Here follows posts and photographs related to Queen’s Day 2002.
**Mon 29 Apr 02**
QUEEN REUNION RUMOUR!
A rumour is circulating that Queen are planning a one-off reunion gig in Holland on Tuesday 30th April (tomorrow!). More details promised tomorrow.
**Mon 29 Apr 02**
CELEBRATING THE DUTCH QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY!
Performance from 2.15pm to 3.00pm on the “museum square”, with the following people: Brian, Roger, Jamie Moses, Spike Edney, Tony Vincent and a Sarah! Roger arrived in Amsterdam at 6.45pm this evening, Brian will arrive tomorrow morning! Also queenonline.com and the Dutch Fan Club shows signs that this is REAL! Dutch MTV website reports that the event will be broadcasted LIVE from noon till 9pm!
Source: Freddie van ter Beek
**Tue 30 Apr 02**
OFFICIAL QUEENSDAY PRESS RELEASE
A Unique show on Holland’s National Queensday Rock Group Queen Reforms For Special Queensday Concert Amsterdam, Tuesday April 30, 2002
Legendary rock group Queen is reforming for a special one-off concert to celebrate national Queensday in Holland today Tuesday April 30.
This historic occasion will see Queen play a full set live for only the second time since the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. The only previous occasion was the band’s tribute concert for Freddie Mercury in April 1992. The band has not performed in Holland since its final tour in 1986 when they appeared at Leiden Groenoordahal in June of that year.
Queen’s performance to mark national Queensday will take place at the Museumplein in Amsterdam at 15:00hrs on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to attend the free open air concert which will see Queen perform a 45-minute set which will provide a spectacular taste of the music featured in the band’s stage musical “We Will Rock You” which is currently previewing in London and opens at The Dominion Theatre on May 14th.
The show will be broadcast live on television channel SBS6, with further live coverage exclusive to Radio 538 and MTV who are responsible for bringing Queen to Holland, along with Heineken.
“We Will Rock You” the musical features 31 of Queen’s biggest hits set to a new story written by leading British comedy writer and performer Ben Elton. Set 300 years in the future, the musical takes a look at a time when live music no longer exists on earth. The only music available is that provided by the dominant Internet organisation Globalsoft. But the kids, tired of homogenised boy and girl band pop, are in rebellion. Lead by the hero Galileo Figaro, they are about to break free…
First previewed Friday night, April 26, the musical has been receiving standing ovations nightly, and looks set to become one of London’s biggest musical successes.
**Tue 30 Apr 02**
QUEEN IN HOLLAND
Brian, Roger et al played a three-quarter hour set for Queen Juliana’s Birthday in the Museum Square in the centre of Amsterdam to a crowd of 130,000 people:
The show was broadcast on Dutch Radio and preceded by a short interview on air.
The set list was…
1. Radio Ga Ga – Roger
2. Tie Your Mother Down – Brian
3. Another One Bites The Dust – Patti Russo
4. Under Pressure – Patti Russo/Roger
5. Slow Hammer To Fall – Brian
6. The Show Must Go On – Patti Russo
7. No One But You – Brian/Roger
8. We Will Rock You – Brian
9. We Are The Champions – Trijntje Oosterhuis
Source: Maki/Freddie van ter Beek Ed:
Evidently, the gig was kept secret as the organisers did not want even more people to turn up!
**Fri 03 May 02**
QUEEN SURPRISE ON QUEEN’S DAY AMSTERDAM
(“De Telegraaf” dated 1st May 2002)
Queen’s day 2002 was wet and cold. But at 3pm yesterday afternoon on the Amsterdam Museumsquare all misery disappeared suddenly when, as a big surprise, the legendary formation Queen entered the big stage.
The group, who after the death of their flamboyant frontman and singer Freddie Mercury in 1991, performed only 3 times, was invited to Holland by beer brewer Heineken especially for Queen’s day and pulled an enormous stunt with that. The original members, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor gave, completed with a number of musicians and singers from the cast of the upcoming Queen musical “We will rock you”, a three quarters of an hour lasting show.
Smashing performances of songs like “Radio GaGa”, “Under Pressure”, “The Show Must Go On” or “We are the champions” which was performed with national pride Trijntje Oosterhuis, sounded over the 100.000 people strong mass.
Brian May was afterwards euphoric. “We rock, don’t we?” was his statement when he left the stage. He was glad to be back again in our country. “Holland has always been very good to us. Here are more Queen-fans than in any other country in the world. We like it that we have been able to add a small bit to such a beautiful event as your Queen’s day” said the guitarist. Also for Trijntje Oosterhuis this was something never to forget. “This was kicking, I’m still shaking”, she said happily, after she was allowed to sing the public-smashing and closer “We are the champions”. The hungry audience wanted more, but that didn’t happen unfortunately. The group, fully working on the musical which will go in premiere in London in 2 weeks, immediately stepped off the stage and into the limousine headed to Schiphol airport. Tomorrow you will find in this newspaper an exclusive interview with Brian May and Roger Taylor following the unique and already legendary concert which took place yesterday.
Source: Translated from the Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” dated 1st May 2002: Translator: Freddie van ter Beek
**Fri 03 May 02**
MORE GREAT PIX FROM HOLLAND
Source: Freddie van ter Beek (with thanks)
**Mon 06 May 02**
Today Hannie from the Dutch Fan Club sent the Dutch fans a letter with explanation about the way the announcement went for the Amsterdam concert. Included was a leaflet to order a CD-ROM about the concert. The leaflet speaks about “highlights from the concert, interviews with the band members, and backgrounds of the new musical”. The leaflet also says that the CD can be played on AUDIO cd-players! The delivery time is according to the leaflet : 3 weeks.
Source: Freddie van ter Beek
**Sun 05 May 02**
THE ROYAL SURPRISE OF QUEEN
“THE NETHERLANDS HAS THE MOST FANTASTIC QUEEN-FANS” (TELEGRAAF INTERVIEW)
(from our special reporter RON PEEREBOOM VOLLER)
: Fan Club Chair(wo)man Hannie Roggeveen.
: Roger Taylor: “In my whole my life I haven’t been so close to a real job as now with that musical.” : Trijntje Oosterhuis sang for 100,000 people together with May and Taylor the Queen classic “We Are The Champions”.
: Queen guitarist Brian May (l) and drummer Roger Taylor gave, together with some friends, at Koninginnendag a surprise concert at The Museumplein.
: The American singer Patti Russo sang the lad in a couple of songs.
: Bassist John Deacon and singer Freddie Mercury during their concert in Ahoy (Rotterdam) in 1979.
The true fans have had to wait for it very long: after more than sixteen years there did sound around Queen-songs from a Dutch pop-podium.
Played by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, two original band members that were, together with Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant singer Freddie Mercury, who passed away in 1991 due to AIDS, famous to in every corner of our globe. The duo was especially for Queens’ day brought to Holland by the King of the yellow-gold kiddies, Heineken. A super-stunt, that even with the two themselves, in spite of the autumn-like weather before the show, brought them a smile at the face.
Only three times before the remaining members of the legendary pop group have gathered. Such as that May, Taylor and bassist Deacon played with numerous stars like David Bowie, Elton John, Liza Minelli and George Michael at the Freddie Mercury Tribute in the Wembley Stadium in ’92.
And the premiere in ’97 of the Bejart ballet as well, that was based on the music of the British group, was attended by a couple of songs.
When Queen did get a place in the Music Hall of Fame, last year, only May and Taylor gave acte de presence. Deacon appears to have knocked off.
And still, the show that took place at the Museumplein, yesterday, may be called unique. Queen without Freddie has no right to exist; that did Brian May and Roger Taylor realize all too well all the time, they told earlier in the day. In spite of that they feel the constant pressure of millions of Queen fans from all over the world to do something ‘no processer what”.
With the premiere of the musical ‘We Will Rock You’ that will be presented in the London Dominion theatre on May 14th, they follow that wish in a large extent. A rock ‘n roll theatre piece, which is not about Queen, as they want to tell explicitly, but is built up around about thirty songs of the British. May and Taylor are, as being musical advisors, from A to Z involved with the production. And, with the one-time show in our country, they wanted to tell the world about it.
Brian May (55) is tired, deathly tired, he tells in his hotel room between the soundcheck and the show. “We worked now for 4 months very intensive with the Musical and it looks good now. But it costs a lot of energy, tonight I only slept one hour. Every day I go to the theatre and work on all kind of things.
It is a very long process and quite difficult from what we were used to doing. Especially because this time you work to somewhere, where in the end we shall not play ourselves. Besides I was confronted with a difference in culture between the rockers and the theatre-people. Every day there is here something to bother about. And that can be about all kind of subjects: for light and sound to melody or what steps they have to make. It is complex indeed.”, the in blue dressed guitarist tells.
The 53-year-old Taylor as well finds it a hard work to do. “I have not been so close to a real job in whole my life”, the drummer jokes.
The piece, which is written by the British comedian and writer Ben Elton is set in the future at the formal planet earth, now named Mall. A world in which everything is pre-programmed and where free thinking is banned.
Still a rebellious group of younger people searches for that freedom through writing songs and making music.
The main roles in the Musical are played by for example Nigel Planer (hippie Neil from The Young Ones) as Pop, musical actor Tony Vincent as Galileo, actress Hannah Jane Fox as Saramouche and Sharon D Clarke as Killer Queen.
“This is not a Queen story, but a story about children in the future who try to discover their individuality to do what they want”, May explains. “As it is written you can draw a parallel with the story of Queen. It is not a rock musical, more a rock’n’roll show in the theatre. I must not see it as that Abba-musical ‘Mama Mia”, in what a whole bunch of songs are connected to each other by a nonsense story. We want to make a point, it is going about something. It shall not be one of those Queen cover bands that will go on stage to play our songs. It must be REAL and we want to allow the cast freedom in expressing our songs in their own way.
That there finally something is happening again around Queen has almost been impossible, tells May, who is married with Eastenders’ actress Anita Dobson. “When we lost Freddie we also lost the possibility to be Queen as the people know it. So, all the own paths that there were always to do your creative things -apart than from the solo-artist- were gone.
Emotionally I didn’t want to be a part anymore of Queen. Mainly because the loss of someone and the loss of your band was an immense terrible feeling. It was a marriage, it was my life, my best friends! In the end you find out that you still can do something on what you can put the label of Queen, but it lasted a while. The musical is for us THE way to pass our music to new, young people, musicians.”
That bassist John Deacon isn’t joining anymore can only be regretted by the two. The as-ever-dressed-in-black Taylor about it: “The last what we did with John was the premiere of the ballet. Then he told us that he did not like it anymore. He found it too much stress. We respect that and he finds it fine that we continue in doing things under the label of Queen. Brian is a workaholic and I want to hold grip at how everything concerning our band is presented. You can see us as the guards of the oeuvre of Queen.”
Deacon probably not, but Mercury is irreplaceable, the two admit without any restrictions. The Amsterdam singer Trijnte Oosterhuis shone from ear to ear because she was chosen to sing “We Are The Champions”. “
Just a very lucky guess, that’s what it was”, she smiled. “Brian and Roger wanted to do a song with a local artist and that’s how I was pushed forward. What nice guys they are. It was such a thrill. I was terribly nervous… It is a legendary song and in there you are not allowed to make any mistake. But Brian told me: ‘Just do whatever you feel’.”
Heineken press-representative Krin Willems was around when the idea was born to bring Queen to Holland. Backstage, in the dressing room of the band: “At Heineken are two huge sponsor trajects: going out/music and of course Orange/Oranje (the National colour). However, it did never before succeed to bring those two at Queens’ day together for a huge stunt. For years we did scream as a kind of joke “Queen at Queens’ day” until we went working seriously on it some months ago with this idea.
The brewery arranged all formalities directly with the band. “Brian and Roger are close to the premiere of the Musical and were willing to let hear something about it. Besides it appeared that Holland has the highest in crowd of fans of the world as it comes to Queen, so the choice was made fast.”
Hannie Roggeveen, for many years already the encouraging power and the face of the Dutch Queen fan club, was walking as proud as a peacock around the area behind the stage.
Even she had – just like many others involved – days, weeks, some even for months, to keep their mouth about the special concert. “Only on Monday night I did send an email to all the members of the fan club that they had to check next morning very early their mailbox and the site. Because only then I was allowed to announce”, the 42-years hooked Queen fan explains, who is already for over 20 years the chairman of the Dutch fan club. “I am glad that there finally is happening something around Queen because it was too long quiet.”
Of the Queen Koniningendagconcert at The Museumplein will be a CD-ROM released which is to be ordered through www.Heineken.nl. SBS 6 will repeat the TV broadcast at May 15th
**Sun 05 May 02**
THE OBLIGATORY SCEPTICAL PRESS REPORT!!!
Queen is dead, long live the Queen!
Amsterdam reunion total deception
Ten years after the last performance the British rock band Queen choose the Amsterdam Museumplein for a onetime reunion at Queens day. Without the regretable Freddie Mercury, WITH Trijntje Oosterhuis and in spite of her a disillusion from calibre.
By Robert Haagsma
Amsterdam: “The three original members of the leg-en-da-ry band Queen did just arrive!!”, the guest speaker soared over the Museumplein, a few minutes before the start of the concert.
To have counted heads behind the screens should have been helpful, probably, because in the end it was only guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor who did take over the windy stage. It brought hardly frowning eyebrows among the audience. All excited announcements were at the field ending like warm “events-beer”. What do you expect with a crowd of orange painted and most likely drunk kids, who had to be borne when Queen was already building off their career. “The bassist”, one of the 100.000 spectators wondered, “wasn’t that Paul McCartney?”.
No, the grey hairs and somewhat belly-alike musician appeared to come from the Queen muscial We Will Rock You, what will have his official start in the mid of May. An anonymous hired-force. The original bandmember John Deacon apparently had something better to do. And Freddie Mercury died already at the end of 1991, after a long struggle against AIDS. Queen had been seen in Holland for the last time in 1986 and said goodbye in April 1992 in the Wembley Arena in London in an impressive way to the colourful singer. After that the members chose their own way, pretty wise.
What does make such talented musicians, that have seen and gone through everything already, to show one more last time their trick? Under a threatening sky, in the middle of wind-gusts who did enjoy every drumbeat, every singing-line, every guitar chord.
Answer: As a promotional stunt for the musical We Will Rock You. But a stunt that did serious damage the image of the untouchable mega act that Queen ever was.
The band kicked off with Radio Gaga, sung by a Roger Taylor who felt himself obviously very uncomfortable as frontman, without his drumkit as a safe barrier.
Brian May gave his thin voice to Tie Your Mother Down and Hammer To Fall. A handful of singers helped in Another One Bites The dust, The Show Must Go On and Under Pressure, but it remained a very uncomfortable affair.
Without the flamboyant audience-player Freddie Mercury, Queen looked old, tired and so very common. At the field as well, where the audience was not at all aware of the “unique event”, as the state-secret-like labelled performance was announced. People ordered beer steadily and nibbled half-baked satays, as on every Queens’ day. Brian May sang than No One But You (Only The Good Die Young), a crying honour for his former colleague. Mind this, it was a Dutch addition that came to the fore that the performance ended in a total deception. Trijntje Oosterhuis, former singer of Total Touch and our very good friend, as Brian May said, sang with full passion in We Are The Champions. She did streak out, hugged at the guitarist and took care for some warmth at the slowly in a mud-pool transforming field. The audience did jump up, applauded enthusiast and sang along excited with the bombastic chorus. Of course, it was the party of recognition.
Trijntje is one of us, though. But it also should have differed that We Are The champions is the unofficial hymn of the local football club Ajax and that coincidentally a lot of supporters were around. Then the concert was finished already again. After nine songs, in hardly three quarters [of an hour]. This was really the last time, the band promised. Queen is dead, long live the Queen.
**Sun 05 May 02**
TRANSLATIONS: DUTCH PRESS
There follow several Dutch Newspaper reports of Queen Day.
METRO, 1 MAY 2002
QUEENS DAY – WET, WINDY AND QUIET
The celebration of Queens’ day yesterday went peacefully. Hundred thousands of people did visit the 4 large cities. In Amsterdam it was about 450,000, while last year there were about 750,000 people attending. According to the Police the lower number of people had mainly to do with the bad weather in the capital city. The entire morning it was raining there. In the afternoon it was dry. The Dutch Railways were also very well able to manage the flood of travellers. About 150,000 people went by train to Amsterdam. Last year there were fights close to the central station. In Rotterdam the wind blew hard and it was cold. Apart from a few drops of rain it remained dry. In spite of the crowd everything went well, the police reported. The organisation of the Queens’ day party at The Museumplein in Amsterdam did have a surprise in mind for the ten thousands’ of visitors. The British rock group Queen gave a concert there in the afternoon. Due to the storm a lot of stalls did need temporary repairs. Queen Beatrix and many members of her family spent spend a large part of the day in Hoogeveen and Meppel. The traditional Koninginne Nach in Den Haag: The Hague attracted approximately 250,000 people, 25,000 less than last year. The police arrested 18 people for using drugs. In Amsterdam thousands found their way to the pubs, to get into the mood already. In Utrecht the police arrested 25 people, who were involved with fights during the night.
THE MOBILE PHONE SAYS: QUEEN, REALLY, COME!
NO GRASS ANYMORE AT THE MUSEUMPLEIN
(From our female reporters) – Amsterdam:
A large part of the grass cover at the Museumplein is as good as destroyed due to the combination of the large amount of visitors and the large number of yesterdays’ visitors. The square, where yesterday a mega concert was given, was this morning still a big mess. A large amount of the square was this morning still covered with a cover of sand, what was brought there to prevent it getting too muddy yesterday. Eighty – till one hundred thousand visitors were at the square yesterday, where Radio 538 organized a concert. Beer brewer Heineken, who brought Queen to the square, did promise however to provide their own cleaning-crew during the festivities. This Heineken crew will still be cleaning up today. The Queens’ day concert of radio 538 was, however, almost threatened with being banned. The Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Rijksmuseum and Concertgebouw wanted the concert to be cancelled because the “thrills” of the dancing crowd might damage the paintings in their buildings. They did put initiator Radio 538 on court, but the judge did not find it proven that there could be damage to the paintings. In former events too, there were no damages.
PERFORMANCE OF QUEEN IS KEPT SECRET UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT
Amsterdam – It should be a secret until the last moment; the visit of Brian May and Roger Taylor of the former rock band Queen to the Museumplein in Amsterdam. The Police and organisation feared that otherwise the attendees to the gig should become too many. In spite of that the square was totally filled with approximately between the 70.000 and 100,000, mainly young fans. They did look up a bit surprised to the old men, but clapped very enthusiastically with the music that was all in all sounding pretty familiar indeed.. Queen was officially disbanded in 1991 [note: huh?? H] when singer Freddie Mercury died from AIDS. Since that time guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon only did 3 performances together. Yesterday Brian May and Roger Taylor did step up to the podium. John Deacon was not there, due to unknown reasons. The Queen members performed for an hour. During that time many top hits passed by. Even though Queen is not Queen without the characteristic voice of Mercury, the true fans got goosebumps from the music. Sure because the characteristic guitar sound of Brian May made much good. The songs of Queen appeared to have not been forgotten. The audience clapped “en mass” with the mega-hit “Radio GaGa”, in which they were encouraged by a somewhat sour voiced Roger Taylor, who for this occasion did come from behind his drum-kit. May and Taylor were also supported by members of the cast of the musical “We Will Rock You”, that shall get its premiere on May 14th in London. May and Taylor are involved in the musical. At the end of the performance Trijntje Oosterhuis performed as lead singer. With “We Are The Champions” she might have taken a prelude for the celebration of Ajax coming Monday at the same Square, when the Amsterdammers Sunday will become champions of the Dutch soccer league. As for the grass at the Museumplein concerns, there shall not be much left any more. The green did have a heavy day below the crowd. Yesterday evening there were some more performances, from the Dutch bands Kane and Blof.
Picture caption: Guitarist Brian May at the Museumplein…
QUEEN AS SURPRISE ACT IN AMSTERDAM
The visitors of the Queens’ party at the Amsterdam Museumplein were surprised yesterday with a performance of the British pop group Queen. The legendary group with world hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are The Champions” performed after the death of singer Freddie Mercury only 3 times. The performance in Amsterdam was attended from e.g. guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. At the end Trijntje Oosterhuis performed as lead singer. The performance lasted an hour and the Queen members were also supported by members of the cast of the musical “We Will Rock You”, that will have the premiere on May 14th in London. May and Taylor are involved with the musical. The story by writer and comedian Ben Elton is not about Queen, but is set in the future. Rock music plays a prominent role in there.
It had to be a secret until the last moment, the visit of Brian May and Roger Taylor of the former rock band Queen, to the Museumplein in Amsterdam. The organisations and the Amsterdam police were afraid that otherwise the crowd should be too large. That’s why radio 538, MTV and SBS6 in advance just talked about the presence of national top bands like Blof and Kane. However the Square was totally filled, with approximately between the 70,000 and 100,000 swinging music fans. Queen, brought to Holland by beer brewer Heineken, found it a nice gesture to be performing exactly at “Queens’ Day” again. The remaining members of the group, that in fact ended in 1991 after the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury, only performed 3 times after that. The reason for the short concert, with well known “crackers” like ‘Radio GaGa”, the mass sang along and stamped with “We Will Rock You” and the world-famous “We Are The Champions”, was the musical We Will Rock You, in which Queen is co-operating, that be premiered in London soon. On stage also appeared some members of the company that is to perform the musical.
Acknowledgements to Freddie van ter Beek and Saturn for the Dutch Press Articles, Translations and pictures