LETTERS
APRIL 2003

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Ed: Brian is travelling away a lot right now and is going through an ultra busy time, especially with the Musical, and can only manage a very few replies to current feedback. Please don't be disappointed if you don't see a reply here. He is doing his best. Here's what he has sent to share.

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**Sat 26 Apr 03**
ENQUIRY ABOUT COSTUMES - END OF FIRST YEAR

Jade Tournay-Godfrey wrote
Subject: We will Rock You

Dear Brian May,

I am a 21 year old second year degree student at London Studio Centre, studying for a BA(Hons) in Theatre Dance (Musical Theatre).

I am now embarking on a research project into the costume design of musicals, and I have chosen We Will Rock You to study because I absolutely adore the musical and I have already formed my own ideas about the reasons for the choice of costume/set design for the show.

I was hoping that you would be able to send me some information regarding the reasons why the costume designer Tim Goodchild, the production designer Mark Fisher and any other important artists vital to the design of the show were chosen for the job, or a contact of someone who could help me with this. It would help me greatly with my project not only for my degree but in the long term as I want to write my own musical one day.

This is an illustrated project, so any diagrams or costume drawings would be very much appreciated.

Please could you send me any information that you feel would be of use to me, I am really grateful for your time and consideration on this matter. I hope it wont be too much trouble to you,

Yours sincerely,
Jade Tournay-Godfrey



Rock on Jade!!!

Brian


 

A few more today...

**Wed 23 Apr 03**
WWRY. CANARY ISLANDS, DREAM THEATRE

 

Simon Toovey wrote:

JUST A QUICK THANK YOU.

WENT TO SEE THE SHOW ON SAT NIGHT THOUGHT IT WAS TOP NOTCH. THE MUSIC WAS PLAYED LIKE IT SHOULD BE (LOUD), THE CAST WERE EXCELLENT, THANX AGAIN.

SIMON & ANGELA (YASMIN'S DAUGHTER)

yo Simon ! glad you had a good time ! - tell EVERYONE !!!!! ....

---

On guestbook:
==========
MICK MCTERNAN wrote

THANKS FOR 25 YEARS GUITAR LESSONS AND THE 40TH BIRTHDAY CARD YOU SENT ME HOPE TO SEE YOU IN YOUR OBSERVATORY IN THE CANARY ISLANDS ONE DAY
YO KEEP ROCKING CHRYSTAL
MICK

...you too Mick!!!
Cheers Brian

Dag Blix of Norway wrote:

Did you people out there know that the protagonist in the greatest contemporary prog group "Dream Theater" is an outspoken Queen admirer? AND that their vocalist James Labrie lists Freddie as, quote: "my favourite vocalist in the world" (he said that to ME about "Melina")
Actually most of Dream Theater has contributed in official Queen tributes!

Queen still makes great music through the minds of the hopeful young (in shallow graves)..... ...

I’m deeply flattered – please give the band my best if you are talking with them !!!!

Cheers Brian


**Tue 22 Apr 03**
JENA, LADY MERCY, PLAYING PIANO ON EARLY ALBUMS, MR PAVAROTTI

Simona wrote:

I'm Simona, a Italian girl, and I'm 15.

... Well, now I have to be serious:

I have to say you Thanks because your music can make me forget all my problems..... About your music...your solo album are very difficult to find here!!! But I'll keep on searching...

And finally, I have a question for you: Who is Lady Mercy???? (Hammer to fall) I can't understand it!!!!

That's all for now...
Goodbye
With love
Simona

P.S. I know that my english is not very good, and so excuse me!!!! And Happy
Easter!!!!

No – Simona – your English is just fine, and so is your question !!! But I hope my answer is as good ....

I am using what you would probably call a metaphor? Or maybe there is a better word for it – a word which means putting a human face on something – in this case a lady’s name on a human quality – but I guess the human quality is something we look for in the Gods!!! Sorry, this is even less clear – I was really using this fictitious lady to personify our dreams of sidestepping death!! I was really just thinking – when it’s time for us to go, there is no mercy we can appeal to.

I remember being told by my Grandfather – who served in World War I - “When your number’s on the shell, your time is up” - or something similar – maybe someone can put me straight on the exact wording – I know this was common legend in the trenches...

Well, the song is about acceptance really I guess, but there is a touch of humour in it !

Love b xxx

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Carrie Williams wrote:

Brian,

I wish you and your family a Happy Easter, and also a Happy Birthday to Anita later this month! Gotta love us April babies (: Hope both occasions are everything you wish for and more. I'll be playing "Resurrection" Sunday- seems fitting!

Love, Carrie Williams from the land of the melting snow! (:

Ok – I’m melted now – thanks from us both Carrie – and happy birthday to you too !!

Love B

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Ingrid wrote:

Hi Brian,

I'm not sure if you find some time to read this mail, because you're very busy, travelling around the world and preparing musicals. But I'd like to inform you about our trip to Jena (thanks for your tip), which we did with our 2 kids on Tuesday to visit Queen-Heaven at the Planetarium.

At first it was very interesting to observe the visitors. There were Families with little kids, parents with teenager-kids (they explained their kids the music of Queen) and grandmothers with grandchilds.

The Show was very nice - a wonderful and unforgettable experiment to mix Your music with lights and laser. Even the songs which do not belong to my
favourites, like A Winters Tale, were very well realised. Ending the show with "These are the Days" - yeah this was very emotional.

We spent a very stressy day (8 hours in the car), but my family and I enjoyed the show, listening to the music and looking to the effects - fantastic! - So thanks to Queen and to you Brian for your great music.

Is it really true, that you want to bring WWRY to Germany some day? If yes - I can't wait to see.

Now I'd like to wish to you and your family some nice Easter-holidays.

Ciao and regards from Germany
Ingrid

Thankyou for the message and the account of your trip Ingrid – I’m very happy you enjoyed the show in Jena – I am hoping to visit soon – but your words are very informative to me – it’s vital for me to receive impressions . I know there is much further we can go in this area – but I am proud of the work of the Munich team, and the new Jena people, in creating this show !!! Cheers ! Brian

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Abi Tetley wrote:

Hi Brian,

Just emailing to say that I was on the plane to Reus (Spain) yesterday and idly flicking through the radio channels through sheer boredom. But guess who's voice I heard through the headphones talking about 'We Will Rock You' the musical and introducing some great rock songs? You certainly get about that's for sure! Anyway thankyou for brightening up my flight even though The weather was not great when we landed it cheered me up no end

~Abi Tetley

Wishing you sunshine and happy landings ABI !!!! Brian

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Happy Easter Brian,

may you find in your Easter egg the same feeling of happiness, peace of mind and will to do always better that you are able to transmit everyday....
Keep up with the hard work!!!

Love,
Francesca

I will, Francesca - I think!!!! - Love B

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on 16/4/03 3:56 pm, alexander.macinante wrote:

Dear Brian

I'm so happy you decided to come to the Pavarotti International show on the 27th of May. I'm so thrilled! I'll be there!

Thanks from all the Italian fans!

Alex

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Martin Pitcher wrote:

Subject: Madrid

Brian,

I thought that you were helping with the WWRY show because you wanted to share Queen's music with future generations. Having seen the Madrid
photo's I can see that your real intention it just to be surrounded by beautiful young women.

Lucky bugger!

Maxx11

Yep, Max, you sussed me !!! Bugger the songs!!!!!

Love bri

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Sebastoam Santacruz wrote:

Subject: piano on early albums

Greetings

I was wondering on which songs on studio did Brian play piano on the first albums, as he's credited on the first three of them. I know that he played plastic piano on teo torriate later on, and I'm almost sure he also played on 'Save Me' (he did live as well).

Anyway, as for the third album I think the piano of 'Now I'm Here' must be Freddie's, but the one of 'Dear Friends' has to be Brian: Freddie's songs must have been played by Mr. Mercury, there are no more instruments on the song and Fred sings all the vocals on it. And finally I don't think Brian played on 'Tenement Funster'

So the question is, what is for the first two albums?

For 'II' I know there are some piano lines on 'Father To Son', I think the piano on 'White Queen' must be Freddie, and on 'Procession' and 'Someday One Day' there are no keyboards at all. So it must be 'Father', am I right?

And finally on the first album there's my big doubt. Fred's songs must be accompanied by himself, so by logic it should be 'Doin' All Right'. Now, on a magazine Brian said that he had made a guitar arrangement similar to "what Freddie played on the piano". At first I thought he was referring to the live versions, then there are a couple of things more: on the 'Queen At The Beeb' CD only Fred is credited for piano, and Brian said that for those versions they used the basic tracks they had from Trident. That would mean that the piano of the song is the same as the album version, then it would be Freddie

Another thing, the BBC version only has piano on intro and outro I think, so it would be possible that Brian played the overdubs in the middle part. There's one exact fragment that sounds totally Freddie to me, it's like he's playing very fast the bass notes on left hand (like 16 times per measure, I don't know the technical name), while on the right he's doing some licks.

That reminds me the intro of 'Flick Of The Wrist' and the outro of 'Let Me Live', so it must be him. Now, then there are only two things left: the other chords in the middle part, or that the song Brian played on was 'Modern Times Rock n' Roll'. But it would be so weird not to have the official pianist on a Roger's song, it's like Brian or Roger singing the lead vocals of 'Slightly Mad' or 'You And I'. Anyway, I have no idea about it

Finally, I think 'Forever' is a great piece of work (the piano version of 'Who Wants...'). Freddie made some piano versions those days ('One Year Of Love' and 'Pain Is So Close'), so, was it made by him? or was it Brian?

thanks a lot

Sebastian

OK Sebastian – for the record, as far as I remember. I played piano on the following:

Doin’ Alright (on Queen I),

- Father to Son (II),
- Now I’m Here, Dear Friends (SHA),
- Teo Toriatte (ADATR),
- All Dead All Dead (NOTW)

Notably NOT on
- Sail Away Sweet Sister (The Game) – I got Freddie to learn it and play it with Roger and John for the backing track – I wanted his marvellous rhythm and percussive feel on piano.

But yes on
- Save Me
- Las Palabras de Amor (Hot Space)
-
Flash and The Hero (Flash Gordon) (plus organ on the WEDDING)

But from here on in we began using synthesisers and there were many excursions from us all into keyboard territory.

My main contributions on principal parts were (in no particular order) in:

- Scandal,
- Was It All Worth it,
- Hang On In There,
- Too Much Love will Kill You (which was done with Frank Musker up in his house in the Canyon in L.A. when we first sketched the song),
- No-one But You (again done on my own, originally for use on my solo album),
- One Vision (my first ramblings on a Kurzweil gave rise to the opening section) ,
- I Can’t Live With You,
- The Show Must Go On (that sequence just got thrust into my head playing around with Roger – I will never know where it came from, but it completely took me over for a long time while the song was in development).

And of course
- Who Wants to Live Forever.

The only pure piece of piano from this era from me is “Forever” - which was a doodle done live in the studio which I rescued for a bonus track later on.

Of course there are many other smaller contributions, but in many cases later on we would work together on the programming of a keyboard part (eg Days Pf Our Lives). This is a benefit of the new technology which allows us to keep the original feel of a demo keyboard part but update the actual notes as the song is developed – I’ve used it many times in my solo work – giving an impression that I can play better than I actually can!!!

Luckily the guitar still has to be PLAYED LIVE – so my best job is safe for a while at least!!!

Cheers
B


**Thu 10 Apr 03**
SETTLES DEBATE ON 'SHEER HEART ATTACK' LEAD VOCALS

Nick Drengenberg wrote: (forwarded to Brian from QFC)

There’s a debate currently on alt.music.queen, on a question which I believe has been debated many times over the years! Hopefully you can help to resolve it.

Who sings the lead vocal on the album version of the song Sheer Heart Attack, from News of The World? For 20 years I’ve thought it was Roger, no question, but the entire alt-music.queen group seem to think it’s Freddie. I know Freddie sang it live, but the album version has always (up until now) seemed to me to be unquestionably Roger.

Please save my sanity!

Regards,
Nick Drengenberg

Well, it's mixture - a compromise, as often happened in these cases.

Roger had done a demo, and our usual practice was to use the demo's as a bed for the final track. Roger had sung it all, but the decision was made to get Freddie to the job for the record. Roger was keen that Freddie sing it pretty much like the demo to retain the (kind of Punkspoof?) atmosphere. Freddie didn't find it that easy since it wasn't his natural style.

But it's Freddie you hear doing the verses - double tracked.

However Roger’s voice is there in odd lines, joining in on “Hey hey hey”, and “’ticulate”, and the choruses are, I think, all of us, but with Roger up front – the demo versions dominating – in fact it sounds to me like ALL Roger in the choruses in the mix now I listen to it...

So it’s a nice little melange you have there.... Of course it was a tour de force for Freddie live – it brought out his destructive side!!!! I also enjoyed it live – nice to go flat out and uncompromisingly heavy at the end of the show. Strangely enough it was Roger who would wince when someone suggested SHEER HEART ATTACK as an extra encore – it was totally draining for him to keep up that pattern, especially when we got into it and it got more and more extended in our enthusiasm. Taylor Hawkins from the Foo’s cites SHA as one of his favourite tracks – and even he recognises the physical commitment it takes!!
So you were ALL right – OK?

Love b


**Wed 09 Apr 03**
YOUR GUESTBOOK

lionking86 wrote:

Hi Brian!!
..I was reading the messages that fans use to write on the "Guestbook"..they're so kindly and lovely..How do you feel when you read them??!!

Thanks to give us the opportunity to come up to your life...
Kisses, lioness '86


None more warming than yours, Lioness!! Thank you !

Love brian xxx


**Mon 07 Apr 03**
LADY IN RED

Gisela Will wrote:

Dear Brian,

what a nice photo of a sweet lady. But certainly that raises a few more questions, and I'm gonna stick my neck out and ask:

1. Was there a motto for the party? Or did you just take the opportunity since they made you "stay at home" in the Break Free video?

2. Where did you get the dress? Was it made for you, or do you have a tall auntie who lent it to you?

3. What about the appropriate footwear? Or did you just hide your clogs or trainers under the long skirt? (Brian in stilettoes seems even more obscure than Brian in drag ;-)

Lots of love,
Gisela

No - The footware was in character too - it's a shame you can't see it - I don't do things by halves you know... And the outfit was hired, just for the occasion - the theme of the party was Drag or other outrageous - it's just that most people were cautious. Not Elton of course - his wig alone took up most of the back of a pantechnicon....!!! Elton NEVER does things less than 1000 per cent !!! Damn good for him I say.

B


THAT'S ALL FOR NOW... check back soon. Ed.

 
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