Alan Lancaster, original bassist of the veteran U.K. rock band Status Quo, died Saturday at age 72 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.
Lancaster's death was announced by Australian broadcaster Craig Bennett, who wrote on his Facebook page, "At the request of his loving and deeply cherished family, I am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, STATUS QUO."
Lancaster played with Status Quo from the band's 1967 inception until 1985.
A tribute to Alan posted on Status Quo's official website notes that during his tenure with the band, "Quo opened Live Aid, sold countless tens of millions of records, appeared on [popular U.K. TV show] Top of the Pops dozens of times, and had around 30 hit singles and 30 hit albums, two thirds of which went Top 10, with five reaching Number One. That was just his UK track record."
Lancaster also was featured on the group's sole U.S. chart hit, the 1968 psychedelic gem "Pictures of Matchstick Men," which reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Lancaster reunited with the other members of Status Quo's classic 1970s lineup -- frontman Francis Rossi, guitarist Rick Parfitt and drummer John Coghlan -- known as "The Frantic Four," for major tours in 2013 and 2014.
In homage to Lancaster, Rossi wrote, "I am so sorry to hear of Alan's passing. We were friends and colleagues for many years and achieved fantastic success together as the Frantic Four alongside Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan. Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo during the 60s and 70s."
Lancaster is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Dayle, three children and five grandchildren.
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