I was not ready for this. Rick Parfitt had been a part of my story for fifty years. Without doubt the longest relationship of my life: this was also the most satisfying, frustrating, creative and fluid. From those early days, we worked together to create the Quo sound, look and hits. We spent years on the road, on the stage and in the studio, rarely far from each other, honing what we did.
We were a team, a double act, a partnership and yet also two very different people, handling the pressures of growing older, constant touring, dealing with success and keeping the creative flame burning in different ways. He developed his own sound, his own style, casually inspiring a generation of players.
Rick was the archetypal rock star, one of the originals, he never lost his joy, his mischievous edge and his penchant for living life at high speed, high volume, high risk. His life was never boring, he was louder and faster and more carefree than the rest of us. There were any number of incidents along the way, times when he strayed into areas of true danger and yet still losing him now is still a shock. Even in a year that has claimed so many of our best, including now George Michael, Rick Parfitt stands out. I was not ready for this.