 20th Century Hits




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