United Kingdom

Status Quo legend Alan Lancaster dead at 72

Status Quo legend Alan Lancaster has died at the age of 72 after a battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

The bass-playing musician, who was a founding member of the English rock band - which formed as The Scorpions in 1962 - died at his home in Sydney, Australia. 

News of his passing was confirmed by his close friend Craig Bennett, who said in a statement on social media that he was 'heartbroken' to announce the passing of the 'guitar God'. 

He said that despite Lancaster's battle with MS and 'issues with his mobility', he continued to perform in reunion tours, with his last stage appearance coming in 2014.  

Lancaster leaves behind his wife Dayle, who he married in 1978.

His widow said in a statement: 'We are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. 

'He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus.' 

Status Quo legend Alan Lancaster has died at the age of 72 after a battle with Multiple Sclerosis

He and Lancaster had children Alan Jr, Toni and David and five grandchildren.

Along with front man Francis Rossi and guitarist Rick Parfitt - who died in 2016 - Lancaster was one of Status Quo's original members.

He appeared on 15 albums until 1985, with his bass-playing featuring on classic tracks including Whatever You Want and Down Down. 

Lancaster reunited with bandmates Rossi, Parfitt and John Coghaln in 2013 for a UK tour. The star performed his final show in 2014. 

The musician moved to Australia in the 1980s and his mother and father and brother and sister joined him soon after. 

The bass-playing musician (right in 1983), who was a founding member of the English rock band - which formed as The Scorpions in 1962 - died at his home in Sydney, Australia

Lancaster (pictured centre in 1980) appeared on 15 albums until 1985, with his bass-playing featuring on classic tracks including Whatever You Want and Down Down

Lancaster leaves behind his wife Dayle, who he married in 1978. His widow said in a statement: 'We are all heartbroken. Alan had a wonderful wit and a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was a devoted and adoring husband, father and grandfather. Family was always his focus'. Pictured: The couple in 1979

Status Quo legend Alan Lancaster (third from left) has died at the age of 72 after a battle with Multiple Sclerosis

Studio portrait of English rock group Status Quo posed together in London in 1974. The band are, from left to right: guitarist and singer Francis Rossi, bassist Alan Lancaster, guitarist and singer Rick Parfitt (1948-2016) and drummer John Coghlan

Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan (sitting), Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi of Status Quo pose for a group shot at The Plaza Hotel in January 1976 in Copenhagen

Mr Bennett's full post on social media read: 'At the request of his loving and deeply cherished family, am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo.

'Alan Lancaster passed away this morning at his Sydney home, surrounded by family.

'Alan had been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 72. Status Quo began Rockin' All Over The World in 1967. The legendary band amassed decades of hit songs, including Down Down and Whatever You Want. Alan married his beautiful wife Dayle Lancaster in 1978.

'They met when Alan and Status Quo, along with Slade and Lindisfarne, toured Australia in 1973.

'Alan, who was a dear and special friend, is survived by Dayle, his children Alan Jr, Toni and David, plus five grandchildren.

He went on: 'Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours in the UK & Europe in 2013 & 2014. 

Lancaster reunited with bandmates Rossi, Parfitt and John Coghaln in 2013 for a UK tour. The star performed his final show in 2014. Above: Lancaster performing in 2014

Along with front man Francis Rossi and guitarist Rick Parfitt - who died in 2016 - Lancaster was one of Status Quo's original members

Alan Lancaster of Status Quo performing on stage at City Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 19 May 1974

Alan Lancaster, Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan of English rock band Status Quo, November 13, 2012

Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster of the rock band 'Status Quo' perform on the Midnight Special TV show in March of 1973

'He bravely played 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 nicest people in rock and roll.'

Born in Peckham, South London, in 1949, Lancaster formed The Scorpions with his then-schoolmate Rossi and fellow classmates Alan Key - who played the drums - and Jess Jaworski on the keyboard.

The students then renamed themselves and became The Spectres, with Key replaced by John Coghlan. 

The new-look group met Parfitt while playing at a Butlins holiday camp in 1965. 

Whilst they did secure a record deal, they had little success with any of their releases.

The Spectres then briefly became Traffic Jam before being renamed once again to become The Status Quo from 1967. 

Two years later, 'the' was dropped and the band's final name was settled.  

They went on to enjoy more than 60 Top 40 hits in the UK. 

As well as his primary role on bass, Lancaster served as a vocalist for the band. His voice is heard on songs including 'Bye Bye Johnny' and 'Roadhouse Blues' 

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