Status Quo Founding Member, Alan Lancaster, Dies

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Alan Lancaster, in an undated photo via the Status Quo Facebook page

Alan Lancaster, a founding member and bass guitarist for the British rock band Status Quo, died September 26, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. Lancaster, 72, had suffered from Multiple sclerosis for several years.

They began as the Scorpions as young teens in 1962, with Francis Rossi (lead guitar and lead vocals), Alan Lancaster (bass, vocals), Jess Jaworski (keyboards) and Alan Key (drums). A name change to the Spectres led to a couple of singles that failed to chart but by the summer of 1967, with a series of lineup changes—most notably the addition of Rick Parfitt on rhythm guitar—and another new name, this time to Status Quo, things began to happen for the band.

Beginning in the late ’60s, Quo scored twenty-two Top 10 singles in the U.K. and earned four #1 albums there. In the U.S., however, it was quite a different story, as they were essentially ignored by Top 40 radio. Their sole  U.S. hit – and what a song it was – came in 1968 with the psychedelic song, “Pictures of Matchstick Men.”

Those U.K. hits included 1974’s “Down Down” (their sole U.K. #1 single) and 1977’s “Rockin’ All Over the World.”

In July 1985, Status Quo opened the famous Live Aid concert in England, beaming that song to a worldwide audience.

Watch Status Quo opening Live Aid in 1985

In the tribute to Lancaster on their Facebook page, fellow founding member, Francis Rossi, wrote, “I am so sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. We were friends and colleagues for many years and achieved fantastic success together as the ‘Frantic Four’ alongside Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan. Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo druring the 60s and 70s. Although it is well documented that we were estranged in recent years, I will always have very fond memories of our early days together and my condolences go to Dayle and Alan’s family.”

Lancaster departed the band in 1985 but returned for several reunions.

The band’s manager, Simon Porter, noted: “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to reunite the original line up for two sellout tours in 2013/2014 and to give Status Quo ‘Frantic Four’ fans a final legacy and such a lasting memory. Although Alan was not in the best of health even then, he got through the tours with determination and grit and was a pleasure to work with.”

Lancaster was born Feb. 7, 1949, in the Peckham district of London.

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2021

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  1. mick62
    #1 mick62 29 September, 2021, 04:34

    God bless you, Alan. R. I. P.

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