Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Credit for this postMaxTV

Brian May, 64, made his name as the lead guitarist with rock band Queen. He continues to be involved with We Will Rock You, the musical inspired by and containing the band's songs.

The show can currently be seen at the Dominion Theatre in London's West End, while a touring version will be at the Edinburgh Playhouse until January 7.

May is set to appear in a gala performance on December 1 to raise money for The Mercury Phoenix Trust.

He is married to actress Anita Dobson, is a campaigner for animal rights, a professor of astrophysics, and owns the London Stereoscopic Company, which is bringing 3D images from the Victorian age back to life.


A: Absolutely gobsmacked, every time I think about it. I remember we just about managed to get the thing on stage in time. It got the worst reviews in the world, and it looked as if it was all going to be over by the end of the week. But 10 years later, and millions and millions of satisfied, smiling customers later, we're still there, and we have a touring production as well, as well as a couple of productions going elsewhere in the world, so it's a phenomenon. I know the show inside out - I could probably perform it myself - but it'll still be a surprise to me because of all the things other people have brought to it.


A: Yes, we've changed it quite a lot. We've tried lots of different things, we've experimented quite a lot. Every time somebody comes in and we slot them into a role, we look at them and see what their special talents are and how we can best use them, maybe even alter a role.


A: It came from a number of places. It was in our minds from about 1986, but we were a bit reluctant because we didn't want to put on something that was going to be untrue to the principles we've had all the way through. I feel in a sense as if we are breaking away from musical theatre, but then in another sense, are rooted firmly in it. I'm quite proud of that. We ended up on stage with something that was sort of finished and birthed within its first year.


A: It is pretty grown up in some ways, in others it's still pretty childlike, which I think is its charm. People come away from it feeling as if they've had an escape from reality, and they've had a good laugh, and maybe a little cry. There's never been audience that hasn't got on its feet and started doing things and enjoying itself, so that's a colossal big smile from me.


A: Yes, he'd have been like me, been in and out of it the whole time, and enjoying the whole process.


A: Ben (Elton) has written a sequel, which I think is magnificent. I guess what we don't have is the time and the right moment to put it on yet, because We Will Rock You takes up a lot of our time, we're a victim of our own success.


A: It certainly is, it's been a very busy year already.


A: It's amazing, I don't know where it goes, all sorts of scrapes have happened. But what's amazing is that for a band that's been without its singer for 20 years, we've been more active than ever.


A: Well, strangely enough, and I hesitate to say this, but it may happen. As soon as we appeared with Adam Lambert at the VMAs (Video Music Awards), the phone started ringing and it hasn't stopped since. There are an awful lot of people out there who would like to see that package, so we may do something. But I'm not going to say what it might be!


A: Yes. I spend a huge proportion of my time now on animal welfare, it's something I always promised myself I'd do. In fact, I'm doing some filming on hedgehogs, although most of our work is to do with foxes and badgers, trying to change the way people perceive and treat animals. It's a major, major job.


A: Many things! I've rebirthed the London Stereoscopic Company, which was very active in the 1860s. We published a book called A Village Lost And Found, which is full of stereoscopic pictures, and I designed a viewer to go with it so you could see the images in stereoscope. It's called an Owl. We'll be publishing cards to go with that at, where you'll see a whole panorama of stuff we're doing in stereoscopy.

There will be a Queen series of cards soon, which I've been working on this past few weeks, and I'm working on a book called Diablo Ribbons, which is a book about French devil tissues from the 1860s, which is going to shock some people. The inventiveness of it is incredible. It's funny, it's satirical, but it has a little bit of darkness with it. Speaking of which, I might be getting up and playing with The Darkness shortly! I'm not sure when that would be, but we've been talking and it might happen. So I've got a lot going on, I don't stop.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"The bigger the better, in everything." - Freddie Mercury Interview (1985)

Freddie: I seem to write songs that I don't think about them at the time but they seem to sort of catch up on me if you know what I mean. So I guess without knowing it it's just sort of psychological. I think they just seem to be why... I think most people just write songs which are inside them. You know I'm not one of those that sort of practices the trends and say "OK, this is trendy today, let's write a song about that". In the end I think what actually comes out in me, and sometimes I don't even know I'm actually doing it and they sort of catch up on me afterwards. Most of the songs I write are all love ballads and things to do with sadness and torture and pain : at the same time it's frivolous and tongue in cheek. That's basically my whole nature, I guess.

Interviewer : What is your attitude to life ?

Freddie: I don't know. Actually I think in this point in time I think I'm just having a good time, to be honest. Before I was very serious and you know I sort of was caught up being successful and being a star and all that and I thought this is the way a star behaves of whatever. Now, I don't give a damn. I just want to do things my way, I want to have fun doing it. To me, I think if I sort of approach everything I do in that way I think it all comes out in the songs and the things I do. So basically I think I've learned to sort of calm down. I'm not as paranoid as I was before and I just hope I've been able to control a lot of things and I'm not afraid to speak out and say the things that I want to do, or do the things I want to do. So I think in the end being natural and being actually genuine is what wins, and I hope that comes out in my songs. I'm not worried about making mistakes I think I'm too old for that.

Interviewer : No, after making 80 million hit records...

Freddie: Have I, dear ?

Interviewer : Yes.

Freddie: Oh, OK.

Interviewer : You've had 80 million sold around the world with Queen. What makes you want to do something like this which is a very big risk for you, isn't it ? To stick your neck out there and stand up alone without other musicians ?

Freddie: That's the way I like to live. Yes, firstly if I didn't do this I don't have anything to do. You know, I can't cook, I'm not very good at being a housewife, it's just in my blood. I seem to have been doing this for so long that it's so in my blood, I don't know what else to do. I'd be very vulnerable and I wouldn't know what to do, so I think I just have to keep doing it. It's not having to keep doing it, of course. I've made a lot of money. I could live beautifully and wonderfully for the rest of my life but, the way I live is I have to be doing something every day. I want to earn my keep and I want to be doing something. I have a nervous energy that needs to be doing something. I can't relax in bed all day and just do nothing. I think it's a waste of time. I hardly read books. I think that is a waste of time. People are going to kill me for this. But it's just a nervous energy that I have and I just basically write music and I want to keep doing that, I have a lot of songs and I enjoy doing them, see, it's come to a stage where before I felt it was my work, it's still my work, now. I just feel it's something I enjoy doing, you know, it's very interesting. There are lots of challenges ahead and like you said earlier on, this is another step for me and a new challenge and I'm, you know, going to receive it with open arms.

Interviewer : You suddenly hit some high notes on this Album, which some of them are pretty astounding.

Freddie: I know, I used the Demis Roussos' method : you get a pair of pliers under the frock and go 'crack'.

Interviewer : You haven't had any operatic training then ?

Freddie: No, not really. I just listened to Montserrat Caballe a lot, you know. No, no not at all. I just have a range depending on what mood I'm in just goes up and down and I think with this Album I've had a little bit more freedom, because I've had more songs. So I've had, you know, a bit of scope to actually try some of my sort crazy ideas. Let's see.

Interviewer : Now you mentioned earlier Michael Jackson, working with him. That was the song 'There must be more to life than this', wasn't it ? What were you trying to say in that one, because it's a very moving song ?

Freddie: Basically it's just a song about people, basically people who are lonely and people... It's basically another love song but it's hard to call it that because it doesn't... It encompasses... It's very generically, you know, and it's all to do with the fighting and basically it's a love and peace song. But I really don't like to write message songs but this the way this one just came out and it's very generically. It's all to do with why do people get themselves with so many problems. It's basically that, but I don't want to dwell on that too much. It's just one of those songs that I had for a while... nearly two years ago and Michael happened to hear it and he liked it and if it worked out we would have done it together, but now it's 85, it's my solo project and I wanted it on there so I did it without his help. He's going to cry.

Interviewer : You mentioned you don't write songs basically giving a message, I think a lot of the fans go to the concerts and events you've done around the world have adopted a number of these songs and they probably read a lot more into them than you ever imagined.

Freddie: I guess, because I mean basically I think if you sort of put them all into one bag I think my songs are all under the label emotion, you know. It's emotion and feeling. So I mean I write songs that a lot of people have written before. It's all to do with love and emotion. I'm just a true romantic and I think everybody's written songs in that field. I just write it in my own way so that they are different... It's a different texture or whatever. So basically I'm not sort of writing anything new but I think I'm writing a lot of things that everyday people go through. So I mean, you know, even though a lot of people have fallen in love and a lot of people have fallen out of love, people are still doing it, so I'm still writing songs about that. In different atmospheres , because I feel I've gone through all those and so basically I'm actually encompassing, I'm actually gathering that research, which is my own and putting them into songs. I can't help it, it's just automatic, I'd love to write songs about something totally different, but they all seem to end up in a very emotional and tragic way. I don't know why but still there's an element of humor in the end, you know. So that's basically what my songs are all about. I'm not sitting here, trying to say that 'look, I've written a song that nobody else has written, you know, though about or written about', but I do it in my own way, you know, and that's the way it is because I think love and the lack of love is always going to go on and there are so many different ways that people fall in love and the way that people fall out of love and I think most of my songs seem to sort of follow that path, you know. I think to actually sing and write about love is actually limitless. I'm a very loving person, you know.

Interviewer : Are you ?

Freddie: Oh, I put myself in that, haven't I ?

Interviewer : But on stage you give this impression that you're quite a formidable individual, Freddie !

Freddie: I am.

Interviewer : On stage or off ?

Freddie: That's just another part of me, that's my whole load, you know, that's me having to do my job and that's the other side of my character that comes across. I'm just very frivolous and I like to enjoy myself and what better way to do it than on stage in front of 300.000 people, you know, I just cook on stage, that's just my nature, that's not what I am like in real life, you know, my character is built up of all kinds of ingredients and this is one element of me, that on stage this is my job and I don't like to go on stage sitting on a stool and do a show, you know, I'm very volatile in that way and I like to actually put a song across in the way it is, it's all part of show-biz.

Interviewer : When you face an audience of some 300.000 people, do you get intimidated by the size of the crowd ?

Freddie: No, the bigger the better, in everything. I think everybody that wants to be successful and is successful, I mean you know, I don't care what they say, I mean they're not going to say 'Oh, I like playing...' I know there was a fashion, there was a trend earlier on a few years ago with the Punk movement and everybody said 'Oh, we want to play to the small audience 'cause we're being intimate' and all that rubbish : I mean everybody who want to be a star wants to play the biggest audiences and inside them, I'm not afraid to speak that out. Everybody wants to play the biggest audiences ever. I want to play to as many people as I can and the more the merrier, 'cause my music is not channeled into any category. I want everybody to listen to it. I don't write music just for Japanese or just the Germans, it's for everybody. Music is limitless, you know, and I'm not an elitist or whatever that says. I only want my songs to be heard by a certain intelligent quota, I just want everybody, 'cause music is for everybody, it's an international language and that's the way it is so as far as I'm concerned I'd like the whole world to listen to my music. I'd like anybody and everybody to come and listen to me and look at me when I'm playing.

Interviewer : How does it affect you when you know that you've won an audience that size ?

Freddie: I always win an audience.

Interviewer : So how are you affected then every night you play to a crowd ?

Freddie: Actually that's the part of my role. I have to win them over, otherwise it's not a successful gig. It's my job to make sure that I win them over and make them feel that they've had a good time. That's part of my role, that's part of my duty that I have to do. I mean this sort of clichè of saying 'Oh, you have them eating out of the palm of your hand', I just feel that the quicker I do that the better, because I feel I can manipulate them or whatever, but it's all to do with me feeling in control and so then I know that it's all going well. Is this doing well ?

Interviewer : Very well, great, but some of your songs like 'We are the champions' are being adopted as anthems at sports arenas and 'I want to break free' has become a political anthem in Brazil. Now are you surprised that they last that long ?

Freddie: Well, I'm a bit surprised, yes, because only from my point of view I just write songs I think should be basically... It's fodder. I told you that before, I just want them to listen. 'Cause I think songs are like, you know, they're like buying a new dress of shirt, you just wear it and then you discard it. I mean people always write new songs. I think, OK a certain few classics will always remain but as far as I'm concerned I write songs and I think, OK it's lovely to hear that we Are The Champions is a song that's been taken up by, you know, football fans 'cause that's a winners' song which keeps coming back, I can't believe that somebody else hasn't written a new song to take it over, you know, but for me it's just, I like to look upon it as writing new material, you know, what I've written in the past is finished and done with, OK if I hear it on the radio or people talk about it, I feel OK, that's great, but to me I'm thinking about what they are going to say about my new stuff. What are they going to say about my solo project, that's more interesting to me right now.

Interviewer : Are you affected by criticism ?

Freddie: Yes, of course, I mean you know, in terms of Press and things, I'm a very hated person, but I hate the press as well. So that goes both ways, but to me I think I've learned to live with it. I'd be a liar to say I'm not hurt by criticism because I mean everybody is, you know, of course I want everybody to say I'm wonderful and they like my songs, but I mean I don't mind actually a sort of genuine well thought out criticism, but I mean of course you're going to get... just... people review our Albums without even listening to them and things like that, but I mean that's the way of the world and before I used to get really mad and start tearing my hair out but now I don't have anymore sleepless nights, so just I learned to live with it. Let them all come.

Interviewer : What about 'Living on my own' ? That sounds very personal because you travel the world more or less in a gypsy style, don't you ?

Freddie: Well, that is 'Living on my own'. Yes, that's like... Basically if you listen to 'Living on my own' that is very me, it's living on my own but having fun. There's a bit in the middle where I do my scat singing and I'm just going... When you think about somebody like me, I mean my life-style, I mean I have to sort of go around the world and live in hotels and that can be very lonely but then... I look upon it and I don't want people to say 'Oh...' you know, I just say that's my life, it can be a very lonely life, but I mean I chose it and so, that song, it's not dealing with people who are living on their own in sort of basement flats, or things like that. It's my living on my own, and they are going to say 'Oh my God, how can he live on his own ?' But I mean, you can have a whole... a shoal of people you know looking after you, but you can be still living on your own because in the end they all go away and you live, you know, you live in a hotel on your own. And so basically what I've got to say is that I'm living on my own but I'm not complaining. I'm just saying I'm living on my own and I'm having a bogey time. Does that make sense, honey ?

Interviewer : It does, yes it does.

Freddie: It's a different kind of living on my own, but I'm just saying that people in my.. with my success can be lonely and can live on their own as well.

Interviewer : So how do you hold on to real friends ?

Freddie: I don't, I discard them. I don't have any real friends. I don't think I do. People tell me though they're my friends.

Interviewer : Don't you believe them ?

Freddie: No, no. Yes and no, I mean, I think what happens is when... I'm not afraid of them, but it is frightening, that's the difference. Sometimes when they get too close I think they seem to destroy me, I don't know, may be it's my nature or whatever. When they get too close they seem to tread all over me, and when I lay myself bare on the floor it just seems to be my downfall. Maybe that's my role in life and so I don't... Yea, I'm very skeptical in terms of that. I seem to be at this point in time I think, I seem to be... make fewer and fewer friends, but life goes on...

Interviewer : So do you live for today rather than for the future or...

Freddie: No, I live for tomorrow. Quite different too, fuck today, it's tomorrow. Oh, that's nice...

Interviewer : That must have been a controversial remark.

Freddie: Somebody didn't like what I've just said ? !

Interviewer : Shall we carry on ? In view of that, Freddie, surely there comes a time when you want to share your life with someone one day ?

Freddie: Yes, but nobody wants to share their life with me. Yes, I do, of course I do. But I think it's... not easy living with me and I think at maybe I'm trying too hard you know, something... Of course, I think about that and in one way I think the more mishaps I have the better the songs are going to be, you know. Once I find somebody, I can find a long lasting relationship, bong goes all the research for wonderful songs. At the end I'm sort of you know, I'm sort of living on past mishaps. Well, anyway having said that, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know what's in store for me.

Interviewer : So we can take it that your songs reflect the state of your life ?

Freddie: I think so, I think so, yes.

Interviewer : And that's why on your songs there is always quite a diverse selection of moods, isn't it ?

Freddie: Yes, it is because that's my character too, you know. How boring to just be, you know, to have just one side of your character coming across in everything you do, you know, I just gather information... I'm a man of extremes, you know, I sort of change from day to day like a chameleon and each day is different to me and I look forward to that, you know. I don't want to be the same person everyday and who knows ?, the way this Album has turned out it's just a whole spectrum of what my life is, to be honest. But I was not 'made in heaven'. A lightening bolt suddenly goes 'crack.

Interviewer : Do you think you're going to get to heaven ?

Freddie: No, I don't want to.

Interviewer : You don't want to ?

Freddie: No, hells much better. Look at the interesting people that you're going to meet down there. You're going to be there too, you know.

Interviewer : Another song 'My Love Is Dangerous' on the Album, is that a warning from you ?

Freddie: Not really, it's just... Well a bit yes. That something that I feel that maybe that's what my love is, you know. I haven't actually analyzed myself and said 'OK, my love is dangerous' I think after all these years I just feel I'm not a very good partner for anybody and I just think that's what my love is. I think my love is dangerous, who wants their love to be safe ? Can you image writing a song 'My love is safe' ? It would never sell.

Interviewer : You talk a lot about love on the Album.

Freddie: Yes, I know, I don't know why.

Interviewer : It obviously means a lot to you.

Freddie: I'm possessed by love, isn't everybody though ?

Interviewer : Yes, I suppose they are. Deep down there in spite of the tough fade you put on, are you a romantic at heart ?

Freddie: Well, I guess so, you know. Well i think, yes I just... I like writing songs about love, because I mean there's so much scope and also they have so much to do with me and you can talk about your kind of lover. It's something that maybe I'm striving for. I'm trying to say that I can be somebody's lover, you know, a good lover, that's another aspect of me too. I expect something different now, come on.

Interviewer : Why do you push yourself so hard ?

Freddie: I've nothing else to do.

Interviewer : Well, you have a very big house back in England that you haven't seen for a long, long time.

Freddie: Yea, I know, well one day I'll see it. When I'm old and grey and, not quite yet, and... that's something that I can say 'OK, when everything is finished' and you know, and I can't wear the same costumes and jig around on stage. Something to fall back on. That's just a house. In the meantime I like outraging people with my new music.

Interviewer : Do you think you could live without fame ?

Freddie: Quite easily. 'Cause I'd still be the same person, I'd still be the same person. My life-style doesn't suddenly stop because... I've always been like this, I've always been like this. Success does help, you know, and I just, you know, it makes easier to be outrageous or whatever. But I mean that doesn't stop me. If all my money ended tomorrow, I would still be the same person, I'd still go about the same way, like I had lots of money. That's what I used to do before. That's something inbred, that's part of me and I'll always, I'll always walk around like a Persian popping-jay and no one's going to stop me, honey.

Interviewer : But you live very extravagantly, that would be hard to do.

Freddie: I know. With or without money I seem to do it, you know. I'm a musical prostitute, dear. I do, I know that's the only way to do it. I like living life to the full, so... that's... that's something that'll always be... That's my nature, you know and just I'm not going to conform or sort of listen to people of how I should react. I do what I want to do. Nobody tells me what to do.

Interviewer : There's a lot of energy in you, Freddie, how do you relax ? Are there times when you can switch off ?

Freddie: Yes, sometimes I'll have to make my own cup of tea, that's a hard work. I can relax. I relax in ways most people can't understand. I can relax by actually just sleeping on a plane when I'm flying for 20 minutes, that's my relaxation. That's all I need. I don't need too much sleep. I don't, you know, I don't need tons of sleep, I can go with 3 or 4 hours sleep every night. That's enough for me. I recharge my batteries in that short a time and I'm up again.

Interviewer : As a songwriter do you ever have a fear that your inspiration may dry up ?

Freddie: No, people have actually... I know people actually talk to me about that because they think that you can dry up. I mean I know people have dried up. But I mean at the moment I just ... I think about that sometimes, I think maybe oh, one day I'm just not going to be able to write as well but I mean it hasn't happened so I mean what can I do I don't wake up every morning and say 'Oh look, have I dried up ?', you know. It's just at the moment I've been very prolific and you know, He's looking after me. So I'm OK, I'm not... No that doesn't worry me. It's just something I don't think about, you know, those things. Other people think about that and when it happens I'll... I'll.. It won't happen. That's all there is to it. I don't think it'll ever happen. I'll die first.

Interviewer : What made you want to go into music and become a rock star ?

Freddie: I don't know. I think I always liked to sing, I wanted to sing and I didn't look upon it as a career but I just, you know. When I was a little baby I was in the choir and things like that and I just, I liked to sing, I don't know, call it natural gift or whatever, you know, I'm not afraid to say it. It's just I like to sing and then I suddenly realized that I could actually write songs and then make my own music rather than before I would, you know, sort of copy Elvis Presley songs and things as I do, then I realized that I could actually write my own songs and do it my own way. Then suddenly, you know, there was a little taste of success so... Everybody wants to be a star, you know, in whatever way they all want to be successful, you know. You look at films where they all want to be a successful actress or actor. So you know, of course I never ever thought I was going to make a career of it. Suddenly I realized that this is the best thing I could do. And whenever it's interesting that's always what you really like doing, isn't it ?, so what I'm doing right now is what interests me and I'm very happy that people buy my records and they like me and the day they stop buying my records I'll go 'Buy some more', or give it all up.

Interviewer : What do you feel it is the hardest part of your role as an entertainer, as a singer ?

Freddie: Thinking of my next costume, what I'm going to wear, cause I've just about worn everything. No, I don't really know, I don't really know about that. At the moment I think it's quite easy, you know. I know most people think... Once you get into the niche and you get into... it's quite easy , you just keep... the hardest thing actually after all these years I have actually to maintain the level of success that you've achieved. That's the hardest thing. Because I think when you go all the way up the only place is to come down, so... that's the hardest thing. You know, how much higher you can go, and it's just... you have to find different things to do, and say OK, there's this little gap that's left, we have to sort of push ourselves in this direction and things like that. That's the hardest thing, the hardest thing is to maintain that level of success. When you first start up, cause you say 'oh !, I've done that, let's go there ?, so when you're climbing, you know the escalator is going up and once you go up there, it's sort of like you tread up, you keep treading at the top cause you don't want to go down. That's a hard thing.

Interviewer : Does the song-writing come easy, or how do you tackle that, Freddie ?

Freddie: Song-writing comes... The structure of the melody comes easy to me, it's the lyrical content that I find hard, cause I'm not a poet, I just like to write nice little catchy tunes that's basically what I like to do. In term of the lyrical content that's difficult. So I have to work on that part of it. The other side seems to come... it's easier for me to write a melody and a structure but in terms of the actual lyric I find that hard because I'm not a poet and I hate writing lyrics anyway. I wish somebody else could do it. I wish I had a Bernie Taupin. Mind you but I'm not like that, I like to do it all myself anyway. I'm a greedy bitch.

Interviewer : How do you like to be remembered in the music business ?

Freddie: Oh, I don't know, I just... I haven't thought about that. Dead and gone. No, I haven't thought about that. I don't really think about, my God, when I'm dead are they going to remember me ? I don't really think about it, it's up to them. When I'm dead, who cares ? I don't.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adam Lambert is Brian May Chosen One?

Credit for this postLisa Verrico & The Sunday Times

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day three of the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie's...

A Versace Beaded Evening Jacket, 'The Face', circa 1992, realized $128,500 (£83,525/ €98,945). This jacket is beaded with rhinestone portraits of Elizabeth Taylor in her most famous roles, including Cleopatra. Miss Taylor wore this jacket when she spoke at 'The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness', which featured a performance by the remaining members of the band 'Queen', in 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011


Online News Queen Extravaganza

Credit for this post: Modern Drummer

If anyone deserves to rest on his laurels, it’s Roger Taylor. The superlative drummer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist is one of the prime reasons that Queen are as relevant today as they were in 1973, when he and bandmates Brian May (guitar), John Deacon (bass), and Freddie Mercury (vocals, keyboards) recorded their self-titled debut. With a spectacularly successful catalog (roughly 300 million albums sold to date) featuring such anthems as “Somebody to Love,” “We are the Champions,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen’s ongoing impact continues to make them a contemporary force a full two decades after their initial run came to a close with Mercury’s passing.

Taylor has enjoyed many career highlights both as a member of Queen and outside the group, including being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, leading the project the Cross between 1987 and 1993, and appearing twice on American Idol and as a guest artist with the Foo Fighters and with Red Hot Chili Peppers. And in 2005, Roger was voted the eighth best drummer in classic rock history by the U.K.’s Planet Rock Radio.

Always on the lookout for new artistic challenges, Taylor’s interest in preserving the Queen legacy has recently manifested itself in the Queen Extravaganza Tour. The project is based upon the replication of the band’s music by talented young musicians who will perform a fully produced theatrical event in cities across the U.S. and Canada in 2012. To choose the touring band, a contest was set up whereby prospective musicians would submit videos of themselves playing along to Queen songs. With over 700 clips sent in by members of Queen’s massive Internet audience, the choices weren’t easy.

“I’m exhausted,” Taylor reports. “They were obviously all good. We had to narrow it down to twenty-six great musicians, then to five instrumentalists and three vocalists. I didn’t expect to find the whole band from the Internet, but we’ve done it.” According to Taylor, candidates were judged on musical proficiency, rock sensibility, showmanship, and band chemistry. “We really unearthed some great talent.”

When asked if the experiment was hatched after his American Idol TV appearances, Taylor insists, “No, absolutely not. We really wanted to distance ourselves from that. There is no ‘public humiliation’ involved here! [laughs] Really, it’s that I got sick of seeing too many bad tribute bands. I just felt the emphasis was all wrong, and I didn’t want people watching and thinking it was like seeing Queen. I wanted our music and stage act to be represented in a spectacular way, not in a small-scale, cheesy way. I thought we’d make a show of our own.”
Taylor, who will be overseeing all aspects of production and music with assistance from Brian May, adds, “I’m hoping that this will grow organically, and maybe lead into bigger things.”

The winner of the drum chair of the Queen Extravaganza was Tyler Warren of Camden, Tennessee, whose interpretations of “One Vision” and “Somebody to Love” (which he also performed on guitar), plus his singing skills, nudged him to the front of the pack. To read about Tyler’s audition experience, go to the MD Blog page. For more information on the tour, go to

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Brian May on Queen's future...

The guitarist on where they go after their 40th anniversary year

2011 has been quite the year for Queen who celebrated their 40th anniversary. As well as re-releasing, remastered versions of their back catalogue they also picked up a number of awards including Lifetime Acheivement at the Q Awards and were named Global Icons at the MTV Europe Awards.

"It really is great to be appreciated and to be part of what is often regarded as a young persons medium," Brian May told 6 Music.

As for the highlight of the year: "The MTV Awards was a highlight, working with Adam Lambert properly was a thrill, he is a wonderful singer, great performer."

So where do the band, which is essentially just Brian May and Roger Taylor, go from here?

This is a question Brian May keeps asking himself.

"Are we Queen? in a sense we are but in another sense we never can be. We keep getting asked to do things which is great but it's that being Queen thing, I think we'll have to make a film Being Queen, what does it mean? The good thing about it is, we are a sort of open book, we can interact with people when it comes up."

However, it looks like there is still unheard material kicking about that may see the light of day.

"We are not actually working on dredging loads and loads stuff up, we just find stuff now and again that is interesting. There is a couple of very interesting tapes with Freddie singing with Michael Jackson that we're looking at," the guitarist explained. "Those kind of things we can work on together and it's nice that in a sense Freddie is still involved in it."

Credit for this post: Brian May News

Saturday, December 10, 2011


MELANIEC-ONLINE.NET reports that yesterday Melanie performed a SOLD OUT concert at Scala in London. The highlight of the evening had obviously been this performance! Brian May from the legendary Queen came on stage to perform the Song “One Vision” together with her. Check out the video below!

The setlist:

Rock Me
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Northern Star
Never Be The Same Again
Here It Comes Again
One By One
All About You
Next Best Superstar
When You’re Gone
Think About It


Stupid Game
One Vision (with Brian May)
I Turn To You

Credit for this post:
Credit for video: nigelrosie
Credit for Setlist: LETO

"We Are The Champions"



MONTREAL — A Quebecer whose voice is eerily similar to Freddie Mercury’s has been crowned the king of Queen.

Christian rocker Marc Martel says interpreting the flamboyant Mercury in The Queen Extravaganza Tour next year is an "unprecedented opportunity."

The news was announced to the public Thursday although Martel, 35, found out from his manager Wednesday night as the singer sat in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

"Relief," was how he described his reaction to being chosen to play Mercury, who died in 1991.

Martel is one of three Canadians who were picked by show producer Roger Taylor, the former drummer for the legendary band, and a panel of judges after finals in Los Angeles on Monday.

He will be joined in the six-member cover band by two other Canadians — Toronto guitarist Tristan Avakian and Quebec City bassist Francois-Olivier Doyon.

But Martel’s victory is bittersweet — his brother, singer David Martel, also tried out but didn’t make the cut.

Marc Martel said it was great fun competing with his brother, whom he described as a "talented artist."

"I had such high hopes for that and I know he did too," the Nashville-based Martel told a news conference in Montreal.

"I am so proud of him. He’s even more of a performer than I am. He’s performing whether he’s on or off the stage.

"I get a lot of my need for attention from him," he added with a laugh.

Asked if he expected any awkwardness around the Christmas dinner table, Martel smiled and said, "I think we’re going to be fine."

The Martels are bandmates in Downhere, a rock group that was born 10 years ago in Saskatchewan and has won three Juno Awards.

Martel said he isn’t bothered that one or two Christian churches in the United States have cancelled Downhere Christmas concerts because they were opposed to his involvement in the Queen tour.

"Other than that, the support that I’ve gotten from the Christian community has been completely overwhelming."

He and his brother grew up in a Montreal-area household that was filled with music from their mother, who doubled as the choir master.

Marc Martel says he would listen to all types of music but didn’t become a real Queen fan until 10 years ago.

"I just love the variety in their music," he said. "They’ve got epic rock ’n’ roll, they’ve got the little funny campy songs and everything in between."

The clean-shaven Martel, who doesn’t look like Mercury, was tipped to the competition in September.

"People have been telling me for years that I sound like Freddie Mercury," said Martel, whose audition video for the contest went viral and scored more than five million hits on YouTube.

He said he had never thought of being in a cover band but was intrigued when he saw Taylor was involved.

The timing also coincided with a break being planned anyway by Downhere.

Martel didn’t have much conversation with Taylor when he met him on Monday, describing the day as "a blur."

The next step will be intensive rehearsals in March, with the tour likely starting in June.

Martel said there is a possibility the first leg of the tour will pass through Canada.

Martel, who says he learned to sing by imitating other vocalists as a youth, noted the show pays tribute to Queen and isn’t about people doing impersonations.

"It’s not like I’m pretending to be Freddie Mercury. We’re singing Queen songs and celebrating 40 years of great music."

But will he grow a lush moustache like that worn by Mercury?

"I’m don’t know if my wife’s going to let me have that," he said.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Queen Extravaganza: Roger Taylor Reveals The Band



(Los Angeles, CA – December 8, 2011) Four decades later, the music of Queen hasn’t just survived, it’s thrived. The band, who recently received the “Global Icon Award” at the MTV European Music Awards, has sold more than 300 million albums, 16 of which were No. 1 chart-toppers. They’ve written and recorded 18 No. 1 singles, played over 700 live concerts in every part of the world, have amassed a planet-wide fanbase whose members number in the hundreds of millions, and remain one of the most influential groups of all time. And to hear Queen drummer Roger Taylor tell it, they’re just getting started.  The last thing they are doing is standing still.

2012 will see the launch of “The Queen Extravaganza Tour,” a grand touring production booked by powerhouse agency CAA that will celebrate the music of Queen. Coming on board to ensure the touring show will match the design and excitement of Queen at its best will be such rock tour heavyweights as stage designer Mark Fisher (U2, AC/DC, Muse, The Rolling Stones, Cirque de Soleil) and lighting designer Rob Sinclair (Adele, Vampire Weekend, Goldfrapp, Peter Gabriel).

Taylor will oversee this royal road show, taking the role of producer and music director, with Brian May involved later in the production, but Taylor’s most important role, however, was leading the judges, Spike Edney (Queen’s keyboard player since the mid 80’s and Trip Khalaf (Queen’s eternal sound engineer) in hand picking the musicians that will be featured on the tour. And after 11 weeks of reviewing online auditions and weighing votes from Queen fans around the world, Taylor is ready to announce the line-up.

“As the audition videos began posting, we could see right away that the caliber of talent was very high,” says Taylor. “But when I got into the studio with the final 25 musicians, I realized that these guys are seriously good players. They went way beyond my expectations. It was an incredibly difficult decision to choose the final line-up. I wish I could've kept them all, but in the end, I'm very happy with this group of exceptional musicians."

“The Queen Extravaganza” band line-up will be:

Jennifer Espinoza
VOCALS - Jennifer Espinoza
(San Antonio, TX) 
Marc Martel
VOCALS - Marc Martel (Montreal,
QC / Nashville,TN)
Tristan Avakian
GUITAR - Tristan Avakian
(Toronto, ON) 
Brian Gresh
GUITAR - Brian Gresh

(Tulsa, OK)
Tyler Warren
DRUMS - Tyler Warren
(Camden, TN)
Francois-Olivier Doyon
BASS - Francois-Olivier Doyon
(Quebec City, QC)

 “What an amazing and unexpected opportunity to come our way – not to mention the timing of it all for me,” said Marc Martel, whose audition video for “Somebody to Love” earned him an MTV O Award and an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show.  “Having gotten to know the other contest winners a bit in LA, I’m confident we have what it takes to gel as a unit and give our best to do justice to some of the best rock music ever recorded.  I am so thankful for the chance to do this.  Gonna be Fun!”

Credit for this post:


8 December 2011 by Jon Dudley

Number one rap star Dappy is returning to Coventry Kasbah to perform for the second time, since May 2008. The controversial rapper is now pursuing a solo career and was eager to promote his upcoming tour and singles.Dappy, originally from the platinum album selling group N Dubz, visited the Kasbah unannounced on Friday October 4th and joined the public party goers. He seemed very happy to join the crowds and give an interview, despite a strong security presence advising against it. Backstage and away from the crowds he announced as an exclusive to CU Today that his tour would include Coventry and be named Rockstar, after his upcoming second single.

“I’m going to releasing my second single, Rockstar, in January. It’ll be different from No Regrets” stated the number one solo artist, “I have an eight bar riff from none other than Mr Brian May at the end, it’s going to be my second number one.” Read more HERE

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Queen Returns to Rock Band with Nine Songs!

In celebration of Queen’s 40th anniversary, Rock Band offers a 9 pack of songs in the Rock Band 3 Music Store of downloadable content for the Xbox360®, PlayStation®3 and Wii®. The “Queen Extravaganza 02” pack features a wide range of tracks that span Queen’s remarkable career, From “Stone Cold Crazy” off 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack to the band’s 1991 single, “The Show Must Go On” from their 14th studio album, Innuendo. Check out for more info!

Songs included in the “Queen Extravaganza 02” Pack releasing Dec 6:

- “Seven Seas Of Rhye”
- “Stone Cold Crazy”
- “I’m In Love With my Car”
- “You’re My Best Friend”
- “Long Away”
- “Bicycle Race”
- “Don’t Stop Me Now”
- “Radio Ga Ga”

"Queen Extravaganza 02” Pack available today! Play some of your favorite Queen hits in Rock Band 3!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Queen have plans for a future collaboration with Adam Lambert

An article published today by Ultimate Classic Rock

Queen's Roger Taylor:

"Well actually, we did a thing for MTV Europe – the VMA Awards, about two weeks ago. We did three or four songs at the end of the show with Adam Lambert, who has really matured and has become an incredible performer. I think Brian and I will very possibly be doing something with Adam, because he’s really great. His range is unequaled, I think, and his stage presence is really quite something these days. He’s a phenomenal performer and it went very well, so that was very interesting, actually. We would hope to be doing something with Adam at some point." 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Queen Extravaganza Final Auditions Coverage:

Public vote opens November 7th 2011

The Queen Extravaganza live final takes place on Monday 5th December at the Foo Fighters studio in LA. On that day you will be able to keep up to date on all developments

Queen will have team reporting straight from the studio uploading video interviews, behind the scenes footage and performances, plus dozens of photos and a running commentary on what is going on there and then!

Credit for this post:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Freddie Mercury Phoenix Trust has launched the Freddie For A Day Market Place.

To celebrate World AIDS Day the Mercury Phoenix Trust has launched the Freddie For A Day Market Place. This is your chance to get your hands on some truly exclusive items that money simply cannot buy in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust.

Whether it's the Brian May Signed photographs of Freddie recording 'A Night At The Opera' or the ultra-rare number 1's of the Queen USB gift box and Live at Wembley deluxe boxset, you can be sure that every penny is going to the fantastic Mercury Phoenix Trust and is helping to fight AIDS worldwide! You will be able to view the current selling price of each of these unique items from December the 1st and these will be updated daily.

Click here to see what is on offer!

Freddie Mercury Biopic Gets Title

Sacha Baron Cohen's Queen movie has been given the title Mercury.

The Borat and Bruno star had been confirmed to play the iconic singer Freddie Mercury in a big screen biopic.

Now, producer Graham King has revealed that the film has been given a title. He told "I can tell you the working title is Mercury. Whether that ends up being the title of the movie we’re not sure yet."

King, who is currently promoting the Martin Scorcese-directed Hugo, added: "He led such a big life and there’s just so much to tell. Then you've got all this fantastic music. You've got to fit that in. It's not an easy one to put together but I'm pretty confident we'll be shooting that next year."

It has previously been suggested that the film will focus on the often strained relationship between Mercury and his Queen bandmates Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. There has been speculation that it will climax with a recreation of their seminal 1985 performance at Live Aid.

Queen's 40th anniversary has been marked with a flurry of activity, including the reissue of all of their albums, a major exhibition in London, and numerous awards including an MTV EMA.