Credit: Shutterstock/Rick Parfitt

I've been given a ninth life - cats are jealous of me.

A singer, guitarist and songwriter who found success with the band Status Quo, Rick Parfitt was a true rock and roll star, and enjoyed one of the longest careers in a single band - 49 years.

Rick was born in South London, and enjoyed an upbringing that he described as ‘wonderful’, despite his father being a drinker who would occasionally discipline him with a belt. He had learned the basics on guitar by the time he was 11, and by 15 he had his first regular gig, at a holiday camp near Portsmouth.

He met Quo singer Francis Rossi in 1967 and joined forces, first as The Spectres, then Traffic before settling on The Status Quo - they would soon drop the definitive from their name. Riding the wave of seventies psychedelia, they released the single Pictures of Matchstick Men to commercial success in the UK and US. The single would prove to be their only charting hit in the States, but they proved a mainstay in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe with songs such as Down down down, Whatever you Want and Rockin’ All Over the World, which became immortalised as the opener of the 1985 Live Aid concert.

Rick lived an unapologetically fast life for decades, and while Quo were in their pomp he admitted to spending over £1000 per week on cocaine, and £500 on vodka. After health troubles in the mid 90s, he was told by doctors that he could die at any moment - true to form, he refused to become a teetotaller and still enjoyed the occasional pint, enjoying life to the last.