One of the Web’s biggest 2012 viral sensations so far has been that video of a Canadian man, under arrest for drunken driving in the back seat of a Canadian police car, singing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in its entirety. Count the band’s co-founding drummer Roger Taylor as a fan.
“It’s very funny,” Taylor says, “and it’s had so many hits. Many millions of people have seen that guy.”
Famously complicated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" incorporates pop balladry, hard rock guitar and Baroque opera vocals. Nevertheless, 17-year-old Robert Wilkinson remained undaunted — singing the song from start to howling finish.
“I thought it was interesting,” Taylor tells Billboard, “the fact he sang it right through to the end. I just wondered what he was on.”
Meanwhile, Queen has added some additional dates after the unexpected cancellation of the Sonisphere Festival, for a total of four summer 2012 shows with American Idol runner up Adam Lambert. The band will play June 30 in Moscow, a date with Elton John in Kiev and then two shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in early July.
Brian May and Roger Taylor will also introduce this summer’s Queen Extravaganza cast on the April 25-26, 2012 episodes of Idol, before beginning rehearsals for an American tour of the show, which will feature Jeff Scott Soto, who’s previously worked with Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The two-hour show will feature 40 classic Queen songs.
Over the years, Queen has previously featured Paul Rodgers, among others, in place of the late Mercury. May and Taylor performed with Lambert at the program’s 2009 finals, and then again at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards.
“We’re really excited about it,” Taylor says. “Adam … of course he has this unbelievable range, like Freddie (Mercury) had range. Adam can really cover it. He’s an extraordinary singer and a real talent. I feel he fits into our sort of theatricality.”