TODAY: ENTERAINMENT NEWS
25 August 2014: Richard Wilkins speaks to Queen and Adam Lambert about why the late, great Freddie Mercury would be jealous of what they’re doing now.
Queen + Adam Lambert on Today Show Australia 25/08/14
TRANSCRIPT Jen Tunney © brianmay.com
RICHARD WILKINS: Good morning again. Well today we catch up with a couple of rock ’n’ roll legends, Brian May and Roger Taylor, who are back in Australia with their band, Queen, and in the place of their dearly departed frontman, Freddie Mercury, a young bloke they met on American Idol of all places. I had the pleasure of seeing their first show in Perth, and talking to Adam Lambert and Queen. It’s a triumphant return for one of the greatest groups in music history, and it’s thanks to a young man less than half the age of founding members, Roger Taylor and Brian May.
BRIAN MAY: I never thought it would happen again. If it hadn’t been for Adam coming along kind of in an organic kind of meeting process, then this would never have happened.
ROGER TAYLOR: He’s a man who has the range and theatricality and charisma and humour.
BRIAN: It’s an incredible achievement really though, because Freddie would have found it hard.
ROGER: Yeah, Adam goes beyond what’s needed there.
BRIAN: Astounding. I still get stopped in my tracks sometimes and say, “Can you really do that?”
RICHARD: Adam Lambert is quite simply sensational, stepping into some very big shoes.
ADAM LAMBERT: I’ve brought a lot of shoes to the party. I think there the most important thing, you know. Every kid’s asked me the same. Big shoes to fill, so I’ve brought big shoes, you know. (laughs)
RICHARD: And it all started in the most unlikely of places.
BRIAN: But we didn’t rush into it. We answered the call when they said “Come over and play on American Idol for the two finalists”, which was great, and we just looked at each other and thought “Hmm. Yeah, this actually could work”.
RICHARD: Was there a time when after Freddie passed when you thought, “Hmm maybe we’re never going to get to those dizzy heights again”?
BRIAN: Absolutely. I mean, that’s where we started from. You know I think both Roger and I thought, “No, that’s it”, and we were comfortable with that. We had a great career. We had fantastic albums, it’s over now, we don’t need to do this anymore. Then you gradually come back to the idea that people still wanna hear this stuff, and we’re proud of having made it with Freddie and with each other, so you kind of edge back to a situation of like, well, what if?”
RICHARD: It must be great for you to wrap your fingers around those wonderful licks again.
BRIAN: I’m really enjoying it. It’s a real privilege to be able to do it at the top level again, and I think both Roger and I are playing as well as we’ve ever played – in fact maybe a little bit better ‘cos we’re a bit more experienced.
RICHARD: To sit down behind your spectacular kit, I gotta say, and play those songs and, you know, be at the helm of this great machine. Tell me about that feeling.
ROGER: It’s great actually. It’s also very nice. I’ve got my so is in the band on this tour, Rufus so he plays percussion. It’s great to play with my son. I get the sense that he’d [Freddie] e pretty happy that the songs were living on and you guys were out there with such a lovely man as you at the helm.
BRIAN MAY: Yeah, I think that in our minds, that was kind of the litmus test the whole time — would Freddie like this?. And we don’t have any doubt whatsoever that Freddie would love it. He would be a little jealous, I think.
ADAM LAMBERT: Of the shoes. (laughs) I think too, some critics might say, well, it’s not the same and he’s not Freddie and those are very true things. It isn’t the same and I’m not Freddie. I’m aware of that, but I think these two amazing musicians still want to get on stage and entertain people. I think that they have that right. And these songs need to be brought to life on stage by the originators.
RICHARD: The gig of your life?
ADAM: It’s a big honour, like I’ve said. I feel very lucky and to get on stage. For some members of the audience that might be a bit skeptical, and then I feel like most of the time we win quite a lot of people over and that feels like a victory and if feels like … we are the chanpions, you know. (laughs)
RICHARD: Yes, I’ll tell you what. They were just fantastic in Perth the other night – Queen and Adam Lamber.t The Tour continues in Sydney tomorrow night and Wednesday. Still a few tickets around. I said, if you haven’t got one, just steal one, or get one ‘cos it’s a guaranteed a great night out. ticketek.com.au