Alan Lancaster, founder of the Status Quo, dies at age 72

Alan Lancaster, the British-born rock legend and founder of the Status Quo, has died after battling multiple sclerosis.

His family confirmed the news that Lancaster died at his home in Sydney surrounded by loved ones. He was 72.

“We are all devastated,” Lancaster’s wife, Dayle, said in a statement.

“Alan had a wonderful sense of humor and a fabulously dry sense of humor. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus.”

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Status Quo, portrait photo session in a park in Tokyo, Japan, September 197
Alan Lancaster portrayed alonside Status Quo band members in Tokyo in 1975. (Koh Hasebe / Getty Images)

Entertainment reporter and close friend of Lancaster, Craig Bennett, broke the sad news on Facebook.

Bennett revealed that the musician had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for some time.

“Despite having MS and problems with his mobility, Alan participated in very successful reunion trips in the UK and Europe in 2013 and 2014,” Bennett wrote.

“He played bravely to thousands of adoring fans … and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army.

“Vale to an absolute legend and one of the most wonderful people in rock and roll”.

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Statuo Quo founder Alan Lancaster pictured at his 1997 Castle Hill home in Sydney
Alan Lancaster pictured in his Castle Hill home in Sydney in 1997. (Simon Alekna / Sun Herald Photo Archive)

Lancaster formed the Status Quo in 1962 with Francis Rossi while still in school.

He continued to perform with the group until 1985 with their last album Back to back published in 1983.

Their breakthrough track ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ pushed the group to stardom, with a series of catchy guitar-filled hits to follow.

The band received more than 60 charts in the UK and more than 100 singles over two decades.

The band underwent various name changes, including a shift from 1967 to The Status Quo after introducing Rick Parfitt to the lineup. They returned to the Status Quo in 1969.

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Among the group’s career highlights was a spot on the bill for Live Aid in 1985. They took the stage alongside Queen, David Bowie, Elton John and U2.

April 2014: Alan Lancaster performs with the Status Quo at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, UK.
April 2014: Alan Lancaster performs with the Status Quo at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, UK. (Steve Thorne / Getty Images)

It would be the last time Lancaster performed with the group as a full-time member, though he would later reunite with bandmates Rossi, Parfitt and John Coghaln in 2013 for a Status Quo tour of the UK. The tour ended in Dublin in 2014.

Lancaster moved to his adoptive country Australia in the 1980s and formed The Bombers with guitar legend John Brewster from The Angels’ fame.

November 1989: The Bombs with John Brewster, Alan Lancaster, Tyrone Coates, Steve Crofts and Peter Heckenberg
November 1989: The bombers with John Brewster, Alan Lancaster, Tyrone Coates, Steve Crofts and Peter Heckenberg. (Festival record)

In 1987, he and Brewster both became temporary members of the Australian rock band The Party Boys, heralding a new era for the supergroup.

Switch-up saw founder and bass guitarist Paul Christie switched to drums so Lancaster could play bass.

Lancaster survives his wife Dayle, whom he married in 1978, their children Alan Jr., Toni and David, and grandchildren.

If you or someone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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