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Alan Lancaster, bassist and founding member of Status Quo, dies aged 72

Alan Lancaster Status Quo
(Image credit: C Brandon / Getty)

Former Status Quo bassist Alan Lancaster has died aged 72, according to the band’s management. 

In a statement, Quo leader Francis Rossi said: “I am so sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. We were friends and colleagues for many years and achieved fantastic success together as the Frantic Four alongside Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan. Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo during the 60s and 70s.

“Although it is well documented that we were estranged in recent years, I will always have very fond memories of our early days together and my condolences go to [his wife] Dayle and Alan’s family.”

Status Quo’s manager, Simon Porter, added: “This is such sad news and my sincere condolences go out to Dayle and the family. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to reunite the original line-up for two sellout tours in 2013-2014 and to give Status Quo Frantic Four fans a final legacy and such a lasting memory.

“Although Alan was not in the best of health even then, he got through the tours with determination and grit and was a pleasure to work with.” 

Lancaster was born in Peckham in South London in 1949 and was raised in the UK capital. He met future Status Quo bandmate Francis Rossi at Sedgehill Comprehensive School in 1962, where they both performed with the school orchestra. 

The bassist and guitarist soon established their own band and played together in pre-Quo groups The Scorpions and The Spectres, alongside drummer John Coghlan. The line-up that would become Status Quo was completed by guitarist Rick Parfitt a few years later, in 1967.

Lancaster played throughout the hard rock group’s classic ‘Frantic Four’ period, recording 16 studio albums up to and including 1983’s Back To Back, as well performing at the band’s landmark 1985 Live Aid appearance. 

His playing can be heard on most of the band’s remarkable run of '70s hits, including Down, Down, Caroline and Whatever You Want.

Lancaster met his wife Dayle in Australia in 1973, and by the time of his departure from Status Quo, had settled in the country. He was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis but returned for a run of Frantic Four reunion shows in 2013 and 2014, which marked his last appearances with the band.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.