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Rick Parfitt exits Status Quo tour: 'I don't want to drop dead on stage'

Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has quit the band’s upcoming tour after narrowly surviving a heart attack this summer.

The 67-year-old rocker suffered his third heart attack back on 14th June following Quo’s gig at Expo 2016 in Antalya, Turkey and he immediately pulled out of the band’s summer touring commitments while he recuperated.

Now, doctors have advised Rick to take the remainder of the year off meaning he will sit out of the band’s Last Night of the Electrics tour which begins in Vienna this October and hits the UK in December.

The band’s manager Simon Porter said that Rick had technically died for three-and-a-half minutes in Turkey while doctors fought to save him.

“Although Rick is recovering well and is now able to lead a relatively normal day to day life, he is far from being fit enough to undertake the rigours of Quo's touring schedule,” Porter said.

“Perhaps now is the time to reveal that Rick actually 'died' for several minutes directly following his heart attack which resulted in mild cognitive impairments for which he continues to receive neuropsychological support.

“His medical team continue to be confident of a full recovery, but Rick's absolute priorities for the foreseeable future are for his health and well-being and to be able to see his eight-year-old twin children Tommy and Lily grow up.

“To this end, Rick may well have performed his last show with Quo, but no final decision will be made until next year. Regardless, it is his wish that the band continue to tour as planned and he will always be a part of Quo's numerous other off stage activities.”

Status Quo’s tour will continue with guest musicians standing in for Rick until the end of the year.

Speaking to Sky News, Rick said: "I did actually die. I died for about three-and-a-half minutes apparently and they had to resuscitate me, pump me for half an hour or so.

"And when I did eventually did come round, my body was literally black and blue."

Speaking of the dangers of performing live, Rick added: "I'm just aware of the nervousness I get before I go on stage. It does pump your heart slightly when you start to pace up and down the room, and you're about to go in front of thousands of people. Obviously it's going to have some effect on you.

"I do not want to tax myself in any way. I've been told medically not to. So whether it's a full gig or a cameo I'd still get fairly nervous and I do not want to get out on stage and drop dead in front of the fans. I do not want to do that."

Despite his ill health, Rick has vowed to use his recovery period to write songs for a new solo album, which he is planning to record in early 2017.

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