2016 - Part 1
Morning! Actually afternoon, 13.03 to be precise, or 63 minutes past midday, or 57 minutes to 2 or shut up and get on with it. We're on a day off in Birmingham and I'm having a quiet day as my voice is really shot, and I don't like it. Not my voice I hasten to add, although there are countless numbers out there would prefer it if it, or for that matter me were shot. Still, that's show biz folks. For everyone that likes my voice there's 283 that don't if I was to believe everything I haven't read on the net.
Actually I don't bother with Facebook re anything or You Tube re Quo, Facebook in particular, it seems like an awful waste of life to me but then again I am an old bugger. Why would I put a picture of my dinner on the Internet? Or a photo of a funny looking dog turd? (actually that could be funny) How fucking dull is that? We spend enough time staring at screens, which of course I'm doing at the moment, and you will do while you're reading this so I suppose I'm completely defeating the object of my pissedoffness really. Does that make sense? It does to me. One of the reasons I did stop reading stuff on the web, by the way, was the level of hatred and vitriol directed at the band, (except Richie, which is right, he's such a nice guy doing his best) by some people, who have NO idea what is going on in Status Quo, and think Rick walks on water. Some of you are real weirdos, and you don't half talk shit.
And of course, being a complete hypocrite I'll be all over it like a rash to promote my Rhino's Revenge May tour next May, which hopefully will feature a certain Leon Cave, who in my not so humble opinion has really come on in leaps and bounds over the last year or so, he's become a really outstanding drummer, which is of course why I've asked him to make some noise with me.
Anyway, this year will be the last year I do this stuff, at least that's how I feel at the moment, but things might change, it would appear we're coming to the end of an era, so it's probably the right time to stop. I'd just like to say it's been been reet rivetin' at times and boring twaddle at others, but then I would. Anyway, I'm going to bring you up do date in my teeny little world.
Gert Ohlsson. - Poor Gert, I'd known he'd not been well for quite a while, we'd been texting and talking occasionally, he really was very stoical about his illness. The last time I saw him healthy was at Sweden Rock just after Leon had joined, in fact I think his photo became our main band shot for that period.
He loved Quo, and did he put in the time on the old Message Board or what? A brilliant command of written English he had, and believe me he needed it! I like to think we always made him feel welcome when he came to visit us at gigs, it won't be the same in Sweden any more. He leaves a widow and 2 children, who I'm thinking of at this sad time. Not that that does any good, they must be so grief stricken at the loss of a father and husband, but it might be a tiny bit of comfort to know how liked he was by people he admired. Cheers Gert, Rock on mate xxx.
Right, that's the Epitaph done, let's get on to the Log, heart attacks and dead Parfaits...
The year started as per normal, a few months off, then back to the road, Blackpool on to Wroclaw in Poland, a great festival that one, Tranmere Rovers football ground was a laugh, have a look at the poster I saw in the Market. If you look in the left hand corner, you'll see the caption "Billy "Knuckle" Rushmoor. Nearly killed his last opponent" without even an exclamation mark. Ah, they don't make 'em like that any more...
I also went to see Ahmed, my new image consultant, what d'ya reckon? Am I a towelhead? Good look for next year maybe. I remember one gig in a tent in Holland, which is where my tech Mr. Tomkins met a new best friend. Bit of a dog though... I read that near to the gig was were the world's first known boat had been discovered, so I got out my trusty foldaway bike and went about 10ks to this village where I found it. God, those people must have been small! Of course I didn't realise it was a model, the real one's somewhere else, made me laugh though. Boiling hot gig that one as well, I mean boiling!!!
On the way back, I am that kind of guy I went to an Aga museum. Fucken' Hey! Actually, look at the photo. Yep, AGA radios, betcha didn't know that!
Right, here goes...
Rick had been telling me he wasn't feeling right, he was having little turns if you see what I mean, feeling weird, then it passed. But he's one of those people that's always got something wrong with them, he very rarely says he's feeling amazing, which ironically he does now, every cloud etc.
We turned up at the Isle of Wight, did the gig in the marquee, which holds about 12,000, there were that many outside as well which was really really hot, as we were, really went down amazingly. At the end Rick went to see the backstage paramedics to tell them he thought there was something wrong, but it seemed to pass. So off we trundle to Turkey. In the car on the way to the airport, I remember him saying to me he wasn't well, and again, it passed. I heard later he'd told a friend he wasn't sure he'd be coming back alive...
A storming show, amazing hotel, probably one of the lavishest (is that a word etc) I've ever stayed in. Rick's room, well, palace, was on the same floor as me and a 3 minute walk away, the hotel is that big. Bizarrely the lsle of Wight and the Turkish gigs were the best he'd played for a while, his right hand, which is his trademark really, in his pomp he was one of the greats, hadn't been so good for a few months, I just put it down to getting on a bit. But on those 2 shows he was an absolute beast, I was really getting off on what he was playing. Anyway, back to the Hotel, Lyane brought us up kebabs. This is where it all got a bit surreal, and the Parfitt 9 lives kicked in, in fact make that 19 lives.
He normally goes to bed pretty quick after the show, so we don't really socialise. Lyane took him his kebab, then the rest of us got together to eat ours at the other end of the corridor in the Gomorr's room. She doesn't like kebabs, so she went off to check on him as he'd said he wasn't feeling that well. About 4 minutes later she came rushing in shouting he was having a heart attack. Francis and I ran down to his room, on the way, we saw some paramedics running down the corridor and showed them to his room. When I got in there it was so weird, he was completely still, lying on the bed. It's a bit hazy, as I'm sure you can imagine, but they basically started whacking his chest so hard I thought they were breaking his ribs, then came the electric shocks. At one stage one of the paramedics looked round at me, put her fingers across her throat, and just said "dead". Now that was surreal. Francis and I just looked at each other, I suppose I was in shock.
They managed to resuscitate him and rushed him to the hospital. I went as well, all I was thinking was is that if Rick's going to die I don't want him to die alone. So I waited until about 5 in the morning with the lovely Marva from the Promoter, (they were amazing by the way in all of this) when they told us there was nothing more they could do that night, he was on life support, he probably wouldn't make it through, and if he did there was a good chance he'd be brain damaged. I had a chuckle to myself about the brain damage bit, I thought no change there then. Mind you, as he later said, "it'll take more than death to kill me". So back to the hotel into a really strange sleep. I keep trying to think of words to describe how I felt, but you kind of can't, I'm trying my best though. I'm sure some of you reading this will unfortunately have had the same or similar experiences. Rick's family flew out the next day, and as the hospital told us they'd only be speaking to family from now on, we decided to go home, there was nothing more to do.
Reasons why Richard John Parfitt is the luckiest bugger you've ever met:
If there had been sushi at the hotel Lyane would have been with us eating in the Gomorr's room and wouldn't have gone to check on him. That for sure saved his life.
A team of paramedics with all the necessary equipment for heart failure who were based at the nearest hospital had left the hotel 2 minutes earlier after another emergency and just turned around. The hospital is a thirty minute drive away.
They didn't give up even when his heart stopped. Turkey has one of the best records of resuscitation anywhere.
He's just a jammy bastard.
In all seriousness, it was a question of when, and not if something like that happened, you can't do no exercise and get up and do shows under the amount of pressure and stress we as entertainers undergo. We're all made of steel when we're young, but sometime you have to grow up a bit. You'd think he'd had enough wake up calls in the past, but unfortunately that hasn't so far been the case, I just really hope this has been the real deal.
He has told me the others were chickenshit compared to this one, fingers crossed he's taken it on board, he's got a lot of love flowing his way, you plonker Ricardo, you knose I lurves you xx
That seems like a good place to stop, I mean I've been working on this for a good 20 minutes now, and my time is money y'know.
Speak on x
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