brian's soapbox
     
MARCH 2013

EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

Reference:
- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes

 

 

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**Thu 07 Mar 13**
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ANOTHER VERY SAD LOSS TO MUSIC
KENNY BALL

Kenny Ball was a very fine lyrical trumpet player, and the leader of a very successful 'Trad' Jazz band in the 1960s - known as Kenny Ball's Jazzmen. The word "Trad" signified 'traditional' - based on the style of New Orleans Jazz.

It was a very influential time for me. British pop music was for a year or so dominated by a Trad Jazz boom, in which bands like Kenny Ball's Jazzmen had big hits. Kenny's biggest was "Midnight in Moscow", which I certainly did buy as a 45 rpm vinyl single - and I still have it. It's a very distinctive smoky sound, all instrumental - well arranged, well produced - a really great example of the genre. Other hit bands of the time were Acker Bilk and his Jazz Band, the Chris Barber Band - which spawned Lonnie Donegan as a lead singer - and my absolute favourite, the Temperance Seven, though they were styled a little to one side, on 1920's arranged bands like the Savoy Hotel Orpheans.

All this might seem a far cry from our own Queen rock music. But actually, it's not. We were so lucky to grow up in this period, because we were able to learn from a broad range of styles. If you listen to our "Good Company" track on A Night at the Opera, you'll hear me recreating a whole Jazz band with my guitar. And the arrangement as well as the sound is very close to what I imagined someone like Kenny Ball would have come up with, including trumpet, clarinet, and slide trombone. I had learned a lot from growing up with this great stuff in my ears … alongside the early rock and roll records from the USA.

So I'd like to pay my tribute here to Mr. Kenny Ball - creator of great ripples in the waters of popular music. Sad to see him go.

RIP Kenny

Brian



Midnight In Moscow
Midnight In Moscow sheet music

Midnight In Moscow Record Sleeve

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**Thu 07 Mar 13**
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RIP ALVIN LEE

Legendary and influential guitarist

and very nice bloke.

His speed and dexterity, in the days when I would go as a student to the Marquee Club to see Ten Years After, was scary and exciting.

He was daring enough to play and sing close to his limit every time.

As a man off-stage, his persona was modest and gentle.

On stage - a giant who will be missed greatly.

Bri

Alvin Lee


Editor: Alvin Lee unexpectedly died in Spain on Wednesday 6 March 2013
due to complications during routine surgery. SEE BBC News.

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**Tue 05 Mar 13**
PRS PLAQUE DEDICATION AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE
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Roger and I had a trip down Memory Lane today at Imperial College .. site of our very first exploits as Queen. The PRS honoured us by unveilng a plaque commemorating our first proper gig in London …. in Imperial College Union Great Hall.

In the Beit Quadrangle
In the Beit Quadrangle - The old Imperial College Union building - doing some Press.

I still feel like a student
I still feel like a student … more or less !

In the old Union Bar
In the old Union Bar … with ancient tankards engraved with past Ents Presidents.
Smells a bit better than it used to … because there's no vile smoke any more !!

Invitation
Invitiation ..

Guy Fletcher delivers the citation
Guy Fletcher delivers the citation - admirably !

But where is the plaque ? Somebody must have a pic of it !!

THANKS to all who attended and all who worked hard on this event. It was actually quite emotional for us.

Cheers

Bri

Imperial College PRS award
Us and the plaque

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**Mon 04 Mar 13**
FOIE GRAS - THE ESSENCE OF CRUELTY
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Let's hear it for Geezer Butler. Legendary bass player for Black Sabbath is fighting for an end to Foie Gras.

This is one of the ugliest remaining practices in food production, wherein birds are immonlised for their whole lives and force-fed through a tube.

It's hard to imagine anything more hideous. The manufacture of this disgusting food is now illegal in Britain.

Yet many restaurants still choose to sell it, imported from elsewhere.

Fortnum and Mason are one.

Geezer is calling for a boycott of the restaurant until they remove Foie Gras from the menu.

My own enquiries reveal that there are many top hotel restaurants in London who also serve Foie Gras.

So, if you want to help end this awful practice, please ask before you sit down to eat in one of these posh places.

And if they still serve cruelty food, please tell them exactly why you will not eat there.

Meanwhile, let's support Geezer. I hope F & M will change their policy so the boycott will not need to be implemented.

Bri

MUSIC NEWS:
3 March 2013
Black Sabbath bassist Terence "Geezer" Butler called on his fans to boycott Fortnum & Mason while it shamefully clings to sales of foie gras.

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**Sun 03 Mar 13**
THIS WOMAN IS EXTRAORDINARY !
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I just 'discovered' Natalia Posnova. She is an amazing pianist and interpreter of songs. And I do not use this term lightly.

This video clip is worth a million hits. I hope it gets them … I have seriously, in all these years, never seen or heard anything like this.

To see this amount of beauty, talent, innovation and pure bravura in one shot is astounding.

You all have to see her interpretation of FLASH.

I think we all have to see her do this live some day.

but for now … enjoy … and marvel !!

Natalia Posnova / Queen - Flash Fantasy - http://youtu.be/MBnfwzSlkGw

Natalia Posnova

Natalia Posnova

Natalia Posnova

Bri

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**Fri 01 Mar 13**
SAVING THE TIGER
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We had a great busk !

St Pancras Station was physically cold but metaphorically and metaphysically warm with friendship and concern and support.

THANKS to all of you who turned up and participated.

I don't know how many tigers we saved, but the awareness is growing.

These pictures are courtesy of Francine and Sam and my Twitter pals ! Thanks !

Brian and Kerry

Brian St Pancras

Brian and Kerry St Pancras

Kerry, Brian and Virginia McKenna
Kerry and Bri and Virginia McKenna - founder of Born Free.

Kerry and Brian

What did we play ?

Born Free
Dust in the Wind
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
Knockin on Heaven's Door
The Kissing Me Song
Crazy Little Thing called Love

Big thanks to Stuart Morley on keys. And Pete. And Sara. And to all our friends at Born Free.

And YOU - who sang along with us all the way !

Bri

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