Get down (down) to Barbican Music Library to celebrate Status Quo

The first ever public exhibition dedicated to one of the UK’s most enduring and successful rock bands – and featuring never-seen-before material – will open at Barbican Music Library next month.

‘Celebrating Seven Decades of Quo’, which runs from 16 February to 22 May at the City of London Corporation-owned library, will focus on telling Status Quo’s story through the band’s music and memorabilia.

The original handwritten lyrics to ‘Caroline’ and ‘Down Down’ will be on display for the first time, along with tour-related posters, photographs, and over 40 of the band’s key albums.

The free exhibition is a collaboration between Paul and Yvonne Hanvey, who run the band’s Official Fan Club, ‘From The Makers Of…’ (FTMO…), and Status Quo fan and record collector, Andy Campbell.

The Status Quo story starts in 1962 and since then, the band has had over 60 UK chart hits, including ‘Down Down’‘Whatever You Want’, and ‘In the Army Now’ and 25 UK top ten albums, most recently, with ‘Backbone’, in 2019.

The band memorably opened the LIVE AID concert at Wembley in July 1985 with one of its greatest hits, ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’, and in 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage, and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said:

“Status Quo has enjoyed a remarkable career and has attracted a very loyal following over the decades, so what better way to start the New Year than by shining a spotlight on one of our most popular rock bands?

“Exhibitions at Barbican Music Library are free to attend and always very engaging so, if you’re an avid fan of Status Quo, I am sure that this show will give you whatever you want!”

Paul and Yvonne Hanvey, who run the Official Status Quo Fan Club, From the Makers of…, said:

“We are very excited to have been asked by Barbican Music Library to contribute to this exhibition. When you look back and realise that Status Quo has been at the top of the music scene for seven decades, it is a fantastic achievement.

“So much has changed from when Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster formed the band – from the band’s name and line-up changes to technological advances in audio formats.

“All of these aspects will be covered in this exhibition, so we guarantee that there will be something here for everyone - from the Quo novice to the Quo aficionado.”

Record collector and Status Quo fan, Andy Campbell, said:

“As Status Quo looks ahead to performing in its seventh decade, I am delighted to be working with the Official Fan Club and Barbican Music Library on this exhibition, which is a result of a visit to my home by BBC Radio Stoke to see my vinyl collection.

“The exhibition will be a must-see for the Quo’s legion of fans, because it will bring together some wonderful memorabilia and hopefully, bring back many happy memories of its tours and greatest hits.”

The City Corporation, which owns and manages Barbican Music Library, has launched ‘Destination City’, which will transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.

With a £2.5 million annual investment from the City Corporation, ‘Destination City’ will drive the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic and deliver an exciting events programme, including outdoor festivals featuring music, art, education, sport, and wellness.

The first in a series of major events, ‘The Golden Key’, took place in the City on Saturday 15 October and was attended by over 30,000 people.  


Notes to editors

The free exhibition, ‘Celebrating Seven Decades of Quo’, will run from 16 February to 22 May 2023 at Barbican Music Library (Barbican Centre, Level 2 –

Barbican Music Library Music Librarian, Richard Jones; Status Quo official Fan Club members, Gary Newman and Les Wainwright; and record collector and Status Quo fan, Andy Campbell, are available for media interviews.

All requests for images and interviews should be directed to Andrew Buckingham (see below) at the City of London Corporation’s Media Team.

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer (Arts, Culture, and Heritage), City of London Corporation / 07795 333060 /

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Barbican Music Library, is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK –