13 April 1985, Queen performed at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.
“The Works Tour “

This outdoor show was Queen’s first and only concert in New Zealand.

Queen were a half hour late going on. After soundcheck Freddie Mercury got very drunk with Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet, sharing entire bottles of vodka and vintage port. Hadley was around only because his band’s New Zealand tour dates had been suddenly cancelled while playing in Australia, and later in the evening he would clearly ignore his manager’s warning to keep a low profile.

In 2011, Brian May and Roger Taylor recalled the evening in the extras of the Days Of Our Lives documentary. Their intro music (an arrangement of Machines, off The Works album) was already playing and a few people in the backstage area were frantically helping Freddie get into his tights. “You stupid c***s, you’ve put my tights on back to front!” cried Freddie part way through the proceedings. With the clock ticking, the laces of his boots were untied and his boots came off and the tights were properly put on. Freddie made it to the stage with literally seconds to spare.

After the second song, he shouted, “Hello, New Zealand! We’re gonna have one motherfucker of a time!” Both Brian and Roger recall Freddie when started Somebody To Love and forgot what song he was playing. In 2011, Roger added, “The first half hour of the gig was terrifying for the three of us because we were playing like trojans to make up for Freddie’s deficiencies.” Spike Edney also recalled that Freddie was “ad-libbing, making things up, singing crap” for the first half hour.

Between songs (probably after the medley of old songs), Freddie did his usual falsetto vocal improv and added, “My voice is fucked!” According to a book on Queen, at one point he proclaimed to Hadley who was side stage (into his mic and thus audible to the audience) that he was “pissed.”

Tony Hadley joined Queen for Jailhouse Rock. Roger Taylor recalled Tony didn’t remember a single word of the song. He apparently ended up singing Tutti Frutti instead.

Here’s an extraction of an interview with Tony Hadley:

“I was touring Australia with Spandau Ballet and heard that Queen were playing in New Zealand. I flew over and got invited to the sound check. It was very Spinal Tap – a crazy entourage and different colored Smarties all separated out in dishes. Freddie Mercury asked if I wanted a drink. We ended up polishing off a bottle of Stolichnaya at the bar. Then he said he had a bottle of port in his room. “Darling,” he said as we finished the port, “you must come on stage tonight. Do you know Jailhouse Rock?” Neither of us could remember the words. At the concert I stood at the side of the stage watching Freddie, the consummate frontman. And Brian May, off on those guitar solos. They were my heroes from childhood. Then Freddie flounced across to me and hissed: “Hadley, you bastard, I’m pissed.” Then we did Jailhouse Rock. We made up the words. It was brilliant. Ecstatic. One of those nights you never forget.”

The last two pictures are of Freddie Mercury with Tony Hadley during their impromptu performance

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