Just to prove that if you stick at something for long enough, then you get recognised, Status Quo's ageing rockers Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi will be awarded OBEs for services to music and to charity in today’s New Year’s honours list.
The surprise though may not be in the fact that they have been chosen for the awards but that they have accepted them. It wasn’t hard to believe that the Beatles accepted their MBEs nor that Cliff Richard accepted his knighthood. However, when Mick Jagger was knighted in 2003, it seemed that becoming part of the establishment was no longer regarded as being incongruous with the “rock n roll” lifestyle.
But for Status Quo though – who would ever have thought it?
"Us, of all people!" said Rossi, lead singer. "I'm not sure that we deserve it, but fuck it, I'm so made up it's ridiculous. You hear about people refusing them because it's not rock'n'roll but that's a dickhead approach. My partner [Parfitt] is even more excited about it – he's probably blubbing. You start off rebellious, a teenager in a band, but you end up being part of the establishment."
Given decades of notoriously wild living, Parfitt doubted that he could be suitable candidate for an honour. "I'd kind of given up hoping. Particularly with my wild past – if they'd reviewed some of my old newspaper cuttings," said the lead guitarist and singer, who has survived an emergency quadruple heart bypass and a cancer scare.
In spite of what much of conservative British might say, after more than 40 years, 22 British top 10 singles, 32 album hits and more than 118m record sales worldwide they deserve the honours. Quo are still lauded as Britain's hardest working band, playing to 250,000 fans at 27 arenas in 2009 alone. They have also raised millions for charity.
Who will be up next for an honour - Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols? In time even Pete Docherty and Amy Winehouse may become eligible.
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