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[FAQ] Status Quo (Rock Band) Information [v2.1]


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Archive-name: music/status-quo/faq
Version: Status Quo Informational Posting, version 2.1.
Posting-Frequency: 14 days
Copyright: (c) Mike Dimmick 1997-9, see below for restrictions
Last-Modified: 28 May 1999 03:29:00
Maintainer: Mike Dimmick <dimmicmj@aston.ac.uk>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This document is copyright.  However, I am willing to allow
use of it, in whole or in part, given two conditions.
Firstly, that you consult me first (my current email address
should appear above), and secondly, that this copyright
statement is included somewhere in your document.  Thanks!

0.  Contents

1.  Modifications since the previous version

2.  General Information
  a.   About the current band
  b.   Band history
  c.   What do they play?
  d.   What do they do in their spare time?
  e.   Who writes all the songs?
  f.   The fan club
  g.   What's happening in 1999?

3.  Frequently Asked Questions
  a.   What chart positions did the singles get to?
  b.   What chart positions did the albums get to?
  c.   Who wrote 'Gerdundula?'
  d.   What are 'STs' in Mystery Song?
  e.   What are the lyrics to 'In My Chair?'
  f.   What do they say at the beginning of the songs?

4.  Internet Sites
  a.   The mailing list
  b.   The newsgroup
  c.   Web sites

5.  Using the news group and mailing list - a few pointers
  a.   Policy
  b.   What's on topic
  c.   What *not* to do

6.  Contacting the maintainer

7.  Acknowledgements
 
1.  Modifications since the previous version
============================================

Version 2.1:
This document was seriously out of date, in fact I'd almost
forgotten it existed, and contained references to the old
mailing list address, from where it had to move when the
maintainer, Mike Oliver, changed jobs.  Versions 2.0x were
never posted.  It's now survived my move to an ISP, here's
to hoping this will get updated more frequently now...

Version 2.02: I've tried to make it clear where my source is
something that Francis or Rick has said in interview, and to
remove any bias there might have been towards the 'new' band,
as opposed to the 'classic' line-up.  This is after I got an
email from someone claiming to be Alan Lancaster (I've no idea
if it *really* was).  I've offered him the opportunity to set
the record straight if he wants to.

Version 2.01 adds information that has been posted to the
mailing list by various people that answer some of the
questions I posed in 2.0, but didn't have the necessary
information to answer.  Thanks to everyone who's helped out!
There are however still some unanswered questions, so if you
know the answer, please let me know.

I've now decided to change the format of this document, and
edit it using a proper word processing program (Word, if you
must know!).  Given the number of changes I've made, and the
relative completeness of the previous version, I've titled
this one version 2.0, and changed the subject header.

The previous version of this document also appears to have
become the unofficial FAQ for the mailing list (commonly known
as 'From The Mailers Of').  Proper details for joining and
querying the mailing list have been added in section 4.

If you find any glaringly obvious mistakes in this document,
or areas where I've stated a point of view rather than facts,
please tell me by emailing <dimmicmj@aston.ac.uk>.

2.   General Information
========================

2.a. About the current band

The current band consists of Francis Rossi (lead & rhythm
guitars, vocals), Rick Parfitt (rhythm guitar, vocals), Andrew
Bown (keyboards, guitar), John 'Rhino' Edwards (bass and
guitar) and Jeff Rich (drums).  Francis and Rick are both
founder members of the band, Andrew joined in 1976 after
having been a session and live musician for a number of years,
and Rhino and Jeff joined in 1986 after having worked on
Rick's solo album.

The band plays a sort of 'rock blues' style of music, which
has influenced a lot of other bands, though they tend not to
acknowledge the influence.

2.b. Band history
=================

The band was formed originally in 1962 by Francis Rossi and
Alan Lancaster, at their school in south-east London.  They
soon joined up with a drummer, John Coghlan (please tell me
I've spelt that right!).  They rapidly went through a number
of name changes, being first the Scorpions, then the Spectres.
As the Spectres, they were booked to do a holiday season in
1965 at Butlins holiday camp in Minehead, Somerset, where they
met Rick Parfitt who was working with a cabaret act there.  In
late '66, the Spectres were signed to the Piccadilly label,
shortly before it was taken over by PYE.

After several flopped single releases (available on the
compilation, B Sides and Rarities, and now on 'The Singles
Collection 1966-73,' on the Castle Communications label, C/N
CCS CD 821) they changed their name to Traffic, and then,
after Steve Winwood's Traffic had a hit single, to Traffic
Jam.  They released another single, which was banned, and
decided that they needed another voice in the band.  They
invited Rick Parfitt to join.

Shortly afterwards, in 1968 they changed their name to The
Status Quo and released a song that hit the UK charts at
number seven: 'Pictures of Matchstick Men' (which was recently
covered by Ozzy Ozbourne for the film 'Private Parts').  Their
debut LP, 'Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from The Status
Quo' was released later that year, and provided another hit,
'Ice in the Sun,' as well as a number of other singles that
flopped.

Their second LP, 'Spare Parts' was released the following
year, under the name of 'Status Quo', but it and the single
from it, 'Are You Growing Tired Of My Love,' failed to go
anywhere.  The band decided on a change of direction and
image.  Out went the Carnaby Street frilly shirts, and in came
the long hair, jeans, and heavy music, along with their heads
down style.

In 1970, now down to a four-man line up, after the original
keyboard player, Roy Lynes, had left, they released their
third album, 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon,' and the single 'Down
The Dustpipe.'  Dismissed on Radio 1 by Tony Blackburn, it
nevertheless got to number 12.  However, attitudes were
beginning to change, and John Peel played 'In My Chair' later
that year, which also hit.  '71's single, 'Tune To The Music'
flopped, however, and later in '71, they released what was to
be their final album on Pye, 'Dog of Two Head.'

In early '72, Quo left Pye and signed to Phonogram's rock
subsidiary, Vertigo.  They took the daring step of producing
their next album, 'Piledriver,' themselves, and it turned out
as rough and ready as the title suggested.  The single from
that album, 'Paper Plane,' hit number 8 in the UK chart.  That
single began a chain of hits that was almost unbroken until
1985.

In January 1975, 'Down Down' became Quo's first UK number one.
Depending on which chart you look at, it is still their only
one to date.  If I remember correctly, Anniversary Waltz was
number one in the Independent chart, but only got to number
two in the BBC chart which most people consider 'official'.

Andrew Bown, a former member of the Herd, joined the band in
October 1976.  The band remained in the same line-up until
1981, when John Coghlan left after an argument in a recording
studio in Montreux, Switzerland.  Quo were recording the album
that was to become '1+9+8+2,' the title implying both the year
it was released and that it was the band's 20th anniversary.
He was replaced by Pete Kircher, who had been the drummer with
the Original Mirrors.

Later in 1982, Quo were asked to kick off the Prince's Trust
launch gig at the NEC in Birmingham.  The recording of the
concert was later released as the album, 'Live at the NEC'.

Due to disagreements within the band, they decided in 1984
that their next tour would be their last one, and titled it,
'End of the Road.'  Although they said that they would
continue to record, it became the end of the road for Quo in
their then current form.

In 1985, both Francis and Rick recorded solo albums.  Rick's,
titled 'Recorded Delivery' ended up costing him money he
didn't have, and was never released.  Francis' ('Flying
Debris') had two singles released from it, which made it into
the charts and then suddenly dropped out again.  A large
number of the songs from both solo albums were subsequently
released as B-sides to Quo singles.

The band were invited by Bob Geldof to open the Live Aid
concert on 13 July 1985, with the song that became the event's
anthem, 'Rocking All Over The World.'  The song, written by
John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, was a hit for
them in 1977.  The nucleus of the band was together for that
day, but soon after, Alan Lancaster sued Rick and Francis for
the use of the Status Quo name without him.

Ultimately, Alan lost the case, and Phonogram decided it was
about time for Quo to fulfil their contract obligation to
produce a further three albums.  Rick suggested John 'Rhino'
Edwards and Jeff Rich, who had worked with him on his solo
album, and together they recorded the album 'In The Army Now,'
released in 1986.

They released a compilation of most of their top ten hits
(Mystery Song, which reached number seven in 1976, is notably
missing), 'Rocking All Over The Years,' to celebrate their
twenty-fifth anniversary.  Yes, I know, they can't add up -
after the departure of Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan, the
band appear to have decided to date the foundation from 1965,
when Rick and Francis met.  They also held a birthday bash at
Butlins in Minehead, where Rick and Francis had met twenty-
five years before.  A medley, the 'Anniversary Waltz' was
specially recorded for the album, and reached number two in
the charts.

In 1991, they received two music industry awards; the Brit
Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry,
and a World Music Award at a ceremony in Monte Carlo.  At the
Brit Awards, they caused a storm by accepting their award in
tuxedoes, then going up on stage and tearing off their suits
to reveal their denim stage gear underneath!

Quo made it into the Guinness Book of Records later that year
with the 'Rock 'Til You Drop' event.  They played four venues
in under twelve hours, at Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham NEC
and Wembley Arena.  The proceeds from the shows were given to
Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, the Brit School for Performing
Arts, and local children's charities.  The following year, Quo
headlined Radio One's twenty-fifth birthday celebrations,
'Party In The Park' at Sutton Park in Birmingham.  The
recording of this concert was released as the album 'Live
Alive Quo'.

Their self-written biography, 'Just For The Record' was
published by Bantam Press in 1993.

In 1995, Quo celebrated their thirtieth anniversary with a
complete album of cover versions, titled 'Don't Stop.'  It
included collaborations with the Beach Boys (Fun, Fun, Fun),
Brian May from Queen (Raining In My Heart) and Maddy Prior
from Steeleye Span (All Around My Hat).  However, Radio One
refused to play Fun Fun Fun, as with their previous eight
singles.  This led eventually to Quo challenging Radio One in
the High Court.  Since Radio 1 is a station with a government
grant, and paid for by the taxpayer and licence fees, Quo
reasoned, it should play the singles that the public had put
in the chart.  Unfortunately, they lost this action, and their
chances of being played decreased.

In 1997, Rick went into hospital suffering from chest pains
and had to have a quadruple heart bypass operation.  However,
he recovered fine and played an excellent gig at Norwich
Football Ground on 2 August.  Later on, the record company
released a new compilation album, on two CDs/cassettes,
containing almost all the top twenty hits, and some songs that
didn't hit at all (such as All Around My Hat), under the title
'Whatever You Want - The Very Best Of Status Quo'.  This release
caused much controversy on the mailing list, but the consensus
now seems to be that the album is worth it (since it contains
songs such as 'Down The Dustpipe,' 'In My Chair,' 'Again and
Again,' and others that are less well-known).

In 1998, the band were touring again, in Europe, Japan, and
Australia, and recording songs for a new album slated for
release in early '99.  As mentioned earlier, Castle
Communications (who hold the copyright to the masters from the
PYE years) have now re-mastered much of the early material,
including rare tracks from about the right period on each of
the first four albums, and a new compilation of all the tracks
from the singles (both sides) and some out-takes and alternate
versions.  Quo Anthology, anyone?

In March 1999, Quo released their eagerly awaited new album,
now titled 'Under The Influence'.  Impressions of this new
album are good, with everyone seeming to like at least nine
out of the twelve songs.  The first single 'The Way It Goes'
did not do well in the UK, only reaching no. 39.  The second
single, 'Little White Lies,' will be released on 1 June 1999
in the UK.

Quo provided some new tracks and some old ones for a TV series
in Germany titled 'Benzin im Blut.'  Some of the old favourites
have been remixed, to a mixed reception, for this series and
the accompanying soundtrack album.

2.c. What do they play?

Rick and Francis' main guitars are Fender Telecasters,
although Francis has been known to play a G&L Telecaster, and
Rick a variety of guitars, including a Gibson SG.  Francis
uses slightly heavier than average strings, and Rick's are a
*lot* heavier!  They both use Marshall JCM900 and/or JCM600
amps and Marshall 4x12 cabinets, with Vox AC30 combo
amplifiers kept behind them with a mike feed to the mixing
desk.  It all adds up to a great, very distinctive sound!

Rhino plays a lot of basses when recording, but on stage
sticks to Status basses (no relation, I'm told).  Andy plays
mostly Roland keyboards, and Jeff plays Premier drums.  On the
song 'Gerdundula,' however, Rick, Francis, Andrew and Rhino
all play guitars.

Full details are on the official web site, as are details of
Andy's keyboards, Jeff's drums and Rhino's basses.

2.d. What do they do in their spare time?

Jeff and Rhino frequently play in a band commonly known on the
mailing list as the '4 Bills'.  Here's what Lee Hawkins
<LHAWKINS@dsl.uk.ibm.com> has to say about them:

"'4 Bills And A Ben', to give them their full title, are a
band in which John Edwards and Jeff Rich frequently play. The
band does not have a fixed line-up, it changes with the
availability of its members. For example, the 4 Bills will
continue to perform when Quo are out on tour, thus John and
Jeff get replaced on bass and drums. All the musicians in the
4 Bills "pool" are highly rated musicians. For example, Spike
Edney (ex-Queen keyboard player) sometimes plays on keyboards
and guitar, and Steve Byrd (from Tina Turner's band) is a
regular on lead guitar. The only 'fixed' member of the group
is front man Johnny Warman, a singer songwriter from London,
who is an excellent singer and energetic performer.

"As for their music, it's largely 60s/70s rock 'n' roll and a
bit of soulish stuff thrown in. Covers from people like The
Rolling Stones, The Who, Animals, that kind of era. Don't
expect any Quo covers though, that's not the point. Typically,
they play 90 minutes to two hours and their show is very
energetic. Venues tend to be small, their 'second home' is the
famous Half Moon in Putney, a renowned London music pub but
they also play benefit gigs at schools and clubs, usually in
the London area."

You can find out more about where they're playing by emailing
Lee; he tends to follow their movements.

Alex Gitlin added:

"Now, as a side fact, Steve Byrd was the guitarist in the very
first incarnation of GILLAN - the band formed in 1979, out of
the shambles of Ian Gillan Band (which, in turn, was Deep
Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's 70s jazz-rock outfit).  He was
soon replaced by Bernie Torme - in time for the recording of
"Glory Road" (1980) which is, apparently, where the Quo
connection ends."

A bit irrelevant, but I thought I'd put it in anyway.

2.e. Who writes all the songs?

Both Rick and Francis are prolific song-writers, having
written hundreds of songs for various Quo albums.  In
particular, one person with whom a lot of their songs were
written was Bob Young, their tour manager for a number of
years.  He also played harmonica / blues harp for Quo over the
same period.  He left in the early eighties, but is rumoured
to be working on the new album.

Of course, that doesn't mean no-one else writes songs: before
he left in 1984/5, Alan Lancaster also wrote a large number of
songs, including 'Ol' Rag Blues,' a hit in September 1983.  He
often co-wrote songs with Rick and Francis.  A lot of the
fans' favourites, such as 'Backwater,' were written by Rick
and Alan.

Finally, occasionally all the members of the band write songs
together, such as 'Break the Rules' and 'Roll Over Lay Down,'
which were both written by Francis, Rick, Alan, John Coghlan
and Bob Young.

However, Quo are also well known for their covers.  Possibly
the song that is most associated with them is 'Rocking All
Over The World,' which was written by John Fogerty.

2.f. The fan club

It's at the following address:

From The Makers Of
PO Box 153
Stanmore
Middlesex
HA7 2HF
UNITED KINGDOM

Joining information is also on the official web page.

2.g. What's happening in 1999?

More touring, hopefully more recording, more information as I
get it.

3.   Frequently Asked Questions
===============================

3.a. What chart positions did the singles get to?

Nigel Sutton compiled the following list of UK chart positions
(which have had Kevin Miles' corrections added)!  It is based
around the track listings for 'Whatever You Want -- The Best
Of Status Quo.'  Singles labelled 'non' either didn't get into
the charts or don't really count.  I believe the chart
positions given are those from the BBC/Gallup poll, which is
usually recognised as the 'official' chart.

Disc One:

1.   Pictures Of Matchstick Men   7
     Black Veils of Melancholy    ?
2.   Ice In The Sun               8
     Technicolour Dreams            non
     Make Me Stay A Little Bit Longer   ?
     Are You Growing Tired of My Love   46
     The Price Of Love              non
3.   Down The Dustpipe           12
4.   In My Chair                 21
     Tune To The Music              non
5.   Paper Plane                  8
6.   Mean Girl                   20
7.   Caroline                     5
8.   Break The Rules              8
9.   Down Down                    1
10.  Roll Over Lay Down           9
11.  Rain                         7
12.  Mystery Song                11
13.  Wild Side Of Life            9
14.  Rocking All Over The World   3 ?
(Just For The Record suggests number two, but doesn't state
it! Page 60)
15.  Again And Again             13
     Accident Prone              36
16.  Whatever You Want            4
17.  Living On An Island         16
18.  What You're Proposing        2
19.  Lies/Don't Drive My Car (double-A) 11
     (Track 20 is Don't Drive My Car)
21.  Something 'Bout You Baby I Like    9

Disc Two:

1.   Rock 'N' Roll                8 ?
2.   Dear John                    9 ?
     She Don't Fool Me           36
     Jealousy (non)
     Caroline (Live at N.E.C.)   13
3.   Ol' Rag Blues                9
4.   A Mess Of The Blues         15
5.   Margarita Time               3
6.   Going Down Town Tonight     20
7.   The Wanderer                 7
8.   Rollin' Home                 9
9.   Red Sky                     19
10.  In The Army Now              2
11.  Dreamin'                    15
12.  Ain't Complaining           19
     Who Gets The Love           36
     Running All Over The World  17
     (a re-recording of RAOTW for Sport Aid, with altered
lyrics)
13.  Burning Bridges              7 ?

     Not At All                  50
     Little Dreamer                 non
     Can't Give You More         43 ?
     Rock 'til You Drop          38
14.  Anniversary Waltz Part One (Medley)     2
15.  Anniversary Waltz Part Two (Medley)     16
     Roadhouse Medley (AW Pt.25) 21
16.  I Didn't Mean It            21
     Sherri, Don't Fail Me Now   37
     Restless                    38
     Come On You Reds             1 non
     (a promotional record for Manchester United football
club, for the 1994 FA cup,
     it was a re-recording of Burning Bridges)
17.  When You Walk In The Room   22 ?
18.  Fun, Fun, Fun.              24
19.  Don't Stop                  36 ?
20.  All Around My Hat           47

3.b. What chart positions did the albums get to?

To be honest, I don't have full details.  However, the ones I
do know about are:

Piledriver                        3 ?
Hello!                              1
Quo                               2
On The Level                      1
Don't Stop                        3
Whatever You Want - Best Of      13 ?

3.c. Who wrote 'Gerdundula?'

This song appeared first on the reverse of 'In My Chair', and
then was re-recorded for the 'Dog of Two Head' album.
However, although it's credited as being written by
'Manston/James,' Francis' introduction to the song on stage
now seems to be that they wrote it somewhere in Germany.  The
classic tale that has been repeated at times is that they were
given the song by two individuals after a gig somewhere in
Germany.

As for the title, I personally do not believe Francis' story
that it was named after two German people, 'Gerd und Ulla.'
However, given my track record, this one might turn out to be
true.  I have attempted to look it up in a German dictionary,
and failed!  Quo seem to have been going through a German
phase at the time, since on the same album appeared the song
'Umleitung,' meaning 'diversion.'  In neither case does the
song actually appear to bear much resemblance to the title.

And now I come to look at the sleeve notes for the singles
compilation, which claims that Rossi and Young subsequently
owned up to being Manston and James, though where they got the
names from is a mystery.  And yes, the story about 'Gerd und
Ula' is true; they were two German friends of the band.  The
reason for the pseudonyms may have something to do with the
fact that the song was published by Birchwood Music / EMI
Music, rather than Valley Music, their usual publishing house.

If anyone knows why the song was credited as Manston/James
rather than its true authors, let me know, as I'm fascinated!

3.d. What are 'STs' in Mystery Song?

Rick was asked this question by someone on the mailing list:
it means 'Stocking Tops,' apparently.  The song itself is
actually about a prostitute, as confirmed by Francis at
Reading in December 1997 (and possibly on other occasions when
I wasn't there)!.  The full lyrics were included on the inner
bag of the original 'Blue For You' album, but are not included
on the later re-releases.

3.e. What are the lyrics to 'In My Chair?'

*I* don't know, what are you asking me for? <g>

3.f. What do they say at the beginning of the songs?

Quo are well known for leaving snippets of speech from the
recording studio at the beginning and end of recordings.  Some
of the more difficult ones to work out are below.  I think it
gives us a bit of an insight into their attitude to recording!

i)   Again and Again

After much searching debate, one of the list members, Matthew
Fearn, sent this message to Rhino, to try to get the point
resolved...

From:  Matthew Fearn - FEAR NOUGHT!
To:  Rhino
Subject:Mailing list query - AGAIN AND AGAIN

We're currently having a raging debate on the mailing list
about something so mundane that it's driving everybody up the
wall.  At the start of the studio version of Again And Again
Rick says something like "Sing along, sing 'bout the blues".
However, nobody can decipher exactly what Rick says.

And got this response:

From:                         Rhino
To:  Matthew Fearn - FEAR NOUGHT!
Subject:Re: Mailing list query - AGAIN AND AGAIN

On Wed, 12 Nov 1997 16:59:06 GMT+0, you wrote:

>We're currently having a raging debate on the mailing list
about
>something so mundane that it's driving everybody up the wall.
At the
>start of the studio version of Again And Again Rick says
something
>like "Sing along, sing 'bout the blues".  However, nobody can
>decipher exactly what Rick says.


Rick says "Sing along, keep the album loose".

Laters,
RHINOO!

Well, that seems to clear things up!  Later, Mike Ellwood
reckoned that Rick also says this in the live version of Again
and Again, in the Mystery Song medley.  I reckon he's right.

ii)  Forty-five Hundred Times

In the same message as above, Mike reckoned he'd decoded what
they were on about at the beginning of the 'new' version of
4500 Times, from the Rock 'Til You Drop album:

"We're going to start again Timmy" (who he)?
(Actually, I reckon it's "We're starting again Timmy", and
'Timmy' is probably Tim Summerhayes, who engineered the album)

"I'm not going to say whose fault it is, but he's blonde and
curly and not unlike one of the Marx brothers..."
(Probably a reference to Jeff -- anyone got a clue what Jeff
might have done?)

"OK, rolling..."

4.   Internet Sites
===================

4.a. The mailing list

The list was created a few years ago by Alex Gitlin.  It is
now maintained by Mike Oliver.  This mail server accepts commands
in the body of an email, sent to 'majordomo@rory.eng.sun.com'.
For a full list of commands, send a message with a line
reading 'help' in the body.

To subscribe to the list, the following should suffice:

From: <your email address>
To: majordomo@rory.eng.sun.com
Subject: <doesn't really matter>

subscribe status-quo <your-email-address-here>

Don't type the angle brackets!

Majordomo is an automated mailing list server software;
sending anything other than a valid request to this address is
just likely to bounce mail back at you.

4.b. The newsgroup

The newsgroup was created by myself, intended to be in
addition to the mailing list, although possibly replacing it
as usage picked up.  Unfortunately due to lack of connectivity
(though I'm working on this) and being spammed (again, I'm
trying to prevent this), pick up hasn't been very good.

The group's name is 'alt.music.status-quo' and should be found
on your local news server.  If it's not there, and other
'alt.music' groups are, please ask your administrator to add
it; they can usually be contacted at 'usenet@[site name]' or
'news@[site name]'.

4.c. Web sites

The official web site may be found at
'http://www.statusquo.co.uk/'.  Other sites are around; there
will eventually be a list of them here, but I've not had any
URLs to link to.  If you would like your web site to have a
starring location in this FAQ, please submit one to me!

5.   Using the news group and mailing list - a few pointers
===========================================================

5.a. Policy

Some of this may be repeated lower down -- if so, sorry!
These are Mike Oliver's ideas about the policy for the mailing
list.  They're quoted verbatim from a message he sent to the
list on 24 November 1997.

"The list policy is pretty loose, it's really just basic
netiquette.  In a nutshell:

"- keep it on-topic.  All messages should have some Quo
content, because that's the reason people subscribe to the
list in the first place.  This "rule" gets bent fairly often.
The occasional slightly-off-topic message doesn't hurt too
much, but entire off-topic threads quickly get to be annoying
for most people on the list.  This is where the "no me-too
messages" part comes in -- they add nothing to the discussion.

"The only non-Quo stuff that really belongs on the list is
meta-discussion like this about list policy, even though at
times it can get to be right up there with a visit to the
dentist on the popularity scales.

"- no commercial activities; the list isn't here to subsidise
anyone's business.  The exchange and sale of Quo memorabilia
on a casual basis is fine.

"- no binaries (including graphics, screensavers,
spreadsheets, executables) because they're a waste of time and
money for almost everyone.  If you want to distribute a binary
then put it on the Web or on an FTP site and post the URL or
FTP location to the list.  If you aren't able to publish on
the Web or by FTP, someone on the list might be able to lend
you some space for a while.

"- no huge postings, because many people have limits on the
size of their mailboxes.  As with binaries, use the Web or
FTP.  A secondary reason is that huge postings tend to be
unoriginal (the content is recycled from previous messages)
and there's no need to clog people's mailboxes with old news.

"- no harassment, flooding, illegal activities, or anything
else that might get the list evicted from its home.  The
engineering support group at Pyramid lets me host the list on
a machine here because they're good guys and because it
doesn't cost them much in network bandwidth, machine cycles or
hassle.  If any of those things change then the list could be
looking for a new home pronto.

"I'm not a lawyer and that's not an exhaustive list, I'm
simply trying to outline the acceptable behaviour.  What it
boils down to is to be considerate of the other people on the
list.

"My own yardstick for posting to the list is pretty much "are
at least a dozen people going to think that the time and money
they spent retrieving and reading this message were well
spent".  Other people seem to have rather shorter yardsticks,
but if something is of interest to only one or two other
people then clearly the sensible thing to do is to email it
directly to them.  If you want to know whether a specific
message would be appropriate you can always ask myself or Alex
before sending it to the entire membership."

5.b. What's on topic

Anything concerning the band!  Specifically, from the charter
of the group as proposed in alt.config:

- To discuss the music of UK-based rock band Status Quo;
- To discuss various fan activities relating to live
performances by the band.

Obviously there are wide ranges of topics not covered by these
two that are on-topic for the group.

5.c. What *not* to do

i)   Binary files

"I've got this great .WAV file..." (or JPEG, or MP3 seems
popular these days)

Please don't post it to this group.  Instead, put it on a web
page or ftp site, and post a link to the group.  The same goes
for pictures, screensavers, etc, etc.

It's hard to justify this one at times.  The charter also
lists this (from the newgroup message), but since I wrote that
too, I guess that makes me the guy who decided.  I don't like
binaries in the wrong place!  In text-only newsgroups it's a
mess, and it also makes for extremely large downloads.  It is
accepted Usenet etiquette that binaries go in binaries groups.
Some people like to enforce this idea; I'm not one of them.  I
just give subtle hints (or not so subtle if you've done it
before.)

A lot of users (certainly those who download the entire group
before reading it, and read off-line) don't like this as it
increases download time, and therefore costs them more money.
It also costs *you* more to upload them to the group in the
first place!

Besides, it makes life harder for system administrators,
making it tougher for them to assign a decent expiry time for
groups.  Don't forget, your post is stored on thousands of
servers around the world, and all those bytes add up.  I'm not
advocating short messages (as I'm sure you can tell) but there
are better places for it.

ii)   Unsolicited Adverts

Advertising is fine so long as it's relevant to Status Quo.
News about gigs, rare records for sale, and so on are all OK.
Please don't be tempted to post an advert about your wonderful
software downloads page; that's off-topic and will annoy some
people.  However, don't post your advert more than about once
a week, and it's preferable if the advert is *wholly*
relevant, rather than there being one relevant line.

iii)  Crossposting

Please cross-post if you think the subject is relevant to both
Quo and to some other band or current event that's happening.
If you're comparing bands, please don't rubbish Quo, as we're
not likely to be pleased.  Obvious trolls will be ignored
(well, by me at least).

iv)   Posting in HTML

News was designed for posting in plain text; if you post in
plain text, it guarantees that people will be able to read
your posts.  Therefore the ideal is to post in plain text,
standard ASCII.  Be assured that if I see anything else,
you're likely to get a polite but firm email from me.

The reason I'm really against HTML is that a lot of browsers
have a tendency to post in 'multipart/alternative,' with the
plain text first, then the same message formatted with HTML
afterwards.  This has a tendency to make a mess, and to triple
the length of the posting.

v)   Any of the following

These are miscellaneous offences, but ones which really annoy
me!

*  'Call 1-900-HOTBABES for hot action!'

*  'I was abducted by aliens'

*  Any Multi-Level Marketing schemes, especially ones that
read 'This is not MLM'.  If it looks like a dog, and barks
like a dog, it's a dog, even if it does wear a sign saying
'This is not a dog' <g>.

*  Unsolicited adverts for musical items not immediately Quo-
related

*  Unsolicited adverts for anything else at all

*  Any items that are copyright (and not by you).  An
exception is made for Quo song lyrics and chordings that you
have worked out yourself.

6.   Contacting the maintainer
==============================

Who, me?  Please email me if you have any comments, complaints
or corrections, at <dimmicmj@aston.ac.uk>.  If you could mark
the subject with [FAQ], that would help enormously, since I do
get all the mail from the Quo and FAQ maintainers mailing
lists, which adds up!

7.   Acknowledgements
=====================

Some information for this document was taken from Rick and
Francis' book, 'Just For The Record.' (ISBN 0-593-03546-1,
Bantam Press, 1993).  I highly recommend this book if you can
get hold of it!  (Sorry, Alan, I still reckon it's a good
read, however factually inaccurate you might consider it).

Thanks to Lee Hawkins <LHAWKINS@dsl.uk.ibm.com> and Alex
Gitlin <heep@juno.com> for the sections on the 4 Bills.

Thanks also to Mike Oliver for letting me reproduce his list
policy, and for his critique of the section regarding joining
the mailing list.

I'd also like to thank those people who've so far criticised
this document: thanks for your input, I'm afraid I've
forgotten who you are!

-- 
Mike Dimmick

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM