A Breath of Fresh Air With Sandy Kaye
Tuesdays 1pm EST
and Fridays 8pm EST
Status Quo are one of Britain’s longest-running bands, staying together for over six decades. During much of that time, the group was only successful in the U.K., where they racked up a string of Top Ten singles over the decades. In America, the Quo were ignored after they abandoned psychedelia for heavy boogie rock in the early ’70s. Before that, the band managed to reach number 12 in the U.S. with the psychedelic classic “Pictures of Matchstick Men” (a Top Ten hit in the U.K.).
Following that single, the group suffered a lean period for the next few years before the bandmembers decided to refashion themselves as a hard rock boogie band in 1970. The Quo have basically recycled the same simple boogie on each successive album and single, yet their popularity has never waned. If anything, their very predictability ensured the group a large following.
The guys started out as The Spectres with Francis Rossi (vocals, guitar) Alan Lancaster (bass) drummer John Coghlan and organist Roy Lynes. The group added Rick Parfitt (guitar, vocals) and changed its name to Status Quo.
Throughout the ’70s, each album Status Quo released went into the Top Five, while their singles — including the number one “Down Down” (1974), “Roll Over Lay Down” (1975), “Rain” (1976), “Wild Side of Life” (1976), and a cover of John Fogerty’s “Rockin’ All Over the World” (1977) – consistently hit the Top Ten. Since they were experiencing a great deal of success, they didn’t change their sound at all, they just kept churning out the same heavy boogie. By the mid-’90s, Status Quo had scored 50 British hit singles, which was more than any other band in rock & roll history at the time.
This week John Coghlan joins us to explain what those heady days were like, why he left the band in 1981and what life holds for him today.