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Jun 22
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24 March 1972 – Queen performed @ the Forest Hill Hospital, London, UK. This gig was attended by Barry and Norman Sheffield of Trident

By this time in Queen’s career, Chrysalis Records had shown an interest in the band. They even went as far to offer them a deal. It was, at least, a break — but after much discussion the band turned them down. The money wasn’t enough for four broke men in need of equipment.

For some time Freddie had been cruising the King’s Road and the streets around it in the fashionable borough of Kensington and Chelsea. He would parade around in his fineries and search out luminaries from the pop, and to a lesser extent, art world. He paid particular attention to his appearance on Saturdays and would spend the whole afternoon promenading along Kensington High Street, in high hopes of meeting John Anthony, the young producer forging a name for himself at Trident who had previously worked with Smile and would pass through De Lane Lea while Queen was recording at the studio.

Ken Testi maintains, “Freddie would spend ages dressing up and when I asked why, he simply said, ‘You never know who you might meet.’”

He did, indeed meet John Anthony and after Freddie plied him with the band’s distinctive talent. Queen were invited to Mr. Anthony’s flat to talk further. The producer invited his employers, The Sheffield brothers to see the band at their show at Forest Hill Hospital on 24th of March and you better believe they put on an excellent performance. Barry was impressed (who until this point had only heard Queen’s five-song demo tape). Queen and Ken Testi, were requested to meet formally with Trident at the earliest opportunity.

The mood at their first meeting was unlike any previous experience for Queen. It was carried out with an almost exclusive emphasis on business arrangements rather than music. “They were two quite imposing fellows. They explained they were forming a production company. They already had the studio, so in away they were simply moving up the food chain.

They were talking in telephone numbers which Queen found attractive. What I don’t think the band realised at the time was that they would be part of a package involving two other acts. Trident didn’t say anything about this package at the time, it was some way down the line when they found out about it. To me, it all looked like the grey men in suits. It was a commodity as far as the Sheffield’s were concerned. Put it this way, there wasn’t a lot of humour in the room,” explained Testi.

Queen took a great deal of time before actually signing to Trident – eight months, a period during which they didn’t play concert. It’s difficult to understand the delay as lawyers weren’t being consulted. It would seem the band were still soliciting interest from other quarters and were scrutinising the small print themselves. The deliberation certainly didn’t lead to a contract which favoured the group. In fact, the band and subsequent advisors later considered it a very poor contract.

Freddie was certainly lucid about Queen-Trident partnership once it had been dissolved some years afterwards: ‘As far as Queen is concerned our old management is deceased !’

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    A kind of Magic 1986
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