Rick Parfitt, guitarist in the legendary UK boogie-woogie rock band Status Quo for fifty years, has been hospitalised whilst on tour in Europe which has resulted in a slew of gigs being cancelled over the next few weeks. Six European dates have been cancelled so far as the guitarist, the joint head of the band alongside lead singer and guitarist Francis Rossi, was deemed too unwell to continue playing live. 

Rick Parfitt Headlining Download 2014
Parfitt has previously undergone a quadruple heart bypass, but still tours regularly.

In the wake of the announcement, the exact details of Parfitt’s ailment have not been disclosed, but the band’s manager Simon Porter has stated that the band “did not cancel shows lightly, but in this case we have no choice but to follow medical advice”. With this in mind, fans are right to be worried about the welfare of their rock hero, especially considering the fact that Parfitt has previously suffered from serious heart problems.

In 1997 Parfitt underwent a traumatic quadruple heart bypass due in no small part to his excessive rock star lifestyle which had taken its toll after several decades of narcotics abuse. At his peak, Parfitt admitted to spending over £3,000 on cocaine a week alongside a continual diet of alcohol and cigarettes. Despite the excesses and shameless self-indulgence, both Parfitt and Rossi were granted OBE’s in 2010 due to their almost half-decade contribution to music.

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Parfitt was flown to the UK on a private jet from Croatia, where the band was scheduled to play in the coastal city of Pula. Rick’s son, who is also called Rick, took to Twitter to put Quo fans at ease over the situation. He wrote on Sunday: “have spoken to Dad today and all signs are good that he will back rocking again soon.” But son Rick Jnr was also quick to add: “he has to stop thinking he is invincible, that’s all I can say right now.” Paarfitt underwent another health scare in 2005, when he had to undergo a series of tests due to suspected throat cancer. It has been revealed that Parfitt and Rossi were travelling on the tour bus at the time that Rick began feeling unwell. The coach was forced to pull over and Rick was carted off to hospital in an ambulance where he received treatment and underwent tests.

Parfitt and Rossi Headline DownloadThe band are still set to play their slew of gigs to round off 2014 with a bang.

The band have a run of UK arena gigs slated for December and their next scheduled gig on August 15th in Nottingham is still slated to go ahead. Despite undergoing major surgery seventeen years ago, Parfitt has admitted he is still partial to the odd pint after vowing never to become boring, although his days of excess are far behind him.