On December 24, 2016, unfortunately too late for our 2016 year-end memorial at the printer, we lost Rick Parfitt, rhythm guitarist and vocalist for Britain’s Status Quo. We remember him now with a flip side that he composed and sang.
By Warren Kurtz
The Status Quo
Flip side: When My Mind Is Not Live
A side: Ice in the Sun
Top 100 debut: September 28, 1968
Peak position: 70
Cadet Concept 7006
By late summer of ’67, it seemed that the initial British Invasion was winding down. On May 18th of the following year, the U.S. saw the beginning of another round of the British Invasion when the Status Quo, ahead of Deep Purple by a few months, entered the Top 100. “Pictures of Matchstick Men” reached the U.S. Top 20 that summer. A solid, ten song album produced by John Schroeder, entitled “Messages From the Status Quo,” was released.
This Status Quo debut album also included three other singles. Two of them, “Black Veil of Melancholy” and “Technicolor Dreams,” had a touch of the guitar style from the “Pictures of Matchstick Men” hit. The other single, “Ice in the Sun,” was more in line with the Lemon Pipers’ “Jelly Jungle” from that year and reached the U.S. Top 100 in the fall. The flip side of “Ice in the Sun” was Rick Parfitt’s “When My Mind is Not Live,” a catchy piece of pop-psychedelia, with a bouncy bridge and an extended guitar-driven instrumental break.
Producer John Schroeder also provided U.S. audiences, on the album, with their first exposure to “Spicks and Specks,” a cover of a very early Bee Gees song. A Bee Gees inspired sound continued in 1969 when Rick Parfitt sang “Are You Growing Tired of My Love,” a song John Schroeder co-wrote and told Goldmine that it is possibly one of his best songs. It reached the Top 50 in the UK that year.
While long-term success escaped the Status Quo in the U.S., the quintet has had 100 singles in Europe, where they continue to tour, with Richie Malone now replacing Rick Parfitt.
Warren Kurtz is a Contributing Editor at Goldmine, known for “Fabulous Flip Sides” along with interviews, CD, DVD and book reviews. “Warren’s Fabulous Flip Sides” can be heard most Saturday mornings, around 9:05-9:25 a.m. Eastern time, on WVCR.com as part of “Moments to Remember.”