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Coghlan and Quo
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A terrific story of rock n roll excesses higlighting the very high highs and the very low lows. -- Classic Bike Magazine - December 2004
From the Inside Flap
In 1962 a band called The Sceptres played its first gig - at a sports club in Forest Hill in south-east London. Playing drums was 16 year-old John Coghlan.
After five years playing pop standards they reinvented themselves as a psychedelic rock band - and changed their name to Status Quo. Their success was immediate and considerable, but it wasn't until they adopted their back-to-basics rock 'n roll style in 1970 that they became massive.
By the end of the decade they were living as tax exiles - each in a different country. The band was earning and spending huge amounts of money, but they had been hit hard by personal tragedies and the effects of huge drug use.
John Coghlan could never handle the drugs though. It was simply against his nature. Very much from a working class background, he was never averse to a few pints of Best Bitter, but he saw the hard drugs as viciously destructive. As the only non-drug taker in the group, his fellow band members had become strangers to him. In 1982, during a recording session in Montreux, he simply walked away.
Unfortunately John had also been good at spending money, and with none of the writing or producing royalties, his income soon stopped. The money in the bank ran out very quickly, and his huge house on the Isle Of Man went, as did the large car collection.
Nowadays John lives very quietly in Oxfordshire. Recently he sold some of his drums and several gold records at a local car boot sale. Ironically he occasionally plays drums for a Status Quo tribute band.
Now it's time for John Coghlan to tell his story - and 'warts and all' wouldn't start to describe it. Coghlan & Quo covers both the group's birth and how John came to walk out, but at its core will be the madness and the excesses of the Seventies.
Well reasearched by author Steven Myatt, Coghlan & Quo is an insight in to the workings of a multi million pound pop group.
The band's statistics are very impressive. They have -
Sold more than 112,000,000 records
Had 22 Top Ten hits in the UK
Spent 413 weeks in the UK singles charts
Had more hit albums in the UK than any other band apart from The Rolling Stones
Made over 100 Top Of The Pops appearances
Played 5,500 live gigs to 24,000,000 people
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Factual errors abound, not least of which is the author's contention that Quo's 1975 album 'On The Level' didn't contain any hit singles!!!! Not quite true, as it did include the band's ONLY UK number one seller ('Down Down'), but apart from that he's correct! I could go on and on listing similar errors but what's the point!
John Coghlan richly deserves a decent book to be written covering his interesting and at times colourful life, sadly this isn't it!!
What comes out of it is that John has survived the rock star thing, despite blowing millions himself and being ripped off, and seems reasonably grounded. Saw him in Diesel in the '80s with Micky Moody, and always wondered what happened next. I would love to find his village, shake his hand for all those great albums - just not sure of the reception I'd get!
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