It all started with Bohemian Rhapsody.
OK normally yes I write about country music-related stuff on here but today I’m gonna defer to my teenager self. See, I have been a fan of the band Queen since I was a kid in the late 70s and I heard this bizarre rock-opera song crackling through my big brother’s truck radio late one night on an AM station out of Seattle. We were coming back from a fishing trip and my brother, who was a 60s music guy, turned to me half way through the song (right about at the “Scaramouche/Scaramouche/Will You Do The Fandango” part) and said “What the hell is THIS?” Then he changed the station. When I got home I wouldn’t quit listening to that station til I heard that song again.
That night, the generational differences between my brother and I were sealed: he hated it, I loved it, and Queen’s been my favorite band ever since….even in the 80s, when they put out the mostly-terrible Hot Space (saved only by Under Pressure). I saw them live in ’81…even hung out by the backstage door at the Seattle Center Arena after the show for an hour, in the rain, with a couple buddies just to see them exit the building and into their awaiting limos. Freddie Mercury gave us a wave and a “Thank you for coming tonight!” Guitarist Brian May toasted us with a can of Coors.
I saw them again in 2006, in San Jose, when May and drummer Roger Taylor toured with legendary vocalist Paul Rodgers. Our music director at the time, Matt Vieira, even surprised me by setting up a backstage meet and greet with them.
Fan-nerding to the hilt, I’d brought along an ad poster for their 1985 album The Works, which I’d peeled off a telephone pole the same month it came out. I’ll never forget as they went through the room shaking everyone’s hands and posing for pictures: Brian May saw the poster, took it from me and asked Roger to come over. They both ogled it and then Brian looked at me, faked like he was starting to walk away and said with a smile, “I’m sorry, we’re going to have to impound this.”
“Impound”? What a British word to use! It was perfect! Then, the guy who wrote We Will Rock You handed it back to me after both had signed it and it (below) is probably my most prized possession.
Sorry to go on but, yeah, I’m kind of a fan and as you can probably guess, I am AMPED for the movie about the band and the life of their outrageous genius front man, the late Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek (I, Robot) plays Mercury and, judging by this trailer, he pretty much nails the role. November 1st cannot get here fast enough for me. I doubt I’ll be going to see with my brother, though.