News coverage: Brian’s Gorillagate comments on his website


Here is some of the news coverage of Brian’s clarification of ‘Gorillagate’ on his Soapbox page here on this website:

Brian May backs Norwich Freddie Mercury gorilla removal
BBC News
12 July 2013

14 July 2013
Freddie Mercury’s estate has agreed a new design for a gorilla sculpture that was painted as the Queen singer. The gorilla was removed from public view in Norwich this week because of a copyright complaint.

Queen guitarist Brian May has said the estate was “quite within its rights” to request its removal. Organisers of the Go Go Gorillas art trail said they had been in discussions with the singer’s estate and a new design would be revealed next week.S

Freddie Gorilla
The Freddie Mercury gorilla was based outside The Forum in Norwich

Queen guitarist Brian May says Freddie Mercury’s estate was “quite within their rights” to ask for a gorilla painted as the singer to be removed.

Artist Mik Richardson’s Radio Go Go sculpture was removed from outside The Forum in Norwich on Monday after a copyright complaint.

May said Mercury Phoenix Trust had requested an “update to the paint job”. “They try to safeguard Freddie’s reputation, just as if he were still around,” May said.

The gorilla was one of 53, life-sized, 5ft (1.5m) and 67 smaller glass fibre sculptures, supplied by Wild in Art, placed around the city centre. Money raised from an auction of the gorillas in October will go to Norfolk charity Break and the Born Free Foundation.

Brian May said it would be “open season” if the Mercury estate had not stepped in

‘Crude and insulting’

Writing on Bri’s Soapbox, May suggested Wild in Art should have asked Mercury’s estate for permission and given it a chance to approve the art work. A “Freddie Lion” had previously been commissioned for the Pride of Cape Town art trail earlier in the year.

“You have to ask yourself how you’d feel if suddenly people were making effigies of your dearly departed dad or son or brother, and you felt they were disrespectful,” he said. “You’d want to feel you had some kind of a right to say yes or no, to protect his reputation.” May said he would not comment on the artistic merit of the sculpture but said a “number of people thought it was a crude and insulting effort”. He said the estate could have taken a more lenient view on the gorilla, but that would have led to an “open season”.There would be nothing to stop any number of companies like this making Freddie elephants or antelopes, or whatever,” he said. “Distorting Freddie’s features just as they felt inclined, and making loads of money from lots of well-meaning people who might well feel they were contributing directly to a charity.”

Martin Green, from Break, who organised the gorilla trail, said talks were “ongoing” with the estate and he was hoping for a “conclusion to discussions” early next week so things could “move forward”. He would not be drawn on suggestions for an Alan Partridge gorilla becoming the replacement.

The Freddie Mercury estate is yet to comment.

The Norwich Go Go Gorilla trail, runs until 7 September. Other conservation-based trails are taking place in Colchester, Southampton and Exeter.


Brian May backs Freddie Mercury’s estate in Norwich gorilla removal dispute
Brian May has backed Freddie Mercury’s estate in the row surrounding the removal of a gorilla painted to look like the former Queen frontman. The guitarist was yesterday informed of the incident, which saw a sculpture of a gorilla painted to look like …

Daily Star
Rocker BRIAN MAY has attempted to smooth over a dispute regarding a gorilla sculpture resembling late QUEEN frontman FREDDIE MERCURY by explaining the reasons why the artwork prompted a complaint from the singer’s charity. A statue named …

Brian May says Norwich gorilla controversy could have been avoided
Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Queen guitarist Brian May has said the “massive controversy” around the removal of the Freddie Mercury gorilla from a Norwich art trail need not have happened – if organisers had got permission first.

Queen Guitarist Brian May Weighs in on Freddie Mercury Gorilla Sculpture Dispute
Yahoo! Music (blog)
GoGoGorillas Norwich 2013/FacebookTalk about an 800-pound gorilla! Queen guitarist Brian May has weighed in on a dispute between Freddie Mercury’s estate and the creators of a giant gorilla sculpture painted to look like the late Queen frontman.

Queen’s Brian May Investigating Freddie Mercury Gorilla Art Controversy
(hennemusic) Queen guitarist Brian May says he’ll investigate this week’s removal of a Freddie Mercury gorilla art statue in Norwich, UK at the request of the Mercury Phoenix Trust over copyright issues. “I don’t know anything about this,” the …