20th April 1992

Talk about Queen's live performances.

Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Rickyboy » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:39 pm

In a rare moment of awareness (and perhaps to make up for refusing an advance of my pocket money when tickets for Manchester Maine Road Stadium went on sale on the Magic Tour), the night the gig was announced at the Brits by Roger while I watched it at a friend’s house just up the road, my mum got straight on the phone and booked two tickets as soon as lines opened. My brother came round to tell me that she’d done this, and I was amazed that a) she’d been so on the ball with it, as the whole concept of booking tickets over the phone and the need to do it as soon as possible and persevere until you get through was totally alien to her; and b) the thought had even occurred to her to do it in the first place.

And so it was that very early in the morning of April 20th, which was Easter Monday that year, my parents drove my brother and I to Manchester Piccadilly train station for our train to the capital. A new VHS cassette had been purchased, and strict orders given to record the TV coverage on long play (DVDs, Sky Plus and the internet were the stuff of sci-fi back then), arrangements had been made to kip on the floor of friends we knew from the Convention who very conveniently lived in Wembley, and sandwiches and carton drinks had been packed in bum bags given out as part of the goodie bag package at the Convention the previous year. What fashionistas we were.

I was 8 days short of my 21st birthday (yes people, it’s my birthday tomorrow so feel free to shower me with your very best wishes and offers of sex), and my brother wasn’t far off his 16th. It was my second visit to London without parental accompaniment (the first one was a very eventful trip to the Fan Club Christmas do in 1990 – see old forum for what happened on that occasion), so it was all a bit of an adventure. The train journey was uneventful, the tube journey to Wembley easily managed, and we were met there by our friends who took us back to their flat. All achieved without the aid of mobile phones.

Never having been to Wembley, and knowing how big it was, I was keen to get a good spot at the front, so was chomping at the bit to get to the stadium as soon as possible. We set off for a pub where we were to meet an addition to our group. I thought we might just have a quick drink and be on our way, but my heart sank when Jackie ordered food. As she was our host for the evening I didn’t raise any objection, but I could see my hopes for a good spot fading fast.

Food consumed and impatience to get moving concealed, we finally left and caught a bus to the stadium. The queue was already massive, and I really couldn’t see how a decent spot could be achieved now. Still, the atmosphere was great. At one point a limo made its way very slowly through the throng, struggling to get through the crowds of people pressing their faces against the windows to see who was inside. I had a look as it passed us and realised it was Axl Rose, eyes to the floor to avoid eye contact with anyone peering in.

As the gates opened and the queue started to move, I resisted the urge to visit the merchandise stall just by the steps to the gate. I didn’t want any further delays in finding my spot. Once through the gates, we legged it towards the stage, and although we didn’t get anywhere near the front, we settled on a respectable spot just to the left of a black fabric tent (the first structure on the pitch out from the stage) which I presume was the mixing desk. The atmosphere just kept on growing.

I remember it as being a warm, balmy evening, with a cooling breeze occasionally wafting over the crowd. We were kept entertained with videos on the large screens. The gig itself is something of a blur to me now, but there were some moments that I remember very clearly. The joy of John Deacon addressing the crowd for what I think was the very first time ever for him; the guy stood just behind me who sang at the top of his voice throughout Extreme’s set but thankfully shut up after that; Spinal Tap’s equipment failure (ah, the irony of Spinal Tap suffering a genuine Tap moment) and Michael McKean having to improvise until they got it sorted; Brian’s appearance with Def Leppard going down extremely well; Guns & Roses playing a stormer of a set and Axl’s defiant “Shove it!!” to the minority of protestors at his alleged homophobia; Elizabeth Taylor’s response to some wag who heckled her during her speech; the opening of the Queen+ section and various surprise partnerships that followed; George Michael’s absolute show-stopping Somebody To Love; David Bowie’s performance of Heroes being utterly spine-tingling before his impromptu recital of the Lord’s Prayer had people shuffling uncomfortably; Innuendo going decidedly pear-shaped when Robert Plant appeared to forget the lyrics, but redeeming himself with an amazing rendition of Crazy Little Thing Called Love; Axl erupting on to the stage for the rock section of Bohemian Rhapsody; Brian’s emotional Too Much Love Will Kill You (completely misinterpreted by the press at the time who took the title too literally); things going very wrong during Stone Cold Crazy where the band completely lost their way and James Hetfield said “Uh-Oh!” before they wrestled it back; Brian’s very emotional introduction of Liza Minelli. Although I could see the stage, I found myself watching the screens most of the time, holding my camera up to take photos which came back from the chemists as mostly useless. Nonetheless, it was an amazing day.

The following day was spent wandering around London before catching the train home. We went to Rock Circus, which if I remember rightly was in the Trocadero Centre and isn’t there any more. We were appalled to see that the waxwork of Freddie in all his Live Aid pomp had been put on a rostrum and they were charging people to have their photos taken next to it but not donating the profits to the Phoenix Trust. Oh, the outrage.

Watching the gig back once we were home, although it had looked and sounded amazing at the show, it was clear the band weren’t playing at their peak. There were a lot of mistakes and much of the songs sounded a little lacklustre through the TV speakers. But who could blame them? It was the biggest gig they’d ever played and they were without their frontman. That’s bound to mess anyone up on stage.

I remember getting the double VHS of the gig when it was released, and noticing that a lot of post-production tweaking and overdubbing had gone on. A banner on the cover said “Re-edited and Re-mixed”, which was something of an understatement. Stone Cold Crazy sounded flawless; Hetfield’s “Uh-Oh!” had been cut out; Brian’s guitar solo during Somebody To Love had been completely overdubbed (it hadn’t gone very well on the night); the first few lines of We Will Rock You where Axl’s mic hadn’t been turned on were now completely audible, amongst other things. It sounded far better than the TV coverage, but it wasn’t a completely honest recording of the gig. And lots of bits were completely missing – Spinal Tap had been cut out altogether, Extreme and Def Leppard’s sets were cut short, for example.

Years later, when the DVD was released, the entire first half of the gig was missing (presumably due to rights issues regarding other bands’ songs), and the picture had been cropped to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio, removing the top and bottom completely. A stupid move. An excellent opportunity to restore footage cut out of the VHS release and utilise the format to any number of useful ends completely wasted. I’m sure those ‘lost’ moments are probably on YouTube somewhere by now.

Still, it’s 18 years ago now. Crikey. I was on the cusp of 21 at the time. I’m 39 tomorrow. :shock:
Last edited by Rickyboy on Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Cool Cat » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:36 pm

The Robin wrote:Wow I'm ridiculously jealous of the people who were able to even remember watching the concert when it happened, so there's no describing the jealousy of the people who were actually able to BE THERE!

I wasn't even 3 years old yet when the concert happened. I do know that my mom was a fan around that time and she says there was a lot of news about Freddie's death, I don't know if she watched the concert.
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Yeah but what you must realise, is we that were there are now old gits, you still have your youth ;) enjoy it, and watch the DVDs.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby electricfire81 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:39 pm

I was eleven and BARELY remember it but yeh thank god for the DVD; Blown away, emotional, and just....glad to be able to see it now :)
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Action This Day » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:52 pm

WhiteMouse wrote:I must confess (and maybe get stoned for it)- never liked George Michael performing Somebody To Love (in general too :lookround:). Of course he has a good voice and he sang it well, but he just gave it such feel that I really disliked.


Finally someone else agrees with me! To some it might be sacrilege but I didn't enjoy George Michael's version of STL at all. Some of the press at the time were saying it was 'better than Freddie'. Bollocks. It was Freddie's favourite Queen song, one that he always sang fantastically and GM's version is poor in comparison.

Someone suggested Robert Plant forgot lyrics in Innuendo - I think it was rather that he entered into the second verse 2 bars early which threw the rest of the band and he also seemed to be singing his own melody to the song in places. Nevertheless I thought it was an ambitious choice to play it and was glad they at least tried it.

Speaking of Innuendo, one of the things I was most excited about this concert was seeing what post-1986 songs they would add to the live set. They didn't let us down - 4 new tracks in all, although surprisingly only 1 from The Miracle. And rather bizarrely Las Palabras de Amor was played, a Hot Space song that wasn't even played on the Hot Space tour :shock:
 
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Killer King » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:31 pm

I watched an edited version on Sky Arts the other day.

A truly brilliant concert, which, in it's entirety (with band sets before Queen came on), can easily rival Live Aid.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby WhiteMouse » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:23 pm

Action This Day wrote:
WhiteMouse wrote:I must confess (and maybe get stoned for it)- never liked George Michael performing Somebody To Love (in general too :lookround:). Of course he has a good voice and he sang it well, but he just gave it such feel that I really disliked.


Finally someone else agrees with me! To some it might be sacrilege but I didn't enjoy George Michael's version of STL at all. Some of the press at the time were saying it was 'better than Freddie'. Bollocks. It was Freddie's favourite Queen song, one that he always sang fantastically and GM's version is poor in comparison.

Someone suggested Robert Plant forgot lyrics in Innuendo - I think it was rather that he entered into the second verse 2 bars early which threw the rest of the band and he also seemed to be singing his own melody to the song in places. Nevertheless I thought it was an ambitious choice to play it and was glad they at least tried it.

Speaking of Innuendo, one of the things I was most excited about this concert was seeing what post-1986 songs they would add to the live set. They didn't let us down - 4 new tracks in all, although surprisingly only 1 from The Miracle. And rather bizarrely Las Palabras de Amor was played, a Hot Space song that wasn't even played on the Hot Space tour :shock:

I still have no idea what on earth happened to Plant with Innuendo! :shock:
And I really don't understand how a singer with his voice could mess it up like that. :?
 
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby sunnypoos » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:38 pm

I think the ending of the concert with Freddie wearing his crown and all, is one of the greatest moments ever. So beautiful and touching, amazing.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Cool Cat » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:35 pm

sunnypoos wrote:I think the ending of the concert with Freddie wearing his crown and all, is one of the greatest moments ever. So beautiful and touching, amazing.

Yes that was special, it drew a large intake of breath in the stadium, and a lot of people had tears streaming down their face, very moving.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby y2marmar » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:58 pm

ONce again, I'd give anything to have been there. It was a brilliant concert
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Belle Leisha » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:13 pm

Kes wrote:
y2marmar wrote:I was only seven. But I'd give -anything- to be able to go back in time and go to it


I took both my daughters, the youngest of whom was born in December 1984. By my reckoning that would mean she was six and a half, and still remembers the gig like it was last Spring. So your regret should really be that your parents/guardians weren't crazy Queen fans.


My Dad was but had he gone and thought to take me with him I'd have been one. Words cannot describe my jealousy, but at the same time it must have been very sad, for all the fans who were there.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby y2marmar » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:17 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:
Kes wrote:
y2marmar wrote:I was only seven. But I'd give -anything- to be able to go back in time and go to it


I took both my daughters, the youngest of whom was born in December 1984. By my reckoning that would mean she was six and a half, and still remembers the gig like it was last Spring. So your regret should really be that your parents/guardians weren't crazy Queen fans.


My Dad was but had he gone and thought to take me with him I'd have been one. Words cannot describe my jealousy, but at the same time it must have been very sad, for all the fans who were there.


Yeah, I can only imagine. I've heard it was a very emotional evening
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Cool Cat » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:11 pm

Only 2 years now to the 20th Anniversary, wonder iof Bri & Rog will plan anything?
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Killer King » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:57 pm

I think if they did anything it would be for the 20th anniversary of Fred's death, rather than the concert, which would of course be next year.

I really hope they do something, it's a big anniversary and it shouldn't be ignored.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby WeeMann » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:09 pm

Cool Cat wrote:
sunnypoos wrote:I think the ending of the concert with Freddie wearing his crown and all, is one of the greatest moments ever. So beautiful and touching, amazing.

Yes that was special, it drew a large intake of breath in the stadium, and a lot of people had tears streaming down their face, very moving.


I had to look twice at the stage as I was convinced he'd just arrived - you just don't get that watching the DVD.
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Re: 20th April 1992

Postby Cool Cat » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:03 pm

WeeMann wrote:
Cool Cat wrote:
sunnypoos wrote:I think the ending of the concert with Freddie wearing his crown and all, is one of the greatest moments ever. So beautiful and touching, amazing.

Yes that was special, it drew a large intake of breath in the stadium, and a lot of people had tears streaming down their face, very moving.


I had to look twice at the stage as I was convinced he'd just arrived - you just don't get that watching the DVD.

Exactly, thats a definitely case of ' you'd had to be there '
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