queen news
JANUARY 2014

Contains some Industry and General News from 'OUT THERE'

© brianmay.com



 

Next | Previous | HOME

1 | 2 | 3



REMINDERS
4 Jan - Roger Ta
ylor BBC Radio 2 from 3-6PM




**Tue 07 Jan 14**
ISRAEL X FACTOR: TOP 5 PLACE SECURED WITH "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY"
Direct link

Filipina caregiver Rose Fostanes now in X Factor Israel Top. She sang Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on the 5 January live show, impressing the judges. News report below.

Rose Fostanes: Bohemian Rhapsody X Factor Israel - http://gg.gg/xpwd

ABS-CBN NEWS
Pinay caregiver now in X Factor Israel's Top 5
7 January 2014

MANILA – Filipina caregiver Rose Fostanes has made it to the top 5 of reality talent show X Factor Israel. The 46-year-old Pinay from Taguig sang a Freddie Mercury song "Bohemian Rhapsody" during the live show last January 5.

"I hope I will get through to the finals. I'm praying for that," Fostanes said in a video shown before her performance.

Fostanes also had kind words about her mentor, Shiri Maimon, whom she said really takes good care of her. Maimon is one of the four judges in the reality show. "She's like a mom to me. It reminded me when I was young, my mother was with me. It's like a flashback to me, you know? A flashback that my mother is beside me," she said.

Maimon told the Filipina: "I know how good you are as a singer, and I know how good you are as a person. I want everyone to know that."

Fostanes, or Osang as she is fondly called by friends, said her sacrifices are for her loved ones back in the Philippines. "I'm a person who likes to take care of everybody. I don't care about myself. What's important for me is my family. All my life I want to support them even the last penny that I have. I have to give it to my family," she said.

Even the show's host, supermodel Bar Refaeli, could not hide her admiration for the Filipina contestant. "Rose, you're wonderful and more so as a human being. I love watching you," she said.

© brianmay.com


**Tue 07 Jan 14**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY
Direct link

In 1967 - The Reaction [Roger Taylor] played the Flamingo Club, Redruth, UK, as support to another group, Wishful Thinking
In 1983 - Newly launched Channel 4 televised Queen live in Milton Keynes Bowl [1982] - a complete version waslreleased in 2004 as Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl [CD, DVD, 2LP].

Freddie at teh piano - Milton Keynes

© brianmay.com


**Mon 06 Jan 14**
COOL LIP-SYNC VIDEO TO "DON'T STOP ME NOW"
Direct link

Day 1 [ 3 years - lip-sync everyday ] set to Don't Stop Me Now - http://youtu.be/MiRMD_v2K0g

A 1101 day picture everyday project I've worked on from 01/01/2011 - 05/01/2014. I apologise to any mobile viewers as you may have difficulty playing the video. Music by Queen (Don't stop me now). Thank you for watching.
Matt Perren

© brianmay.com


**Mon 06 Jan 14**
MASH-UP - VILLAGE PEOPLE / "I WANT TO BREAK FREE"
Direct link

Barreja de Village People y Queen, bonissim - http://youtu.be/ZjgcdVx-6qA

This mash-up of "I Want To Break Free" with Village People was on Radio in Barcelona on Saturday - sent in by a reader. Thanks Oscar

© brianmay.com


**Mon 06 Jan 14**
ROGER TAYLOR INTERVIEW: "IF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT..." XMAS RC
Direct link

Record Collector Xmas issue 2013Roger Taylor featured in Record Collector - brilliant interview...

PART 1
=====

RECORD COLLECTOR
CHRISTMAS 2013

"IF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT.
TOUGH SH***"

Opposite:
click for larger image

Far from being a geezer who just bangs the drums a lot, Roger Taylor is one of the smartest men in rock. He recalls Queen's heyday, Bowie, the Pistols, Mott and so much more for Paul Lester. But don't get him started on politicians ...

-------

Roger Meddows Taylor, sometime leader of The Cross, solo artist and sticksman with a band called Queen, is one of the select few rock drummers to have achieved household name status: Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins - he's one of those. And the stately suburban manor, the Surrey home set in a large, leafy estate, goes with the territory. As does the tinnitus - Taylor has suffered from the condition for years, though with the help of a Harley Street doctor he's kept it under control.

------

"It 's something I can deal with," he says, in the studio at the back of his mansion.  "It's all to do with a positive mental attitude. People tend to get annoyed by it, and that just makes it worse. It's psychosomatic."

He has another rock star requisite: several tattoos, on his arms and elsewhere. "I love tattoos," he beams, acknowledging that he's discovered the joys of body art "very late in life ...  It's probably the best way," he adds. "It doesn't matter anymore - there's nobody to tell me off.  It's my way of saying "f*** you" ?

Roger Taylor - DRUMSBut to whom is he saying "f*** you"?

"All authority," laughs Taylor, more outspoken and extensive in the range of targets of his articulate venom than he's given credit for. "Anybody telling me what to do. I was always like that. I didn't like to get ordered around. And I hate to be told what to do."

------

RC: It's amazing how quickly bands historically have moved out to the suburbs, from The Beatles onwards. You've done the same, Presumably, it's for privacy rather than an opportunity to flaunt your wealth?
Roger Taylor: Yes, absolutely. I remember when we toured, you'd feel  trapped wherever you went and didn't feel you could get away or have any privacy. I love London - I think it's the hub of the world - but I grew up in the countryside, and you come here to have peace.

Being in a hugely successful band, you must feel simultaneously invincible and vulnerable, all-powerful yet always on show?
I think it's a fool who feels invulnerable. 

Even on-stage at your most majestic at Live Aid, say?
No, at something like Live Aid you're just worried it's all going to go wrong!

What was your moment of supreme invincibility, if you ever had one?
Never had one. I've had many huge highs, and moments of satisfaction, normally after a show. It's never like that before a show - it's very quiet. Most people deal with it [nerves] by going quiet and focusing, because you've got a job to do and you have to do it properly. I don't think anybody who's any good breezes onstage and just does it.

Nick Cave told me he's at his most self-loathing just before he goes on stage. All the doubts and anxieties about himself that he's ever felt rear their ugly head just then.
I know exactly what he means, though that's a very angst-ridden way of putting it. You feel your most self-questioning. I wouldn't go as far as loathing.

What was the first record you bought?
I think it was Little Richard, a 45, and I only had a 78 player so I tried to take it back. Then I bought a Shadows record - I loved them.

Are you in touch with members of your early bands like The Reaction or The Bubbling Over Boys?
No. With The Bubbling Over Boys I was eight or nine. In The Reaction I was a teenager, but we're not in touch. Tim [Staffell] from Smile, I see very occasionally.

Was the music you played in these bands Merseybeat and mod rock?
No, soul. That's what kids in pubs and clubs wanted. Their idea of soul was Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band. Everywhere, there would be chants of "Geno! Geno!" We did Otis Redding material, then I tried to steer it towards Jimi Hendrix, which was hard because he wasn't mainstream yet.

Did you see Hendrix live?
Yes - 14 times! We were very driven by him. I saw that famous [tour] with Hendrix, The Move, Pink Floyd, Amen Corner and Eire Apparent on the bill. It was unbelievable. He was the best live performer I ever saw.

Have you still got your first ukulele?
No. It was a dreadful, fake Hawaiian thing. It cost about two quid. I was eight. I wanted to be Lonnie Donegan: I saw him on TV. There was more music on TV in the late 50s and early 60s than than there is now, which is disgusting and pathetic. The people at the BBC are stupid bureaucrats who don't understand what we're good at in this country. We're good at music. We've conquered the world with our artists.

Poor old Top Of The Pops.
Their mistake was never featuring albums. Just as the single was becoming irrelevant in the 70s and the album was outselling it, they ignored it! Do I sound scathing? That's because I absolutely mean to be.

Can you recall your first Top Of The Pops?
Yes. We were on with nobody because it was in the weather studio. I think there was a strike, Bowie cancelled, and we got his slot.
It was for Seven Seas Of Rhye. It was a tiny studio and they shot it with no audience.

The chat in the school playground the next day would've been of the befuddled kind.
Yeah, "Who were that lot? And who was that bloke prancing in feathers?" That was the whole point of Top Of The Pops: to make
a splash and get people talking, hopefully with good music behind it. People used to dress up.

Did you plan what to wear?
We always said we'd wear black or white, or both. No colours. We thought colours were uncool. Freddie and I were quite into clothes.

PART 2
=====

Fashion [Taylor and Mercury had a stall at Kensington Market) or dentistry [Taylor studied it before switching to biology) could have been alternative careers for you?
I was never going to be a dentist, let's face it. I was crap as a clothing entrepreneur as well.

Did Queen have a stylist?
No. Freddie had people who made his clothes, and Zandra Rhodes made us a whole bunch of stuff, which I wore once at Friars in Aylesbury, and I sweated so much I never wore it again.

Was there talk among you about outdoing Bowie for sheer outlandishness?
No, we didn't try to outdo him. He was doing his thing, which we thought was fantastic. We thought of ourselves in a different way.

Early Queen seated Freddie's flat
Killer Queen (from left): Taylor, John Deacon (seated),
Brian May and Freddie Mercury

Did you mix with other bands at first?
Well, we were thrown together with the pop people at Top Of The Pops - people like Slade. Noddy [Holder], Jimmy [Lea], they were lovely people. There was a lot of crap, of course, but then you'd meet serious bands at gigs. We got on well with Mott The Hoople - we supported them round the country, and in America. We'd go on and sing All The Young Dudes with them at me end. They were a great rock act. We learned a lot off them.

Did you tour with 10cc?
No, but we did one gig with them. They were excellent. We had more of a show than they did. They had more of a session vibe, but great, inventive stuff. They weren't a stage act as such.

Did Queen hear 10cc's mini-opera Une Nuit A Paris before you cut Bohemian Rhapsody?
No. I remember a friend of mine playing me I'm Not In Love from their album [The Original Soundtrack) before it was a single, and that was great. But I don't know if any of us ever heard that other one.

Freddie Mercury
"I never had a cross word with Freddie," says Taylor

Were Queen art-rock? Harmonic metal?
The latter would be more right. We didn't want a pigeonhole. We weren't trying to fit in anyone's box. We went in all sorts of directions. We weren't glam rock, but we were theatrical. We were heavy and had powerful harmonies. We had quite a good arsenal.

Were the harmonies influenced by The Beatles' Abbey Road?
Not really. We weren't that into harmonies [by other bands], apart from Yes. They were brilliant at the [London} Marquee.

Was there a band of the time that, in terms of their scale and ambition, influenced Queen?
Yes, Led Zeppelin. We liked everything about them. I remember following them around when they were absolutely at their peak in America. We hadn't got to that size yet.

When did Queen play their first arena?
We went from big colleges to .. . I remember our first Madison Square Garden, and that was quite a big step. I was quite nervous for hat one. You had to step up.

It's weird how the rock behemoths - Zep, Floyd, yourselves - regarded as unarguable members of the pantheon today, regularly got small or dismissive reviews at the time ...
Yeah, I remember [Hendrix's} Electric Ladyland got a terrible review from [Melody Maker's} Chris Welch. And I thought, "Are you deaf, you idiot? I thought you were an intelligent man!" Because I thought it was a groundbreaking double-album of wonder. I guess it didn't fit what the critics wanted.

Can you remember your first review?
No, I don't. But there were shedloads of negative ones. I remember the Melody Maker accused us of being "supermarket rock", whatever the f*** that is. I don't think Freddie ever went into a supermarket!

Freddie got a lot of stick. There was the NME title next to a photo of him in a white leotard, that read: "Is this man a prat?" Did Queen seek retribution from journalists?
I didn't. But in Downtown LA I saw John Bonham lift a guy from Sounds by the scruff of the neck and punch him in the stomach. I was
talking to John and he went, "Excuse me a minute." I thought, "Mmm."

Did you rush over to help the hapless hack?
No! I agreed completely with Bonham. Apparently, he'd given him a bad review and it had ruined his breakfast.

Queen always seemed too well behaved to do anything like that.
That's not at all true. We just didn't worry about criticism after a while. After a lot of sh**, and when you're popular, you realise what really matters is that people like what you do. If other people don't like it, well, tough sh**.

Did any member of Queen punch another?
Never in absolute anger - we were slightly more intelligent than that. We had our spats .. .

Was there ever a near break-up that we never got to hear about?
Oh, I'm sure with every band they nearly break up every so often. But reason prevails. I never had a cross word with Freddie, really.

Who was the diplomat and peace-maker?
Me, probably.

And the wild card?
John [Deacon]. He just used to disappear.

To do what?
I've no idea. There was a note on his bass one day that said: "Gone to Bali". He came back two weeks later. That was in the early 80s.

PART 3
=====

Do you, John and Brian (May) ever get together to reminisce about the glory days?
No. I never see John. He's disappeared into the bowels of London. I don't think anybody sees John. That's his decision. I don't think he enjoys people. I think they make him very nervous. He's fragile and we should let him be.

It must be tempting to get together with the two chaps who went through it all with you?
Not if they don't want to! The last thing I'd want to do is go, "Come on out for a drink, mate!", because it would be pointless. I see Brian all the time - we get on really well. Why shouldn't we? We'd be daft not to. That's why we work so closely doing all these Queen things [the musical, the movie, the band]. We know each other so well. He's quite a polymath, with his amazingly different interests. Some of them are a bit mad, some are incredible - like his astronomy.

Do you have any strange obsessions?
I like the countryside, and the sea.

Was I'm In Love With My Car (B-side of Bohemian Rhapsody) your biggest payday?
Certainly not. [But] If you wrote the B-side of a hit, you got the same publishing income [as the A-side]. That doesn't apply now.

Which song brings in the most royalties?
We Will Rock You. Some of our songs have grown bigger over time, especially Don't Stop Me Now, which was a medium hit and is now
one of our most popular songs.

Did your audience change as Queen's career began to take off.
It was different. In Japan we had a lot of very young girls. In America it was more students.

Is it true that you were due to appear on the episode of the Today show with Bill Grundy that the Sex Pistols eventually appeared on?
I gather we were booked to go on and we couldn't. It's not a great moment, looking back. He [Grundy] was a silly old sod, wasn't
he? A silly, irascible old git and very easy meat. But they said "what a f***ing rotter" really quietly. All the fuss was about that.

It's said that Freddie had a run-in later on with Vicious and Rotten. Is that true?
Not a run-in. We used to get on with them very well. Sid was stupid. He couldn't play; a hopeless man, really. A punk icon maybe, but
he was a kn*b. John was funny. And the other two [Steve Jones and Paul Cook] were a great rhythm section once Chris Thomas [producer of Never Mind The Bollocks] got his hands on them. We [Queen and the Pistols] used to watch the telly together at night in the Wreck Room at Wessex Studios in Stoke Newington.

It's funny looking back at Freddie and Johnny in their garb - as flamboyant and un-"street" as each other!! In hindsight, tartan bondage trousers and safety pins seem no less inauthentic than a white onesie ..
It was fu**ing show business, wasn't it? It's all nonsense. Still, the red tops sold lots of papers, pretending it was all outrageous.

Was your debut single from 1977, I Wanna Testify, a back-to-roots punk move?
Not really. It was an old Parliaments cover, so I saw it as an a cappella thing. I remember lots of four-part harmonies. It was a doo-wop song - nothing to do with punk. I maybe made it more rocky because that's where I was coming from. It's been so long since I heard it.

Queen are unusual in that you were so quintessentially a 70s band, then in the 80s you had another career almost as a different
group in terms of look and sound ...
I suppose it's the singles and the videos that define that in people's heads. Not in our heads. We had some very big hits, and MTV
was flying then and visually we became part of that.

You became unexpected purveyors of the totalitarian anthem in the 80s.
I've always had faith in the British public: they stuck by us. We never wanted to be pinned down, so our music covered a lot of ground.
To escape boredom. We never wanted to make a record that was just like the last one. But I don't know about "totalitarian". All-encompassing anthems, yeah. I'll take that as our middle name.

Why did you gravitate towards the stadium chant: One Vision, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, I Want To Break Free?
If you can write an anthem of any kind you' re doing well. We wrote them to connect with our audience and encourage a feeling of unity and oneness with them. There's nothing wrong with trying to appeal to as many people as possible. You're in music to communicate. Alternative national anthems, though? I don't like flag-waving. I can't stand it - f***ing patriots. But I guess they worked out well - and then they were picked up by sports people, particularly in America, where one or two of our songs are mass live anthems. That's fantastic and positive. It means your music is part of the culture and that's one of the things that Brian and 1 are really proud of. You cannot get away from us!

Were you the playboy of the band?
Nah. I think we all were. All shockers, really. Score sheets? No, certainly not.

Is there an equivalent Led Zep red snapper legend in Queen's annals?
We got up to lots of things but I can't think of an equivalent to that.

Was there a moment of pure farce?
There were whole tours that were pure farce, really. It's hard to remember individual incidents. Some I'd rather not remember ...

A magazine once proclaimed you "Britain's Second Favourite Band".
A back-handed compliment if ever I heard one.

Zeppelin, Who, Queen, Stones: who was biggest and best?
You can't answer that, can you? Different sort of eras, really. We've [Britain] produced all the greatest bands in the world. But you wouldn't know it if you were a tourist.

Queen are a brand these days, what with the musical, the tribute band, the movie ...
1 don't want to talk about the movie. Every time 1 do, something changes. I'm just glad I'm not in the film world. We' re not producing it - we're doing the music.

Do you know who's playing you?
No.

Have they asked you about certain conversations you might have had in, say, 1978, that they want to recreate for the film?
They ask, "Was that true?", "Is that likely to have happened?" We're sort of consulting.

What scene are you most nervous about them re-enacting?
It's more about getting Freddie right. That's more important than any individual portrayal. I'm keeping out of it as much as I can. I'm not tempted. I don't want to stick my oar in. Just get the right people and let them do their job.

Do you have power of veto?
We won't let them have our music - that's our veto. But we don't want some sanitised, nice, polite, tidy version of the truth.

Is it a mixture of comedy and tragedy?
I guess you could say that. T hat's what it was. Rags to riches, triumph to tragedy. It's all there.

Biopics are rarely great.
I Walk The Line was good. I was never particularly a fan till his [Johnny Cash's] last two records. They were fantastically emotional.

What was the last record that made you feel like that?
I very much enjoy the music of Sigur Ros. They move me.

Fun On Earth, your new album, is eclectic.
I hope it's eclectic. One Night Stand is me doing Bolan - there's a little bit of Get It On in there. The guitar solo is me. Be With You is,
not intentionally, but someone said it reminded them of Pink Floyd circa Wish You Were Here. Quality Street is blue-collar rock worthy of
The Boss.

Is that how you see that one?
That's interesting.It's sort of aspirational, a hard-working man who's scraping the soil and gets lucky. Up is quirky art-funk, with the same analogue synth I used on Radio Ga Ga. I Am The Drummer (In A Rock'N'Roll Band) is my comedy song. The drummer is usually the butt of the jokes. Some of those jokes are quite funny: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "A drummer." "Well, you can't do I."
1 just thought I'd take the piss a little bit and say, "I am the drummer, but I do all the work in this band."

Is your career the drummer's revenge?
You'd better ask Phil Collins! I'm just trying to be a musician, really, and do the thing I love. It really is that simple. And play the guitar, and write songs, which is incredibly satisfying.

Is it true that Fun On Earth was originally going to be tided The Unblinking Eye (Everything Is Broken)?
No. That was just a song I wrote 18 months ago and it came out on the net. It was all about the country falling to bits and everything being broken, which it was. The economy, the high street, all the shops shutting. Complete mismanagement. A disaster.

Have you ever been moved to make your feelings known to your local authorities?
I think politicians are shells. Their skins are so thick I don't think anybody could talk sense to them. I see William Hague was desperate to storm into Syria the other day. What war-like twats we are. I couldn't believe how quick we were to commit to another war. He was very inflammatory. Of course now he's backpedalling furiously. I don't trust any of them.

Ever considered getting involved?
I couldn't bear the bureaucracy, the committees and the bullshit. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a loner.

Yet you did the Royal Jubilee in 2002, and the Olympics. Are Queen rock royalty, as establishment as the Queen? Or do you feel
like an outsider gate crashing the barricades?

If you're asked to take part in the Olympics closing ceremony, you probably say yes. But we insisted on doing it live. It's much easier to
put the hard disk on and pretend to play. But since TOTP, Brian and I don't do that. It's horrible miming; it's a curse. Rod Stewart took
the piss out of it. He didn't even pretend to sing at the mic. It was quite subversive.

Cl'eem magazine said you resembled "Rod Stewart under shock treatment". Thoughts?
Oh dear! Is that nice? I don't know. He's very funny. He does tend to overdress. Always got the waistcoat and the tie as well, which
I think is one step too far. Fashion? You tend to drift with the look that's around, if you're vaguely current. Like in the 80s, you had to
wear padded shoulders. But I don't think we fell into the trap of looking unbearably 80s like some of the bands did. Yes, we've all got
80s hair, but some groups were appalling.

What means more: being voted the eighth greatest rock drummer in a recent poll, or appearing in the Sunday Times Rich List?
The rock drummer. The Rich List is crap. It's marvellous to be in a list alongside Bonham and Moon; two of my favourites.

Is there a compliment you've been paid over the years that sticks out?
Compliments are great, but I've learned to take them, and the opposite, in an even manner. Don't let compliments go to your head, and if you get a slagging, don't let it affect you, either: there's nothing you can do about it.

With your box set, The Lot, you can survey your whole career. How does it look?
It's very satisfying to get it all in one place. I didn't realise how much there was: eight CDs, videos, lots of singles. I'd forgotten a lot.
But it's very satisfying. Now I can say: "Look, that's what I did. I was also in that band.

© brianmay.com


**Mon 06 Jan 14**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY
Direct link

In 1968 - The Opposition played the Dog & Gun, Thurlaston, Leicestershire, UK.
In 1988 - The Cross appeared on TV show, Yoruno Hits, Japan.
In 1985 - Queen flew to Brazil to headline the Rock In Rio festival. [Freddie had to stay in Munich due to bad weather.]

© brianmay.com


**Sun 05 Jan 14**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY
Direct link

Nothing significant happened in Queen history.
In 2012 - Anita Dobson, Brian May's lovely wife, appeared on Loose Women - ITV


Anita Dobson Interview 5 January 2012 - http://youtu.be/dsDMhU8K3Is

© brianmay.com


**Sat 04 Jan 13**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY
Direct link

Queen Releasing first single in a decade

In 1988 - The Cross - Shove It / Rough Justice released in the UK
In 2008 - Brian May appeared on This Morning with Julian Clary.

Brian May Interview and O2 Announcement
This Morning 4 Jan 2008 - - http://youtu.be/6CQfvSFtKWs

© brianmay.com


**Fri 03 Jan 14**
BO RHAP / GERSHWIN MASHUP
Direct link

Queen meets George Gershwin....

"Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue" (Queen / Gershwin Mashup) - Mashup Mondays - http://youtu.be/V-J_FatMnXY

Scott Bradlee performs a blues improvisation of "Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue" (Queen/George Gershwin Mashup) a few blocks from Bohemian Hall in Queens, NY… while a laptop runs a search for 'George Gershwin' on \Rhapsody Subscription Music Service.

© brianmay.com


**Fri 03 Jan 14**
AUSTRALIAN MUSIC OF QUEEN - ROCK & SYMPHONIC SPECTACULAR
Direct link

In 2014, Australian Based music company, North Street Music, will bring the music of the globally revered band Queen to Australia on an epic scale. The Music of Queen: A Rock & Symphonic Spectacular is a UK-produced show that has re-worked the music of Queen to be performed by four singers, a five-piece rhythm section and full symphony orchestra. The show has performed across the USA and UK and is ready to hit the shores of Australia in February 2014.

The show will perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, and with the Perth Symphony Orchestra at various venues in Western Australia.

Queen: A rock & Symphonic Spectacular

The Music of Queen, A Rock and Symphonic Spectacular features lead singers from the hit musical, We Will Rock You, gathered together from around the world for the Australian shows: MiG Ayesa, Michael Falzon, Amanda Harrison and Carly Thomas Smith.

The band touring in Australia also features guitarists, Simon Croft and James Barber, hand picked by Brian May to perform the music of Queen in We Will Rock You performances around the world, along with Johannes Luebbers (keys), Ric Eastman (Drums) and Roy Martinez (Bass).

Composer and Music Director, Richard Sidwell, has expanded the original Queen arrangements into a completely new symphonic score. With over fifty performers on stage this has to be one of the biggest rock shows on earth, featuring all of Queen’s classic hits including: A Kind of Magic, Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, We Are The Champions, Somebody To Love, Who Wants To Live Forever, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Fat Bottomed Girls, I Want It All, and many more.

Tour dates:
- Friday 7th February 8.00pm, Sydney Opera House, NSW
- Saturday 8th February 2.30pm, Sydney Opera House, NSW
- Thursday 13th February 7.30pm, City of Joondalup Valentines Day Concert, WA (open only to residents of the City of Joondalup)
- Friday 14th February 7.30pm, Riverside Theatre, Perth, WA
- Saturday 15th February 7.30pm, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah WA

Tickets for the Sydney Opera House, Sydney are available: HERE
Tickets for Riverside Theatre, Perth are available: HERE

About the artists:
- MiG Ayesa : has starred as Galileo Figaro in the West End production and two world tours of We Will Rock You.
- Michael Falzon : was hand-picked by Roger Taylor and Brian May to play Galileo Figaro in the West End production of We Will Rock You, a role he has reprised in Japan, Dublin and the UK.
- Amanda Harrison : was an original London cast member alongside Michael Falzon, and was awarded the 2004 Helpmann Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Oz.
- Carly Thomas : Smith was chosen by producers Robert DeNiro and Queen’s Brian May, and director Ben Elton, to play the role of “Oz” in the original North American production of “We Will Rock You”.
- Simon Croft : guitar - Australia, Japan, UK, Ireland and World tours with We Will Rock You.
- James Barber : guitar - Australia, Japan, UK, Ireland and World tours with We Will Rock You.

See also on Facebook.

© brianmay.com


**Fri 03 Jan 14**
ALMOST QUEEN - TONIGHT, PLUS UPCOMING SHOWS
Direct link

Here is a notice of up-coming shows by Almost Queen, for those of you in the New York area.

Almost Queen flyer

© brianmay.com


**Thu 02 Jan 14**
ROGER AND RUFUS TAYLOR - INTERVIEWS
Direct link

SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE
RELATIVE VALUES: I WANTED TO DO MAD STUFF LIKE DAD
29 December 2013 by Danny Scott

PART 1

Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor, and his son Rufus, also a drummer, talk about being in one of the most famous rock bands in history, going off the rails and why marriage feels like a mortgage.

Roger and Rufus Taylor

Queen’s father-and-son rhythm section — Roger and Rufus today (Paul Stuart)

ROGER, 64

I first became a dad when I was 30, and by then Queen had been together for 10 years. But being a bit of a rocker, I didn’t get married until eight years later. I’d always seen marriage like a mortgage — one of those society plots designed to tie you down. So much misery has been engendered by a meaningless contract… people end up staying together because of a piece of paper. I could maybe say that about my own parents; they should have split up way before they did. Couples either get on or they don’t get on. Simple as that.

Rufus was actually my third kid and he’s got two younger sisters, Tigerlily and Lola. Although Rufus’s mum [Deborah Leng] and I were together for about 15 years, we never did get married. I also had Felix and Rory Eleanor from a previous relationship [with Dominique Beyrand], but in that situation, we did eventually tie the knot. I guess I wanted to make sure Felix and Rory were looked after financially.

Yes, I’ll admit my life back then was, well... let’s say it was complicated. It was a strange time for all of us. Wouldn’t it be great if relationships were simple and easy? Sadly, breaking up with people who mean a lot to you is never simple or easy. The important thing for me has always been that the kids support each other and feel like brothers and sisters. There’s not some from “this relationship” and some from “that relationship”; they are a gang of five.

'Mind you, Freddie Mercury was always fabulous with kids
— he was the one who came up with Rufus’s middle name: Tiger'

Freddie Mercury was still alive when Rufus came along in 1991 and those two got on famously. Mind you, Fred was always fabulous with kids — he was the one who came up with Rufus’s middle name: Tiger. I was pretty good with most of the dad stuff — apart from changing nappies. Once or twice, I changed Rufus’s nappy on a car journey in an emergency, but, in general, I think men find it rather gruesome. Even when it’s your own child, poo smells dreadful!

All kids are fascinated by drums because they can bang them, but it was obvious that Rufus really got it; it was in his blood. I bought him his first kit when he was 12 and he’d hang out with me and my mates, the Foo Fighters. You can actually see him in footage from the Reading Festival After that experience, he just said: “Dad, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

He certainly wasn’t interested in academia; we had a couple of wobbles when he was 15 or 16 and kicked out of school. Rufus and I had a talk about it, but I honestly didn’t know what to do. It was Damon Hill who suggested a ski-instructor’s course in Switzerland. He said it was great for giving kids a bit of confidence. Rufus hated the idea, but I got his brother, Felix, to ring him and say: “Look, mate, you’re gonna get laid every night!” As if by magic, Rufus changed his mind. He’s definitely a bit of a ladies’ man. He reminds me of me in a lot of ways.

Unfortunately, Rufus’s mum and I split up almost 12 years ago. [Taylor married Sarina Potgieter in 2010.] People aren’t made of stone and things can be difficult at times, but we all have to find our own way through those difficulties. I’d like to think that, these days, we all get on and that all five of my kids have a strong set of moral values. I’ve seen a lot of spoilt rock brats, but, thank God, my lot aren’t like that.

Rufus has got his own musical projects on the go and he also tours with Queen. He’s our percussionist... the second drummer, helping to lighten my load. Looking across at him on stage makes me beam with pride. Yeah, people automatically assume he’s only there because he’s my son. That’s rubbish! This is Queen we’re talking about. Queen would not have a waste of space on stage with us. He’s there because he’s a bloody good drummer."


=====

RUFUS, 22

I didn’t even know Dad was that famous until I was about 10. I knew he played music and I grew up with the sound of drums coming through the walls, but it wasn’t until he dragged me and my mate out on stage with him at a gig that it really hit me. Have all these people come to hear my dad play the drums? Bloody hell!

Dad has always been really good at keeping things normal. Despite what might have been going on in his own life, he made sure me and my brothers and sisters got a proper childhood. My elder brother and sister, Felix and Rory, have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Though Dad went through different relationships, he just sees us all as his kids.

Roger Taylor and young Rufus

Mum and Dad never actually got married, but their separation was still pretty rough. There was a bit of shouting for a while and a few headlines, but, y’know what: shit happens. People split up. Both of them have gone off and done their own thing, and they’ve got a much better relationship these days.

Dad didn’t push me towards the drums, but I have been told that, even before I could crawl, he sat me down at a kit. Then, as soon as I could walk, I was going around hitting stuff. One Christmas, this huge box arrived in my bedroom, but I didn’t work out what it was until I looked inside. My own drums! That was me done for the next six years; all I wanted to do was play drums.

'Dad and Freddie Mercury were Queen's naughty boys, the ones who got up to
all sorts of stuff. And whatever I imagine he got up to, I'm sure the reality is twice as crazy'

As I got a bit older, Dad being who he was did become an issue for other people. At school there were some kids who would treat you differently: they think you’re something you’re not. Maybe it was a money thing, I don’t know. Dad certainly never made a big deal about money. I was aware we had a big house, but I still got pocket money just the same as everybody else. Dad’s always had this do-it-yourself attitude to life; if you want something, you have to work for it.

Admittedly, I did have a few issues to iron out in my teens, but it was just silly stuff. I made my mistakes, and when I was asked to leave my school, I realised I had to change. That was the only time Dad has been properly pissed off with me. We had that father-son talk and he just said: “Look, you’re being given loads of opportunities; don’t waste them — don’t waste your life.”

A bit of me wanted to say: “Hang on, Dad. You lived a pretty crazy life. Why can’t I do some mad sh**?” But I think that episode made me understand that life isn’t always about having a good time. You have to concentrate on what matters — mind you, the parties and girls are a nice bonus.

I went through a period of asking Dad loads of questions about life in Queen, but you really have to drag those old stories out of him. He doesn’t give them up easily. Apparently, Dad and Freddie were Queen’s naughty boys, the ones who got up to all sorts of stuff. And whatever I imagine he got up to, I’m sure the reality was twice as crazy. Maybe it’s better not to know.

But Dad was also clever enough to know where to draw the line. Although he enjoyed the playboy lifestyle, he cared about the band and he knew he had a job to do. It’s like he’s got this side of him that always stays in control.

I wasn’t that when Dad told me he was going to be a dentist before he formed Queen. I can only imagine that life would have been… very different.

Fun On EarthRoger Taylor’s latest album,
Fun on Earth
, is out now

 

The LotA box set of his solo work,
The Lot, is also available.
   

Sunday Times Magazine
Click image for larger

© brianmay.com


**Thu 02 Jan 14**
'THE TOP OF ALL TIMES' POLAND
Direct link

Polish Radio logo

The New Year welcomes us with all kinds of summaries and collations from all branches as well as from music industry.

I would like to notify that "Bo. Rhap." reached 6th position in "The Top Of All Times"www.polskieradio.pl, a yearly edition (always 01.01. from 9.00 to 21.00) of "List of Hits of Radio Three": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_Przeboj C3 B3w_Programu_Trzeciego - an institution in this country.

Marek Nied?wiecki - the DJ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marek_Nied C5 BAwieckiis huge Queen fan.

Happy New Year to You and all on the other side of the wire ;)

Thanks to Michal Wicher

© brianmay.com


**Thu 02 Jan 14**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY
Direct link

In 2004 - Brian May performed at the 'We Will Rock You' musical in Madrid, Spain to mark the 100th performance.

See letter (report) from the Luis Alvarez, the Director HERE

And Brian wrote on SOAPBOX at the time

**Sat 03 Jan 04**
MADRID ROCKS !!!

The Calderon Jumps!!! I'm having a BRILLIANT time in Madrid, where somehow empty cynicism seems to be a rare commodity ... maybe I just don't see it ...)

I got up and added my six penn'orth of guitar to Bohemian Rhapsody at the end of two Spanish We Will Rock You shows, along with superb resident Rock Axemen Robertini and Luis, and there seemed to be much joy in the air. The Company are a wonderfully spirited team - cohesive, dedicated, and growing massively in expertise as the shows rock on. I love these Guys. If you ever find yourself in Madrid, give it a visit - there's lots to surprise you, even if you know the London or Melbourne show well. Very much an "up" audience-interactive night. Makes me glad to be alive.

Meanwhile at home in the Dominion Gemma Maclean went on for the first time as Meat, and I hear she rocked good !!! Wish I could have seen it, Gemma - I will soon I'm sure. Congratulations!!!! Never a dull life!!!

Bri

PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT


**Thu 01 Jan 04**
EVA MARIA

Tomorrow I'm off to Madrid for a flying visit - doing a little production work on the WWRY Madrid Cast Album... I'll also get the chance to see the show again - I've missed those guys. It's also rumoured I might be able to make a small contribution to the show Friday night..... !

Here's a picture of Eva Maria in her new outfit, in full flight as MEAT in Madrid. It gives a hint of the very special heat that drives the Spanish show. She's a truly glorious singer, and I can't wait to see how she's grown into the part over the last few weeks. And of course the others in the Madrid cast - all full of passion and talent. The Calderon is packed, I hear, and rockin'... Can't wait...

Bri

PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT

© brianmay.com


**Wed 01 Jan 14**
BO RHAP NO 1 IN 1,000 CLASSIC - RADIO 2, BELGIUM
Direct link

1,000 Klassiekers - Queen

More good news from Belgium: Bo Rhap is again number one in 1000 classic-chart on national radio station Radio 2.
Top ten was:

THE COMPLETE TOP 10

QUEEN - Bohemian Rhapsody
ELVIS PRESLEY - Suspicious Minds
WILL TURA - Eenzaam zonder jou
ADAMO - Inch Allah
ABBA - Dancing queen
BARRY WHITE - You're the first, the last, my everything
BRYAN ADAMS - Summer of '69
ANN CHRISTY - De roos
DEEP PURPLE - Child in time
MEAT LOAF - Paradise by the dashboard light

See
http://www.radio2.be/

NIEUWSBLAD.BE
'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY' AGAIN IN '1,000 CLASSICS'
31 December 2013 by Michaël Temmerman

'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen remains the ultimate classic for Radio 2 listeners. The number stands for the fifth time in a year-end list '1000 classics. Elvis Presley ... "Suspicious Minds" rose from number 92 to the second place. "Alone without you" by Will Tura completes the top three.

A classic at Radio 2 is at least five years old. This year also counted the songs from it in 2008. There were nine classics from 2008 in the list.

Will Tura just as in 2012, most of the songs in the '1, 000 classics. There are 22 classics of him in the list. Then follow ABBA (18), Elvis Presley (16), The Rolling Stones (16), Michael Jackson (13), Queen (12), Clouseau (12) and The Beatles (10).

The biggest improvement is 'A to Corsica' I Muvrini. The song rose 895 places from 950 to 55. The strongest descender is 'Eagle' by ABBA. The number drops 617 places from 117 to 834.

Anja Daems presented the final of '1,000 classics' tonight between 17 and 18 hours in the company of three purebred classics: Will Tura, Bart Peeters and Helmut Lotti.

With thanks to Stefan Vranckx

© brianmay.com


**Wed 01 Jan 14
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY
Direct link

Documentary made by young people at Makewaves.es published 1 January 2001

In 1974 - Queen voted 3rd best new band by the readers of music magazine.
In 1975 - 'Sheer Heart Attack' received Gold award status (UK sales) - Queen were on holiday in Tenerife.
In 1976 - 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'A Night At The Opera' received Platinum awards (UK sales).
In 1981 - 'Flash' single received Silver Award (UK sales).
In 1992 - 'Greatest Hits' awarded 11x Platinum status (UK sales).
In 1996 - 'Made In Heaven' received 3 x Platinum award (U sales)
In 2007 - Queen beat The Beatles to be crowned 'Greatest British Band Of All Time' by BBC Radio 2 listeners in the UK. Queen pipped the Fab Four in a live contest, trouncing other finalists The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Take That. The bands were judged on song-writing, lyrics, live performances, originality and showmanship. More than 20,000 listeners voted by email, text and phone. (www.thisdayinmusic.com)
In 2010 - Freddie Mercury's long-term partner, Jim Hutton, died from a smoking related illness.
(Awards info from www.queendiary.info)

Queen Greatest British Band of all time 2007

© brianmay.com


**Wed 01 Jan 14**
HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2014
Direct link

Happy New Year - by Jodie Mercury

A Very Happy New Year To All Brian May and Queen Fans Everywhere

Have a good one - rocking on through 2014.

From BrianMay.com

© brianmay.com



Next |Previous Brian does not necessarily see everything featured on the website.