Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Status Quo Beat Me Up!
On Coronation Street last Sunday, Chesney came running up to Les: "Les, it's the Quo!" Les's favourite band were a mere few doors down, quaffing pints in the Rovers (under the eye of their road manager Ralph Brown, nearly reprising his role as Danny in Withnail & I). Les wasn't having any of it. He wouldn't believe it even when Chesney took off with Les's jean jacket and returned it marked with Francis Rossi's and Rick Parfitt's autographs. Eventually Les got with the plot—too late—as the band got in their van to leave. Our ginger-haired hero gathered up his Status Quo LPs and took chase, catching up and yelling at them through the van window. He couldn't keep up, though, and the van rounded the corner and disappeared...only to circle the block and stop in front of Les. His elation at seeing his heroes return was short-lived, as Rossi and Parfitt jumped out of the van and beat the snot out their biggest fan. Seems that sometime in the '80s, Les jumped on stage at a Quo gig and accosted Rossi with enough gusto to put the guitarist in a permanent neck brace. "This is for 20 years of pain!" Rossi yelled, fist connecting with Les's face.

So yeah—best episode of Coronation Street ever.

When I'd recovered sufficiently I took a walk up to Neptoon Records to flip through their bargain bin. They've always got something worth having for $2.00. I found a copy of On the Level, an album that got a lot of screen time that morning, sitting atop Les's pile of vinyl. And it's great. You can't not like Status Quo. They're friendlier than Nazareth, not as self-obsessed and macho as Thin Lizzy while rocking just as hard as either. On the Level has some real stompers, like "Little Lady," "Down Down" (#1 in the UK), and a roaring version of Chuck Berry's "Bye Bye Johnny." Full-tilt Brit-boogie at its finest.

The aftermath of the Les-battering incident saw Les and Cilla plotting to sue the band for assault and injury, so I'm predicting more Quo on Corrie very soon, probably in some kind of settlement scenario where the band play a free gig and plug their new greatest hits collection. Wahey!

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