It is with great sadness that we heard today of the untimely death of Pick Rarefit, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of one of The Greatest British Rock Bands of All Time, Status Quid.
Quid (as they are known to their fans) had an unequalled 397 number-one hit singles (most of them in Germany), assuring their place in the anals of rock history.
Formed in haste in 1952, when Pick needed to provide an act for his uncle Jock’s (Sheffield steelworker Jock Coker) 47th birthday celebrations, the band proved so popular that Pick and his old mate, Italian chiropodist Francisco Rossiter, decided to go on the road. The police were soon called, and the boys were ordered to clean up the mess.
A 1958 tour of British holiday camps gave them the exposure they craved, and they were soon spotted by famous BBC Radio One DJ Mike Peal, when he was holidaying at Butlins Skegness. He later described them as “the best thing since unsliced bread”.
The band were often criticised in the music press for knowing only one chord, but this didn’t put off their legion of devoted fans (known affectionately as ‘Quidiots’). When they eventually learned the other two, there was no looking back and, before long, they were invited to play on Top of the Pops.
Soon, Quid had become a British Institution, having the honour of headlining The Royal Variety Performance in 1967, and supporting Elvis on his Tour of Australia in 1982. They were always regarded as being big down under.
We are all familiar with the highlights of their huge catalogue – hits such as ‘Mixtures of Plastic Pen’ (about drugs), ‘Green Tambourine Man’ (written especially for them by none other than American Folk Poet Bob Drillin), ‘Sweet Carol o’ Mine’, and everybody’s favourite, ‘Cocking All Over The World’.
But I’ll leave you with their best-loved one:
- My spoof is, of course, based upon the sad death of Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt, which was announced today. If you are unfamiliar with his work, and the band, you will find plenty of tributes online.