QUEEN MAKING THE SCENE IN 2005:
December 15, 2004
Queen has decided the show must go on.
Heeding its own advice, the superstar British rock band is planning to tour next year–the first time the band has gone on the road since frontman Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991. Former Bad Company guitarist-vocalist Paul Rodgers will hold down singing duties.
The band’s last show with Mercury was in 1986, when the performer started to feel too ill to perform. Mercury died of the disease in 1991 just 48 hours after publicly admitting he had AIDS. The following year, Queen’s surviving members–guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon–held a tribute concert in Mercury’s honor with the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, George Michael and Axl Rose performing the vocals for several Queen classics.
Earlier this year, Rodgers and May teamed up to cover Free’s “All Right Now” at an Albert Hall concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster.
According to May, that gig proved to be the impetus for reforming the once mighty glam rock band.
“We were both so amazed at the chemistry that was going on in ‘All Right Now’ that suddenly it seems blindingly obvious that there was something happening,” said May in a post on brianmay.com.
“The show went so incredibly well from our point of view, and we got so many rave reactions from out there, we decided almost then and there that we would look at a tour together,” he added.
May and Taylor subsequently asked Rodgers to sing Mercury’s lyrics for a British TV special.
Tour details are still being worked out–no word yet whether Deacon will come on board–but the revamped Queen will likely play a few dates in the U.K. followed by a European swing in the spring. It remains to be seen whether the band will make it Stateside.
Queen’s popularity has endured since Mercury’s passing. “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust” are staples at sports arenas everywhere. And “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still a fixture on classic radio stations nationwide. “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You” were both on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs last month and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Earlier this year, Las Vegas’ Paris Hotel and Casino launched a U.S. production of the West End Queen-based musical We Will Rock You. The show, which Robert De Niro helped produce, features nearly two dozen Queen tunes and is playing at the Paris Theatre des Arts.
Charlie Amter courtesy of E! Online