Legendary rockers Status Quo collected their OBEs from the Queen at Buckingham Palace today and declared: ‘We’re no longer the wild men of rock – we’re the old men of rock!’
During their heyday the band, comprised of lead singer Francis Rossi, 60, and guitarist Rick Parfitt, 61, inspired the legendary music ‘mockumentary’ This Is Spinal Tap with their hardcore lifestyle and open abuse of drink and drugs.
And while both men freely admitted that they ‘could barely remember the 80s’, they actually looked the picture of health in smart pin-striped suits and ties as they walked through the palace gates.
‘Unfortunately given our ages I think OBE stands for Old Boys Entertaining,’ joked Rossi, who last year cut finally cut off his trademark pony tail and had popped to the hairdresser for a short back and sides especially for the occasion.
‘I wondered if our wild pasts may have counted against us,’ added Parfitt, ‘but I was in tears as I walked through the gates. I can’t tell you how honoured I am.’
Both men, who have been playing together for more than 40 years and chalked up 22 British Top 10 hits including Rockin’ All Over The World and Whatever You Want, sported hooped earring in their left ears – the one remnant of their rebellious pasts – but admitted they were now ‘fully signed up members of The Establishment.’
Parfitt described the ceremony as ‘the most amazing experience of his life.’
‘When I went up to the Queen she smiled broadly and said ‘aren’t you a duo?’. I said “the other one is waiting in the wings” and she gave me a lovely grin and laughed,’ he recalled.
‘She said that she couldn’t believe that we had been together for so long. She was absolutely charming. I’m quite besotted.’
Rossi added: ‘It’s one thing going out to play in front of 50,000 people but talking to the Queen – well that’s quite another.
‘We were both so humbled by the experience. I mean, this is the Queen after all. She is England, isn’t she? We have grown up with her as our figurehead since we were tiny children and she’s still going strong at 83. Not a very rock and roll thing to say I know, but she is simply amazing.