Look! Justin Hawkins of The Darkness had the faces of the members of Queen — as seen on the cover of their gayest album, Hot Space — tattooed on his fingers! Now that is dedication. Also, why is John Deacon missing an eye?
Earlier this past summer, British music journalist Mark Blake published his book Is This The Real Life?, an engaging biography of the band Queen. Blake’s book is crammed with amazing personal information on the band’s members – Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian May – in addition to chronicling their success as a group. Blake had a good deal of assistance in gathering his researched material from a guy named Peter Hince, who was a member of Queen’s road crew for over a decade, in addition to also being the personal roadie to both Freddie Mercury and John Deacon. Continue reading Recommended Reading: Queen Unseen By Peter Hince→
In Honor Of Freddie Mercury’s 65th Birthday on September 5, 2011, Queen will stream their historic 1986 concert Queen Live At Wembley Stadium for 48 hours on YouTube. The concert can be viewed at Queen’s Official YouTube Channel starting at 12:00AM EDT on September 5th. This is the first time in Queen has allowed an online stream of this watershed moment in the band’s career. The concert captures the group’s historic July 1986 two-night performance at London’s Wembley Stadium, where they gave an electrifying performance to 150,000 frenzied fans. The footage features stunning live renditions of many of Queen’s classic songs, including fan favorites such as “We Will Rock You,” “We Are The Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“STORMTROOPERS IN STILETTOS” GALLERY EXHIBITION AND MORE
Queen’s 40th anniversary is now upon us, and the band plans to pull out all the stops to celebrate this historic occasion. “2011 is an important year for Queen,” said Brian May “and there will be a lot of activity.” Adds Roger Taylor, “I can’t believe it’s been that long and that we are still around in such a big way. I’m amazed and grateful!” This yearlong event will be marked by a series of releases, re-releases, special limited-edition items and events around the world.
It was in March 1971 that bassist John Deacon joined May and Taylor’s buzzed-about London group, which had changed its name from Smile to Queen nine months earlier, following the addition of multitalented singer/pianist Freddie Mercury, thus completing the classic lineup. The four simpatico musicians proceeded to take the world by storm. The band has released a total of 18 chart-topping albums and 18 #1 singles, while selling more than 300 million albums worldwide, making them one of the biggest rock acts of all time. They’ve received seven Ivor Novello awards in the U.K., were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and even received their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in October 2002.
As live artists, Queen literally conquered the world. Acknowledged as one of the greatest stadium bands of all time, Queen performed over 700 concerts, reaching into every corner of the world. They achieved rock history by being the first band to open up South America and the Eastern Bloc, with world record- breaking concerts in Argentina, Brazil and Hungary.
This is a timeless band whose music retains such immediacy and undiminished power that new fans continue to discover and embrace it, along the way inspiring a host of diverse artists from Lady Gaga (who took her name from Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga”), and Katy Perry, through to the Foo Fighters. It’s worth noting that Queen’s videos have collectively generated well north of 300 million views online—a remarkable figure that figures to expand exponentially with the launch of a dedicated Vevo channel this spring, in yet another iteration of the anniversary rollout.
As the centerpiece in the 40th anniversary celebration, Queen’s entire 15-album studio catalog is being reissued in a series of deluxe editions. Every note is being tweaked, every piece of artwork is being cleaned, freshened up and resourced, wherever necessary, with the legendary Bob Ludwig doing the remastering, working from the original source material. The albums will be released in three waves, staggered over the next year, with the first wave—comprising the first five LPs—coming this May.
The Champions of The World, Or Something Like That
The fine folks at East Portland Blog invited me to add an introductory paragraph to their daily featured video, an amazing hi-def clip of Queen performing “We Are The Champions” circa 1979. Get all nostalgic with me and check out this great vintage clip at This Link.