By Steve Newton
I loved Queen in the seventies. When that first album came out in 1973 it was in a steady battle for time on my turntable with other ’73 debuts by Aerosmith, Skynyrd, Montrose, and Trower. I clearly remember playing it on my parents’ living-room stereo (before I got my own) and being blown away by the opening track, “Keep Yourself Alive”. I mean, what the hell kinda guitar sound was that? I’d never heard anything like that before.
Just two years later, of course, everybody loved Queen, because they put out an album called A Night at the Opera that featured a tune called “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Right now there’s a new movie about Queen called Bohemian Rhapsody that’s doing boffo box office. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s pretty good. It’s probably not quite as good as seeing Queen live in concert with Freddy Mercury on the Day At the Races Tour though, with Thin Lizzy opening up. That was freakin’ awesome.
I never got to interview Mercury, sadly, but I did have a nice little chat with Queen guitarist Brian May in March of 1993, when his own band was touring with Guns N’ Roses. The year before that the Mike Myers movie Wayne’s World had come out, and renewed interest in “Bohemian Rhapsody” with a scene that saw rock-crazed Saturday Night Live characters Wayne and Garth and some yahoo buddies banging heads to it in an AMC Pacer.
At one point in the interview I asked May about that famous scene. Have a listen, but excuse my nervous laughter. I was talking to Brian May, after all.