brian's soapbox
JANUARY 2014

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

 

COPYRIGHT NOTE:
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Cheers ! Bri
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**Fri 31 Jan 14**
MY 'PITCH' TO THE SHADOW CABINET ON BEHALF OF ANIMALS
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I promised I would share the contents of my 'pitch' to Ed Miliband and his team yesterday.

These are not the exact words I used, because I spoke freely rather than from notes - but this is the gist.

I made 5 points in the 5 minutes allotted !


 


I will follow this up with an account of what the other NGO's and charities asked in their pitches

Brian

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**Thu 30 Jan 14**
" TODAY IN PARLIAMENT ! "
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Do you ever wonder what we really get up to in the House of Common ? (I think they're about to give us beds !)

Well, this is where we were today (among other places). In that part of the complex Parliament hive that is the home of the Opposition - it doesn't have any blue walls! We were 'pitching' to the Labour Party our suggestions for what we'd like to see in the Labour Party Manifesto. We're not members of the Labour Party, of course - we guard our neutrality very assiduously. But Ed Miliband and his team, led in this area by Maria Eagles, the Shadow Minister of the Environment, were very receptive. We will be lobbying all the other parties as hard as we can, but we thank these guys for giving us a formal opportunity to present our case. From the point of view of the poor, the disadvantaged, the disabled, the sick, and all animals … there is no doubt that ANYTHING would be better than this present Government. At the top level, the Labour Party are listening, and we thank them.

I will follow up with some details of our 'pitch' tomorrow.

 

Bri

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**Thu 30 Jan 14**
IMPORTANT QUESTION ABOUT "STARMUS" 2014
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NOTE: PRESS RELEASE HERE

[Replying to a question whether deep scientific knowledge needed to attend the Starmus Festival 2014 - see LETTERS]

There is no expert knowledge needed to attend Starmus - it is an opportunity for anyone who is interested in the subject to hear some of the world's foremost experts speak, to participate in the discussions which follow the lectures, and to mingle informally with the contributors, in a relaxed atmosphere.

I recommend it !!

Bri

X

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**Tue 28 Jan 14**
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Saluting a hero

PETE SEEGER

Writer, singer,

Man of conscience and courage

Changer of the World

RIP

Bri

 

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**Sun 26 Jan 14**
TOFFS' SEASON AGAIN
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[In reply to letter HERE]

THANKS CLIFF. This is so well-written.

I think those of us who 'get it' are all as disgusted as you.

What do we do ? Carry on chipping away.

We know for sure this kind of behaviour is sick and inexcusable.

It will take time before Human decency takes the next step, and all such brutality is outlawed.

But it will come, if those if us who care keep raising our voices.

Years ago, scenes of the abuse of negroes were similarly celebrated.

We SHALL overcome.

Cheers and thanks

Bri

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**Sat 25 Jan 14**
GARTH BROOKS - NICE JOB
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[In answer to a letter about 'Somebody To Love' cover appearing on Garth Brooks' new CD collection - SEE LETTERS]

Nice job. Garth is not one of the world's most massive stars ever by accident !

Never met him … but I hope we will.

Cheers

Bri

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**Sat 25 Jan 14**
NEWS OF SUPERNOVA - HEALTH
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News of supernova - this is big !

UNIVERSETODAY
Bright New Supernova Blows Up in Nearby M82, the Cigar Galaxy
22 January 2014 by Bob King

Supernova

- thanks Jamie Cooper

 

My health is improving - thanks for asking. Doing my physio, some biking and some guitar playing ! Touring soon !

Bri X

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**Tue 21 Jan 14**
QUESTION ABOUT CONCERT 2012 HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
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[Brian was asked if he could help identify what a particular sound was in the opening to the concert - SEE LETTERS]

Ha ! I wish I could remember. I know the sound you mean .. an earth-moving roar like a Star Cruiser taking off ! Well, we were playing around all the time with some of the first analogue polyphonic synthesisers at that time … it was very timely, because we were able to build some great new soundscapes for the Flash Gordon film. So I think this sound was probably generated with an Oberheim OBX.

Cheers

Bri

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**Tue 21 Jan 14**
NO MORE FEATURED SONGS AFTER HOT SPACE?
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[In answer to SEE LETTERS]

Why did we veer towards Freddie singing everything on the Queen albums? Well, the same reason as on stage, really. It became more and more apparent that, in Freddie, we had truly one of the World's greatest singers …so Roger and I didn't feel like pushing ourselves forward for that job … we just wanted to give Freddie every oportunity to spread his wings, so we wrote everything with that in mind.

Bri

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**Fri 17 Jan 14**
WHY DID FREDDIE SING "OUR" FEATURED SONGS IN THE LIVE SHOW ?
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[In answer to SEE LETTERS]

Why did Freddie sing 'our' featured songs in the live show ? Like '39 and Sheer Heart Attack ? It's a fair question.

The truth is quite simple, really. As time went on, we appreciated more and more that having one of the best singers in the world, it made sense to use him as much as possible. It was not just his actual vocal prowess, but his ability to connect with the audience and be the figurehead - the channel - for the Queen show. As you say, it would have felt uncomfortable for me to have Freddie hanging around on stage just do sing backing vocals … and if he went off for a rest instead, we'd be lacking one of the three parts for the choruses. So I was more than happy for Freddie to take the lead on my songs in a live situation. So was Roger. There is also the bonus that NOT singing lead vocal enables a guitar player to put more expression into the playing, even though it's 'only' rhythm. This means the band was functioning in the way it worked best – with each of us at our 'station', and the engine at full power.

I think it was a good choice ? !

Cheers

Bri

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**Thu 16 Jan 14**
'39

Direct link to this article

[Brian was asked if Freddie can be heard singing in the chorus of '39.... SEE LETTERS]

In '39 ? Yes, Freddie and Roger joined me singing (in three parts) the first section of each chorus of '39. The resolutions of the choruses are just a few of me ! The highest solo line in the middle section is of course Roger.

Thanks so much for your good wishes.

All the best,
Bri

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**Thu 16 Jan 14**
LETTER TO QUEEN FAN CLUB MEMBERS
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[Brian shares here letter he wrote for the Queen Fan Club (which sadly missed deadline for current FC magazine)....]



15 January 2014,
London

Hi Folks ! 

Just a belated word to say 'Happy New Year' and stuff.  I know Roger was filling you in with some of our Queen news.  It looks like it will be a very busy year for us.  We seem to be still hovering on the button as I write, ready to start the engine rolling on the Freddie film.  It's been a long haul as you know, trying to assemble the right team to make the film.  And I have learned, in my short time in the movie world, that availability is everything.  It's no use assembling a team whose members are not all available at the same time !  There are windows of opportunity, when everyone you need is free, but the windows can close unexpectedly, and it's back to the drawing board ! But the line-up is looking very exciting … I think just the announcement will cause a bit of a sensation !  

We've also been looking at doing some dates – Roger and myself, and who knows who else !!  ha ha ! Of course these days nothing is a secret for more than the 5 minutes it takes for Twitter and Facebook to spread rumours.  But today [15 Jan] I saw an amazing working list of dates, and … well, I think we’re up for one more swing out there.  In fact, in our Queen meeting today, we drank on it !

Of course, entering a New Year, we pay tribute to all the other folks who are out there flying the flag for us … the wonderful team at We Will Rock You London, who continue to give pleasure to literally millions who have been through the Dominion since we started over 11 years ago … the new touring team of WWRY USA … who are dazzling audiences everywhere they go - I know because I see the tweets !  The great guys (and gal) of the Queen Extravaganza, who have begun to find their feet as a band in their own right. And last but not least, all you guys out there who support us still, after all these years, and keep the music alive and still growing. Thanks also for supporting Jacky’s work, and a big thank you to Jacky herself for soldiering on with the ancient and venerable QFC !

Sad news of course about our fabulous Engineer/producer David Richards … that is such a loss of great talent … I have saluted him in Bri's Soapbox on BrianMay.com, where I continue to rant about things that I feel need ranting about ! 

I have to say a big thank you to all of you who sent me supportive messages over Christmas, when I was wrestling with uncertainty about my health.  There are still some problems to solve, but only yesterday one more test came through which confirms that the worst fears were unfounded.  It sure makes you come to a new appreciation of life and health … gifts we all often take for granted.  I feel very blessed and grateful to be finding my strength again. 

Speaking of Soapbox issues, my frequent updates on the appalling badger cull keep the old wooden platform red hot.  We have made significant gains this year, but tragically, hundreds of badgers have been killed out there, mostly perfectly healthy animals but the Government destroyed the evidence as to whether they really were sick, so we will never know. We continue to fight to get the badgers AND the cattle vaccinated, but there is a clique of men in the NFU, very much in league with the present Government, who are desperate to kill these creatures no matter what the evidence says. The scientific evidence says that what they have done is likely to have made matters worse for farmers.  But do they care ? It seems not. 

So I thank you folks ... so many of you have been so supportive in our fight to get animals respected as sentient creatures, rather than disposable 'things'.  Save-Me now operates on many levels - and the support you give us on Save-Me.org.uk and the Facebook page, and on my own Soapbox, is vital to our cause.  Thank You !! 

The rest of me ? Well, I am always busy … too busy, some would say.  I’m looking forward to some more Candlelit dates with Kerry Ellis in February, in the UK, and in Russia, in Belarus – and in Malta … so some really new horizons there.  Our DVD/Blu-Ray of the candlelit concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival will be on sale around March - containing also the CD of the British dates.  

The Diableries book I wrote with two illustrious colleagues is now out there … after 6 years’ work … and a lifetime of collecting and researching.  I'm very proud of it, and spreading the joy of 3-D images still excites me. We are publishing more stereo cards soon, too … you can see the news on LondonStereo.com.  The classic Queen ones have sold very well !  And my amazing Stereoscopic Historical collaborator Denis and I are working on a lightning project – a treatise on Stereo cards versus paintings in the 19th Century – in collaboration with the Tate Gallery.  It’s the kind of book that, once people see it, will seem like it’s always been there.  But this subject has NEVER been researched and written about … I think it will make a mark.  And it will be a chance for all you OWL-users to enjoy some luscious new 3-D delights !

Today in our Queen meeting, it felt like we are gearing up like 35 year-olds, so I will be focussing on getting fit in the next few months.  There will be exciting news about WWRY in the coming months too – in fact I can hardly contain myself !  As soon as I know stuff like this for sure, I will be tweeting … ha ha … never thought I’d be saying this !! We discussed new plans for Freddie for a Day and the Mercury Phoenix Trust this year … and our forthcoming album with at least THREE previously unheard tracks with Freddie singing … I didn’t think I’d be saying that either !!  Working hard on this material now.  So many things … but everything will unfold.  

I wish you a wonderful 2014, with dreams of all kinds coming true.  Thanks for being there. 

Cheers ! 

 

Bri 

Copyright

 

Editor's note:
Find out how to join the Official International Queen Fan Club by visiting
http://www.queenworld.com
- You are guaranteed a warm welcome from Jacky Smith.

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