Interview? .........Oh don't be ridiculous.

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Postby Lino » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:56 pm

That one on Freddie's sexual life, although parts of it are true is a bit abusive, and other parts are also exaggerated. :?
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Postby DELETED » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:11 pm

Ministry Of Works
(Record Mirror 25/8/1984)

Did you know that Freddie Mercury wants to make a reggae record? And that Roger Taylor would be selling flowers if he wasn’t in Queen?

Mayhem in Munich! Freddie Mercury is cavorting with a scantily dressed transvestite and it’s only three in the afternoon. Are you man or woman enough to read on? Then swallow your vitamin pills and follow me.

Queen are limbering up for their forthcoming tour in Germany and to celebrate another single rising majestically up the charts, they’re holding a little press bash in Munich’s P1 club. A place even more decadent than the South Finchley Whiskey A Go Go.

The ghost of Adolf Hitler probably wanders around here on dark nights, as The Fuhrer used to store his paintings and other plunder in the club and the building next door. Unfortunately there’s nothing left around today.

Instead the club has the gems of another kind. A selection of Queen’s videos including the notorious ‘Body Language’ – and champagne and wine flowing like the Niagara Falls.

The cabaret is Freddie’s own idea: a group of well passed it drag artists, so outrageous in G-strings and lingerie that they would make Divine seem as tame as Majorie Proops. Freddie’s more than willing to join in when one of them does a rendition of 'I Want To Break Free’, but the rest of Queen look on shyly from the comforts of the bar. Everybody, but everybody is here to witness the event, including a film crew from the U.S. Air force, tramping around in combat gear making a nuisance of themselves.

Freddie’s doing well considering he’s in quite a lot of pain. He remains tight lipped about the full details bet he injured his leg after an incident in a club. A physiotherapist has been pummelling at it nearly everyday.

"This c+++ kicked me." Says Fred "I’m hoping my knee will be ready in time for the tour, but it’s still giving me a lot of trouble. It might mean I will have to cut down on some of my more elaborate gorgeous stage moves."

Fred’s also been hobbling around a Munich recording studio putting finishing touches to his first ever solo album which should be out in January. Gadzooks, could this the start of a split with Queen? Is it true Limahl’s going to take over?

"Not at all, I’ve wanted to do a solo album for a long time and the rest of the band have encouraged me to do it. Some of them are even featured doing bits and pieces to help me out.

There are a lot of musical territories I wanted to explore, which I really couldn’t do with Queen. I wanted to cover such things as reggae rhythms and I’ve done a couple of tracks with an orchestra. It will have a very rich sound."

Fred’s also done some work with Michael Jackson, but he still doesn’t know when this is going to see the light of day. They’ve done a selection of tracks together in Michael’s home studio. For a while Fred was even in line to do ‘State of Shock’.

"I was out of town at the time so Mick did it instead," he says "I don’t mind at all. I’d like to release something with Michael because he is a really marvellous person to work with. It’s a question of time because we never seem to be together at the right time, Just think I could have been on ‘Thriller’. Think of the royalties I’ve missed out on.

Michael has been a friend of ours for a long time. He’s been to our shows and enjoyed them. We make a great team."

One of Fred’s songs ‘Love Kills’ is being used on the soundtrack of the reactivated ‘Metropolis’ film and he hopes to make a 20-minute video using four or five of his own songs.

Freddie and all the members of Queen have a long standing appreciation of ‘Metropolis’ which originally came out in 1927. Their stage set, in the shape of a futuristic city, has been inspired by it.

The lighting rig , measures 74ft by 50ft and the original design was so heavy they had to change it because it was in danger of bringing theatre roofs down. What a way to go, crushed by your own equipment.

After the European tour, Queen will be taking the whole shebang down to South America, headlining a 10 day festival in Rio. The place they will be playing is an amphitheatre down by the sea that can seat 300,000 people a night. It all makes Castle Donington seem like just another night at the Marquee. A local radio station in Rio held a survey to see who the most popular bands were and them some local promoters went out and booked them for the extravaganza. Naturally Queen came out on top.

Queen will also be doing some shows in South Africa. This is more than a little controversial. Especially with the memory of Nelson Mandella still very warm.

"We’ve thought about the morals of it a lot and it’s something we’ve decided to do," says Brian May "This band is not political, we are not out to make statements, we play to anybody who comes to listen. The show will be in Botswana in front of a mixed audience."

The band wanted to play Russia but the authorities objected. This situation may change though, considering that Iron Maiden have been let into Poland to wreak havoc.

"The Russians still think we’re very decadent," confides Roger Taylor "We want to play China as well, and Korea and it’s a fascinating place. They’re finishing work on the Olympic Stadium for the next games!"

Perhaps the Ruskies heard about Roger’s high living on Ibiza. He’s bought a house there and enjoys powerboat racing. Play time is over for the time being, though. After their two year break Queen have been working more than 12 hours a day rehearsing.

"It’s strange how rusty we are, and so we’re trying to blow the cobwebs away," continues Roger "It’s taking a lot of work. Usually we rehearse until about nine and then we eat together and decide what we’re going to do in the evenings. The clubs here are really fun. Something to cater for every taste or perversion.

"On the tour we’ll be playing a lot of the old material and we’ll be giving the audience what they want. A lot of music I hear in the charts doesn’t interest me. I just can’t see how anyone can get excited over Spandau Ballet. It doesn’t send shivers up my spine. I like listening to Bruce Springsteen."

They might be old stagers, but Roger claims that tickets for Queen’s British shows sold out in three hours flat and they could easily have played another 12 shows here.

"We still have the rock and roll gypsy mentality," he says "Even after 12 years without a line-up change we still enjoy the buzz from playing live and the fact we have hit singles. Some bands in our position may take it all in their stride but we’re still like kids, we get very excited.

You have got to have a laugh haven’t you? If Queen wasn’t any fun than I’d jack it all in and go and sell flowers."

Postby Captain V » Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:41 pm

Just wanted to say thanks to fairydandy. This is awesome stuff!
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Postby DELETED » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:06 pm

Captain V wrote:Just wanted to say thanks to fairydandy. This is awesome stuff!

Thanks for the thanks. I have to remind everyone that when I started sharing these, it was because Ogre had taken down his website. The fabulous website is now back up online... :D

..the thanks really need to be directed to Ogre, and to the people who transcribed these in the first place. :)
That said, it is nice reading them all one at a time like this I think. :)

Postby DELETED » Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:25 pm

By Ron Ross (Circus Raves, March 1975, Issue 105)

From a sinister moan, like a furious fiend lurking in a deep cave, Brian May's fed-back power chords slid up to a piercing demonic howl. With three giant strides, Freddie Mercury emerged out of the darkness and with a sweeping display of white pleated satin, he raised proudly an arm gleaming with silver jewellery beneath the intense spotlight. Roger Taylor's drums rolled like storm clouds over John Deacon's pulsating bass, signalling the commencement of Queen's "Ogre Battle." Then, stopping Roger's thundering tom-toms dead in their onslaught, Freddie smiled at the hysterical front rows of the packed English audience, and asked rhetorically, "How do you like the show so far?"

The self-assured and sensual vocalist already knew the answer to his own sly question. Within mere weeks of its release, Queen's third album, Sheer Heart Attack (on Electra), rose to a regal dominance on the British charts. "Killer Queen," a delightful little ditty straight from Albion's gas lit dance halls, became Queen's first Number One single. Although no fewer than twenty bands brought modern times rock 'n roll to England's farthest reaches last winter, only Queen's tour had inspired total sell-outs of every concert hall they played. The theatrical band with musical muscle had retained their intellectual following at the universities, while their legion of fans among Britain's younger ravers was snowballing like an unstoppable pop juggernaut.

But America remained to be conquered. Certainly Brian May's untimely bout with hepatitis during their fateful first tour had prompted sympathetic support and positive publicity for Queen in this country. Queen II had sold surprisingly well, even without the added promotional punch the tour would have provided. Now Queen, again intact and more full of impact than ever, were determined to pick up where they had reluctantly left off a year before. A new album, a new show, new costumes, lights, and sound, were all designed to allow an invasion of the States to follow smoothly their most successful European tour to date.

Queen to Led Zep One: On the eve of their second American expedition, Freddie Mercury's hopes ran higher than ever before. "A lot of things in Queen just seem to fall into place," he predicted optimistically. So confident was Fred that he could remark without hesitation, "The whole situation is an exact replica of Led Zeppelin back in 1969." And the United States was the only missing link. Their tour of the European continent late in 1974 had all but incited riots, while in Japan, the world's second largest music market, Queen had miraculously become the most popular hard rock group. Even Jethro Tull, Yes, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer had given way to Queen's majesty. Queen's American manager, Jack Nelson, was himself amazed: "They're getting even bigger than Deep Purple there, and they used to own Japan."

Although Deep Purple in particular have become notorious for recurring personnel changes provoked by Ritchie Blackmore's resolute moodiness, Queen are a group in the truest sense. not that Queen's rock comes together as sweetly and smoothly as whipped cream, but constructive controversy does bring out the best in four superb musicians, each indispensable to the Queen sound and style. "We have the most outrageous rows," which Mercury readily admitted to an English writer. "There are so many things we don't see eye to eye about in the group, even as to the titles of our albums. We row about everything, even about the air we breathe. But I think that's good, because we get the cream of the crop. It's good, that's healthy."

Mercury does indeed speak for the rest of Queen when he insists, "I don't like compromises - everything has to be done to perfection. I have always put everything into things that interest me, so I put everything into my music." The key to the solidly four-square Queen cartel is an intensity, professionalism, and dedication built in to the band's four distinct personalities. Fred's conscious that the glare of public attention is usually focused on himself. "I know the others have been feeling a little neglected," he confided to a close friend. "I'm trying very hard to persuade people that I'm not the leader of the group, that there's no such thing, but it's not easy."

Outside looking in: The amazing diversity of material on Sheer Heart Attack, with striking contributions from all four Queens, should go a long way toward giving the credit for the group's success where it's due. Although May's illness appeared at the time to be a disaster, his temporary absence brought Freddie, Roger, and John even closer together. The result is a healthier, happier Queen. Brian, in his first interviews after his recovery, was quick to note the difference.

"When I came back, I was able to look at Queen as if I were an outsider - I'd never realized what it sounded like, or how much the group had to offer," he declared to the press. "They'd got so much done without me - they were really good about it. All I had to do was to go in and put my bits on. The only thing that really suffered from my illness was that I only have about three and a half songs on this album." May's next observation is at the heart of Queen's strength as a band. "That does not really matter, because I play my best guitar on other people's songs," he said, drawing attention to the group not himself.

May's opinion of Sheer Heart Attack indicates that Queen have already completed their first era, and are more ready than ever for the Big Time. "This is the first album on which we sound like a band rather than four individuals," he feels. Brian appreciates how much Queen's concentrated road work abroad has prepared them for an even more demanding American jaunt. "The experience we've gained on our tours is beginning to show now. The whole thing gels together."

Sheer Heart Attack is far more flavourful, however, than the average serving of musical jello. Especially stunning are the pennings put in by John Deacon and Roger Taylor. As Queen's rhythm section, John and Roger are the rock bottom-line of the band's masterful metallic sovereignty. But as songwriters they supply the change of pace so important to the making of a truly superior album.

Enigmatic brooder: John Deacon has been called the "most enigmatic member of Queen," by Rosemary Horride, a British music paper writer close to the band who has supported them in the press from their inception. Evidently, Deacon is reticent enough to make John Entwistle, another dark brooding bassist, appear a blabbermouth. A graduated Master of Science in acoustics and vibration technology, his ears, along with those of producer Roy Baker, must be part of the secret of Queen's scintillating recorded sound.

Nevertheless, "Misfire," his short sweet tune on Sheer Heart Attack is as acoustically melodic and appealing as an Eagles bopper. It's neither as complex as physics nor as monolithically direct as John's pounding bass beats on the maniacal rocker "Stone Cold Crazy" (a group composition, by the way). "Misfire" is a love song that could easily be a hit single by one of the many pleasant teen groups currently stimulating pop madness in England. Only at the end would a new initiate to Queen recognize John Deacon's unmistakable trademark: the bass runs under the fade are a fast and facile as any to be heard. The least well known musician in Queen is one of his rock generation's most able.

Roger Taylor's sunnily striking good looks are a compelling contrast to Freddie Mercury's curiously satanic brunette appeal. He looks every inch the rock star in the stylish portrait on the Sheer Heart Attack liner. No drumming fool, he studied to be a dentist. His background seems a world apart from "Tenement Funster," a no holds barred rave-up he composed and sang on Sheer Heart Attack.

There's a menace to the track compounded by Brian's cripplingly effective guitar. The lyrics are classic rock 'n roll. "My purple shoes bin' amazin' the people next door/and my rock 'n roll 45's bin' enragin' the folks on the lower floor/I got a way with the girls on my block/Try my best to be a real individual/And when we go down to Smokies and rock/They line up like its some kinda ritual." Yet this would-be billion dollar baby was offered the job of percussionist in the ever so literary and fey Genesis. If Roger is physically confined to his drum kit onstage, he's hardly likely to stand for being categorized or repressed as a musician.

Screaming Queen: It's impossible to have heard Queen without having been riveted and stunned by Brian May's guitar. A screaming flash on the frets, May's notes seem to sonically seek and destroy in the merciless manner of a Hendrix or Townsend. He is a half year's study away from being a Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy. the most technically minded member of Queen, he must take himself and their future most seriously; ulcers, another of his afflictions, are not the product of peace of mind.

His restless authority takes a romantic turn Sheer Heart Attack. "She Makes Me (Storm Trooper In Stilettos)" has a Stones-like swagger to it that is somehow melancholy like the unforgettable "Heart Of Stone." Brian's inner conflicts seem reduced to simple sincere terms.. "Who knows who she'll make me/As I lie in her cocoon/And the world will surely heal my ills/I'm warm and terrified/She makes me so." With all the massiveness of a Phil Spector "wall of sound," echoing funereal drums give way to an intense finale laced with horns, awesome phasing effects, and a bit of heavy breathing in the background (and from the listener).

Strange that the most unexpectedly impressive tracks on Sheer Heart Attack are so little like their most distinctive musical medium: the large-scale epic song with mythic proportions. "Ogre Battle", is only one earlier example of Queen's ability to create an otherworld where the forces of good and evil, black and white, clash like fiery dragons battling with knights. The sheer volume of the band only serves to reinforce their legendary musical fables.

Sulky sensualist: It is no coincidence that Freddie Mercury is the multi-instrumental master of this almost medieval aspect of Queen. A sultry sex symbol who's often compared to Rod Stewart and Robert Plant in England, he is also a graphic artist who designed Queen's noble logo. A man who definitely believes in physical impact, his songwriting reflects a more thoughtfully passionate nature. On one of several lovely ballads he composed for Sheer Heart Attack, Fred sings with rare tonal clarity, "I lie in wait with open eyes/I carry on through stormy skies/I follow every course/My kingdom for a horse/But each time I grow old/Serpent of the Nile/Relieve me for a while and cast me from your spell and let me go." His image is one of a macho superman with a heart of gold.

So each of Queen's four young pop princes has helped to prepare the band for perhaps the heaviest, rockingest assault on these shores we've enjoyed in some time. Sheer Heart Attack was the musical cement for their pact. Hampered by bad luck that might have broken up lesser bands, Queen rose to the occasion in the studio where it counts. "Sheer Heart Attack was conceived in the studio," Mercury has revealed. "It wasn't planned out note for note beforehand."

Still, Freddie Mercury understands full well where he'd like Queen to aim. "There are so many things we want to do and I feel we have a great deal of room in which to achieve them. There is room for progress especially now that we have a following. We want to get audiences more involved with our music."

Soon no one may refuse an audience with Queen.

Postby DELETED » Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:15 am



Pop On The Line
BBC World Service, November 16th 1997

Formed in the early 1970's Queen scored a string of hits throughout the 70's and 80's including classics such as Killer Queen, Somebody To Love, Another One Bites The Dust, Radio Ga Ga and the classic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Sadly the band's lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991, bit the group's legacy and sound continued.

In 1995 the band released a new album 'Made In Heaven' which featured the surviving members of the band adding backing tracks to un-issued vocal performances of Freddie.

That it seemed was to be the final curtain for the band. Bit in the world of music nothing is final, and this year has seen new activity from the band. Released on November 3rd was a new compilation called 'Queen Rocks' which features the ultimate rock tracks from the band alongside one remixed song. But the most exciting part of the project is a brand new song called 'No One But You' recorded by the three remaining members.

Also released is an exciting interactive CD-Rom game called 'The Eye' which has been inspired by the music and art of the band. Alongside it's release is also a full colour book and a novel based on the game. Queen are back.

Over the last few years the band haven't been sitting around doing nothing.

Roger Taylor released a solo album in 1994 called 'Happiness?' which also saw him tour the UK and Italy. He is currently recording his next album at his studio in the country. He also found time to appear on the BBC World Service quiz show 'Monster Music Quiz'.

Brian released a solo album in 1992 called 'Back To The Light' and it will soon be followed by his second solo album. In 1996 he also provided the original music for director Steve Baron's screen version of Pinocchio.

The Show
Hello I'm Lynn Parsons and welcome to Pop On The Line, the programme that gives you a chance to talk to some of the world's most popular music artistes. In today's programme for the next hour we'll be linking your calls to my special guests Brian May and Roger Taylor, from the band Queen. Queen made their chart debut in 1973 and for the next 2 decades became one of the world's most consistently successful groups, with over 40 hit singles and a string of multi-million selling albums. However the sad news of lead singer Freddie Mercury's death, in November 1991, shocked the world, and it seemed Queen would be no more. The following year, Roger, John and Brian along with a number of fellow rock stars, paid an emotional tribute to Freddie at London's Wembley Stadium. The stadium was packed to capacity and it was televised live to over one billion people throughout the world.

Over the next few years, Brian and Roger both released solo projects, but two years ago Queen returned with the worldwide release of Made In Heaven, which featured the last work to be recorded by the band with Freddie Mercury. To Many, the album not only turned out to be their most personal, but also their finest.

This year has seen the most active 12 months of the decade for the band. In the earlier part, they reformed with Elton John for a performance at the Theatre Nationale Chaillot, in Paris, for the staging of Maurice Béjart's 'Ballet For Life'. This month has seen the release of a new album called 'Queen Rocks' which features the best of the band's more heavy tracks, and a computer game, called 'The Eye', which is an action-adventure inspired by the music of the band. Also published, is a novel based on the adventure and a full colour book featuring images from the game. But the highlight of all this activity is a brand new single from the group called 'No-One But You' which feature lead vocals from Brian and Roger and becomes the first record to be issued by Queen without Freddie or a guest singer. To talk about these projects and answer your questions, it should be Brian and Roger, but it's just Brian at the moment:

Brian: Yeah, I think Roger's stuck in traffic someplace, but here I am.

Lynn: We have lots and lots of calls coming through - Just before we start, you've come back from Spain, where you had an award?
Brian: Yes Lynn, the Premier Hondas Awards in Spain. It's the first time we've ever had a major award in Spain, so it was a very nice thing. In Barcelona, and we got the Lifetime Award for, you know, service to the industry or whatever - it was very nice, we got our medal you know.....

Lynn: A lot of the newspapers over here have been focussing on the British band, the Spice Girls. They've had a lot of problems, I know but they were at those awards and they had a few problems there, didn't they?
Brian: They were, It was the first time I've actually met any of them actually, and they seemed charming, I must say. Yes, there was a bit of a problem there.... it was.... I think they had a management decision to refuse to go on if there were any cameras in the audience. So those things are tricky you know, you either stick to your contract or you have a bit of flexibility. Unfortunately, if you don't have any flexibility, you lose friends very fast in those situations, especially when you've got a lot of TV technicians hanging around....

Lynn: So they didn't end up actually appearing, did they?
Brian: They DID appear, but there was a bad reaction from the crowd when they did, although I should say mixed reaction, which I think is probably not their fault totally you know.

Lynn: Right, This programme is about you. We've got lots of calls coming in, so let's go, to start with , Natasha in Malaysia. Natasha, you're through to Brian....
Natasha: Yes, my question is. My father followed Queen when he was young and my brother and I also listen to Queen because it's quite interesting. Do you feel that Queen still appeals to young rock fans or more to people of my fathers' generation?

Brian: Ooh! how old are you Natasha?

Natasha: I'm 16

Brian: Ah, Well I'm glad we appeal to you. I think we aim to appeal to everybody really. I think the days have gone where we thought we had to appeal to a certain age group. I think rock music now really crosses every barrier of colour, creed, race and age and sex and whatever. I would certainly like to think so. I think rock music is a state of mind, It's for those of us who like things to be human and passionate and |I think it will live forever. I really feel that way, and I don't think it matters what age you are.

Natasha: Well I would also like to know how much you really do focus on young people nowadays.

Brian: I'm very conscious of it myself. I have three kids, and I'm very conscious of what they like, and generally they have pretty good taste. I usually start off thinking 'what the hell is that they're listening to' and then I think 'mmm...ok' It's happening in a lot of cases. I can think of Coolio coming in the house and I thought 'Wow' - that is actually brilliantly made record and has something to say, and the same for lots of things, whether it's the Spice Girls or whatever - I end up listening to it and thinking 'hmmm..ok'

Lynn: Do you test it on your children, when you've got some new stuff?
Brian: Yes. I always play my stuff to my children, and they've usually got good things to say.

Lynn: Let's cross to Anna in Brazil.
Anna: Mr May. What is the real significance of the explosion on the cover of the bew CD? Does it mean a rupture with the past, a new beginning, or is it because of the explosive nature of the songs on Queen Rocks One?

Brian: Hmm, I'd say all of that really. Very perceptive of you. Yes it is kind of an explosion of the old crest that we have had for many years, which Freddie invented, I have to say. It has the astrological signs of us all on it, the two lions being Roger and John, the two little virgins being Freddie and the Crab being myself. Above it all is a nasty looking bird whose the phoenix, who's rising from the ashes. Strange that he should be in there really but he's been in there for , I guess, twenty years now. So yes the idea was 'let's explode it' because things are different now and it is an explosive album. It's all rock, it's all pretty heavy stuff, and that was the idea. I have to mention at this point, if I may, that probably we're going to have a different version of the album cover later on, which will be a sort of celebration of the fact that it's gone out incredibly quickly, so when we get to, I think it's a million copies, we're going to surprise people. (laughs) and the bird will have flown.

Lynn: Anna, does that answer your question? Do you have the new single Anna?
Brian: The 'No-One But You' single...

Lynn: Which is... there are 18 tracks on the album and No-One But You is the new one that the three of you have recorded and both you and Roger sing on it. But that's got an interesting front cover as well. That's Icarus, from Greek mythology.. Is that right?
Brian: That's right. I kind of thought tat everybody knew that story, but I should perhaps mention it, because it was part of the inspiration of the song really. It's a Greek myth in which Daedalus and Icarus, his son, are imprisoned in a castle, and the only way out is upwards, as they're in the middle of the sea. So they make wings out of feathers, birds feathers and wax, and attach them to themselves, and they fly out and escape the castle. I think it's on Crete and te legend says that Icarus was so excited and exulted, that he flew too high, too close to the sun, and his wax melted and he fell into the sea. So it's a very interesting symbolic tale that has a lot to do with the song, as you will realise when you hear it.

Lynn: And we will hear that shortly, But before we do, let's go to Mongolia, where Arianne Sowna is
Arianne: How are you?

Brian: Very Good! I'm glad to hear from Mongolia - I was there not long ago, believe it or not, to see an eclipse of the sun. It was wonderful - what a great country. I had a fantastic time.

Arianne: Here's my question. If a magician asked you to tell him your best three wishes, what would they be?

Brian: My god, how about a difficult question, God that's difficult. I'd like to think peace for myself, I'd like to think peace for the world, and I think I would like a change in the attitude that mankind has towards the other creatures that he shares the globe with. That's what I would wish for, I think. That's off the top of my head. I'm sure there are lot's of other things.....

Lynn: Let's go from Mongolia, to Holland, where Robert is, Robert you're through to Brian
Robert: Is it true that Queen recorded almost every live show they ever did, and if so, will Queen ever release a definitive live album in the near future, for example, all the cover tracks Queen ever played, like Imagine, for example, but also0 Queen versions?

Brian: Very interesting question, how did you know that? Well, yes it's true - we normally did have a tape machine running on the desk. Now the thing is, that records something very dry, and it was really for our own use, in other words, there's no ambience from the room and there's no audience on there, so the things tend to sound kind of sterile. And so we used it to check our own performance and to find out how we were playing together and stuff. They weren't generally held to be intended to be heard by the general public. But it's all locked away somewhere and I suppose it could be looked at. There ARE a lot of bootlegs around. I mean I have around 50 bootlegs from around the world now, and I haven't even tried I know there are hundreds of them out there. So you probably get just about every live show we ever did on bootleg albums - not that I recommend it (laughs)

Lynn: Robert thank you for your call, Lets go to the States, Joe Pace, where are you?
Joe: I'm in Ohio - Hey Brian it's great to talk to you again. I met you back a few years ago when you toured the States. I have a simple question. First of all I want to mentions that I'm one of the fans who is frequently on the internet - we're strong for you there.

Brian: Oh Brilliant, thank you guys, thank you

Joe: My question is a simple question - who played piano on No-One But You?

Brian: I did - It's a kind of nod to Freddie's style though, because Freddie did have a very individual way of playing, like nobody else and I was conscious that I was doing a little bit of Freddie on there, I think.

Joe: Well say hello to Roger for us. I hear he's late, but I never did get a chance to talk to him, but grear to talk to you again Brian, we love ya

Brian: Thanks a lot, give my love to Ohio.

No-One But You played
Lynn: No-One But You. Brian & Roger on lead vocals. The first time Queen have recorded without Freddie or a guest singer
Brian: That's right

Lynn: Is it about Freddie?
Brian: Yes I wrote the song about Freddie. It also kind of is about a lot of other people as well...

Lynn: Here he is! Here's the boy!
Brian: Ah! Roger!

Lynn: Welcome...
Roger: I've made it...

Lynn: Just while you sit down
Brian: In from the traffic....

Lynn: Let me tell you, if you've just joined us, it's the BBC World Service. This is Pop On The Line and live in the studio, Brian May & Roger Taylor. We just played the new single, and we were asking whether it was specifically about Freddie, or perhaps everyone that disappears before they should.
Brian: Yeah, I think the song becomes a little broader in meaning in the light of things that have happened recently. You know, Princess Diana went and Gianni Versace went, and I work a lot with children with leukaemia who go before their time, It's an amazing thing. But the song really is about living your life, and it's a positive thing.

Lynn: Right - Herman is in the Netherlands. Herman you're through to Roger & Brian. What is your question?
Herman: I just wanted to know when he wrote the song. No-One But You. Before or after Freddie died?

Brian: Yes, after Freddie died, and most of it was written when we unveiled the statue to him, which stands at the end of Lake Geneva, In Switzerland. But little bits of inspiration came at other times too.

Lynn: Is there any chance of a statue being unveiled here in the UK?
Roger: Well according to the London council where we used to live, Kensington and Chelsea, by name, absolutely none whatsoever. They like putting statues of generals on horses, which I don't really like..

Lynn: Should put Freddie on a horse...
Roger: (laughs) Yes, put him on a horse and give him a nice helmet, probably get that up in Hyde Park then

Lynn: Let's go to Australia
Brian: Once you've killed a few people, you've stood a better chance I think...

Lynn: Edwin You're through
Edwin: How are you doing?

Roger: Hi

Edwin: I was just wondering, when you guys did the tribute concerts, I was wondering if you were going to bring out and album of that?

Roger: Ah yes, Roger here. I don't think we really could because there are so many different artists on it, and it was done as a charity thing, the Mercury Phoenix Trust, it was released on video, and all the money went to those causes, but I don't think we ever thought of making an audio release. I think it may have been a little patchy in places.

Lynn: Edwin, thank you for your call. Let's go back to Holland where Hannie is, You're through toe Brian & Roger
Hannie: Hello Roger, I have a question for you, and Brian. Are you aware of the substantial influence your music has on people, and doesn't this encourage you to make new music, and knowing so many people love your music, including me.

Brian: Yes thank you Hannie, very nice thoughts Hannie. Yes it means a lot to us, but the reaction comes back that it does something for people, yeah, wonderful. I don't think there's any greater tribute to what you do. Because I think we all go through a lot of times when we think we're crap. I think I certainly wake up many mornings and think....

Roger: Yeah, we're not very good

Brian: You know I think 'Should I really be doing this?, have I got anything to say?' Because very often in the media in England you get a lot of negativity and stuff. So it means a lot that people like yourself some back and say 'It means a lot for us'. It's worthwhile, brilliant!!!!

Roger: Yeah, yours is precisely the reaction that makes us want to continue. Thanks

Lynn: Thank you for your call Hannie. Daniel is in Australia, whereabouts in Australia are you Daniel?
Daniel: I'm in Sydney. Hello my question is actually. What's your general reaction to the huge amounts of Queen related web sites on the net. I mean that wasn't around in the 70's and 80's. So it must be something new for you. Do you surf the net?

Roger (laughs)

Brian: (laughs) yes I do sometimes. This is Brian. Yes I find it quite fascinating, for a while there's so much on there that you get overwhelmed after a while, and it will consume your whole life if you spent all your time reading it. Yes I sort of cruise around and see what there is. There's a sort of Brian May shrine in there which I though 'what the hell is this?' very nice of someone. But yeah, I mean it is wonderful, it is a new way of communication.

Lynn: Does anyone check it to make sure its all true?
Roger: No, no, I mean I've never surfed the net in my life! (laughs)

Lynne: But you're into computers, because you made 'The Eye'
Roger: But that's not the internet.

Lynne: Andre is in Russia
Andre: Hello, Brian & Roger, I would like to say that I love your guitar playing. Well my question is that I was once given a tape of songs, and in a booklet accompanying it, I have read that a special guitar in the form of a skull and bones was made for the particular song 'It's a Hard Life', I think Did you play this guitar in the song? and did you ever use it since then?

Brian: Well I have to be honest, it's more of a prop than anything else. You can just about play it, but it was made especially for the video. But it was made more for the looks than anything else. Yes I have played it but you won't find it on any record I'm afraid

Andre: They wrote that it cost about 1500 pounds. It's very very expensive.

Brian: Oh, well maybe, I don't know. How are things in Russia, I'm so happy seeing people calling from all these places, and I would love to know how things are. Are you happy?

Andre: Roger and Brian, please continue, we need your music, come to Russia, come to St Petersburg

Brian: We'd love to Thank you

Lynn: On the subject of Queen videos, there were some incredible Queen videos. What happens to props and things?
Roger: I don't know, they don't seem so substantial as they look. They might look wonderful, but then you find out that it's made out of polystyrene!

Lynn: Are next call is from Rosemary
Rosemary: Roger, I would like to ask you: when you wrote I'm In Love With My Car, was it a particular car you had? or was it the first car you had?

Roger: I remember my car at the time, because I think we've got the exhaust on the record, and that was a little Alfa Romeo. But I think it was more about people in general, for instance boy racers. In particular we had a sound guy/roadie at the time called Jonathan Harris, who was in love with his car, and that inspired that. I think he had a TR4, Triumph TR4.

Brian: Which he used to sleep in!

Lynn: As opposed to sleep with! - Luber is in the States, Luber
Luber: Hi Roger and Brian, I have a question. Were the rumours about George Michael joining Queen were true at the time?

Brian: No they weren't. I think they were started by someone in the English press I think. You know we are very good friends with George and he did a wonderful job at the tribute. But at the moment it wouldn't suit either him, or us to team up in some way. I think we have our separate ideas about our careers, That doesn't mean that we never want to work with him, I think he's fantastic, but the rumours were not true, he was never joining Queen.

Roger: No, George is a great singer, but he's getting older and were getting more childish.

Lynn: Ruth Williams is in Australia, Ruth You're through to Brian & Roger
Ruth: I was going to ask: What was it like being in the recording studios? was it really competitive or was it always fun? Just interested.

Roger: Yeah it was both, It was a lot of fun, a lot of repetition and tedium, and sometimes very competitive. That's the best way to get things done.

Ruth: I was just gonna say it's great you're back

Brian: Oh, thanks a lot that's wonderful. I think it's safe to say we've had the best and worst of times in the studio. Sometimes it was so intense that we all left, and sometimes it was incredible fun.

Lynn: Was it refreshing to get back for this? Cos you hadn't actually done anything together for a long time, had you?
Roger: Yeah, It was surprising really, it just suddenly happened and I was fascinated at how quickly we gelled and came back to ourselves. A bit of chemistry there. It's just like putting on an old pair of gloves or something.

Lynn Paul is in Holland. Paul you're through
Paul: My question is about the new song 'No-One But You'. In what way was Freddie part of the writing and recording process, other than the song is about him, and others dying too young?

Brian: Well, he couldn't be a part of the writing and recording process directly, but indirectly yes. Whenever we're in there, or whenever I'm writing or playing, I would think there is an influence. I sometimes think ' Well, what would he think of this?' and very often you know what he would have said, but it can still be inspiring.

Paul: It's the same with listening to the song, you can almost hear Freddie sing the song. For me that is

Roger: Yeah, I think we've been together for so many years in the same band, so he's like a constant mental presence because you know exactly what he almost would feel, and what he would have said, to any one given situation.

Paul: A studio band between Brian, Roger & John, what would Freddie have said about it?

Brian: I think he would have been very happy. I'd have loved to have heard him sing this. In the past of course I probably would have sung it anyway and presented it to Freddie, and he would have done his own thing with it, and it would have become something different but I think he would be happy

Paul: Well I'm happy too. Because I think it's a great song, whilst using the name Queen. Can I ask a question about that? Aren't you afraid of criticism from people for using the name Queen without Freddie?

Roger: Well, I think if we'd been afraid of criticism then we would have given up 20 years ago!! We all have PhD's in accepting it!

Postby Norwegian Blue » Sat Feb 26, 2005 3:16 pm

fairydandy wrote:
Sounds Magazine 1980

Roger: "'Rock It' is totally elemental. It's the most basic song ever that just says you can enjoy rock and roll. That's all. 'Don't Try Suicide' says - just that - and I quite like that one, it's funny. You should never read the lyrics without listening to the album at the same time, you know. It isn't prose and they're not poems."

Why print them in the first place, then?
Roger: "Because people moan like fuck if you don't!"

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby DELETED » Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:11 am


Pop On The Line
Part 2

Lynn: Paul thank you, Nazima is in South Africa
Nazima: My question was when was the group Queen first formed and what was the first song that you recorded and when was it recorded?

Brian: Oh, I'm not very good with dates, I'd say about 1970 probably, and the first song we recorded was Keep Yourself Alive, which we recorded as a demo, in De Lane Lea Studios in London. It was one of the few songs which we'd written ourselves at that point, and that was it. But it was a long time after that, that the first album came out.

Nazima: How does your group feel about The Braids reproducing Bohemian Rhapsody?

Roger: That was always the hardest song to do onstage, in fact we never even tried or pretended to do the... perform the middle section- the mock opera section - so we used to play the whole song, and used to leave the stage at that point and let the tape take over and then we'd emerge like butterflies, wearing different things I think.....

Lynn: I was just going to say, whenever there are stories on television, particularly in this country, about the history of pop, they always kind of mark that video as the start of pop videos. Do you think it was?
Roger: I'm not sure it was the absolute start, but it was certainly the first video that made a serious global impact and became what you'd call a promotional tool really, so I think even we had made videos prior to that hadn't we?

Brian: Yeah

Lynn: Perhaps the most memorable
Roger: Yeah But it was the first to be effective.

Brian: As far as The Braids - I'm very happy if anyone does our songs really, as long as they don't put abusive lyrics in. We get a lot of tapes sent to us, almost everyday, I'd say by people who cover our songs. I think it's a great compliment that people do our stuff and usually we have a choice - if people change the words then you have a choice whether you'll let them do it or not. But in most cases I think it's very healthy, and good luck to them. I don't have a copy of The Braids record. I've been trying to find one.

Aneke: I've got a question concerning today's pop groups like Oasis and the Spice Girls, they get famous and rich quite soon after they've begun and they get hyped up by the media, and when they have to deliver, they simply do not live up to expectations and it seems to me that is what my question is about. When you began in the early 70's you had to wait a bit longer for the fame to come and that you really had to prove yourselves before you had a big hit and became famous. Nowadays it's the other way round. First they get the money and the image is built and then the actual performance, and I'd like to know was it really different back in the 70's for new groups to start and what's more your opinion about the development in the music world, where groups get the fame and the money first, and they care less about the real talent of the group.

Brian: Very interesting question. Roger is going to answer you....

Roger: (laughs) Thanks Brian! You know, I think not much has changed in a way. We were a performance based band, and so the idea was that we would be a live band and yes, it did take us a while to work our way up, to having hits, and to being popular in a big way, and we sort of did it the hard way. But at the time there were bands, like the Bay City Rollers, all those sort of pop bands like that, which I suppose you could liken the Spice Girls to in a way. So I think there are different kinds of artistes. I mean there are bands now like Raiohead for instance, who I think are a fantastic band, and they've come up the hard way, really rather like we did, you know through live concerts and writing great songs, in their case anyway, I think

Lynn: But in terms of charting, you don't have to sell so many records now, I think to get to number one.
Roger: Well, not in the UK. I think things are a little more realistic in other countries. I think we've gone on a rather strange sideline. The singles charts in the UK are very strange at the moment. You have to sell about three copies!! You come in, in the top three and then you disappear forever. So it's a very strange thing in the UK.

Lynn: This is Stephen in Germany
Stephen: Great to talk to you. I've got a question for you. Roger. I want to know why are you always wearing Sunglasses?

Roger: Believe it, or not. I'm short sighted in my right eye, and so they are actually prescription sunglasses. In fact I'm wearing normal ones at the most, but, this is radio (laughs) so that is why.

Stephen: I want to know on the song 'Bring Back That Leroy Brown' on the Sheer Heart Attack album , there's one little section with a very deep voice, do you know what I mean? I want to know who sang that?

Roger: It was either Brain or Freddie

Brian: You know I can't remember, I'll have to listen (mumble) bring back that leroy brown

Roger: Yeah I think maybe we cheated it with a bit of I think we might have speeded the tape up a bit, so it sounded REALLY deep.

Lynn: No one's asked about 'The Eye' yet. Now I'm interested in this, There is the book, but of course there's this PC CD-rom. And it says that it's completely different to any CD-rom that's been released before. What's different about it?
Brian: Well it's a game, and a very ambitious kind of game. They're saying really that this is the first time there's been as much contribution of music in a game I think. and visually it's very ambitious as well, there's 5 cds in this thing. It's a very rich environment which the game is played in. And one day it may be out.

Lynn: Have you played it?
Brian: I've played some of the.. I've played it in it's demo form. I haven't actually seen a completed version yet.

Roger: Yeah the graphics are quite extraordinarily complex, and it's quite interesting to look at.

Lynn: Let's cross to Honk Kong - Superintendent Kahn? - Are you a policeman?
Kahn: That's right yes, I've been serving the British Government for the last 40 years but now I'm in China.

Brian: Wow, he's writing history...

Kahn: yes it is. What I would like to ask you guys, whether someone has ever asked you this question - besides many of the millions enjoy your music to listen to, has anybody have told you that it is also some of your listeners when they are in trouble or completely depressed?

Brian: Yes well we have had some letters from people like that, in fact I had a letter from a girl not too long ago, and she felt she was gonna commit suicide, and that listening to us changing her mind, which is great. I don't know if there's any people it happens the other way round to (laughs). But yes, I'm glad you say so Superintendent...

Kahn: Because today I almost jumped out of a window, than I played your record, and I feel like a youngster of 16 years old again.

Roger: Whatever you do.....

Kahn: keep up the good work - we do need people like you around

Roger: Please don't do that. just put the record on.

Lynn: We're going to play a song fro the album now. Is it slightly remixed? It was originally on Innuendo? I Can't Live With You?
Brian: it's more than remixed, it's kind of re-performed really. It's a sort of rock n roll version which was done as a celebration of Queen Rocks

I Can't Live With You played
Lynn: I Can't Live With You, from the album Queen Rocks. Lets' move to Australia. Thomas Docherty Hello...
Thomas: The holiday season's upon us, and I know my brother, he's in New York and he sends down some really obscure Christmas music every year, one one thing that he had a few years ago, was I think it was 'Yes And It's Christmas' Have You guys ever gone just a full Christmas album?

Brian: Oh my God, no

Thomas: The hard hitting questions

Brian: No, but we did a Christmas single, Don't know if You've heard that?

Roger: I think it was called Thank God It's Christmas

Thomas: That's the one. That's it

Roger: Yes we did do that

Brian: Well the funny thing is that you have to make Christmas records in the summer, and you just don't feel like it. Cos if you start making them at Christmas, obviously it's all over before you've got it out.

Thomas: I had this perfect marketing thing. We could call it's Queen's Christmas Message.

Roger: Fabulous!

Brian: You're Hired!!

Thomas: Have you ever been to Australia?

Roger: Yeah Several times. Had some great times in Australia, we did five major cities, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane

Thomas: Where did you play in Melbourne? Did you do the MCG?

Roger: Yeah! whatever it's called. The sort of entertainment centre or something - I remember the lights failed and Phil Collins was there, I think he'd been at the mains with the screwdriver

Lynn: Thomas, thank you for your call. Rachel's in the UK
Rachel: I would like to ask, about the Mercury Phoenix Trust, are you surprised that the results of the Mercury Phoenix Trust is still growing, even six years after Freddie died?

Brian: It is amazing, we started the trust, at the time of the tribute concert, to channel the money that generated to aids charities. We thought it would be a short term thing, but yes it is still going very strong, and I think four and a half million pound has gone through it so far, lots of things contribute, there are royalties coming from us and from other people who have pledged to help especially George Michael, who did the record from the tribute and Guns & Roses. It's a very healthy thing at the moment.

Roger: Yes we thought it was a thing that would wind down, you know, but it is almost six years since the tribute, or since Freddie's death and it's a long time it's still going and we are still channelling money through.

Brian: Yeah and the proceeds from the No-one But You record will also go there and the writing and stuff will go to the fund that I'm involved with, British Bone Marrow Donator Association, which helps children with Leukaemia

Rachel: Now can I ask if it was a conscious decision to release No-One But You on the anniversary of Freddie's death?

Brian: Well we thought it would be a nice thing, that's all I can say obviously this song is mainly about Freddie. But there is a kind of wider meaning to it I guess

Lynn: Ok Peter is in Germany... Peter you are through
Peter: I presume you have heard about Dolly the Sheep, and about headless frogs.. my question is, would you like to live 300 years? What do you think about Life extension?

Brian: I would have it extended backwards myself

Roger: I don't understand the question, or the answer.. can you explain?

Peter: the question??

Brian: well, he is saying.. you know

Peter: The question is simple... would you like to live 300 years? what do you think about life extension?

Roger: I would like to live 300 years.. if I could be the equivalent of 25, I think the idea of actually slowly running down is not so good.. so if you could , maybe, I don't know. I'm quite happy with what we get though.

Brian: Yeah, me too, I wouldn't, who needs that really

Lynn: Peter thank you very much for your call. We come back to the UK and Gerald Leeves is on the line. Gerald hello!

Gerald: hope you both are fine . My question is: have you ever considered making a production of the life and times of Queen, and particularly up to the point when probably Freddie was at his life-time-peak, around the late 80's or so

Roger: well, actually the short answer is no. it's so hard to do.. Do you use actors? we can't act

Lynn: Who would play the part of Freddie?
Roger: exactly, who would do that? but at the same time, there is actually, on the way at the moment, we are collaborating with Robert de Niro's company, he's got a theatrical company. They are trying to develop a musical, a stage musical, based on Queen. I think you have slightly more license with things there. to try and make a sort of factual lyric...

Lynn: would you be involved with the music for that?
Roger: well, we are just involved in contributing ideas to the way the music is used, and i think that is as close as we will ever come to sort of...

Lynn: so is that definitely going to happen? or is it just a tiny little, you know idea stage
Roger: well that is actually being developed

Brian: Yeah, I know what you are thinking, and we kind of thought that too, a bit of a reaction to the musical genre. but Robert De Niro is really into it himself, and he thinks it can be a real rock experience, so maybe it can be something new and different.

Roger: yeah, as Brian says, musicals are not our scene normally but we can hope we can make this work

Lynn: Jason is in Canada, you're through to the guys
Jason: My question is regarding the Made In Heaven album. In the album sleeve there are three pictures, each of you in a separate picture with Freddie, so I was wondering if you could tell me about the background - the story behind the pictures?

Brian: My one is a very early one, it's just me and Freddie at the Marquee - it's one of the first sort of proper gigs we ever did, and it's taken from a camera down in the front, and there's no kind of proper stage at the Marquee. I don't know if you've ever been there, at least in those days it was a very low thing, and you can see that there's a monitor cabinet in the way - which sort of obscures the bottom half, and that's it it's a very early picture, about 1974-75, I dunno, something like that...

Roger: The one of myself and Freddie was taken during ... we had a very interesting experience in Mexico, and that was taken halfway through a concert - we used to have a little room we used to make up, and we used to go in there, we put on the stupid hats, and somebody took a picture. It was a very difficult tour that

Brian: I'm just looking at John's picture with Freddie, I dunno where that was taken, I would guess South America too though probably

Roger: It could be Argentina, taken in Buenos Aires maybe

Brian: Nice live shot

Lynn: Jason, thank you. Rachel is in the UK
Rachel: Which person would you most like to meet, or have met, or have you met that person, and did they live up to your expectations?

Brian: Well, I think Jodie Foster would be interesting to meet, I always thought she would be very interesting, I always wanted to meet Natalie Wood, but it's not possible now.

Roger: For me, I had three main musical heroes, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, and I never met Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon, and I'd have loved to have met either of them, or both preferabley, but I met Bob Dylan and he was great

Rachel: Did you ever see Jimi Hendrix play?

Roger: Yeah, three times. In fact Freddie saw Jimi Hendrix play 14 nights in a row, in London

Brian: He was a huge fan

Roger: he was magnificent on stage

Lynn: David Pritchard's on the line, David?
David: Hello there, nice to speak to you, lifelong fan actually. The question I wanted to ask was, a couple of years ago, Band of Joy released an album of the BBC session music from Queen, and I was can always vividly remember when I was a kid listening to the radio on a Saturday afternoon on the rock show, there was a session with you with Alan Freeman - a particularly good version of Spread Your Wings, and I was wondering if these sessions might ever see the light of day?

Brian: They might actually, yes we do have all that stuff now, We managed to find it all, and we do have the masters of that, so it could be yeah

Roger: I've forgotten about that actually. I remember we used to listen to Alan Freeman when we were on tour a lot..

Brian: Yeah

Roger: and usually going somewhere, and we'd always listen to that show.

David: Yeah, I used to listen to the rock show, obviously cos we used to cram around the radio trying to hear some new stuff from Queen. I remember the days when then, back in the seventies, queuing up on cold nights waiting to get the album and whatever, and also queuing up for a long long time to be on the Champions video at Drury Lane when you shot that.

Roger: Were you on it?

David: Yeah, all those years ago

Roger: Thanks for that!

Lynn; Thank you David, Hello Ian
Ian: Tell me - what control do you have over your record company, concerning the release of material?

Roger: (laughs)

Brian: They're very kind to us basically, Yes. They tend to let us get away with murder, and they've been very good. Yeah generally they will do what we ask them with reason (laughs)

Roger: Er....yeah...ok

Lynn: What would happen about those lost recordings though?
Ian: Well... there's material.. going back to pre-Queen to Smile. You can get it imported, but you can't buy it in the UK, and that's a shame really

Brian: Yeah: that doesn't come under the EMI contract, strangely enough, that's before we signed to EMI

Roger: I think me Brian and I were signed - in Smile - we were signed to Mercury Records, I think, I think we had 1% or something.

Lynn: Let's move on, Victoria Jane Hello
Victoria: A bit of a strange question, Obviously Queen worked, but if Queen hadn't worked, what bands would you like to work with then

Brian: I suppose, we are all huge Beatles fans, it would have been great to be a part of the Beatles I'm sure, right now if I had the choice I would be with the Foo-Fighters, that's where I would be

Roger: Boy, I don't know

Lynn: Not the Spice Girls, I trust
Roger: No I mean I have nothing against the Spice Girls

Brian: NOR ME!

Roger: They do what they do very well

Brian: Good luck to them

Roger: But I don't know, oh, Led Zeppelin maybe

Lynn: Now Jackie, what is your question?
Jackie: I'm from a fabulous play park called AMQ in Cyberspace (it's alt:music:queen)

Roger: where is that?

Jackie: we discuss yourselves, and a burning question is we all want to know if you have heard John sing, and what do you think about it?

Roger: I'm afraid I have to admit, I have heard him sing, and that's why you can't find him on the records..

Jackie: I have heard he had a fab singing voice, especially in the shower...

Brian: Oh! have you been there?? I must have missed that....

Roger: I wouldn't know anything about that, he's a great bass player though, for a singer

Jackie, so he doesn't' actually sing on any of the record then, or anything like that?

Brian: I don't think he's ever been nearer than a couple of inches to a microphone and made any kind of noise whatsoever

Roger: Well actually, he is quite silent, he enjoys not saying much

Brian: I have to tell you I do remember John singing the lines to Another One Bites The Dust to Freddie, so it s possible you know, but he's a bit shy about it, he doesn't like to sing in public

Lynn: Our last call on Pop On The Line comes from DeDe Faulkner?
DeDe: How has your general overall success been now that Freddie is passed on?

Roger: Generally overall...oooooooooo

Brian: It's a bit hard to say really. Because this is the first time we ever put out anything without him, the reaction has been fantastic so far, I must say. especially around Europe. I don't know if there is a new Queen as you would say, we just made a record.

Roger: We never really planned on sort of continuing our careers so....

Lynn: Thank you very much for your call DeDe and guys thank you so much. Brian May & Roger Taylor, good luck with the single, although it won't need it course it's gonna do incredibly well, and good luck with the solo careers too.

Postby DELETED » Mon Feb 28, 2005 2:21 pm


The memory of Queen's charismatic singer lives on through the Mercury Phoenix Trust charity - and, of course, the man's music. But there are other ways to remember Freddie, like collecting the colourful and often bizarre editions in his relatively limited solo back catalogue.

First, some scene-setting: Before teaming up with his regal consorts, the young Farrokh Bulsara (the correct spelling, according to his family) of Zanzibar played in a local school band called the Hectics, who played a number of in-house functions between 1959 and 1961. After moving to Britain, Freddie joined Ibex, a Liverpudlian outfit based in Kensington, in 1969. Among their repertoire was an early version of "Liar", which ended up on Queen's first album. After a colourful time on Merseyside, and the loss of the band's drummer, Freddie changed their name to Wreckage. Then, early in 1970, he replied to an ad for a vocalist in Sour Milk Sea (named after a George Harrison song), who folded soon afterwards (see RC 199). A few weeks later, he linked up with Brian May and Roger Taylor in Smile, and eventually, with John Deacon. The rest, as they; say, is rock history.

The solo story starts in 1973, when, in response to Gary Glitter, Freddie adopted the glam sobriquet of Larry Lurex and, with the help of Brian and Roger (who played on the A-side of his single), released his inimitable version of the Beach Boys' hit, "I Can Hear Music". Although it hardly made an impression at the time, the release won belated fame when scores of pirated copies of the disc were unearthed in a Scouse attic in the early '90's, making national press and TV headlines - in part because the Liverpool workmen were using the records as Frisbees on their worksite! The official single is now rated at a lofty £200 (or £250 for a demo copy, only 250 of which were made), and it requires kid-gloves handling due to the weakness of the fragile plastic used in its manufacture. As with many such items, it's been extensively and professionally bootlegged (so avoid solid-centre copies). The US promo version on Anthem, with "I Can Hear Music" on both sides, fetches £125, while the stock copy is worth £200. But the ultra-rare South African issue outdoes them both, at £300, while the German 7" with its unique picture sleeve, commands equally impressive numbers of Deutschmarks.

Following this first solo outing, Freddie confined himself to group work for the next decade. But in 1984, he released the heartfelt "Love Kills". Recorded with Giorgio Moroder for his soundtrack to the restored, colourised version of Fritz Lang's classic film Metropolis, it made the UK top 10 (outselling Queen's concurrent release, "Hammer To Fall"). Variants include a Spanish picture sleeve with lyrics (white-label demo copies sell for £60), and a Japanese insert picture sleeve.

Freddie's Top 20 follow-up, "I Was Born To Love You", spawned a whole host of hard-to-get, saliva-inducing gems. Among the most sought-after are two 12" Mexican coloured vinyls - red or green - rated at more pesetas than you can carry (£350). There's also the 50-copy Japanese DJ 7" test pressing in a wraparound xerox picture insert, with generic sleeve and bag (£250), and a promo-only 12" that was produced for store reps to tout about Tokyo and Kyoto. Only 50 examples of this hard-to-find disc were produced in its unique picture sleeve and, backed by "Sense Of Purpose" by disco band Third World, a copy can be yours for a mere £350. There's also the little affair of an even more uncommon Brazilian 33rpm 7" which will cost you a return fare to Rio (£600).

Mr Bulsara's debut solo album, "Mr Bad Guy", emerged in Britain in 1985. In its sleeve notes, he thanked the other members of Queen "for not interfering". The CD (now rated at £100) featured three extra 12" mixes, Canadians had a different rear sleeve and insert (£125), and there was another variant flip design for Japan (£200). Slated by the press, the album wasn't up to top Queen standards, but still hit No. 6. And it did lead to the Queen-like brick of a single, "Made In Heaven". This song sports classic Freddie vocals, and test pressing uncut shaped picture discs (the size of a 12" platter) have soared in value in recent years. Prior to Freddie's death they were going for £25, but now you'll do well to get change from a grand! (£1000)

For those who can't afford one of those (which is almost all of us), there's a Spanish one-sided promo, or an insert-adorned issue from the land of the rising sun, at £60 a pop. Alternatively, if you have a penpal who lives in the rain forests, you could get a Brazilian 33rpm with a unique picture sleeve, and featuring three other artists (Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper and aptly, Sting). It costs £75.

At the same time, our Yankee-cousins were treated to "Living On My Own", with an improved version of "My Love Is Dangerous" to keep it company. A one-sided Spanish promo makes up for this omission with a unique picture cover (£75).

While Queen's "One Vision" rocked the charts, Freddie's "Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow" ballad barely caused a ripple. Still, a British 12" double-pack, shrink wrapped with two stickers, comes in at an inflationary £150, while a white label promo 12" in card sleeve with sticker goes for half that.

After contributing to Dave Clark's stage musical, Time, in 1986, Freddie loaned a duet with Jo Dare, "Hold On", to the original soundtrack of the film Zabou. Scheduled for release in West Germany - but withheld, presumably due to low audiences and/or copyright shenanigans - it was bootlegged as a 7" (with Tina Turner on the B-side). The official CD now warrants £100.

After Queen's Magic Tour of 1986, the next Mercury solo offering was a 1987 cover of the Platter's "The Great Pretender". With a suitably daft video, it reached No. 4, helped along the way by a raft of novelties. A shaped picture disc with unfolded card plinth appeared (£90, or £70, if it's folded), and there was an Argentine 12" with unique picture sleeve (75). Hong Kong also had two 12"s, backed by the Pet Shop Boys (It's A Sin), with a clear vinyl copy being pegged at £150, while you'll need to add another £50 for the black vinyl version. There's another treat, in the shape of the uncut UK shaped picture disc - a mere £500.

At the end of '87, it was divas united, with Iberian opera singer Montserrat Caballe joining Freddie for the next-but-one Olympics' theme tune, "Barcelona". With its TV friendly signature, it made the Top 10 (and No. 2, when reissued during Spain's Olympic year, 1992). The real pick of this particular track, though, is a seldom seen promo-only Japanese 3" CD that was given to just 50 Polydor executives as a memento. Should you be so lucky enough to locate one, expect to shell out £850. A smidgeon less, at around £300, is a British promo-only CD, with 250 copies, all signed by Freddie. Somewhat easier to obtain, the Japanese single with insert picture sleeve sells for £75.

In 1988, Freddie and Montserrat (the woman-mountain rather than the volcano-mountain) were reunited for "The Golden Boy". Issued amongst other formats, as a DJ-only, one-sided, white label 7", with picture sleeve and sticker, this now fetches £150. Expect to pay double that for the Japanese version, in short supply because only 50 were made. Each is housed in generic sleeve with a wraparound xerox picture insert and bag. A Japanese snap-pack (elongated plastic box) 3" CD requires a measly £60 for the purchase thereof, while a promo UK CD with unreleased picture sleeve, and a French promo CD with unique illustration, are £75 each.

"Barcelona", the album, appeared soon afterwards. So did another ruck of goodies: a second (after "Golden Boy") domestic CDV (£60), a video (£75), a Japanese 8" laser disc with sticker obi and insert (£150), and a Spanish promo 12" with a unique picture sleeve (£100).

"How Can I Go On?" was the last Freddie single released in his lifetime and, like its predecessor, it failed to make an impact. Still, a 12" one-sided, white label test pressing, manufactured for Polygram reps in Hong Kong (who, jammy gits, had their names stamped on each copy), are deemed to be worth £350. The ditty was also matched with "Guide Me Home" as a Japanese 3" CD snap-pack, and used to advertise Nissan's Bluebird. It'll set you back £150 (the CD, not the car).

Of Freddie's posthumous releases, 1992's "Foolin' Around", in one-track German CD promo guise, weighs in at £65. A reissue of "Barcelona", for some reason, was also distributed to medical practitioners in Portugal, housed in a unique gatefold sleeve! Why not? A snip, as it were, at £300. That's before you even begin to think about acetates, CDR's unreleased issues and the like. Best not. Just keep doing the scratchcards!

Postby DELETED » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:42 am

Queen Deserve Rock's Royal Crown?
Circus, January 1978

Freddie Mercury and Brian May Hawk their 'News Of The World' by Rosy Horide

Freddie Mercury is no longer the leader of Queen. Has he been fired, you ask, or is he off to pursue a solo career? No it's simply, with the advent of News Of The World LP (Asylum) the personality of the music and of Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon have come across more strongly than ever before.

Those who have seen them on the recent US tour notice more than ever before that they're a group comprised of four separate identities, not just a lead singer and background band. Freddie Mercury is delighted to hear it.

'I've never considered myself the leader anyway,' says irrepressible Freddie. 'The most important person, perhaps.' And guitarist May agrees.

'Our separate identities do come to the fore on this album, on which every cut is completely different from the one before it and there's no concept at all. Apart from each having contributed two tracks to the album, Roger and John have been much more involved in the playing. Roger plays rhythm guitar on some of his cuts ('Sheer Heart Attack' and 'Fight From The Inside') which makes sense, because he had a better idea of how he wanted it to go. John plays acoustic guitar on one of his as well ('Who Needs You'). I played maracas on it. While we may not do it that way on stage, in the studio that makes more sense.'

Brian also does a lot more singing of his own songs on News, but he's content to let Freddie do the singing on stage.

'He's a natural performer,' asserts Brian. 'He acts on stage as if he was born doing it. That's great for us. We wouldn't want it any other way.'

As May and Mercury emphasize, it's not just musically that shifts occur in the group.

'John keeps a very close eye on our business affairs,' says Freddie. 'He knows everything that's going on and shouldn't be going on. If God forsakes us now the rest of the group won't do anything unless John says it's all right.

'Roger is very important to us in a different way. He's always been an out-and-out rock & roll fan with no time to stop and think about music and that's very good for us. Instinct. He's also the one who is most aware of facets in music, and that's essential in the band. If you listen to 'Sheer Heart Attack' on the new album you'll see what we mean. It sounds like a punk, or 'new wave' song, but it was written at the same time of the Sheer Heart Attack LP. He played it to us then but it wasn't quite finished and he didn't have time to complete it before we started recording. That was three years ago and now. . .almost all these records you hear are like that period.' And Roger now? 'He was into punk for a long time, but he's tired of it.' More about the album later.

But if you still don't believe no crown of leadership rests on the mercurial head of Freddie, it's worth repeating his comment about the composition of the group.

'If anyone left Queen, anyone of the four, that would be the end of Queen. We are four equal, interwoven parts. And the others just couldn't function the same without each quarter.'

Queen have just finished a special tour of the states. Not the longest they've ever undertaken, by any means, but special nevertheless.

'It was the first tour we've ever done without the support band,' Freddie explained. 'There was so much going on on stage that I doubt there would have been room for another band anyway. We have so much material we want to play for people now that it would have been far too long a concert. It's hard enough anyway to know what to leave out: we'd like to play all the new material, but there are some things we just would not dare leave out or I think the fans would lynch us.'

It was the sort of tour most rock bands dream of doing. Brian agrees: 'We've managed to get some of the most sought after halls there are, even though the tour was short. Most of them are places we've played before. In some cities we had to settle for second, alternative choice auditoriums - the thing was set up so fast. It was also a very compressed tour - 35 dates in six weeks. We did very large halls because we wanted to do a fuller show and our rig was about twice as big as ever we used before.

'It provided a complete stage environment, with an extension stage, three trailers and enormous lighting gimmick not just for New York and Los Angeles. That's why we booked big halls, so that we could give everybody the complete show. We first used our crown centerpiece at London's Earl's Court concert over the Jubilee. At the time, we didn't envisage being able to take the crown on tour with us, but we managed to have it demounted into a portable object. And so we had it for all the gigs. It made the most ambitious backdrop we've ever attempted, but it was worth it. The fans seemed to enjoy it and they are what matter.'

That last remark of Brian's is typical of the group's attitude towards their fans, for they have one of the closest rapports with the fans of any in the business. The same cannot be said for their relationship to the music press, however, especially in Britain. In fact, many people thought the chart-popping single 'We Are The Champions,' was Queen's way of telling the press in no uncertain terms that they've made it without them. Others thought it an arrogant statement about their rock supremacy. But how do they feel? First Freddie, who wrote the song:

'Certainly it's a relationship that could be, but I was thinking about football when I wrote it. I wanted a participation song, something that the fans could latch on to. It was aimed at the masses; I thought we'd see how they took it. It worked a treat. When we performed it at a private concert in London, the fans actually broke into a football chant between numbers. Of course, I've given it more theatrical subtlety than an ordinary football chant. You know me.

'I certainly wasn't thinking about the press when I wrote it. I never think about the British music press these days. It was really meant to be offered the musicians the same as the fans.

'I suppose it could also be construed as my version of 'I Did It My Way.' We have made it, and it certainly wasn't easy. No bed of roses as the song says. And it's still not easy.'

Brian concurs, 'You know, songs aren't always about what the words say. Messages in songs can appear different. I always see that as the difference between prose and poetry. Prose can mean exactly what it says, while poetry can mean the opposite. That goes for this song. Freddie's stuff is often tongue-in-cheek anyway, as you know. This song is very theatrical. Freddie is very close to his art. You could say, he's married to his music, whether it's 'I Did It My Way' or his 'There's No Business Like Show Business.' I must say, when he first played it for us in the studio we all fell on the floor with laughter. So many people in the press hate us because we've side-stepped them and got where we have without them.

'But there's no way the song says anything against our audiences. When the song says 'we,' it means 'us and the fans.' When we did that special concert, the fans were wonderful. They understood it so well. I know it sounds corny, but it brought tears to our eyes.'

Freddie and Brian are unanimous on that: the spontaneous responses to 'We Are The Champions' really move them. But that is the kind of general response News Of The World has received because, as Brian may says, 'It's a spontaneous album. I think we've managed to cut through to the spontaneity lacking in our other albums. I have no apologies to make for any of our previous albums. We're proud of them and wouldn't have let them out if we weren't. But I now feel some may have been over-produced, so we wanted to go with a more spontaneous rock & roll based album. It was nice to do something that didn't need such intensity. For example, with 'Sleeping On The Sidewalk' we did it in one take because it just seemed right the first time. We like to think of the album as a window on an unguarded moment, not a set piece. Each cut seems to do that, from the participation songs to Freddie's mood pieces. Even his numbers on the album are different, from his heavy 'Get Down, Make Love' to 'My Melancholy Blues,' which is just what it says.'

Brian admits that his own material is different too. But he still tries to keep his private life separate and out of his songs as much as possible.

'If you don't keep something back, it can be very bad for you.'

But for the band both the album and the tour are in the past and they have to look at the future. They got back to England on Christmas Eve.

'My mother would have killed me if I wasn't home for Christmas. I haven't missed one yet,' says Freddie. And the others felt the same.

It's time for some stock-taking. We've all become businessmen,' admits Freddie, 'even though it's against our better judgment. It's something that always happens if you get successful. Being a musician is not just cutting discs, unfortunately. I wish it was. We've all got companies now, some connected to music, others not. I'm producing Peter Straker, I have my car company. . . and lots of other fingers in other pies. We must take some time off to get things in perspective, or things will start to go wrong.

'Then there's been talk of doing a big world tour - Britain, South America, Japan, and of course the States as well as lots of other places. But that won't be until later in the year.'

So, American fans will have a chance to see Queen in 1978.

'You must tell them not to be too greedy, thought,' warns Freddie. They've already seen more of us than any other country.'

And what about a message for the American fans, Freddie?

'They know we love them. Apart from that, oh, say something outrageous for me.'

Postby DELETED » Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:50 am

Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine, September 1993
Interview with Brian May and Nuno Bettencourt

Brian, are you aware that while you have influenced a lot of people, if they do a Brian May lick they have to sound like you?

NUNO: I have to agree with that. It's one of those things in Brian's case where it wasn't so much just the style, it was a sound also that not a lot of people had. Personally, I think the sound itself was way ahead of its time as far as the smoothness and the amount of distortion you could have and still sound that smooth. Back during Queen II and their first record it was as heavy, if not heavier than Eddie's sound at times. You're right - when you try to do a Brian lick you can't just play the lick, you've got to get that sound. You know you can't get it but you get as close as you can. You've got to try to sound like that. Or else it won't sound like Brian.

BRIAN: That's funny. It makes me smile that you thought that way.

Were you aware of when you got that sound, when you didn't sound like your hero?

B: I think we all start out -

N: Emulating another player.

B: Yeah, taking in what everybody has and trying to do it. Definitely. I remember hearing George Harrison say they tried to do what The Shadows did and it came out sounding like something totally different. I suppose that's what always happens. There is this nice kind of translation process that happens. You take something in and then you do it in your own way and it becomes your own style. I suppose we all do that. I was never aware that it was anything that special. To be truthful, I'm embarrassed if somebody says that because I don't have this feeling that what I've done is anything great in terms of great shakes. But I'm happy that people find it a springboard for what they do. If that happens it's wonderful.

Are you not aware that your sound is unique?

B: That's partly accidental because me and my dad made the guitar and I found the amplifier. I had this sound in my head. I knew that I wanted it to be like a voice so there was some planning involved. But really I was lucky that I found it. I suppose I had a slight doubt in the beginning that maybe it was a little too mellow. And it was sounding different to everybody else. I felt that it was like a voice and I kind of went on with it.

Nuno, have you found your sound or are you still on the prowl?

N: I don't think my playing is going to end up being like that - finding a "sound." For instance, I got a chance to go to a Van Halen rehearsal. I walk in and hear Eddie and I go, "Jesus, there's that tone he has." I was thinking to myself, "I would love to play his stuff. I would love to see if it sounds like that." They stopped for a second and he goes, "You've got to try my stuff out." I sit down and grab his guitar and start playing and unfortunately it sounded just like me.

B: Fortunately.

N: I was like, "Oh man, it is in the guy's fingers." That's a lot to do with the fingers: the expression, an attack, and how you make things ring and not ring. So I guess the sound I'm always looking for tends to always be there no matter what I do. I don't know if I'm discovering a sound or if it's just the way it is.

Are particular guitars and amps important? Brian, it's part of your signature.

B: I don't have much interest in guitars and equipment to be truthful. The most boring thing that can happen to me in an interview is when people say, "What number do you turn up to?" At that point I kind of turn off because I don't give a fuck really. If it sounds good, it is good. I don't have any interest in gear.

But your sound was based on a guitar that you built and the Vox AC30.

B: There you have it. I was lucky. I suppose if it hadn't worked out I would have kept looking for something that worked.

Nuno, when you started you put the guitars together yourself. Is the Washburn N-4 similar to the guitars you built for yourself?

N: Whatever you feel comfortable with is the best guitar for you. That's pretty much what it is. The Washburn is what I built myself in the beginning but better made.

Do you have an amp sound?

N: On the last record I pretty much used a Soldano head for rhythm and I used a G-K for solos. Live I just use an ADA amp.

Were there sounds on records that made your hair stand on end?

B: I'll never forget the first time I heard The Who's "My Generation." It was on a tiny radio and me and my friend raced out and bought the thing and played it over and over again. It was that sort of enormous clang that killed me. That was one of my moments. There's a few of The Who's early records which were like that. For lead sounds I would say Jeff Beck. Jeff hates his record "Hi-Ho Silver Lining." Apparently he was pushed into it, but the solo on that where it kind of splatters in the middle and then bursts into probably an accidental, double-track harmony bit killed me and I wore that into the ground. One of the most perfect sounds I remember is Edward's on "The Best of Both Worlds." It's a huge, fat rhythm sound. It's just the way he strokes it. It's actually gently played in a way but it sounds so vast. I love that sound. He calls it "brown."

N: He always had this ability to have one or two tracks that sound big and thick.

B: Alex Van Halen's sound has a lot to do with that. It's a very unusual drum sound, totally different from anyone else's approach to a snare sound. There is only guitar, bass and drums on that but it sounds massive.

N: Van Halen II was such a big-sounding record but there is nothing there. Eddie is on one side, reverb on the other side and the production is not even that big.

B: And Hendrix; certain people just have that magic. I was lucky enough to see Hendrix a few times and twice we played on the same bill. I was very young and we were 15th on the bill and he was top of the bill. Once, on a thing called "Christmas on Earth" at Olympia in London, we went on and I distinctly remember everybody plugged into the same gear. There was a row of Marshall stacks and I plugged into one and it sounded like three-inch shit. Hendrix plugged into it about five hours later and it sounded like a bomb, like the earth was exploding. I've never figured out what happened. There were no tricks involved that I saw, but he just had that knack of getting that hugeness, that beautiful, smooth breadth out of it that no one else could do. There were no PAs in those days so it wasn't like he was miked into the PA. The PA was two Wenn columns. In case you didn't know what they are, that would be something like four 10-inch speakers on each side. But it was massive, what can you say?

What about your own sound on record?

B: I don't know, really. To be truthful, I'm always slightly dissatisfied with my sound on record. Sometimes it was close, like on "Fat Bottomed Girls." In the studio I thought it was "IT" in capital letters but by the time we got out onto a record and I heard it on the radio I thought, "No, it's not really there."

N: Exactly. I felt the same way. Believe it or not, on this third record [III Sides to Every Story] when I got my sound in the studio I said, "God, I finally found what I wanted. This is what I wanted to sound like for so long." We did the tracks and I remember doing "Warhead" and "Color Me Blind" and I'm loving every minute of it. Then when it got back from mastering, they did nothing to it except transfer it from tape to digital to make parts. I got it back and I was depressed. Whatever EQ change occurs from that tape machine to parts for a CD, it made it that couple of chromosomes short of what I always dreamed it would be.

B: Strange, both you and I are ridiculously attached to pursuing this thing to its ultimate.

N: I know exactly what you mean.

B: Nuno is the same as me. You finish it, you put it on tape and then you are there at the mix. You make sure it goes on the tape, you make sure it comes off the tape. You go along to the mastering session to make sure it gets on the CD right. But there still can be things that leak through. I don't know what it is but it never ends up exactly the way you thought it would.

N: No, it never does. It's just little things, the magical moments, the magical sound that you get. By the time it gets to CD or tape it's never there.

B: I thought vinyl was great. Some of those cuts we did on vinyl I still like a lot. The original cut of "We Will Rock You" I still like a lot and, crazy enough, it is still better-sounding on vinyl. The CD doesn't quite make it.

N: LPs still sound the best. There is warmth to them.

B: Strange but true.

N: All a record is is a diary of where you are at a particular point mentally and physically. It's just another day. Then you move on; that's all you can do. It sounds like when you listen to your records you don't enjoy them so much as hear their flaws.

B: It takes a while before you can enjoy them. For me, when the record's just finished I can't bear to listen to it because it's too late to be able to change anything. It's going to be torture, so I don't want to hear it for a few months. Then later you can excuse it by saying, "That was me then - I'm me now, I'm different now" so you can regard it with more of a sense of humour.

N: He's absolutely right. Yesterday in the dressing room was the first time I've listened to our record in months. A fan gave it to me as a gift to listen to. We were listening to it in the dressing room and we didn't mind it so much because the wounds were healed.

B: That's right, that's the way to say it. You don't mind as much. They sent us a version of a live Queen concert we did in Tokyo that the Japanese are going to put out. It's a whole video and everything and I watched it and thought we would never have allowed that to go out at the time with the mistakes. But in retrospect I thought, "It's cute. It's the truth about what happened at that time." I can say to myself, "That was then and this is now." It didn't bother me.

Did either of you keep those wonderful cassette mixes of the sounds you loved before they lost some magic?

N: I would never go back and listen to them because it would just bring back the pain, knowing that what I'm listening to nobody else has.

B: That's exactly right. We had a classic case with "Sleeping on the Sidewalk," which we did as a first take. I was trying to explain to Roger [Taylor, Queen drummer] what I wanted, which was a simple blues shuffle beat type thing. We did endless takes and it never sounded as good as the first take. I took the cassette mix home of that first take and it sounded incredible. In my mind, we never got the sound of that first cassette mix. I have no idea why but it always sounds like it's half falling to pieces, whereas on that first cassette it all gelled and sounded like it was a band.

N: We did rough mixes of everything so we could listen to it. When we went to mix the record for real I was upset half the time because the rough mixes kicked its ass. But as far as the overall tone and sound, there might be [only] one thing that you couldn't use.

You couldn't dump the roughs in digitally and play along?

N: It doesn't matter. It's that particular day. You can put something on an SSL [board] if you want and call it up exactly the same. It will not come up the same.

B: It sounds like we're all idiot astrologers but it's true: There is a magic at the moment which never comes back. Usually it's screwed up by some oink that's in there that you could never live with.

N: Exactly.

Oddly enough you can hear somebody else's music and just enjoy it.

N: You've got to understand that all that matters in your life is you've got to be able to sleep at night. That's the most important thing. No matter if everybody likes it, you've still got to be able to sleep at night and know that's what you wanted, or attempted what you wanted.

I meant it's easier to listen to somebody else's record and just enjoy it.

N: Of course. I'm sure if someone came in and wasn't in the band and listened to the rough mix and there was that little oink they wouldn't even care that it was there. They wouldn't notice.

I'd like to explore guitar solos. Fill in the blank: A good guitar solo is based on the relationship of

N: It's got to be the relationship within the song. I think it should be a song with in the song. They should complement each other somehow.

B: Agreed.

N: It's a difficult thing. It's also an interpretation of the song. There's one guy I'm sure I've mentioned to you before named Mike Slammer. He plays on a lot of records. At one point he was in this band called Streets with Steve Walsh from Kansas. Every song on both records they had, the solos had to be the most perfect thing you've ever heard for each song. They weren't the most dazzling to blow anybody's mind but they were so on and so beautiful; they just flowed. A lot of people have that great vision. That's why Brian is so great to me. It was not so much when he played but when not to play and what not to play. That's the most important thing in a solo, when to know enough is enough.

B: Interesting. He said it all. I have nothing to add. That's what we all strive for. Sometimes you're lucky. I haven't heard this guy you're talking about. I have to check that out.

Brian, on your solos it sounds like many of your melodies are worked out more than improvised.

B: I suppose it depends on what you mean by "worked out." Worked out for me is sometimes just hearing it in your head. That would happen very often with Freddie [Mercury]'s songs. For some reason Freddie had a way of painting a picture which I always felt I had something to contribute to. Almost always when it came to the point where I was going to play on a song that Freddie had written I knew what I wanted to play. Sometimes I would say to Freddie, "I want the chords to be a certain way so that I can do that." Playing the solo was just a matter of reproducing what was in my head. I could hear it as part of the song all along. Sometimes the guys would be doing it for days on end. I'd always know that when the time came to do my bit I knew what it was going to be like. In that sense it was worked out. I wouldn't normally sit down and write things out. Hopefully the only time I would get analytical was after the event. I think it's best to normally let things happen. I had some kind of idea. I had some training because of piano lessons. I knew what harmonies were. But if you get too technical about it, I think you can get a little sterile and you start doing the expected thing; whereas if you allow yourself to be intuitive a lot better things come out.

Your soloing is based on articulate melody and a keen sense of rhythm.

B: That's very kind of you. I was always interested in both. I'm interested in things that make up magic moments. Timing-wise Ginger Baker was fascinating because he was always doing things which sounded like they were in a particular time but actually they were in another. Unless you listened very carefully you would think the first beat of the bar was someplace completely different. I was always intrigued by that. Clapton, in those days of Cream, would also play licks which would seem to be in a different time signature to what they actually were. I always found that exciting. I suppose some of that crept in.

Those solos which started in your head - were they refined to what we hear or complete in your head?

B: Sometimes it would change a bit but basically the best stuff I did I knew what I was doing. It's very seldom that I approached a solo with no idea and came up with something good. It usually comes out like something I would throw in the bin. I know before I start playing whether I have something to say or not. If I don't have something to say, the best thing is not to do it and come back on another day.

But you improvise in your mind.

B: More or less usually, yeah.

N: I'm pretty much the same way. Usually it starts as an improvisational kind of thing, but I have to agree with Brian. Most of the time if you have a sense of melody in your head it's easier outside of the instrument. I've often had these melodies come to me by singing or on the piano. They come to you quick enough that you just want to put it down with guitar. That's what I meant earlier by songs within songs. I always treat the solo as a little song within the song.

B: Absolutely.

Do melodies come easier on a piano?

N: They come differently, not easier. I think it's a different type of mood. What I mean by writing on a piano - I never mean sitting down and writing a melody with the piano - I mean sitting down playing some chords on the piano and hearing a melody. I've never written a melody on the piano by hand. I play chords and have hummed melodies.

B: It starts in the head, doesn't it really?

N: Always.

B: Not in the fingers in any sense. If I write anything that's decent it comes when I'm not anywhere near a piano or a guitar or anything.

N: Absolutely.

Can you point to songs that developed that way?

N: So much for me, but never a full song was written away from an instrument. A major melody or an actual chorus might be written. A lot of the third side, a lot of "Who Cares," was written hummlng around.

B: The song "Too Much Love Will Kill You" from my album [Back to the Light]. We worked on that song for a couple of days and I never went near an instrument. I never touched a piano to the point where we were going to put down a demo. By that time the song was totally finished. It was obvious in my mind how it should go. The piano was immaterial really; the only thing that mattered was getting the feeling across. I wasn't concerned about anything else.

Can you give me examples of solos where for you personally it felt successful?

N: To be honest with you, if I didn't personally feel at that moment in that song that I had done it to my satisfaction, it wouldn't be on the record. I'm not talking about being perfect solos or the ultimate in godlike form but for my satisfaction. If it be "Cupid's Dead" or "Politicalamity" and I had the vision for the solo, I would not leave that room until it was there.

B: He's a much better guitar player than I am.

N: Let's stop that right away.

B: He can do half a million things which I can't.

N: Brian still feels that there is still a guitar Olympics going on.

B: I watch this guy with great amazement. It's the next generation. People like me will actually never get much better. I'm too old to get any better now. The stuff that Nuno is doing is truly dazzling. It's great and wonderful to watch. It's not just techno-flash, it's stuff with meaning and it's got great feeling.

"Cupid's Dead" Is a good example of the importance of rhythm in the solo.

N: It probably comes a lot from playing drums for a long time. Usually I walk in time. It bugs me if I'm out of time when I walk. I've always had the clock within me wanting to come out.

B: It's very rhythmic, the stuff you've got on the new album. It's great. It's like it has a life of its own. It seems like you could be playing any notes but it would still be coming out in time. It's unstoppable. I like that feeling.

When I speak about you, Nuno, I always mention your note placement. No matter what the note is, you place it so it feels right.

N: The overall consensus of any comments that I've heard seems to be the placement of things. I'm starting to realize it more and more. I don't notice until somebody shows me. That's like with Brian when we were trying to tell him about his sound and that vibe that he puts out. It's hard to tell when you are on the inside.

Brian, a successful solo of yours?

B: "Killer Queen." I just like the riff. For me, what Nuno was saying about what you leave out is important, and Freddie was an expert at that. There's nothing cluttered about "Killer Queen." There's a fantastic amount going on, but nothing ever gets in the way of anything else. I was pleased that the solo went along with that. Everything is crystal clear. And when the three voices of guitars are all doing little tunes of their own, it feels almost accidental that they go together. I was pleased with how it came out.

When you recorded the harmony parts would you do one part at a time?

N: I hope so.

B: You mean do we go all through one part and all through the next part? You can't do two notes at one time. When you are using the guitar in that way, it's not a polyphonic instrument. You can only play one and get the sound. It has to be one at a time. I think it's good to work in sections because otherwise you tend to forget where you're at.

N: There's so many solos to me like "Killer Queen" where all of a sudden there would be the most amazing melody and there would be a little bit of an orchestration, almost out of time, or a couple of harmonies splitting out here and there. That is a big trademark of Brian's. That's what always slayed me.

B: I had reservations about the song being a single at first. I was always worried. When we put out "Killer Queen" everybody thought it was the most commercial. I was worried that people would put us in a category where they thought we were doing something light. Sheer Heart Attack was, in my mind, quite heavy and dirty and "Killer Queen" was the lightest and cleanest track and I was worried about putting it out. But when I heard it on the radio I thought, "It's a well-made record and I'm proud of it so it doesn't really matter." Plus it was a hit so fuck it. A hit is a hit is a hit.

N: You can't control the hits, man. They are just going to happen.

What song that was not a hit do you think deserves more attention than it got?

N: For me, one of the biggest disappointments was that we would have liked to have been known for "Get the Funk Out." It happened somewhat in Europe but in America and the rest of the world it didn't do anything. That was a good, very well-balanced Extreme song which had a lot of the elements. On the first record there was a song called "Smoke Signals" which I wish would have been heard.

What were the elements?

N: It had a lot percentage-wise of what Extreme does. If I had one song to play you to say what Extreme is, I would want to play you "Get the Funk Out." I think it has most of what we were about in one song.

B: That's very apparent to me. I would agree with that. That crystallizes my feelings about Extreme more than anything else. For myself, I'd be wrong. It's mostly self-indulgent stuff that I wouldn't want to tell you.

N: What if I came from America and I was 17 and never heard of Queen and you had one chance to say, "This is what Queen did" to sum it up?

B: Nuno is into Queen II. Most of the tracks on that album I think are - quality-wise in the writing and arrangement - equal to anything we did. Generally that's the album that has sold less than almost anything else we ever did. I suppose if it was done to quality I would want you to listen to Queen II. That was a great moment for us when we were just bursting into that position of having real control over what we were doing. I would probably go for that.

N: I'll take Queen II for $200.

Postby DELETED » Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:31 am

Nailed To The Cross
Queen’s ROGER TAYLOR steps from the drum stool to front THE CROSS.
But they’re not Taylor’s dummies. - Sounds – Feb 6th 1988)

Roger Taylor pumps the gas pedal of his Aston Martin The engine snarls venomously from underneath a fat, silver bonnet that barely contains the beast beneath it.

"These are the greatest cars in the world," he says affectionately.

I bet it’s been a long time since Roger Taylor has had to tolerate second best.

However far from adopting the statutory, filthy rich rock star’s pursuits (the solo concept album, an illicit affair with a schoolchild or some dangerous narcotic extravagance). Queen’s sticksman has chosen to line-up a brand new outfit, The Cross.

Featuring guitarist Clayton Moss, bass player Peter Noone, drummer Josh McCrae and keyboard player Spike Edney, Taylor himself takes care of rhythm guitar and vocals.

"What I really wanted to do was the one thing that excited me most – being in a working band and appearing on stage," he explains "But I wanted to be at the front, like a kind of conductor."

The motor screeches to a halt in front of a gorgeous Holland Park restaurant. Inside, Taylor sits beside dashing bass player Peter Noone and talks from behind a pair of Ray-Bans which do not leave the end of his nose all afternoon.

"Queen just isn’t working enough," he says "It’s been going for so long now, it’s like an institution. When we do work it’s fantastic. But one album every two years is plenty. We’ve got to try and maintain a little mystique!"

Thus, The Cross evolved out of Taylor’s refusal to accept graceful semi-retirement with Queen.

Nevertheless, after working with the likes of May, Mercury and Deacon, It must have been tough to find musicians who made the grade.

"I chose Peter because he was by far the best in bed," quips Taylor.

Peter: "And I had to prove it."

Taylor: "Now we’ve almost worn him out."

Peter: "I’ve got terrible bags under my eyes……"

Taylor orders celery and stilton soup.

"That was definitely a joke by the way," he adds with a cautious smile. "I was actually looking, firstly for musicianship, secondly attitude and for people that would make a great working unit together. We didn’t want any session musicians getting paid by the note. We wanted a real group.

U2 are a real group. They’re all in it together. There’s a lot of kinda….half groups around these days; one or two people are getting money the rest are on wages. Foreigner for example and Dire Straits. There are only two people in Dire Straits who are actually making the real money.

I mean it’s none of my business, but most of these people are just hired hands. That’s not a band. When you go to see a band, you don’t go to see a particular person, you go to feel the spirit of the whole thing.

We ant to get that kind of aura and atmosphere with The Cross."

I wonder why Taylor has decided to leave his drum stool in favour of mic and occasional six string. Perhaps beating the tubs has become a mite tedious after all these years?

"Actually, right now I’m recording a new album with Queen and I’m really enjoying it," he muses "But I do get fed up with the restrictions it imposes sometimes."

Have you ever been envious of Freddie?

"No, never. He does his job brilliantly. He’s also probably my best friend. I could never be envious of him. The more outrageous he is with Queen, the better, because it helps all of us, and it’s for all of us."

But the prospect of performing at the front of the stage, without three musicians and a barrage of drums to hide behind must be scary.

"I’ve got a few butterflies but that’s very necessary," he insists, "When I first started singing it felt very strange; it didn’t feel natural at all. I felt inhibited, but I think it’s getting a bit more natural, don’t you Peter?"

Noone: "Oh yeah, definitely. He’s not shy!"

Taylor: "It’s funny to see yourself back on video as well. You think, Yeah, I was really grooving to that song, throwing a few shapes around. And it turns out you were only tapping your foot! I’ve learned to exaggerate everything."

"Clayton was the best," giggles Peter "He goes, oh they must have cut out all the bits I moved on!"

Isn’t Taylor failing to admit that The Cross will inevitably start interfering with his Queen commitments and cannot, therefore, ever become a serious and permanent fixture?

"The Cross is permanent. I’m just an accessory; one member of a solid unit." He insists.

There is an inseverable umbilical cord between Taylor and Queen, which Roger confesses, will always influence his own song writing. But although ‘Shove It’, The Cross’ debut album is peppered with Brian May samples, not to mention featuring an entire Mercury vocal, it does boast a vivacious independence of it’s own.

"’Shove It’ is more of me than the next album will be," explains Roger. "Unfortunately, I had to go out and get a record deal first, so that we could fund this thing and get it all going. It was a case of the chicken before the egg, but it was the only way to do it."

In his effort to create some sort of street level identity for The Cross Taylor is guilty of one rather ironic statement.

"VIPs and royalty get treated like they’re special see. So why do people scrape and fuss , when every man’s the same as us?" he rants throughout ‘Shove It’ (the title track and most recent 45). Seems a little hypocritical considering Taylor’s own celebrity status, doesn’t it?

"I do try not to take advantage of it," he says earnestly. "That song was written because I was in a very snobbish ski-resort called Gstaad and a good friend of mine was turned away from a snooty hotel.

There’s a terrible class structure, and I think it should be smashed and broken down. It operates on three levels. The middle class aren’t that bad; it’s the extremes"

And where do you and the Aston Martin fit in?

"I was brought up a middle class boy, sickening isn’t it? But that’s the truth. However, I’d like to think of myself as classless. I don’t want to belong to any class."

C’mon Roger you’re rich, famous rock star. Surely you have people bowing and scraping all the time.

"Not really. You do get doors opened, but mainly to nightclubs."

We return to Taylor’s expectations of The Cross.

"I think we’ll live or die on our live performance," he answers bluntly. "Because battling against the radio in this country is like climbing up a wall of indifference. I fucking give up."

Bitter sentiments indeed!

"I am very bitter, I’d like to burn down Radio 1 actually. I just can’t listen to it. It’s fucking disgusting. I mean what the hell is ‘Big Red GTO’?

Stock, Aitkin & Waterman are crap and people like Jonathan King should have been strangled at birth. In fact, judging by the state of his head, I think he probably was!

The kids have always been years ahead of the business. They really understand what it’s all about, and that’s all that matters," he concludes.

Will The Cross incite Roger Taylor’s artistic resurrection or perhaps, his political crucifixion? Don’t let the Romans decide for you.

Postby DELETED » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:12 am

Onstage and on record, Brian May creates an amazing array of tones - from the thunderous counterpoint lines in "Brighton Rock" to the slick, rockabilly-influenced fills in "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" to the sweetly singing multi-tracked tones of "Keep Yourself Alive" and "Killer Queen". Here he discusses his recording techniques and specific cuts.

What tracks contain the essential Brian May?

Oh, dear! In a way, I'd rather people saw us live because there are always a few moments there of the kind which you don't really capture on record. As far as albums, I suppose I like the heavy stuff - "Brighton Rock" [Sheer Heart Attack and Live Killers]. As far as the melodic side goes, the solo in "Killer Queen" [Sheer Heart Attack] was interesting, the beginning of an era in a way. Also on Queen II there is a lot of stuff which I like because that was the beginning of doing guitar orchestrations, which I always wanted to do. The first track - "Father To Son" - starts off with an introduction. After it gets into the song and a few words are sung, it immediately it goes into a six-parts orchestral kind of thing. It was really a big thrill for me to be able to do that, because I had never been allowed to spend that amount of time in the studio to construct those things before then. That was the fulfilment of an ambition for me, to get started on that road of using the guitar as kind of an orchestral instrument.

Had you imagined that sound before you recorded it?

Yes, for a long time. See, when I was a kid, I thought it would be nice to be a guitar player. I thought, "It'll probably never happen, but I'll just keep playing anyway". And then when the group actually started to look as though it might do something, my whole ambition in life was to make an album that people would listen to and actually put something down which was there for all time. So to get in the studio at all and know that it was going to be immortalized, as it were, was a big thing. The fact that we were shoved in there for a couple of hour periods at a half an hour's notice was slightly irritating, but we hardly thought of it as a real hardship. We just thought we were lucky to be in there at all. So that first album was a case of shove everything down quickie and get out before the next people come in because we weren't paying customers; we were sort of in-house boys: "Oh, there half-an-hour free here, stick the boys in". For the second album, we actually demanded and got some real studio time, so we could spend some time doing those things.

Has your approach to recording guitar changed over the years?

Not very much, really. I generally have a sound in my head which I'm trying to get. I've found I can get it most places; it doesn't really matter what studio it is or what mikes I'm using. If you put the microphone in exactly the right place relative to the amplifier, you're 90% of the way there. And then I just get in there and play. I always use a Vox AC-30 amp, except for those instances where there's a particular orchestra sound and I've used a small amplifier. For acoustic guitar, generally I use one mike a few inches away from the sound hole and very often one a little further away, either in the front or behind. In the studio, you especially need a good fallback sound; it's hard to get that technique of playing with headphones. It's not a live situation, so the balance in the sound help a lot. If I can get a good stereo balance in cans, I can forget where I am and usually get into it. If you get it so you can feel it like it is onstage, there's no problem. It just feels like you've got the band behind you.

Perhaps your most identifiable sound is the sweet, sustaining tone used in "Killer Queen", "Procession" from Queen II, Flash Gordon's "Wedding March", and several other tracks. How is that created?

For those orchestral things, I've usually used a Vox AC-30 as well as a small amplifier which was made by John Deacon. This has a little hi-fi speaker cabinet which is about a foot by six inches, and John put a little transistor amplifier inside it. I use it with a treble booster which overloads it. It just makes a good noise; I don't know why. I've gotten that tone out of all kinds of little practice amps as well - just crank them up, drive them nuts. Vox made a little baby AC-30, and I've used those on occasion. They're quite good. For almost everything else, I use old Vox AC-30s that have tubes instead of transistor. These have a very flexible, identifiable sound without much coloration. You can get a wide range of sound from them, and they always have that nice little high fidelity edge to them. They use tubes biased in a Class A range. Most guitar amplifiers are Class B, which means they have more inherent distortion in them at lower levels. The Vox AC-30s are very clear at low level and then gradually and smoothly go into a nice distortion.

How did you process the rhythm strums on the version of "Keep Yourself Alive" on the Queen album?

That was real tape phasing. This was in the days when you took the tape off the synch head, put it though a couple of other tape delays, and then brought it back with the play head. There is no processing whatsoever on the solo in that tune, as far as I remember. I used John Deacons's small amplifier and the Vox AC-30 to do those little three-part chorus thing behind, as well as the fingerboard pickup on the guitar. There is a bit more tape phasing on the end of that track.

What instrument did you use for "Bring Back That Leroy Brown" on Sheer Heart Attack?

Yeah. I played a toy koto on that. It was a present from a Japanese fan. The normal koto is about eight feet long and huge, but this thing was only about a foot-and-a-half long. [note - Brian played Toy Koto on "The Prophet's Song" and George Formby Ukulele on "Leroy Brown". It is not clear whether the transcription has an error or whether the interview made an error]

Did you run the tape backwards for the psychedelic solo in that cut?

That was just getting a lot of sustain. I don't think there's any backwards stuff on there. There's backwards stuff on some other tracks, like "Flick Of The Wrist" on Sheer Heart Attack.

Did you learn to play harp for "Love Of My Life"?

Well, kind of [laughs]. Learning would be too strong a word. I did it chord by chord. Actually, it took longer to tune the thing than to play it. It was a nightmare because every time someone opened the door, the temperature would change and the whole thing would go out. I would hate to have to play a harp onstage. I just figured out how it worked - the pedals and everything - and did it bit by bit.

Were the horn lines in "Good Company" done on guitar?

Yeah, that's four different kind of guitars. I was very keen in those days on recreating that sort of atmosphere. I mainly got the sound with small amplifiers. I used John Deacon's little amplifier and a volume pedal. For the trombone and trumpet sounds. I would record every note individually: Do it and then drop in. Incredibly painstaking! It took ages and ages. I listened to a lot of traditional jazz music when I was young, so I tried to get the phrasing as it would be if it were played by that instrument.

Who came up with the idea for the vocal harmonies used in "Bohemian Rhapsody"?

We always were keen on that kind of thing. That was something which we wanted to do from the beginning. We wanted to be a group that could do the heaviness of hard rock, but also have harmonies swooping around all over the place. We thought there was some real power and emotion in that combination.

Was the first solo in that song very difficult for you?

No, that was pretty much off the cuff, except I think I had plenty of time to think about that one. I remember playing along with it in the studio for a while when other things were being done. I knew what kind of melody I wanted to play.

Did you play slide on "Tie Your Mother Down" on A Day At The Races?

Yeah, a glass one. That was on standard tuning. The only tuning I've used apart from normal is to take the bottom string down to D, which I've used on "The Prophet's Song", "White Man" [A Day At The Races], and "Fat Bottomed Girls" [Jazz].

During A Day At The Races' into and at the very end of the second side, there's a climb with several parts going at once. Is that all guitar?

You've been really listening! Yeah, that's all guitar. I'll tell you exactly what that is: It was supposed to be the musical equivalent of that ridiculous staircase going around four side of a square, and it seems to always be going upwards. It's an Escher painting. It's supposed to be the equivalent of that because every part is going up, and each part fades into an octave below. It's also backwards, because I played it all descending. You're probably the only person in the world who's ever noticed it.

How did you dial in the violin-like tone in "You Take My Breath Away"?

There's a particular pickup combination which I use for the violin things: the fingerboard pickup and the middle one. Those two working in phase make a very mellow sound. And there's a point on the amplifier where it's just about to get distortion, but not quite. Instead of using my pick, I tap the fingerboard with the right hand, and that just sets the thing moving. It sustain itself. you hardly need to even tap it any. If you even stand in exactly the right place, it feeds back in any position so I can just warble around and it's very smooth. I also used that tone for the beginning of "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" on Jazz. For that, I actually used the studio faders to fade them in, but that was the same sort of sound.

"The Millionaire Waltz" [A Day At The Races] must have taken a long time to do.

Oh, yes. You've heard everything right: I think that holds the record. There's one bit in there which is sort or fairground effect in the background. I think there are three octaves for each part, and six parts. I'm not sure but there must be about 18 or 20 guitar tracks. It's a funny sound. It makes a peculiarly sort of rigis sound. I was really surprised. It sounded like a fairground organ.

How did you have you guitar settings for "We Will Rock You" on News Of The World?

That is my number one normal sound: I use that on a lot of things. It's the bridge pickup and the middle pickup in phase with each other. They are wired in series.

Is the instrumental break in "All Dead, All Dead" layered guitars?

Yes. That's one of my favourites. That was one of the ones which I thought came off best, and I was really pleased with the sound. It always gives me a surprise when I listen to it because it was meant to really bring tears to your eyes. It almost does it to me.

Do you tap on the fingerboard with your right hand in "It's Late"?

Yes, that was actually hammering on the fingerboard with both hands. I stole it from a guy who said that he stole it from Billy Gibbons in ZZ Top. He was playing in some club in Texas, doing hammering stuff. I was so intrigued by it, I went home and played around with it for ages and put it on "It's Late". It was a sort of a double hammer. I was fretting with my left hand, hammering with another finger of the left hand, and then hammering with the right hand as well. It was a problem to do onstage; I found it was a bit too stiff. It's okay if you're sitting down with the guitar. If I persevered with it, it would probably become second nature, but it wasn't an alleyway which led very far, to my way of thinking. It's a bit gimmicky.

On Jazz was it hard to build up the solo speed in "Dead On Time"?

I don't think so. That was something I was quite pleased with, but really nobody else was. It's something which nobody ever mentions very much. "Fat Bottomed Girls" I thought was okay, but fairly banal. I thought people would be much more interested in "Dead On Time", but it didn't really get that much airplay. The explosions at the end are a real thunderstorm which occurred when we were in the south of France. We put a tape recorder outside.

Is Live Killers a fair representation of what a late '70s Queen concert was like?

Yeah, pretty close. I think we play better now. In retrospect, I don't think it's a very good sounding album. There are some things I like, but on the whole I don't think it truly represents the depth that was there.

There is less guitar on The Game, but your playing seems freer and more experimental.

Yeah, that was when we started trying to get outside what was normal for us. Plus we had a new engineer in Mack and a new environment in Munich. Everything was different. We turned our whole studio technique around in a sense, because Mack had come from a different background from us. We thought there was only one way of doing things, like doing a backing tracks: We would just do it until we got it right. If there were some bits where it speeded up or slowed down, then we would do it again until it was right. We had done some of our old backing tracks so many times, they were too stiff. Mack's first contribution was to say, "Well you don't have to do that. I can drop the whole thing in. If it breaks down after half a minute, then we can edit in and carry on if you just play along with the tempo". We laughed and said "Don't be sily. You can't do that". But in facts, you can. What you gain is the freshness, because often a lot of the backing tracks is first time though. It really helped a lot. There was less guitar on that album, but that's really not going to be the same forever; that was just an experiment.

Did adding keyboard synthesizers cause guitar's role to diminish?

No. It complemented it, really. There are things a synthesizer can do these days which are pretty helpful.

Did you use a Fender on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"?

Yes. I used one of Roger's really old, beat up, natural wood Telecaster. I got bludgeoned into playing it. That was Mack's idea. I said "I don't want to play a Telecaster. It basically doesn't suit my style". But "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was such a period piece, it seemed to need that period sound. So I said, "Okay, Mack, if you want to set it up, I'll play it". He put it through a Mesa/Boogie, which is an amplifier I don't get on what at all; it just doesn't suite me. I tried it, and it sounded okay.

Was the Flash Gordon project time-consuming?

Yes, and unfortunately we didn't have enough time. We were doing The Game and an American tour at the same time Flash was going on, so it was ridiculous. We put as much time as we could in. We would do a week here and a week there. I spent some time with the arranger and orchestra to try and get some coherence to it all. It was good experience, but next time I hope we have time to really pull the whole thing together as a unit.

Did you use guitar for any of the album's strange effects?

Yeah, some guitar and some synthesizer. I played some of the prominent keyboard synthesizer parts, but I think Freddie played most of them.

Did the project present any unusual challenges?

The main challenge was working for a boss who wasn't yourself. We had the director in there the whole time. The only criterion for whether something was good was whether in helped the movie.

Did you use a slide for "Dancer" on Hot Space?

No, that's guitar in parallel harmonies. Those aren't my favourite harmonies, really. I much prefer guitar harmonies which aren't parallel. There are very few people who have done them. The real interest in guitar harmonies comes from when they're crossing over, diverging, and converging. Somehow on "Dancer" it seemed right to do those parallels.

The rhythm guitar in "Back Chat" sounds unlike most of your work.

That's because John played that. John has played a lot of rhythm stuff.

Was the solo in "Put Out The Fire" difficult for you?

Actually, it was. I don't really know why. That wasn't a first take. I had done a lot of solos for that - hated every one of them. And then we came back from a club where we used to go to have some drinks. I think I was well on the way - you know, we were all plucked out and slightly inebriated - and we had ridiculous echo effect with Mack was putting back through the cans. I said, "That sounds unbelievable! I want to put it on every track [laughs]". He said "Okay, try "Put Out The Fire". So we put it on the machine, and I just played though it. That was what we used. It was inspiring, like these huge stereo echo sounds coming from all over the place. I could hardly hear what I was doing, but it was sounding so good and I was so drunk. To be honest, I don't think it's that good a solo. It's got a sort of plodding thing going behind it; I never felt totally happy with it.

How did you get the thick rhythm sound in "Calling All Girls"?

that's a combination of acoustic and electric guitar. I think Roger did the feed-back tracks near the end of the break. You never know where things come from. Roger played a lot of guitar. He's always bursting to play guitar.

One last question about your albums. Have you been on projects outside Queen?

Not very much, no. I get asked if I'm the Brian May who did the music for Breaker Morant and Road Warrior. I spend my life telling people it's not me. I wonder if he has the same problem. He's an Australian conductor. I have played on a couple of albums outside Queen - Lonnie Donegan's come-back album, which featured Ringo Starr and Elton John. I was also on a Larry Lurex single. Freddie sang the vocal under the assumed name of Larry Lurex and I played a guitar solo on that. I'd like to make a good solo album sometimes, but at the moment there isn't time. Maybe there will be next year.

Postby Y2marmar » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:31 am

Thanks FD. THat's really interesting
"As a rock star, you stand on stage and go 'Woo, look at me! Aren't I sexy?'"
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Postby Champs » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:36 am

I remember the headlines 'Is Roger off his rocker?' with regards to the Peter/ Roger interview. Great stuff throughout.



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