Rick Parfitt has bowed out of Status Quo’s summer touring commitments as he continues to recover from a heart attack last month.
The 67-year-old guitarist was taken to hospital in an “extremely serious life threatening” condition after a gig at Expo 2016 in Antalya, Turkey and returned to the UK to have a defibrillator fitted.
A statement from the band’s manager Simon Porter said Parfitt was making an “excellent and steady” recovery out of hospital but that his return would not be rushed until he was back to full health.
Porter said: “Although I am now happy to report that his medical team anticipate that Rick will make a full recovery, it will likely be a long and ongoing process.
“To this end, Rick has given his full blessing for the band to continue with the current summer touring schedule utilising guest guitarists.”
Freddie Edwards, the son of Status Quo bass player John “Rhino” Edwards, will continue for the majority of Quo’s shows during July and August after successfully covering Parfitt since his heart attack.
Irish guitarist Richie Malone will step in for gigs in Leuven, Belgium and Edinburgh, Scotland on July 20 and 23 respectively.
Parfitt and the band said they wanted to “thank the fans for their continued understanding and support and would like to stress that he will return to the fold as soon as possible”.
Parfitt’s family added: “We would like to thank everyone including the fans for their messages of support during the last weeks and especially the kindness and care of all the staff at the Royal Brompton (Hospital).”
A self-confessed former drug addict, Parfitt has suffered a catalogue of health problems, including a quadruple heart bypass in 1997, a throat cancer scare in 2005 and a heart attack in 2011.
Status Quo were forced to cancel a series of gigs in 2014 after singer and guitarist Parfitt was told to rest by medics following surgery to correct a problem with his previous heart bypass.