17 January 1975 – Queen released ‘Now I’m Here’/’Lily of the Valley’ 7” single, it reached #11 on the UK charts
‘Now I’m Here’ was written by Brian May while he was in the hospital the previous year for their third studio album, “Sheer Heart Attack”‘
In 1974 Queen supported the band ‘Mott the Hoople’ in America. This tour provided the inspiration for this song – hence meeting a girl named “Peaches” (Deborah Vidacovich) at a club in New Orleans called Dungeon. He fell head over heels for her.
Queen had a great time on tour with ‘Mott the Hoople,’ but unfortunately Brian May fell ill near the end of the tour with severe hepatitis and spent many of the sessions for Sheer Heart Attack recovering in hospital. He since admitted that he was nervous that the band would find a replacement, and he was determined to keep working.
As it turned out, the band never even considered replacing May, and even left space in the songs they were already working on for him to add his parts when he was healthy enough. They four created a strong bond. Even so, “Now I’m Here” is one of May’s first songs that he wrote for the album once coming back to health, and the loud and strutting nature of the song suggests the tone of a man re-energised and ready to play again.
Brian said to Circus in 1975, “When I came back, I was able to look at Queen as if I were an outsider – I’d never realized what it sounded like, or how much the group had to offer,” he declared to the press. “They’d got so much done without me – they were really good about it. All I had to do was to go in and put my bits on. The only thing that really suffered from my illness was that I only have about three and a half songs on this album.” May’s next observation is at the heart of Queen’s strength as a band. “That does not really matter, because I play my best guitar on other people’s songs,” he said, drawing attention to the group not himself.
In a 1991 interview Brian elaborated a little further about “Peaches,”
I missed a lot because I was chasing someone else at the time. I was deeply in love and she wasnt there so I went off`
Talking to Mojo in 2008 May revealed more of the road romance that haunted and partly unglued him thirty years earlier, as a young husband and new father:
I remember thinking all is not quite right. I went out looking for Peaches [as inNow I
m Here from Sheer Heart Attack: “Down in the dungeon just Peaches
t I love her so"]. I didnt find her, but she found me later on
. Band life and family life, he said, has bennincredibly difficult to reconcile.’ He later told Mojo magazine in 2008, “God, I still feel a little tug on the heartstrings when I go to that city.”
“That was nice, “Now I’m Here.” That was a Brian May thing. We released it after “Killer Queen”. And it’s a total contrast, just a total contrast. It was just to show people we can still do rock ‘n’ roll – we haven’t forgotten our rock ‘n’ roll roots. It’s nice to do on stage. I enjoyed doing that on stage.”
“Now I’m Here” was a fixture on Queen’s set lists, being performed on every concert tour from 1974 “Sheer Heart Attack” until the band’s final tour “Magic” in 1986.
The B-Side is “Lily of The Valley” written by Freddie Mercury.
Freddie’s gorgeous conclusion to the “Sheer Heart Attack” medley. This track is a sombre plea for love set to a dulcet piano backing, with drums, bass and guitar used sparingly.
In a 1999 interview, Brian May told the British music magazine Mojo, “Freddie’s stuff was so heavily cloaked, lyrically… But you could find out, just from little insights, that a lot of his private thoughts were in there, although a lot of the more meaningful stuff was not very accessible. ‘Lily of the Valley’ was utterly heartfelt. It’s about looking at his girlfriend and realising that his body needed to be somewhere else. It’s a great piece of art…”
The picture is from 1974 Sheer Heart Attack sessions with Mick Rock
Here’s the official video clip of “Now I’m Here”