May Thought Queen Arena Shows Were Behind Them


Adam Lambert and Brian May

May with Lambert at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour


7 November 2014 by Martin Kielty

Brian believes UK gigs with Adam Lambert are gift from God – and says they wouldn’t have happened if singer had been “a shit”

Brian May thinks it’s incredible that Queen are about to play an arena tour of the UK so many years after the death of Freddie Mercury.

And he says there’s no way he and Roger Taylor would have started working with singer Adam Lambert if he’d been “a shit” of a person.

The lineup was named Band Of The Year at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour in Los Angeles this week.

Speaking at the gala event, May told Nicky Horne of the Classic Rock Magazine Show: “I would go to shows and think, ‘Well we used to do that – we used to play in arenas and whatever, but that’s never going to happen again.’ I didn’t feel it in a terribly sad way. I just thought, ‘We did that, and now we do something different.’

“Suddenly we’re in the same arena again, if I can use the metaphor. How incredible that we can still do that and people still want to come and fill those arenas, and we can still rock the hell out of them. It’s very uplifting.”

May says it even takes some of the sting out of being a grandfather. “One of my grandchildren was talking to his teacher at school and said, ‘Oh, you should hear my granddad’s band,’ I thought, how do you compute that?

“Being called granddad took a while to get used to; it does feel like you’ve gone into a class of human being you didn’t think you’d ever reach. I’m glad that my kids can see us, and even my grandkids can see us now.”

The remaining members of Queen weren’t looking for a singer when Lambert came into their lives, May says. “We just thought, ‘My God, this guy can do it.’ The final piece of the puzzle is that he’s a nice guy. If he was a shit it wouldn’t be fun and it wouldn’t have happened.

“He’s a good guy; he’s fun, he’s entertaining, he’s open to ideas and he brings lots of ideas in. When we were putting this setlist together he didn’t just go, ‘I’ll do what you want’ – he said, ‘Look, how about we try this?’ So we had a proper birth process for the material of this tour.

“I just feel very grateful that we’re out there and can do it.”

Drummer Taylor recently said it would be “interesting” to record with Lambert. The band tour the UK in January. Hear the full three-hour Classic Rock Magazine Show special edition from the Classic Rock Roll of Honour on demand now.

Jan 13: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Jan 14: Glasgow SSE Hydro
Jan 17: London O2 Arena
Jan 20: Leeds First Direct Arena
Jan 21: Manchester Phones 4U Arena
Jan 23: Birmingham NIA
Jan 24: Nottingham Capital FM Arena