‘We want to celebrate being alive.’
21 October 2020 by George Simpson
BRIAN MAY has spoken out on Queen’s 50th anniversary plans for 2021, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
“Actually I don’t think we want to do that, we just want to get out and play.”
It was 50 years ago this year that Freddie Mercury first performed with Smile’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, forming what became Queen. But it’s actually next year which marks Queen’s 50th anniversary when their full line-up with bassist John Deacon was completed. Express.co.uk recently caught up with May to ask what he and Taylor had planned to celebrate a half-century of the incredible rock band.
May shared: “It’s funny because we’ve been looking at all this and Roger and I are going, ‘Do we really want to celebrate being that old?’
He and Taylor, who are the only active members of Queen today, have been looking at all sort of designs and logos to mark 50 years of the band. But afterwards, the Queen guitar and drummer said to each other: “Actually I don’t think we want to do that, we just want to get out and play.”
So, for now, such on-display celebrations of the 50th anniversary have been shelved.
May said: “We want to celebrate being alive and being live. That would be the greatest thing to celebrate. I don’t really care how long it’s been to be honest. I’m just grateful that we’re here.”
Perhaps Queen: Alive and Live would be better that a 50th anniversary logo then?
Of course, fans will know that Queen and Adam Lambert’s UK and European leg has been postponed from this summer to 2021 due to the pandemic. So at least the band will be performing in the year of their 50th anniversary, which includes a 10-night residency at London’s The O2.
Nevertheless, May is cautious about the 2021 new tour dates, admitting it’s still all “very unclear” what with COVID-19.
The 73-year-old, who suffered a heart attack this year, said: “First of all I have to get fit and I’m doing well, but I need to do better.”
May continued: “Probably another six months of rehab to get right back up to full strength. And then what is going on out there next May? I don’t think anybody knows for sure.”
The rock legend said the band hope they can fulfil all the commitments that have been carried over to next year. He commented: “It’s incredible to me that half a million people are hanging on to their tickets hoping that this will happen, same as we are.”
May added: “So I’m hoping we can do all those European dates, come back and do our 10 nights at the O2; it’s all be packed out and everything will be fabulous. I think we all think there will be compromises to be made and we’ll have to figure out how that works out. I really don’t know. If they tell us we can’t fill those arenas, I personally don’t know what will happen. So we’ll have to see.”
Queen and Adam Lambert’s live album Live Around The World is out now.