[Brian shares here letter he wrote for the Queen Fan Club (which sadly missed deadline for current FC magazine)….]
15 January 2014,
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.
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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