29 July 1971 – Queen performed at The Garden, Penzance, UK 🇬🇧 (supporting band at this gig)

Queen supported a six-piece British progressive jazz rock fusion band called ‘Warm Dust,’ (1970-1972). They were a relatively obscure band in the early seventies but had a couple of albums under their belt.

Their soulful lead singer Les Walker recalls: “In 1971 we stayed at the surf-village outside Penzance. I think we’d heard of Queen and were disappointed to find out that they weren’t all gay, because – given the name – that’s what we’d expected!! I remember Freddie’s slight speech impediment (hardly noticeable, very slight lisp.) But I also remember thinking they were good. Very good.”

When Freddie thought up the name Queen, he said he wanted a strong aura to surround the name. He loved Queen because it was “regal and sounded splendid. We can’t be King, it doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

“Queen is strong, very universal, and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I feel that the name actually fitted that time. It lent itself to a lot of things, like the theatre, and it was grand. It was very pompous, with all kinds of connotations. It meant so much. It wasn’t just one precise label. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it. Anyway, we always preferred to think of Queen in the regal sense rather than in the queer one!”

-Freddie Mercury

Roger Taylor said in an interview in 1974:

“We’ve had the name Queen for four years now, believe it or not – most people don’t – and it was Freddie’s idea. It was just a reflection of the social world we were in at the time, when he and I were working together on Kensington Market – it was good then. In those days there was a pretty eccentric crowd there, people in sombreros and a lot of them were gay and a lot of them pretended to be and it just seemed to fit in. I didn’t like the name originally and neither did Brian, but we got used to it. We thought that once we’d got established the music would then become the identity more than the name…”

Early picture of Freddie during rehearsals 1970