I was at a pizza parlor yesterday… Redballs Rock & Roll Pizza to be exact. Rob and I had some slices. We also played some Foosball where he proceeded to kick my butt. What was up with that? He had mentioned before the game about how bad he was and then he dismantled me. It was almost a shut out, if not for two inconsequential scores I had. There was no money on the game, so it was not a hustle, but still! I’m no athlete, even with fake, plastic players who do nothing but spin around and move, but still…
There is a TV behind the Foosball table and for the longest time it was only playing the menu of a DVD… some movie whose title we could not see, but had some of the most annoying music of all time. It was just locked on that screen, so not only was the music making us a bit crazy, it was playing over and over. Finally Nancy came over and put on a different DVD… Queen’s We Will Rock You from 1982. The reviews are consistent… great performance, but bad video quality and sound. We only saw a few songs, but it was enough to remind me of how absolutely amazing Queen was… what an astounding performer Freddie was… and how he possibly sounded better live than in the studio. In my humble opinion, he had and will always have the best voice in Rock n’ Roll.
Queen – Queen Rock Montreal
Ironic… yesterday was the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s Imagine… and Queen was formed in 1971, making this their 40th anniversary year. Wow. So hard to believe. The band was made up of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar, vocals), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), but it was Freddie who pretty much stole the spotlight. He was the consummate showman and just a wee bit flashy, but in such a good Barnum and Bailey kind of way. This November will mark twenty years since his passing from AIDS. It is both a huge relief and quite sad to know how far we have come in battling this disease… sad only in that Freddie might have still been with us had we had the advancements and medicines back then. It is something we still need to be diligent about and realize that when people come together and fight the things that need to be fought, the human race can be quite powerful, positive and productive.
This double album and DVD are amazing… I actually have the Blu Ray and it was one of the first ones I ever bought. It also includes Queen’s Live Aid performances. Check out “Somebody to Love” here! Again, I am always amazed at how good these guys were live and especially at how good Freddie sounded. What a voice. In today’s music world, it is too easy to “fix” people in the studio, and it is done way too often. You get them on the road and live and are like, WTF???!!! But when you see and hear Freddie live… and sadly I never did… AAGGHH… Wow! He was the best.
Queen is obviously influenced by many of the classic rock bands… The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin… but they went off in a very new direction, creating a musical combination that had never quite been put together in that particular way. The result is some of the most dynamic and alive classic rock of all time. Yes, they were excessive and extravagant, but so is Rock n’ Roll a lot of the time… Look at Mick strutting and posing. It makes for great music and yes, great theatre. Their innovations would influence the music of so many other bands like Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, Green Day, Queensrÿche, Radiohead and The Smashing Pumpkins (to name just a few).
I love the fact that Brian May (Rolling Stone’s #39 on their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time“) is now also an astrophysicist and the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. Can we say GENIUS? Literally.
What are you, some kind of rocket scientist? Why, yes… yes I am.
There should be no doubt that Queen rocked… and certainly no doubt that Freddie was the king! Long live the king.