Status Quo tribute takes bar manager to top of UK charts: EXCLUSIVE interview

January 12, 2018
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Music fanatic Jason Hodgson was left stunned after his tribute record to late Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt flew into the official physical sales singles chart at number 2 – four places above the world’s biggest selling artist.

Jason, 45, had no previous experience of the record industry but has beaten mega-artists including Sheeran, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and novelty grime star Big Shaq.

And he reckons he’d have grabbed a number one slot from The Charlatans if all the records he has sold had been eligible for the chart placings. 

Hundreds of copies of Rock Remembers Rick EP were sold hundreds at the Quo Fan Club convention last year and hundreds more at gigs of indie rock legends The Wildhearts, whose guitarist CJ Wildheart makes a guest appearance on the track. 

A huge Status Quo fan he was disappointed when no official tribute to rhythm guitarist Parfitt emerged and so he decided to make his own. 

The former IT professional quickly jotted down a few ideas which led to Barrel and Squidger Records being launched from his bedroom in the swish spa town of Harrogate.

He then set about transforming Quo’s 1971 acoustic album track Nanana into a frenzied punk-rock number which finishes with a choir of Quo fans singing-along to the chorus.

“I’m absolutely staggered by its success,” admits the self-proclaimed record label owner.

His track Christmas Eve heads an EP which also boasts original Quo drummer John Coghlan guesting with Norfolk  rockers Walkaway – his first vinyl release in 30 years – on Quo classic Rain and Monster Truck’s Back To The Stack tribute to Parfitt, who died on December 24 2016, aged 68.

All sales of the record are in aid of children’s cancer charity The Shona Smile Foundation and after entering the charts at number two on December 29th it continues to perform well and after its lofty first week placing is currently holding firm at number 12 in this week’s chart.

Jason added: “I’ve been a researcher for the official Status Quo fan club magazine for years. 

“I even interviewed Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi on a train from Stoke once so I knew I’d have to get the permission of their manager to do it. 

“I knew CJ Wildheart already because he lives nearby in Knaresborough and he had to borrow my record deck once to check out a test pressing of one of his songs.  

“I only did the singing as guide vocals at first until CJ said that it had a “good narrative quality” and said I should keep them. When a Wildheart says that you have to go with it.” 

Produced by John Shepherd of Harrogate’s Homefire Studios, the end result Christmas Eve (Nanana) comes complete with a slick video shot at Berties bar in Harrogate. 

Jason said: “It’s amazing. 

“I used to see these bands when I was at Liverpool University in the 1990s, now I’ve got them appearing on my record label.” 

Rock Remembers Rick is available via Amazon and iTunes and from Jason’s website at https://basr.tmstor.es/.



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