Status Quo Bassist Alan Lancaster Dies Aged 72
Status Quo star Alan Lancaster has died at the age of 72, his close friend Craig Bennett has said. Lancaster died at home in Sydney, Australia surrounded by his family.
Craig, an entertainment journalist, announced the news on Facebook with the permission of the musician’s family, saying he had been battling multiple sclerosis, a condition which can affect the brain and spinal cord.
He said: “At the request of his loving and deeply cherished family, am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo.”
“Alan Lancaster passed away this morning at his Sydney home, surrounded by family. Alan had been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 72.”
“Status Quo began Rockin’ All Over The World in 1967. The legendary band amassed decades of hit songs, including Down Down and Whatever You Want. Alan married his beautiful wife Dayle Lancaster in 1978. They met when Alan and Status Quo, along with Slade and Lindisfarne, toured Australia in 1973. Alan, who was a dear and special friend, is survived by Dayle, his children Alan Jr, Toni and David, plus five grandchildren.”
“Dayle said this morning that Alan loved his life in Australia. His mother and father, plus his brother and sister also moved to Australia. Dayle said: “we are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus.”
Craig continued: “Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours in the UK & Europe in 2013 & 2014.
“He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans…and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army.”
In 1962, Lancaster co-founded a band with friend Francis Rossi which would form the basis for Status Quo. Seven years later, musician Rick Parfitt joined the band and the following year, the group released Pictures of Matchstick Men, which reached No.7 on the UK singles chart. Lancaster would play bass and sing for the band.
In the decades that followed, the band carved out a place in musical history with their thumping rock sound. Status Quo would open for the 1985 Live Aid Concert, where they shared the stage with Queen, U2, David Bowie and Elton John. The concert aimed to raise funds for the Ethiopia famine.
Status Quo’s Parfitt died in 2016 after suffering from a severe infection at the age of 68.
Lancaster left Status Quo following Live Aid and moved to Australia, where he joined Australian band The Party Boys in 1987, before founding The Bombers the following year.
Reuniting with some Status Quo members, including Mr Rossi and Mr Parfitt, Lancaster performed with them for a UK tour in 2013. His last ever show as a member was in Dublin in 2014.
Lancaster told the Studio 10 in 2016 that when the band first got together, none of its members could play guitar. Over the course of a year, they went from learning to play to performing their first gig.
“It’s a bit strange starting a band when you can’t play an instrument,” he said.
Fans took to social media to pay tribute to Lancaster, including American musician Cletis Carr who said the 72-year-old was a “truly lovely, gentle, kind man”.