Alan Lancaster


Alan Lancaster (born Alan Charles Lancaster, 7 February 1949 in Peckham, London, England) is a bassist and a founding ex-member of the English rock band, Status Quo. As well as contributing to songwriting, he was also one of the lead vocalists on albums and live concerts taking the lead on tracks such as "Backwater", "Bye Bye Johnny", "High Flyer" and "Roadhouse Blues", etc.

Alan Lancaster formed the group in 1962 with his then schoolmate Francis Rossi. His final performance as a full time member of Status Quo was at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1985 for the opening of Live Aid. In March 2013 he collaborated with his old bandmates for a series of "Frantic Four" concerts in the UK, which all sold out.

Following "Live Aid", Lancaster's relationship with Francis Rossi became increasingly strained, when Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt covertly began recording a new album under the name of "Status Quo". Unbeknown to Lancaster - by now living in Australia - and the group's then recording company, Rossi had utilised the assistance of the group's then manager, to drawdown on the group's contracted recording advances, provided by Phonogram Limited. Lancaster was substituted with session musician John 'Rhino' Edwards, who had been recording on a solo project of Rick's - "Recorded Delivery" - which was eventually scrapped. Edwards remains Quo's bassist to this day.

When Lancaster discovered what was going on, he applied for an injunction to protect his interests in the Status Quo name. When this came to the attention of Phonogram Records Limited, it applied to become a joint defendant, in order to protect its own interests in releasing recordings under the name, and for the advances provided.[citation needed] This persuaded the judge to disallow the injunction on a 'balance of convenience', but gave Lancaster permission to take the matter to trial and claim damages.[citation needed] The parties to the action made an out of court settlement in January 1987. Lancaster allowed the new partnership to continue using the Status Quo name and takeover his interests in the recording contract with Phonogram. This was mainly due to practical problems with financing the trial and by Lancaster's relocation to Australia.[citation needed]

Lancaster continues to live in Sydney, Australia. He joined a new line up of Australian band The Party Boys in 1987 and then co produced a hit album, achieving platinum sales. Also achieving 'gold' and reaching the number one spot with hit single "He's Gonna Step On You Again". In 1988, he formed the Bombers, which signed to A & M Records in the USA. It was paid the largest advance ever paid to an Australian based band, but unfortunately after the band had completed a five-star reviewed album, A & M was sold to Phonogram; leaving the band high and dry. The Bombers' original drummer was Lancaster's ex-Status Quo band mate John Coghlan. Ironically, Lancaster had been complicit in Coghlan's departure from Status Quo in 1981. The Bombers supported Cheap Trick (1988), Alice Cooper (1990) and Skid Row (1990) on their tours of Australia. When the Bombers disbanded, Lancaster continued with his then partner John Brewster ("The Angels") with "The Lancaster Brewster Band", in which Angry Anderson performed as a guest artist for some time. Lancaster then formed his own band: Alan Lancaster's Bombers which released an E.P. and toured Scandinavia before disbanding in 1995. As well as writing the theme song for the film "Indecent Obsession", he also produced an album for classical pianist Roger Woodward, which achieved platinum sales in Australia.

In March 2010 Lancaster and Rossi met in Sydney leading to speculation of the original line-up reuniting. This was later denied by current bassist, Rhino, who, speaking of him with the greatest respect, explained in an interview that Lancaster was in poor health and unable to participate in any such reunion. However his health improved and it was announced that the classic "Frantic Four" line-up of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan would perform a series of concerts together in March 2013. The concerts sold out instantly, and it is rumoured that there will be a new album from this line-up in the coming months.

He is also included in a brief cameo role as a 'Hotel Porter' in the Quo's upcoming comedy caper 'Bula Quo!'. As well as appearing in the documentary on Status Quo, titled Hello Quo.

Source: accessed 16th July 2013

Classic Quo are back - Martin Kielty at 11:47am May 22 2012 

Francis Rossi has confirmed speculation that the original lineup of Status Quo are getting back together.

He, Rick Parfitt, bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan will tour the UK and record an album next year. But the project will exist alongside the current Quo, which will also release a new record.

The reunion brings to an end decades of acrimony and reunites the outfit that finalised its classic lineup in 1967, when Parfitt joined Rossi, Lancaster, Coghlan and keyboardist Roy Lynes – who left three years later.

After some early success they released breakthrough album Piledriver in 1972 and by the middle of the decade were one of the leading lights of British rock music. They’ve sold over 128million albums worldwide to date.

Coghlan left in 1981 amid personal tensions and has since been touring with John Coghlan’s Quo. Rossi’s relationship with schoolmate Lancaster crumbled in 1985 and the bassist took the band to court over rights to the name. The case was settled privately two years later.

Earlier this year the four musicians gathered for the first time in decades during filming of band documentary Hello Quo. They had a jam session which was meant to be a one-off for the movie – but led to more discussion.

Now Rossi tells Sweden’s Nostalgia Rock’n'Roll Magazine: “We’ll do a tour and write new songs. We’ve booked a tour in Britain in March next year – eight to ten gigs or something. If we had been gone for 20 years maybe we would have been able to book all the big arenas. But we have a modern-day Quo up and running, and quite successfully too. Who knows how the old band will be perceived?”

The frontman is also concerned about Lancaster’s health. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002. Rossi says: “Alan looks like he couldn’t do it. He’s still frail and his legs are a bit shaky, but he’s getting stronger every day. He’s lifting weights and eating himself into shape.”

Rossi offers some hints regarding their set list: “I want us to focus on the really old stuff like April, Spring, Summer And Wednesdays, which was Alan’s suggestion. We’ve decided to start the gigs with Junior’s Wailing. We’ll do 4500 Times. Maybe we’ll play Roadhouse Blues and other songs Alan used to sing. In that way it’ll feel fresh again, because we haven’t played those old songs for such a long time.”

But he’s most happy about being able to talk to his old friend again. “Alan had been misled by his attorney, who’d fooled him into believing they could sue us for £30m,” he explains. “The poor bastard has been so used. He apologised and we became friends again over a cup of coffee.

“I talked to Alan’s brother recently, a guy I thought would like to kill me. He cried over the phone. Then Alan’s cousin, a girl I used to have a crush on. I must meet Alan’s mum again. How I’ve missed those wonderful people. I mourn that I couldn’t meet his dad, who died recently, one last time. And his uncle also passed away – he was really important to me. Damn, I managed to get to 60 before I realised it. That’s life.

“So unnecessary, really, everything that went wrong. The nice thing is we can now be straight and honest with each other again.”

But Rossi thinks neither version of the band will be around for much longer. “I don’t believe we’ll play together with Alan and John for long – they won’t cope,” he says. “I don’t think Status Quo will be around much longer either. It’s increasingly difficult to cope with the energy discharge a concert requires.”

Source: accessed 16th July 2013