queen news
NOVEMBER 2015

Contains some Industry and General News from 'OUT THERE'

© brianmay.com



 

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REMINDERS
- 30 Oct - Queen Extravaganza tour Leamington Spa - to 21 Nov Gloucester.
- 11 Nov - Classic Rock Awards, Roundhouse, Camden, London - Queen to receive "Living Legend" Award.
Queen - From Rags to Rhapsody - 18th December 2015, 10pm, BBC4

REMINDERS

Q+AL DATES 2016:
- 20 May - Portugal - Rock In Rio Lisbon - on sale 20/11/15
- 27 May - Germany RheinEnergie Stadium, Cologne. .
- 29 May - Denmark - Jelling Musikfestival
- 3 Jun - Finland - HE Kaisaniemi Park, Helsinki – on sale 07/12/15
- 9 Jun - Sweden Rocks Festival, Sölvesborg, Sweden - tickets
- 12 June - UK - Isle of Wight Festival
- 17 Jun - Switzerland - Rock The Ring Festival, Hinwil
- 21 June - Romania - Bucharest - Emagic Classics Festival
- 23 June - Bulgaria - Sofia Arena Muzika
- 25 Jun - Italy - Anfiteatro Camerini, Piazzola Del Brenta, Padua Hydrogen Festival

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

**Mon 30 Nov 15**
THE ORAL HISTORY OF THE 'WAYNE'S WORLD' 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY' SCENE
Direct link

ROLLINGSTONE
30 November 2015 by David Peisner

Mike Myers and crew tell the inside story of how the rock-opera hit became an iconic movie moment


Bohemian Rhapsody Wayne's World HD - https://youtu.be/thyJOnasHVE

When it was originally released in 1975, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was an oddity: A flamboyant, operatic, tempo-shifting epic that felt like several songs fused together. The band's record company figured the nearly six-minute song was too long for the radio and would never be a hit. They were wrong on both counts: The song was a number one hit in the U.K. and cracked the top ten in the U.S. But by the early 90s the song had been mostly retired to a quiet life of occasional appearances on classic rock radio and little more.

Then, in 1992, Mike Myers used "Bohemian Rhapsody" as the rambunctious centerpiece of the indelible opening scene of the film, Wayne's World, which had been adapted from a Saturday Night Live sketch of the same name, and gave the song and the band behind it an unprecedented second life. Wayne Campbell's simple act of popping a cassette in the tape player of his friend Garth Algar's AMC Pacer, not only returned "Bohemian Rhapsody" to the radio - it would eventually rise to #2 on the pop charts, despite the fact that Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS less than three months before the film's release - and made it a staple on MTV, it also introduced the song and the band to a new generation of listeners. The gleeful scene has become iconic itself, a cultural touchstone that's been parodied, copied and celebrated almost since the moment of its release back in 1992. Here, the creative forces behind the scene and the beneficiaries of its influence tell the story of how all that happened and how it almost didn't.

Mike Myers (writer, "Wayne Campbell"): I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario of British parents. I'd gone to England in '75 with my family and heard "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the radio. We were obsessed with it. Me and my brother, our friends' car was a powder blue Dodge Dart Swinger that had a vomit stain on the side of it that someone chiseled in the shape of Elvis Presley. We'd drive down the Don Valley Parkway, listening to Bohemian Rhapsody. We would time it to enter the Toronto city limits when the rocking part would kick in. I was "Galileo!" three of five. If I took somebody else's "Galileo!" or somebody took mine, a fight would ensue. It's just something that I always back-pocketed. Wayne's World was my childhood. I knew only to write what I knew.

Penelope Spheeris (director): All of us, it was our first studio movie.

Myers: I wanted it to sort of reflect a kind of spirit, a time in your life before you had to do adult things and pay taxes and all that stuff. If the TV show was restricted to the basement, I wanted "Wayne's World" the movie to be as cinematic and in the world as possible. I thought "Bohemian Rhapsody" would be a great way to introduce everybody.

Spheeris: I thought it was an odd choice because if you are headbangers that wouldn't be your first choice to slam to in the car when you're cruising.

Myers: I fought very, very hard for Bohemian Rhapsody. At that time, the public had kind of forgotten about Queen a little bit. [Producer] Lorne [Michaels] was suggesting Guns N Roses—I don't even remember the song—because at the time, Guns N Roses had a number one song. I said, "I hear you. I think that's really smart," but I didn't have any jokes for a Guns N Roses song. I had lots of jokes for "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's just inherently comedic.

Spheeris: I don't personally remember a big argument about the placement of Bohemian Rhapsody, but my guess is that I was probably pushing for Guns N Roses.

READ MORE HERE

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**Mon 30 Nov 15**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY - 30 NOVEMBER
Direct link

In 1968 - Tim Staffell introduced Freddie Bulsara to Brian and Roger.
In 1973 - Queen played the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, UK.
In 1975 - Queen played Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK.
In 1977 - Freddie went to see The Act by Lisa Minelli in New York.
In 1978 - Queen played Civic Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
In 1979 - Queen played Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, UK.
In 1980 - Queen played Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany.
In 1987 - Queen released “Magic Years” VHS box set.

Magic Years Box Set

In 1987 - Anita Dobson released "I Dream of Christmas" UK.
In 1992 - EMI released 2CD "Greatest Hits I & II" and Freddie's single 'In My Defence'.

Greatest Hits I & II

In My Defence

In 1993 - Concert: Brian May live at the Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany.
In 1994 - Roger Taylor played Bristol Bierkeller, Bristol, UK.
In 1996 - Roger Taylor played with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page the Indian Awards, Mumbai, India.
In 1998 - The Queen Box Set 3-VHS released PMI in UK made up of "Live In Rio", "We Will Rock You" and" Live In Budapest".

Queen Box SEt 3xVHS
Box set 1998

In 2004 - Brian May, Roger Taylor and Jim Beach received Triple Diamond Award for Spanish of Queen catalogue 3.2m CD sales (excluding LPs and MCs). Plus EMI Spain presented them with Gold Award "Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl" DVD, Teatro Apollo, Barcelona, Spain, at end of WWRY Musical performance.
In 2007 - Queen+ Paul Rodgers release "Say Its Not True" single as D/L. Roger appeared on BBC Breakfast, with Bill Turnbull and Susannah Reid, to promote single.
In 2014 -Queen + Adam Lambert live at the ITV studios, London, UK (with Adam Lambert and five X-Factor finalists). Q+AL performed 'Somebody To Love" live with the finalists taking over the backing choir in the second half of the song. Brian May, Roger Taylor [Queen] & Adam chatted with Dermot O'Leary after their X-Facrot performance 30/11/2014
- TRANSCRIPT

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**Mon 30 Nov 15**
MPT - SIGNED 'MIRACLE' ART PRINT ON E-BAY
Direct link

A tasty little item on Ebay - all proceeds for the MPT!!

BID HERE: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/321935245271?

“This item has been handled by both Brian & Roger in order for them to sign. It is in wonderful condition.”

100% of this sale goes to The Mercury Phoenix Trust.

Signed Miracle

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**Sun 29 Nov 15**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY - 29 NOVEMBER
Direct link

In 1973 - Queen played Colston Hall, Bristol, UK.
In 1975 - Queen played Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK.
In 1975 - 'Bohemian Rhapsody' entered UK singles chart at No 1.

 Night At the Odeon

In 1977 - Queen played Capital Centre, Landover, MD, USA.
In 1980 - Queen played the Grugahalle, Essen, Germany.
In 1990 - Peter Jones Rostrums produce the “Dancers” animations for Queen “Innuendo” video.
In 1993 - Brian May played the Elysée Montmartre, Paris, France.
In 1994 - Roger Taylor played The Garage, Glasgow.
In 1997 - Queen filmed video for 'No-One But You' directed by DoRo, Bray Studios, London, UK.

No-one But You

In 2003 - Brian May & Roger Taylor played Nelson Mandela’s 46664 concert, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Afriac, organised by Dave Stewart, Queen and Bono and produced by Queen's manager Jim Beach and The Music Matrix under chairman J. F. Cecillion.

Brian May - The Call

In 2011 - We Will Rock You opened at Edinburgh Playhouse ahead of 1 December Press Night.
In 2014 - Queen + Adam Lambert rehearsed for guest appearance the next day (30 Nov) with five X Factor finalists, ITV Studios, London, UK.

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**Sat 28 Nov 15**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY - 28 NOVEMBER
Direct link

In 1973 - Queen played Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, UK.
In 1975 - 'A Night At The Opera' albums on vinyl LP and cassette released in the UK by EMI records.

ANATO

In 1978 - Queen played the War Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, USA - and writes a letter for the Fan Club Magazine Winter 1978 edition.
In 1978 - Queen received Gold and Platinum awards for Jazz USA sales.
In 1998 - Brian May played Alexandra Hills Hotel, Brisbane, Australia.
In 1999 - Brian May guest appearance, National Music Show, Wembley Exhibition Centre, London, UK. Answered questions from Simon Bradley [Guitarist magazine] and explained his setup, various demos and later jammed with Chad Smith.
In 2004 - Brian May guest appearance Annual Ball of The Grand Order of Water Rats, Grosvenor House Hotel, London, UK.
In 2011 - "Days Of Our Lives" documentary released on DVD and Blue-ray by Universal Music.


Days Of Our Lives - 'Scrabble Wars' - https://youtu.be/uw4ztyeOzNQ

In 2011 - Brian May attended the Royal premiere Royal Performance of Martin Scorsese's Hugo in 3D with daughter, Emily, at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square, London.

Brian and Emily at Hugo in 3D premeire
Brian and Emily May at Hugo in 3D premiere
Credit Ian Gavan/Getty Images

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**Fri 27 Nov 15**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY 27 NOVEMBER
Direct link

Brian May Starlicks Masterclass VHS



In 1973 - Queen played Birmingham Town Hall, UK.
In 1974 - Queen played the Olympen, Lund, Sweden.
In 1977 - Queen played the Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, USA. ELO drummer, Bev Bevan visited the band backstage pre-show.
In 1979 - Queen played Apollo Theatre, Manchester, UK.
In 1980 - Queen played the Groenoordhallen, Leiden, The Netherlands.
In 1984 - Star Licks Master Series released Brian May live Masterclass session from 20 November 1983.
In 1984 - Freddie Mercury wrote letter for Queen FC Magazine, stating he was still working on his solo album that he thought he might call "Made In Heaven" after the track.
In 1984 - Capitol Records released 12" 'Thank God It's Christmas' / 'Man On The Prowl (Extended version)' / 'Keep Passing The Open Windows' in USA.
In 1989 - ‘The Miracle’ / ‘Stone Cold Crazy (Live)’ released UK.






The Miracle Cassette Singles (1989) - https://youtu.be/cvBT99LjyBk

In 1991 - Brian May wrote leter for Queen FC Magazine on behalf of himself, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, expressing thoughts and feelings on life and passing of Freddie Mercury.
In 1993 - Brian May played Huxley's Neue Welt, Berlin, Germany.
In 1994 - Roger Taylor played The Leadmill, Sheffield, UK.
In 2000 - Parlophone, in support of "Freddie Mercury - The Solo Collection" boxed set released 'Guide Me Home' CD single in Italy and Holland.
In 2001 - Brian May on Capitol Gold's 6 O'clock show Takeover.
In 2006 Queen vs The Miami Project released remixes of 'Another One Bites The Dust' online single on iTunes UK.
In 2006 - "We Will Rock You" at the Paris Hotel and Casino closed after 520 performances.
In 2007 - Brian May spent first of 3 consecutive days mixing the track, 'Say It's Not True'.
In 2008 - Queen + Paul Rodgers played Via Funchal, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2nd show).

Brian May Sao Paulo 2008

In 2014 - Brian May and Denis Pellerin "The Poor Man's Picture Gallery" talk, St Swithin's Church, The Paragon, Bath, (A Toppings Book Shop, Bath, event).
In 2014 - Roger Taylor appeared on "Loose Women", ITV UK.


Queen's Roger Taylor - Loose Women 27 Nov 2014 - https://youtu.be/-CmCaIcp_mg

In 2014 - Brian May visited the Herschel Museum, Bath, UK.

Brian May at the Herschel Museum

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**Fri 27 Nov 15**
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: RECORD STORE DAY / BLACK FRIDAY RELEASE
Direct link

Bohemian Rhapsody - Record Store Day 2015

Reminder! The Limited Edition Bohemian Rhapsody 12" is released today worldwide in independant record stores only as part of Black Friday / Record Store Day.

Bohemian Rhapsody is being issued on 12 inch for the first time ever with original B-side 'I'm In Love With My Car' on 27th November 2015.

More details on the release @ www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/8114

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**Fri 27 Nov 15**
MAKING OF BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: EDITOR, BARRY STEVENS
Direct link

SEE BRIAN MAY'S COMMENTS ON SOAPBOX

Making of Bohemian Rhapsody: Editor, Barry Stevens
- www.moviemachine.tv/video/making-of-bohemian-rhapsody-editor,-barry-stevens/146580268/

This is an account of what went on during the making of the music video for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The filming took place in just under 4 hours at Elstree Studios in Herefordshire, Nov. 10, 1975. Editor Barry Stevens then spent 5 hours working at Trilion Studios in Soho, alongside director, Bruce Gowers, to create what is undoubtedly the most influential music video of the 20th century. Running 2 inch Quad tape machines in sync, through a vision mixer, Barry produced magnificent results in a very short amount of time.

In the words of Barry Stevens: “we had to get a move on ‘cause they were waiting to send it to Top of the Pops.”

This piece documents what went on in the editing room and provides insight into that moment in video history, when one music video promo changed filmmaking forever.

A huge thanks to Queen Management Limited, QPL, for making it possible for this film to be shown and thanks to Barry Stevens for telling his story. May this serve as a document of inspiration for independent filmmakers and Queen fans everywhere.

Barry Stevens Editing Credits
* Original Monty Python Pilot, 1969
* 200 Motels (edited in 12 days with Frank Zapp)
* Several Dr Who episodes, including: “Dinosaurs in London” circa 1973
* Music video for Queens’ “Bohemian Rhapsody”, also promos for Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer,10CC,Yes,Mike Oldfield, David Essex, Boomtown Rats, Don Mclean, Sheena Easton, Susie Quattro, Siouxsie &the Banshees, the Clash’s first punk offering, Paul Mcartney,and the UK’s first VCR available in shops – “Electric Light Orchestra” at Wembley (now available on DVD).
* 1981 Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s wedding album for ITN.
* From 1982-85 Barry edited 22 hrs of Brent Walker “Gilbert & Sullivan “
* Barry continues to work as a freelance editor.

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Thu 26 Nov 15**
ON THIS DAY 26 NOVEMBER
Direct link

In 1969 - Wreckage played Twickenham Rugby Club, UK.
In 1973 - Queen played Manchester Opera House, UK.
In 1975 - Queen played Manchester Free Trade Hall, UK (2 shows).
In 1976 - Reception to promote A Day At The Races, Advision Studios, London.
In 1977 - Band went to see Chrysler Museum Of Art where Frank Kelly Freas had an exhibition displaying the original News Of The World cover painting titled "The Gulf Between" and who presented them with a limited edition copy of his sic fi book.

Queen meet Frank Kelly Freas

“Virginia Beach artist Frank Kelly Freas, second from left, known for his award-winning Science Fiction illustrations as well as his cover artwork for MAD magazine, is seen with three members of the rock group Queen. The band’s drummer, Roger Taylor, convinced band mates Brian May, John Deacon, and Freddie Mercury to use Freas’ illustration “The Gulf Between” for their latest album “News of the World”. The band took time to visit an exhibition of Freas’ artwork at the Chrysler Museum before heading over to Scope for their concert.” Virginian-Pilot, 25 Nnovember 1977.

x
The Gulf Between

In 1978 - Queen played Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
In 1979 - Queen played Manchester Apollo, UK
In 1980 - Queen played Sporthalle, Cologne, Germany.
In 1984 - Queen released 'Thank God It's Christmas' / 'Keep Passing The Open Windows' / 'Man On The Prowl' UK.
In 1990 - 'Final Destination' / 'Penetration Guru' released UK.
In 1991 - Hollywood released 4th promo titled “Rocks”.
In 1994 - Roger Taylor played Liverpool Royal Court Theatre, UK.
In 1996 - Freddie Mercury Photographic Exhibition opened, RAH, London, UK.
In 1998 - Brian May played Newcastle Workers Cooperative Club, Newcastle, Australia.
In 2008 - Queen + Paul Rodgers played Via Funchal, Sao Paulo, Brazil.,


Queen + Paul Rodgers Via Funchal São Paulo 26 11 2008 Love of my Life - https://youtu.be/WGaDs5XkQSA

In 2014 - Brian May honoured as Animal Hero Awards' celebrity supporter of the year, Grosvenor House, London.

Brian May Animal Hero Awards 2014

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**Thu 26 Nov 15**
BEN ELTON ON AUSTRALIAN TV TODAY
Direct link

Ben Elton appeared on Australia's TODAY programme, promoting We Will Rock You, returning to Australia in 2016.

ALSO - THE PROJECT TV which aired at 6.15pm.


Ben Elton on The Today Show, Australia 26 November 2015

Ben Elton appeared on this morning's The Today Show in Australia, talking about WWRY in Australia in 2016
VIDEO HERE

Killer Queen are back and they are the champions. It's time to go gaga for a new Aussie production of the hit Queen musical We Will Rock You which will be touring next year. The writer and comedian extraordinaire, Ben Elton joined TODAY to tell us how the musical has gone beyond the band and become a worldwide sensation in its own right.

“We not looking for a Freddie, everyone has their own Freddie inside them.” Elton said of casting. “We’re looking for someone who would make Freddie proud.”

Elton worked closely with ex-members and the family of the late Mercury to carry on the legacy of the songs. "The whole point of We Will Rock you, is it's about empowerment, it’s about the fact that we can all be champions."

Elton then explained that 'Somebody To Love' isn’t a love song, but a story of seeking self-love. “Queen were a democracy, and they did nothing unless everyone voted together. It wasn’t Freddie’s band, all members of Queen wrote number ones, that’s unique in all rock n roll history,” Elton explained. “They were a collective of passionate artists.”

Tickets Are Now On Sale For The Sydney, Brisbane And Melbourne Seasons Of The Worldwide Smash Hit Musical We Will Rock You.

Season Details  

Sydney
Venue: Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
Bookings: Ticketmaster.com.au Or 1300 795 267
Perth
Venue: Crown Theatre, Burswood
Tickets On Sale In 2016 – Waitlist Now For Priority Bookings
Brisbane
Venue: Lyric Theatre, Qpac
Bookings: Qpac.com.au Or Phone 136 246
Adelaide
Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Tickets On Sale In 2016 – Waitlist Now For Priority Bookings
Melbourne
Venue: Regent Theatre
Bookings: Ticketmaster.com.au Or Phone 1300 111 011
 

Ben Elton The Today Show Australia 26 November 2015

[With thanks to Pam Stange]

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**Thu 26 Nov 15**
PRESS RELEASE: QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT FIRST TIME IN BULGARIA!`
23 JUNE 2016
Direct link

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
SOFIA MUSIC ENTERPRISES has the pleasure to present 

QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN BULGARIA!
23rd June (Thursday) 2016, 20:00
 Georgi Asparuhov Stadium

RomaniaHaving first appeared together on the 2009 American Idol finale, followed with a performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Adam Lambert soon became a fixture with Queen, and with the band performed several big concerts and television performances in 2012 and 2013, followed by a fully sold out 24 date US tour in 2014.

Queen + Adam Lambert closed 2014 in spectacular style when they were invited to perform an exclusive concert on New Year’s Eve from London.  Queen + Adam Lambert Rock Big Ben Live took place in the build up to the clock striking midnight to see in 2015 and continued after the spectacular, world famous fireworks display along the river Thames. The special was seen by a peak of 12 million people and in the subsequent 24 hours ‘Adam Lambert’ was the top of the trending searches on Google in the UK with more than 500,000 searches for his name. 

Early 2015 saw Q + AL return to concerts with 26 sold out shows in 10 countries throughout the UK and Europe taking their critically acclaimed show to France, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Poland. When the band ended their European tour on 27 February 2015 in Sheffield, UK, they had notched up 67 sold out concert dates across the world in less than a year drawing universally rave reviews: “Queen + Adam Lambert delivered just over two hours of pure sensation straight into the nerves and bones of anyone fortunate enough to witness it. Freddie may be gone, but he would surely approve.” (Brisbane Times) “Did they rock us? Oh YES!” (New York Daily News).

More recently, invited back to Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival to headline the September 18, 2015 opening night thirty years after Queen performed the opening and closing at the inaugural festival event in 1985, Queen + Adam Lambert made the most of their passage to the Southern Hemisphere and booked a six date tour of three Latin countries: Brazil, Argentina and Chile, playing stadiums and arenas. The tour sold out in record time and Queen - fronted this time by Lambert - made a triumphant return to the continent which in the 80’s provided them with their biggest concert audiences ever reached: their two 1985 Rock in Rio performances drew a total audience of more than half a million people, the largest paid audience in history.

Queen:
In a career spanning over 40 years Queen has amassed a staggering list of sales, awards, and hall of fame inductions that is second to none.  Record sales in the hundreds of millions of units continue to put Queen in the top ten of all-time iTunes sales, plus seven Ivor Novello Awards, an MTV Global Icon Award, two songs enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame -  “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” – which also remain the most played songs at sports events and arenas around the world, make Queen one of rock’s most honoured bands. Queen has also achieved the distinction of becoming the first artist ever to sell over six million copies of an album in the UK with their Greatest Hits album. Even with the tragic loss of their uniquely talented singer Freddie Mercury, Queen remain one of the most revered bands in rock and pop history, able to claim one of the most enduring song catalogues of all time, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Killer Queen”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Bicycle Race”, songs that form the backdrop to the lives of generations of fans across all ages. With their sterling song craft, virtuoso musicality, and colossal spectacle of their live performances, Queen – Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon - captured hearts and conquered charts like no other band in history, a legacy that continues to live through the ongoing work and concert performances by May and Taylor, now joined by Adam Lambert. October 31 sees Queen celebrate the 40th anniversary of their history making single “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Adam Lambert:
Adam Lambert’s debut album For Your Entertainment earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and a worldwide smash hit with ‘Whataya Want From Me’. His second album, Trespassing, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. In 2013, Adam appeared as a guest star on the hit TV series, GLEE and as as a featured vocalist on Avicii’s album ’True’. Adam released his highly anticipated third album, ‘The Original High’ this summer, it entered the worldwide chart at number 3, and took his overall worldwide sales to over 2.5 million. The Single ‘Ghost Town’ has had over 100 million streams worldwide including 37 million views  of the video. He has just announced his brand new single “Another Lonely Night”.

Buy your tickets at the price of  70 to 140 BGN
at all Ticketpro outlets and visit www.ticketpro.bg for all ticket details.
Tickets will go on sale 30th of November at 11:00 am.

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**Thu 26 Nov 15**
PRESS RELEASE: QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT FIRST TIME IN ROMANIA!
21 JUNE 2016
Direct link

Romana's most anticipated concert: Queen + Adam Lambert, for the first time in Romania!
21 June 2016 - Bucharest Constitutiei Square
Ticket link: http://www.eventim.ro

Bucharest posterIt looks like 2015 is going to be a year of “firsts” for the Romanian public who will have the opportunity to see live, for the first time in Romania, one of the most anticipated shows of the past years: the legendary Queen band + Adam Lambert! The concert will take place in Bucharest on 21 June, 2016, in Constitutiei Square, and will be part of Emagic Classics – a music platform that has previously brought to Romania artists such as Bob Dylan and Sting. Tickets will be available starting 3rd of December, on www.eventim.ro.
 
After a first appearance together on the 2009 American Idol finale, followed with a performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Adam Lambert soon became a fixture with Queen, and with the band performed several big concerts and television performances in 2012 and 2013, followed by a fully sold out US tour in 2014 at the end of which Queen + Adam Lambert received the Band of the Year accolade at the 10th annual Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards as well as being voted Best Live Band of the Year in Ultimate Classic Rock’s year round up reader’s poll.

Queen + Adam Lambert closed 2014 in spectacular style when they were invited to perform an exclusive concert on New Year’s Eve from London, close to the iconic landmark of Big Ben, for a live broadcast on BBC One TV. The special show was seen by a peak of 12 million people and in the subsequent 24 hours ‘Adam Lambert’ was the top of the trending searches on Google in the UK with more than 500,000 searches for his name. 

Early 2015 saw Queen + Adam Lambert return to concerts in 10 countries throughout the UK and Europe taking their critically acclaimed show to France, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Poland. When the band ended their European tour, they had notched up 67 sold out concert dates across the world in less than a year drawing universally rave reviews: “Queen and Adam Lambert delivered just over two hours of pure sensation straight into the nerves and bones of anyone fortunate enough to witness it. Freddie may be gone, but he would surely approve.” (Brisbane Times).

More recently, invited back to Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival to headline the September 18, 2015 opening night thirty years after Queen performed the opening and closing at the inaugural festival event in 1985, Queen + Adam Lambert made the most of their passage to the Southern Hemisphere and booked a six date tour of three Latin countries. The tour sold out in record time and Queen - fronted this time by Lambert - made a triumphant return to the continent which in the 80’s provided them with their biggest concert audiences ever reached: their two 1985 Rock in Rio performances drew a total audience of more than half a million people, the largest paid audience in history.

Queen:
In a career spanning over 40 years Queen has amassed a staggering list of sales, awards, and hall of fame inductions that is second to none.  Record sales in the hundreds of millions of units, including an unprecedented string of number one albums and top-charting singles that continue to put Queen in the top ten of all-time iTunes sales, plus seven Ivor Novello Awards, an MTV Global Icon Award, two songs enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame -  “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” – which also remain the most played songs at sports events and arenas around the world, make Queen one of rock’s most honoured bands. Queen has also achieved the distinction of becoming the first artist ever to sell over six million copies of an album in the UK with their Greatest Hits album, which also achieved the record of over 1,422 weeks on the British album chart.  The statistics show a staggering one in three British households now own a copy of the band’s original Greatest Hits collection, originally released at the end of October 1981. 

Even with the tragic loss of their uniquely talented singer Freddie Mercury, Queen remain one of the most revered bands in rock and pop history, able to claim one of the most enduring song catalogues of all time, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Killer Queen”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Bicycle Race”, songs that form the backdrop to the lives of generations of fans across all ages.

With their sterling song craft, virtuoso musicality, and colossal spectacle of their live performances, Queen – Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon - captured hearts and conquered charts like no other band in history, a legacy that continues to live through the ongoing work and concert performances by May and Taylor, now joined by Adam Lambert.

Adam Lambert:
Adam Lambert’s debut album For Your Entertainment earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and a worldwide smash hit with ‘Whataya Want From Me’. His second album, Trespassing, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Adam released his highly anticipated third album, ‘The Original High’ this summer, it entered the worldwide chart at number 3, and took his overall worldwide sales to over 2.5 million. The Single ‘Ghost Town’ has had over 100 million streams worldwide including 37 million views  of the video. He has just announced his brand new single “Another Lonely Night”.

Ticket link: http://www.eventim.ro/

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**Wed 25 Nov 15**
ON THIS DAY IN QUEEN HISTORY - 25 NOVEMBER
Direct link

In 1973 - Queen played Caley Cinema, Edinburgh, UK.
In 1974 - Queen played Helsingin Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland
In 1975 - "Bohemian Rhapsody" reached No 1 UK chart.
In 1977 - Queen played the Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
In 1978 - Queen played the Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, USA.
In 1980 - Queen played Le Bourget La Rotonde, Paris, France.
In 1980 - Queen received Platinum Award 'Another One Bites The Dust" US sales.
In 1981 - Queen played Forum, Montreal, Canada (2nd night).
In 1991 - "Driven By You" / "Just One Life" released UK.

Driven By You

In 1991 - EMI Electrola withdraws The Cross ‘Life Changes’ CD single form the market.
In 1991 - BBC Radio 1 had two special programmes on air, while BBC TV showed "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" documentary for the first time. Special programmes shown on TV around the world as news of Freddie's death announced.
In 1997 - Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (20 April 1992) released on laser disc.
In 1996 - Brian May, Roger Taylor & Montserrat Caballe inauguration Irena Sedleck Freddie Mercury statue, Montreux, Switzerland.

Brian May, Anita, Dobson, Roger Taylor, Montreux 25 Nov 1996
Brian, Anita and Roger, Montreux - 25 November 1996

In 1998 - Brian May played Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia.
In 1999 - Brian May & Roger Taylor played Brixton Academy, London, UK, with Foo Fighters
In 2004 - Brian May & Roger Taylor joined Nelson Mandela for launch of special limited edition of book, "46664 The Concert", Dorchester Hotel, London, UK, the book documenting 29 Nov 2003 Cape Town Concert.

Brian and Roger - Dorchester 46664 Book launch 2004

In 2005 - "We Will Rock You (Live in Sheffield - Promo Version)" and "We Are The Champions (Live in Sheffield Promo Version)" from "Return Of The Champions", issued Japan.
In 2006 - The 3rd UK Hall Of Fame Awards aired USA on VH1 (previously televised UK Chl 4 16 Nov 06, aired in the USA.. Roger Taylor interview BBC Radio 2 - see HERE transcription HERE.
In 2010 - Brian May & Roger Taylor guests SAS Band, Collars & Coats Gala Ball, Battersea Power Station, London, UK.


Brian May Supporting Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (BBC) 25 Nov 2010 - https://youtu.be/yXNmNqqUcJo

REPORT ON EVENT:


Brian May on BBC Daybreak News (26 Nov) report on Battersea Collars & Coats 25/22/10
- https://youtu.be/ApC2W6H_l8I

In 2011 - Brian May & Kerry Ellis guest with SAS Band at Freddie Mercury 20th Anniversary, Clapham Grand, London.


Brian May & Kerry Ellis (NOBY, STL) Clapham Grand 25 Nov 2011 - https://youtu.be/Bed1MtOmLj4011

In 2011 - Brian May guest with The Darkness, Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK.

Brian May with The Darkness 25 Nov 2011

In 2013 - Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender won Emmy Award at 41st International Emmy® Awards Gala event attended by over 1,000 international television professionals,hosted by John Oliver, New York Hilton.
In 2014 - Diableries : Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell, Brian May and Denis Pellerin, with their new French publisher, Les Editions La Martinière, presented the book in its version française to the Press November 25, Hotel de Sully, Paris.

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**Wed 25 Nov 15**
NEW DOCUMENTARY: QUEEN - FROM RAGS
TO RHAPSODY + A NIGHT AT THE ODEON, 1975
18 DECEMBER 2015, FROM 10PM, BBC4
Direct link

The Sun - 25 Nov 2015
Sun Newspaper 25/11/15

Early Queen bw

**NEW Documentary: Queen - From Rags to Rhapsody - 18th December 2015, 10pm, BBC4***

(followed by Queen - A Night At The Odeon, 1975)

Queen: From Rags To Rhapsody
Produced & Directed By Simon Lupton & Rhys Thomas

As ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ marks its 40th Anniversary, this new documentary digs deep into archive to tell the story of Queen as it follows their journey from a struggling band gigging at pubs and colleges to the moment they captured the UK’s hearts and minds with what was to become one of - if not the - greatest song of all time.

Queen’s formative years have never been explored in such detail. With a wealth of unseen interviews, recently unearthed rushes of Queen’s first ever video and outtakes from the recording sessions of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ itself, this is the unique story of early Queen told by the band themselves.

This documentary completes the final part of the documentary trilogy alongside ‘Days of Our Lives’ and ‘Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender.’

It’s simple. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s what happened.

Featuring exclusive footage:
• Unseen rushes from Keep Yourself and Liar videos 1973 (Queen’s first videos)
• Unseen interview with Freddie Mercury
• Unreleased interviews with the band conducted by Bob Harris from 1977
– remastered from film to HD.
• Queen’s first ever TV interview 1975 - recently discovered in Australia.
• Now I’m Here Live on Top of the Pops 1975 - Recently rediscovered
• Unseen Live performances from Hyde Park ’76, The Rainbow ‘’74 and Hammersmith ‘1975.
• The original demo of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and studio outtakes - unheard, until now.

And much more...

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**Wed 25 Nov 15**
A NIGHT AT THE ODEON: FEATURE - NOW I'M HERE... BY ROSIE HORIDE
Direct link

A Night At The Odeon

Rosie Horide's feature 'Now I'm Here', which focussed on the build up to Queen playing their landmark show at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1975. Rosie was a music journalist and friend to the band at the time of Queen's rise in the early to mid 70s.

"Now I’m here…"

If 1974 had been an extraordinary year for Queen, with hit records and a triumphant UK tour concluding at the Rainbow in November, then 1975 was to be the year in which the band came of age. Queen went, in the space of 12 months, from being an up-and-coming UK rock band to a worldwide phenomenon. By the end of 1975 the group had a number one UK album, an iconic single in the middle of a record-breaking stay at the top of the charts, a landmark music video and massive success in other parts of the world. The band had undertaken a sell-out UK tour to critical acclaim – and all this was crowned by a legendary concert at Hammersmith Odeon on Christmas Eve 1975, which was broadcast live on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test. Queen had arrived with typical style and panache. 40 years later, the band is regarded as one of the greatest rock acts ever. This is the story of one of the most important years of Queen’s career.

The Story So Far...

"Now I’m there…"

As 1975 dawned, the portents were good for Queen – it looked like it could be a landmark year. But would the band build on its triumphs of the previous year and become transformed into something truly special and unique in Rock hierarchy?

A year earlier, at the start of 1974, Queen were a relatively new band with a growing reputation for its live performances. In spite of being voted Band of the Year in Disc and Music Echo, chart success was proving elusive. The first Queen single, Keep Yourself Alive, (released on 6th July 1973) hadn’t charted, despite being played on BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test as the soundtrack to a piece of animation. But things changed rapidly when they were offered the opportunity, at short notice, to appear on the UK’s top TV pop show, BBC’s Top of the Pops, in February 1974. The band performed a track from the forthcoming album Queen II. It was Seven Seas of Rhye, which was then rush released a couple of days later as a single. The much-prized Radio One airtime followed, and the song made it to the UK charts, eventually peaking at number 10. The album soon followed in March and Queen II made it to number 5 in the UK charts.

An incredibly successful first three months of the year were crowned by the legendary concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre on 31st March 1974 which proved that (unlike some hit groups at the time) the members of Queen really could play their instruments! It also demonstrated that in Freddie Mercury the band had an incredible front man – a singer and showman extraordinaire who strutted around the stage with incredible style and presence. For many of the audience it was the first time they had seen Queen live, with their immaculate musical performances, elaborate stage sets and stylish, but flamboyant, outfits; and they loved it!

As the group left for its US tour supporting Mott the Hoople, a very successful band at the time in both the UK and US, Queen seemed to have broken through in the UK and be on its way to international success. The tour started in Denver on 16th April 1974 with the band optimistic about the future, but less than a month later there was a major setback. Brian May collapsed with hepatitis and was seriously ill. The band had to cancel their appearances on the rest of the tour and return home.

While Brian slowly recovered, Freddie, Roger and John started work on the next album – to be called Sheer Heart Attack – and went into Trident Studios to start recording in July. Meanwhile Brian’s recovery had been halted when he was rushed to hospital with a duodenal ulcer. But the other band members carried on working, and when Brian finally was well enough to return to the studio, the band came back together creatively with more strength than ever.

In fact, nothing could stop Queen’s momentum.

Their next single, Killer Queen, was released on 11th October 1974. Its infectious tune coupled with intriguing lyrics (mentioning such diverse topics as Moët and Chandon and Marie Antoinette) four-part harmonies and superb guitar solo from Brian May propelled it straight into the charts. It reached number one in all the music papers’ charts – except in the BBC chart, where it “only” reached number two, being held off the top spot by David Essex’s Gonna Make You a Star.

Killer Queen proved a turning point for Queen – maybe not the unanimous number one they desired, but a considerable chart success. And there were consolations for not quite reaching the top of the official UK singles charts: Killer Queen also gave the band their first US hit, peaking at number 12 in the Billboard charts. It was a great tonic for the band after the trials and tribulations of the summer, and boded well for both the forthcoming tour and the release of the new album.

Queen went back on the road with the first gig at The Palace Theatre, Manchester, on 30th October 1974. They were met with rapturous acclaim wherever they went. The set contained many songs from their third album, Sheer Heart Attack, which was released on 8th November. Its mix of hard rock and melody seemed to epitomise the group’s sound at the time, and is still many fans’ favourite album. Sheer Heart Attack charted straight away and like Killer Queen also reached number two – this time being denied the top spot by Elton John’s Greatest Hits, which was to prove ironic in the light of future events.

Queen were riding high, and the group’s triumphant return to London’s Rainbow Theatre on 19th November proved just how far they had come in the less than eight months since they last played there. The band now had two hit singles and two hit albums under its belt, as well as a sell-out tour, and those lucky enough to witness that sensational second Rainbow concert saw a group with everything going for them. For Queen at the end of 1974 the sky was the limit….

1975

Queen appeared to be on top of the world in the opening days of 1975 but behind the scenes all was not well: for some time the group had been unhappy with Trident, their management company, and disillusioned with the performance of their managers, the Sheffield brothers. For most of 1974 the members of the band had been paid wages of just £20 a week, and even the rise to the princely sum of £60 at the end of the year after the success of Sheer Heart Attack was hardly sufficient. They had been told no more money was available because of costs they had incurred including making the album (very expensive as Queen never did anything by halves). The situation was affecting them badly, both financially and emotionally, and something had to be done. John needed money to buy a house for himself and girlfriend Veronica, who he was about to marry; while typically Freddie wanted a piano and Roger hoped to buy a car. All their requests were turned down. It was the final straw. They approached young show business lawyer Jim Beach, who entered into lengthy negotiations to extricate them from a deal that they felt was threatening their career.

Fortunately Queen had other things to think about: after John’s wedding in January the group was scheduled to head off to New York to rehearse for a US tour due to start at the Agora Theatre in Columbus, Ohio on 5th February. The band was really looking forward to it – they were eagerly anticipating playing the new album for their US fans and experimenting with new technology to make the show even bigger and better. What’s more the US tour was a sell-out, and extra dates had already been added. In fact there were days when Queen were scheduled to perform two concerts in one day. They had always worked hard but this was pushing them to the limit and something had to give…

Meanwhile another single from Sheer Heart Attack was released in the UK the day before John’s wedding: Now I’m Here was one of the most spectacular and popular numbers the band performed on the live show. It charted, but didn’t emulate the success of Killer Queen, peaking at number 11.

Queen got a great reception on the opening days of the tour, but then the problems started. Illness struck the band again, but this time it was Freddie who was stricken. Three weeks into the tour he started to have throat problems, finally going to see a specialist who told him he might have nodes in his throat – a diagnosis all singers dread. Further tests were suggested and he was told to rest his voice for three months. The following night he went on stage in Washington to make his usual energetic and vocally taxing performance! Further tests showed the problem wasn’t nodes, but some gigs were cancelled and others re-scheduled so that Freddie could take regular periods of rest before continuing on the road. In a call later in the tour he told Disc and Music Echo journalist Rosie Horide : “Philadelphia was great. That was where my specialist came to see me and he nearly had a sheer heart attack when he saw the way I sing!”

Reviews from the tour were almost unanimously favourable and, when the tour ended at the Paramount North West Theatre in Seattle on 6th April, the band headed for a well-earned rest in Hawaii. The next stop in their bid for world domination was Japan, and another leg of the tour.

Japan

Queen’s music had already proved hugely popular in Japan, but even the fact that both Killer Queen and Sheer Heart Attack were riding high at the top of their respective Japanese charts did not prepare the group for the reception they got when they flew into Tokyo Airport on 17th April 1975. In a scene reminiscent of famous Beatles’ airport scenes, over 1200 fans were there to greet them, shouting and screaming and waving both banners and records. The group were stunned. As Brian May said at the time, “It was amazing…we couldn’t take it all in, it was like another world – but we loved it”.

The tour opened at the famous Budokan Martial Arts Hall the next day. It held 10,000 people but was a complete sell-out and sumo wrestlers had been employed to control over-exuberant fans. Queen’s set was greeted with rapturous applause, and so enthusiastic were the fans that Freddie, consummate showman as ever, had to stop the show and calm the audience down. The band then completed its performance without any mishaps. To their great amusement they were then ferried away from the concert in an armoured vehicle!

The band were truly touched by their welcome, and the tour proved to be the start of Queen’s special relationship with Japan that continues to this day. Freddie developed a love of all things Japanese, and started several collections, ranging from dolls and kimonos to Japanese art. Queen loved the country and its people and the feeling was mutual. After for a further 11 days Queen returned to Tokyo and the Budokan for the final date, and paid a very special tribute to the fans by coming back on stage for the encore wearing kimonos. The crowd went wild…

Returning to the UK brought Queen back down to earth with a bang. Negotiations with Trident were proving acrimonious and seemed to be stalled. Jim Beach was doing his best, but no agreement had been reached as yet. Needless to say, the relationship between Trident and Queen was not an easy one.

On the bright side, in May Queen won all four top categories in Disc’s annual poll, being named best live group, international group, and also as having the best single (Killer Queen) and album (Sheer Heart Attack.) The trophies were a little unusual - large soft toys based on a dinosaur called Fresco le Raye which appeared in the magazine’s regular cartoon. They were a little different from the normal statuette, but nonetheless appreciated.

Later in the same month Freddie received a more conventional award – a highly coveted Ivor Novello award from the Songwriters’ Guild of Great Britain for Killer Queen. He was delighted and proud to be given such a prestigious award – his first. That month there was also another important event in Freddie’s life: he was asked to appear on Capital Radio DJ Kenny Everett’s show. He and the eccentric and zany Everett struck up an immediate friendship – a relationship which was to prove very significant for Freddie and the band later in the year.

Queen had started working on songs for their next album, but the management problems were still hanging over them like a dark cloud, to the extent that rumours started to circulate that the group were about to split up. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but around this time Brian had an interesting offer – Sparks was a popular US band, having had a big hit with This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us. The group consisted of two brothers, Ron and Russell Mael, who approached Brian to join them. They were of the opinion that “Queen is obviously all washed up”. Needless to say, Brian didn’t agree. He was flattered but gracefully declined their offer.

Jim Beach finally closed the severance agreement with Trident in late August. They were free.

Their next task was to find a new manager. As they were all massive Led Zeppelin fans their first option was that band’s manager Peter Grant, but it would have required them to sign to Swan Song – Led Zeppelin’s production and record company. Queen preferred to be with a major record company so the deal never went through. The band then approached John Reid, Elton John’s manager. They knew Elton was a fan of theirs, and Reid readily agreed to manage them.

Sadly the US tour had to be cancelled for the time being, as the venues had been booked by the previous management, but Queen still had the States firmly in their sights. Keep Yourself Alive had been re-released in the US and was doing well. The US tour would be re-scheduled, but meanwhile they had other things to think about.

Queen had at last broken free from Trident – and the relief was enormous. The dark cloud had lifted and now they could concentrate on their forthcoming US tour and the next album.

A Night At The Opera

It may have been a phenomenal worldwide hit, but Bohemian Rhapsody was just one track on Queen’s fourth album, eventually to be entitled A Night at the Opera. The album emphasised not only the incredible diversity of song-writing talent in the band, but also its wide range of vocal and musical talent. It was a masterpiece - a tour de force which the band later referred to as their equivalent of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Queen started recording the album in August, and the lion’s share was laid down at Rockfield Studios in Wales, again under the guidance of producer Roy Thomas Baker, and with the help of another stalwart, sound engineer Mike Stone. It was Baker who inadvertently provided the title for the album, at quite a late stage in the proceedings, when he showed the band some Marx Brothers films one evening, including A Night at the Opera. They immediately agreed that this would be a great title for the album, especially given its occasional operatic moments!

The album took four months to record, with the members of Queen often working separately but simultaneously on tracks and only getting together at the end of the day to share their work with the others. There were still final touches to be added (such as the mixing of Brian’s majestic epic, The Prophet’s Song) when the unfinished album was previewed to the press at Roundhouse Studios in London, in November. Some guests were confused at being greeted by a sign, which said, “Welcome to A Night at the Opera”! When the final track, Queen’s version of the National Anthem, was played Freddie made the audience stand until it was over. For many years afterwards this became an integral part of Queen’s stage show.

Brian’s masterpiece was finally finished in time for inclusion on the album – but not without some dramas. The day of the Roundhouse preview he had been up most of the night trying to finish The Prophet’s Song, and finally gone to bed in the early hours with it still unfinished. Meanwhile a preliminary version had been, in Roger’s words, “cobbled together” to play to the press. Brian awoke to hear that version being played on the radio. He thought for a moment he was still dreaming until he discovered Kenny Everett had appropriated the temporary version and was playing it on Capital Radio!

Originally entitled People of the Earth, Brian’s The Prophet’s Song was different in many ways from other Queen songs. He later revealed that the lyrics were based on a dream he had about a prophet, and that unusually he not only remembered them, but also strands of the melody. He gave the track its strange eerie sound in a number of ways: he had tuned the bottom string of his guitar down a tone to a D, which gave it “an unusual and doomy growl”. When he later performed the song on stage he had to have a separate guitar, permanently tuned this way, ready to use.

Once it came to recording the vocals Brian worked with producer Roy Thomas Baker to put together a demo track for Freddie. It reflected Brian’s interest in tape delays and the classic canon format in which a chorus is repeated over and over again, with the refrain starting in a different place each time. Freddie then came back with his own suggestions, and the haunting vocals were born. Brian added to the song’s unique sound by having each chorus end slightly differently. He says “We liked never to repeat ourselves, it became our trademark. We like each song to be journey. If they are all the same, what is the point?”

The Prophet’s Song was an epic production remarkable for its unusual theme and construction, including a revolutionary section in which Freddie sang with two echoes of himself, in a similar way to the technique developed for guitar by Brian in Brighton Rock.

Another attracted attention for a very different reason.

Freddie’s song, Death on Two Legs, was to prove controversial; it was widely believed to have been written about their previous manager Norman Sheffield, although unsurprisingly the group never confirmed this. Lines such as “Put your money where your mouth is, Mr. Know All” and “Now you can kiss my a** goodbye” allegedly referred to Sheffield and his acrimonious parting with the band, and EMI agreed to pay him a sum of money to stop him suing them for libel. Queen refused to pay anything.

John and Roger were now contributing more to the writing on Queen albums, and adding variety to the repertoire. Roger Taylor’s I’m in Love with My Car (which had been the B side of the Bohemian Rhapsody single) reflected not only his own love of automobiles but featured the perceived accoutrements of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

John Deacon’s beautiful and lyrical ballad You’re My Best Friend soon became a firm favourite with the fans, and was released as the follow-up single to Bohemian Rhapsody in June 1976, peaking at number seven in the UK charts. Freddie contributed another emotional ballad, Love of my Life, to the album. It was inspired by his long relationship with Mary Austin, who did indeed remain his friend until the end of his life.

The remaining five tracks of the twelve on the album were written by Freddie (Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon and Seaside Rendezvous) and Brian (’39, Sweet Lady and Good Company). The album cover was simple but stylish, a coloured version of Freddie’s original crest design against a plain white background. The gatefold sleeve featured the album tracks’ lyrics and photos from the previous tour, as well as the band’s first ever coloured inner sleeve. A Night at the Opera was released in late November – at the time it was the most expensive album ever made. But it soon proved to be worth every penny, heading straight to the top of the UK charts and staying there over Christmas while Bohemian Rhapsody hogged the top of the singles charts.

A Night at the Opera was also a worldwide hit, reaching number four in the US Billboard charts, and number one in Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands, while also charting in many other territories. To this day many believe it to be Queen’s finest album.

The Night at the Opera Tour

It had been a tough year, but there was to be no rest for Queen. They finished rehearsing at Elstree Studios on 10th November, recorded the Bohemian Rhapsody video there on the same day and then got straight on a bus for Liverpool. With Queen, supported by Mr Big, The Night at the Opera tour opened at Liverpool Empire on 14th November, to a sell-out audience and an ecstatic reception.

The members of Queen were never ones to rest on their laurels – the next thing always had to be bigger and better than the previous one. This was true of tours too: the intricate and spectacular stage set comprised more lights, pyrotechnics and special effects than ever. There was even a massive gong, which Roger struck in an affectionate parody of the Rank Organisation’s signature gong at the start of their movies.

Queen’s stage costumes weren’t exactly subtle either. Freddie’s were predictably striking and stylish, black or white, often flowing or winged, and decorated with everything from diamonds to chains. He even wore black nail varnish. On the third night of the tour, in Coventry, he went on stage in a kimono in tribute to his Japanese fans. The English fans were delighted.

Meanwhile Brian’s costumes, while not so flamboyant, were just as impressive – usually skintight silk or satin trousers with flowing embroidered tops, John and Roger wore similar garb. Together the band made a stunning impression against the backdrop of lights and effects.

The tour was a triumph – ecstatic responses from audiences, rave reviews and even the perfectionists known as Queen were pretty pleased. But better was yet to come… Having played five sell-out nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon from 29th November to 3rd December, Queen continued their triumphant procession around the country, returning to Hammersmith Odeon for a very special gig on Christmas Eve.

For the first time ever BBC’s flagship TV music show Old Grey Whistle Test filmed a rock concert and broadcast it live, while it aired simultaneously in stereo on Radio One. This meant that not only were the 3,500 fans lucky enough to get tickets able to see a remarkable concert, but that many hundreds of thousands more were able to celebrate Christmas by experiencing a landmark in rock music.

Needless to say Queen rose to the challenge with a high-octane performance that almost blew the roof off the famous venue. Freddie pranced and prowled around the stage, manipulating the audience with ease as his extraordinary voice interpreted the songs. Brian strutted and posed as his pure and incredible guitar playing filled the hall. John laid down a rhythmic foundation for the songs, while Roger, the other part of the band’s “engine room”, played an extraordinary set on drums and other percussion, providing another focal point at the back of the stage.

There were many striking moments during the concert, such as when Freddie seemed to be in two places at once during Now I’m Here (with the help of the band’s personal manager, the late Pete Brown, who was a similar build and imitated him), and when Roger employed his trademark trick of putting lager on his drums for effect.

It was a triumphant night, and as the last notes of the encores finally died away Queen realised that they really had arrived at the top of the UK rock hierarchy. As 1975 drew to a close the next stop was the rest of the world, and as they left for their US tour on 20th January 1976 Queen could only reflect on an amazing year. Now that they had hit albums and singles under their belt, as well as sell-out tours, and new management with which they were happy, the sky was the limit.

Rosie Horide
July 2015

'A Night At The Odeon' is available now on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, Vinyl and Super Deluxe Boxset - HERE.

Queen - A Night At The Odeon - Hammersmith 1975 Super Deluxe Boxset Unboxing Trailer
- https://youtu.be/HmsZor9qsng

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