Thinking nice thoughts of Rick Parfitt while listening to “Big Fat Mama” from Status Quo’s Piledriver


By Steve Newton

Just heard the sad news that Rick Parfitt, guitarist-vocalist for Status Quo, died today from a severe infection at a hospital in Spain.

He was 68.

I first discovered Status Quo as a teenager when I came upon their 1972 album Piledriver at a record store. I’d never heard Status Quo before, but I could tell by the album cover–which pictured three long-hair dudes bent over and rockin’ out–that it was decent.

When I got home I couldn’t stop playing the energizing boogie tune “Big Fat Mama”, which was sung by Parfitt and cowritten by him and fellow guitarist-vocalist Francis Rossi.

Status Quo had won a dedicated fan in the wilds of Chilliwack, British Columbia–far from their bustling hometown of London, British England.

The next year I bought their 1973 album Hello!, which was maybe even more consistently rockin’ than Piledriver. Several of my high-school buddies followed suit. 12-bar boogie numbers like “Roll Over Lay Down” and “Caroline” could be heard blaring from jacked-up, mag-wheeled Valiants and Dodge Darts cruising the local A&W Drive-in and hockey rink.

I sorta lost interest in Status Quo after Hello!–I much preferred more adventurous bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, and Queen back then–but years later I had a buddy named Stick, guitarist for Vancouver prog-metal band Mad Duck, who was adamant that the 1974 Quo album was Status Quo’s best ever, and he may have been right.

So let’s all raise a rum ‘n eggnog to Rick Parfitt, and thank him for the invigorating boogie when we needed it most!

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