Probably one of the most annoying advertising campaigns in Australia recently was the Coles one, where they asked Status Quo to re-record "Down Down" to advertise their grocery price cuts. You know the one, with the giant red hands? And the guitars shaped like giant red hands?
Within no time at all it has seemingly annoyed everybody in earshot of it. The thing is, as great as the original version was, it still sounds like bloody Status Quo!
In Latin, status quo means "the current state of affairs". To upset the status quo means to change things. The band Status Quo have been mining that four-on-the-floor boogie (duh-na-DUH-NA-duh-na-DUH-NA) and the boogie shuffle (duh---na-na---na-nah---na-nah---na-nah) since 1970. It's almost become a cliche - the name of the band being apposite for the music they create, i.e. the bloody same, album after album. It's fair enough to say that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And let's face it - a hell of a lot of people like what they do. The period of the band's music from 1970 up until 1980 is heaps of fun, but really, how long can you recycle the same grooves for? A long time, apparently - almost half a century!
While this recent Coles campaign presents the band almost as a parody of themselves, the HeeBeeGeeBees absolutely nailed a parody of Quo in 1981 as "Status Quid".
Angus Deayton and a couple of Oxford University mates formed a parody band called the HeeBeeGeeBees, initially to parody the Bee Gees (which they did magnificently, by the way) but also they diversified and skewered their barbs into David Bowie (as David Bowwow), Bob Dylan (as Bob Vylan), Kenny Rodgers (as Kenny Rodgered), Prince (as Ponce), Human League (as Human Leak) and many more. Sometimes they miss the mark, but some are dead on, and they are hilarious. The back catalog of HeeBeeGeeBees can be found on Spotify.
To milk a bit of mirth from the once-mighty Status Quo, here's Status Quid, aka the HeeBeeGeeBees, live on the Don Lane show in Australia in 1981 doing "Boring Song".