40 Years of Queen – The new book published by Carlton


Yes – it’s here. The official launch happens next Monday 3rd October.

I’ve already gone on record as being knocked out by the superb quality of this book.

And Harry Doherty’s excellent text has already been acknowledged in the Press, as well as by me !

But there is much more to say about this work, that ought to be said, and, as often happens in these cases, credit has not necessarily been fully paid where it is due.

Even my foreword was written in a hurry, without me really connecting to which project this actually was, and where it originated. My excuse is there are SO MANY Queen projects on the go at any one time !

My foreword ought to have mentioned what the contents of this very unusual tome really are. So here I am, making amends, and offering my thanks to the great team who created the book.

The project is really the result of 5 years meticulous and inspired work by our Archivist, Greg Brooks, and our Art Director, Richard Gray. It is they who came up with the concept of bringing Queen memorabilia in finely tuned facsimile to a new audience, and the concept fitted perfectly into a line of ‘interactive’ books which Carlton Books had already developed and made a great success of. Yes – for 5 years – work was being done by Greg and Richard, working mainly from my own archive of Queen memorabilia. I’ve often wondered if my passion for collecting bits and pieces of our Queen history over the years was going to be useful. My instinct was that it was precious stuff, and if this book brings as much pleasure as I think it will, it will certainly have been worth all that collecting. If I hadn’t picked up all these items and put them in a safe place at the time, this book would not have happened.

So when you browse through the book, and pull out all the goodies, you are experiencing things which have never before been seen out there … some of them pretty personal … the Smile poster that was pinned to my college room wall – probably the only one of its kind in the world, the photo of me in my Mum’s sitting dining room that my Dad took the first time I ever really held the Red Special guitar in my hands, the photos I took of Freddie in our very first studio session, the X-ray picture of the guitar which Richard did for me when we were developing the replicas, the maps of our Queen tours which my Dad drew for me. There are other very special treasures from Freddie’s family too … and some photos the guys found which neither Roger or I even knew existed.

The designer for Carlton Books was Russell Knowles … and great respects are due there – a great job. Great credit is due to Roland Hall, the editor, who also commissioned Harry D to write the text as the final ‘glue’ to hold the contents together. I’d also like to personally thank Gary Taylor, who can probably be described as the ultimate super-fan. He knows more about us in many ways than we do … and offers his help and advice for very little thanks and no money at all, as far as I am aware. We salute you, Gary.

The book will be with you all very shortly … and I’m hoping it will please you as much as it pleases me. It may be worth mentioning that the free CD with a classic interview from the 4 of us will not be included, apparently, in the USA version of the book (I have no idea why), so you guys over there might want to grab one of the UK copies quick !

Was it all worth it ? 40 years ? Yes, as many of you already know …. it was a worth-while experience !!! ha ha.