Sta­tus Quo

This month Martin Cooper pays tribute to Rick Parfitt, Sta­tus Quo’s re­cently de­parted rhythm gui­tar ace and king of Bri­tish boo­gie.

Guitar Techniques - - LEARNING ZONE -

One of the most eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able gui­tar part­ner­ships of all time, both vis­ually and son­i­cally, Rick and long-term band mate Fran­cis Rossi were the lynch­pins of Sta­tus Quo from the mid ‘60s on­wards. Their pile-driv­ing gui­tar rhythms and melodic rock and roll song­writ­ing will be sadly missed, but Rick left be­hind a plethora of clas­sic songs and me­mories for mil­lions of fans.

The band be­gan to find fame, par­tic­u­larly in the UK, with their third al­bum and first for ma­jor la­bel Ver­tigo, 1972’s Piledriver. This al­bum served as a blue­print to the thump­ing rhythms and catchy melodies they pro­vided with each suc­ces­sive al­bum, while they built a following as one of the great­est live acts the UK has ever seen. One of Quo’s best-known songs was ac­tu­ally writ­ten by Cree­dence Clear­wa­ter Re­vival’s John Fogerty. Rockin’ All Over The World has be­come a clas­sic since Quo recorded it in 1977, es­pe­cially with their un­for­get­table in­tro per­for­mance to 1985’s Live Aid. It was this gig that con­vinced Quo to con­tinue, hav­ing de­cided that they were prob­a­bly go­ing to call it a day.

Though they never fully broke in Amer­ica, they con­tinue to have a mas­sive fan­base in the UK and Europe, and it is with great sad­ness that fans will con­tinue to lis­ten to the band, know­ing there will be no more new mu­sic or tour­ing from Rick Parfitt. He had ac­tu­ally an­nounced his re­tire­ment from live gigs with the band shortly be­fore his death.

The track this month is in the key of G (G-A-B-C-D-E-F#) but has mostly F Nat­u­ral notes and F Ma­jor chords (with­out many F#s) which means G Mixoly­dian (G-A-B-C-D-E-F); and then into C Ma­jor (C-D-E-F-G-A-B). There’s also one pass­ing chord of D with F# in the bass. The chart is writ­ten us­ing sim­ple chord sym­bols, but lis­ten out for the low E bass note that gives a C/E sound, and also the Csus4 sound­ing chords in the last two bars of the in­tro. The main chords use root and 5th, mov­ing the 5th to the 6th in true Quo style.

The solo is a melodic piece that be­gins with some Hawai­ian style 6th in­ter­vals, then moves be­tween the C Ma­jor Pen­ta­tonic (C-D-E-G-A) and C Ma­jor scale. It’s not tech­ni­cally dif­fi­cult, but even this short track will test your stamina - Parfitt and Rossi played spot-on gui­tar rhythms for two hours a night for nearly 50 years!


NEXT MONTH Martin looks at early ‘80s on­wards Gen­e­sis, and gui­tarist Mike Ruther­ford

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