My Tuesday blog will consist of an item of (non-political and non-religious) news that has taken my interest over the past week. Feel free to comment!
I was saddened to hear last Thursday that Rick Parfitt from Status Quo suffered another heart attack in June while on tour in Turkey. His personal assistant found him unconscious in his hotel room, and lucky for Rick a medical team were on hand very soon. However, he actually ‘died’ for three and a half minutes and spent several days in a coma, which has left him with slight cognitive impairment for which he is having treatment. He had already suffered two previous heart attacks, and had previously undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery. At the moment he is taking time out in Spain to rest and recuperate, and has been told by his doctors not to return to touring for at least the rest of the year.
Rick is mindful of his 8 year old twins and wanting to see them grow up. He has quit drinking and smoking, and says this time the heart attack has been a ‘reality check’. He was forced to watch Quo’s recent gig in Hyde Park on TV, while John ‘Rhino’ Edwards’ son took his place on stage. He fears a return to gigging might kill him, doesn’t want to drop dead on stage, and there are plans for a less demanding solo career if he decides his body cannot cope with another tour.
It’s a sad fact of life that in the second half of your life you start paying for the excesses of the first half. Rick has lived the rock ‘n roll lifestyle for 50 years, and his body is telling him to stop in the only way it knows how. What’s worse is that he knows his sudden departure from the stage is due to the consequences of the aforesaid 50 years of excesses.
What’s best I wonder? To live the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll lifestyle and fade out early like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix did, or to live modestly and carry on until you’re 90 and beyond? It’s a personal decision. Me; I’d like to be somewhere in the middle, but fate, karma, kismet, or call it what you will has already decided it all for you anyway. You can help your body out by keeping it as healthy as you can, but sooner or later it’s going to tell you when it’s had enough.
I’ve been to more Quo concerts than I can remember, and have enjoyed every one of them. All I can say to Rick, is rest, recuperate, and listen to your body when you make that all-important decision whether or not to resume touring. We’ll be sad if your decision is to quit the band, but we know you’ll be quitting for all the right reasons.
Added to this is the news that Meatloaf collapsed on stage at the end of last week and was rushed to hospital. He’s been battling the heart condition Woof-Parkinson-White Syndrome. Perhaps it’s time for the younger generation of rockers (if there are any?) to take over.