Status Quo founding member Alan Lancaster dead at 72

Bassist Alan Lancaster, a founding member of the British band Status Quo, which scored a top-10 hit in 1968 with “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” died Sunday. He was 72.

>> Read more trending news

In a Facebook post, close friend Craig Bennett said Lancaster died at his home in Sydney, Australia, and had been dealing with complications from multiple sclerosis.

“(I) am heartbroken to announce the passing of Alan Lancaster, British born music royalty, guitar God and founding member of iconic band, Status Quo,” Bennett wrote. “Despite having MS and issues with his mobility, Alan participated in hugely successful reunion tours. … He bravely played to thousands of adoring fans ... and loved being back with the band and his loyal Quo army.”

Lancaster formed the band as The Scorpions in 1962 with lead singer Francis Rossi, who was a classmate at Sedgehill Comprehensive School in London, according to the Australian Broadcasting Network.

The group changed its name to The Status Quo -- later shortened to Status Quo -- in August 1967 after singer-guitarist Rick Parfitt joined the band, ABC reported.

Lancaster played on the first 15 of Status Quo’s 33 albums since 1968, according to New Musical Express. That included the 1968 hit single, “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” with Parfitt’s high, trebly guitar and Lancaster’s thumping bass. The 1975 album “On The Level,” included 1974′s “Down Down,” the group’s first No. 1 single in the United Kingdom.

His last album with the band was 1983′s “Back To Back.”

Lancaster reunited with Rossi, Parfitt and John Coghlan, for a Status Quo reunion tour in 2013, according to New Musical Express. His last show as a member came the following year in Dublin.