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20 February 1971, Queen performed at Kingston Polytechnic College in London, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 with Doug Bogie on bass.

Queen played two earlier gigs in their career on February 19 and 20, 1971 with their third bassist in only seven months. His name is Doug Bogie or Doug Ewood.

He only lasted two gigs before being “fired” as documented in 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬. The band played two prestigious gigs one at Hornsey Town Hall and Kingston Polytechnic College, both in London. Freddie was to hold center stage and the rest of the band were to play vital and colorful supporting roles and make no attempt to steal the show but Doug apparently broke this accord in a startling manner by jumping up and down and choreographing his own personal stage routine. Brian May later recalled Doug’s stage manner scornfully as “most incongruous. Unfortunately, the band let him go after the second show.

However, in an interview in 2015, Doug
shattered past misconceptions about his departure from Queen, saying it was a simple case of moving on to another band. He recalls:

“I thought that we have played two excellent and exciting gigs. However, in the back of the borrowed van after the Yes gig at Kingston Polytechnic, there was one of those taking everything apart discussions: ‘so everything is terrible’, ‘it’s a waste of time’, and Freddie announces he doesn’t want to continue. So, as the new boy who knows nothing of their past activities and relationships, I just accept that that is the end of the experiment! A shame, but not unusual with bands with creative members.”

Doug would move on to a successful career in sound production and filmmaking.

Queen didn’t play another show for over four months. During the downtime, Brian May and Roger Taylor met 19-year-old John Deacon at a party. John passed the audition and was exactly what the band was looking for and on March 1, 1971, Queen was finally complete.

From Truro to Knebworth, what a wild ride for the boys and March 1, 2021 marks 50 years

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We’ve been very successful worldwide and that’s one thing I could never have foreseen; our success outside Britain. I think we’ve got a certain amount of recognition and respectability now, for being respectable musicians who wrote good songs. That’s good enough for me.

I want to go to places I’ve never been. To me it’s all about people. Music should go all around the world. I want to go to Russia and China and places like that, places I haven’t seen, before it’s too late – before I end up in a wheelchair and can’t do anything. And… I’ll still be wearing my same tights too!

I can imagine them wheeling me on stage in a wheelchair, up to a piano, and still singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

If I want to try different things – walk a tightrope, live on a knife-edge – and do things where if I fall completely flat on my face, and do things which are harmful to my career, so what? I will. There are a lot of things I have done in my career that maybe I shouldn’t have undertaken, but you learn by your mistakes. I regret a few of them, but doesn’t everybody?

Freddie Mercury

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22 February 1979, Queen performed the first of two evenings at Pabellon de Deportes del Real Madrid in Madrid, Spain 🇪🇸 “Live Killers” Tour

The two nights in Madrid were originally scheduled to be played at the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid. This night had to be added due to ticket sales, as only the February 23rd show was originally in the itinerary.

Pictured is Freddie Mercury and his manager Paul Prenter arriving in Madrid

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Promotional videos might help songwriting, actually. I think it’s going to be very commonplace where people start recording, even writing, with the video in mind – which is wonderful. It’s another dimension. But a lot of the time people make videos and expect musicians to act out a certain role, and that’s where it falls down. There have been a lot of times where we’ve shied away from that. If you go into a little acting thing, you’ve got to do it really well, and if you don’t, it just comes across as really crass.

You’ve got to be very careful. I think “I Want To Break Free” works because of the fun element and the comedy. It’s so farcical. I can’t think of another video where the four principals, as it were, are actually doing real comedy drag. So often Queen comes across as very serious, when there is actually a lot of tongue-in-cheek there that people miss. The music ability is always there, and we’ve always been humorous underneath, but maybe it didn’t always come across through songs – or on stage, when we’re very aggressive. The humour element is always lost. The “Break Free” video was a good way of showcasing that side of us, and I think we coped quite well.

Freddie Mercury

Queen were always groundbreakers

The beautiful picture was taken by Simon Fowler

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11 February 1977, Queen performed at The Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 🇺🇸 “A Day At The Races Tour”

As seen in the second picture, John Deacon has switched from his 1968 Fender P-bass to a Music Man Stingray.

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Freddie’s spectacular 30th birthday set the foundation for his future lavish and expensive iconic celebrations…

The one birthday I’d like to recall in some detail was Freddie’s famous thirtieth birthday party bash in 1977 held at the notorious cabaret club Country Cousin run by Christopher Hunter and our dear friend Cherry Brown.

Freddie insisted that I throw the party for him and make all the arrangements. His single material contribution apart from settling the huge final bill was his week long project of writing by hand every single one of the hundred and fifty invitations. The thought of having them printed was overridden by his original whimsical and charming insistence on writing each one personally although it didn’t occurred to him how long this exercise would take.

The guest list who had been exhorted to ‘dress to kill’, included Elton John, John Reid, Tim Curry, Divine, Kenny Everett, Ken and Dolly East, Jim and Claudia Beach and every luminary in London’s music business. Apart from a very lavish banquet which comprised everything from oysters to lobsters, game to sausages, caviar to kumquats all displayed in table centrepieces which looked like cornucopia, I and Pete Brown, their tour manager, had arranged for the evening’s entertainment a cast of conjurors, acrobats, a snake charming stripper and some clothes-less girls.

The most expensive item on that evening’s bill was the flowers. Freddie adored flowers. Christopher Hunter returned from Covent Garden early that morning with about thirty boxes of blooms – irises, lilies, orchids, freesia, gladioli, roses every flower imaginable which was available at that time of year. These decorated the tables, the pillars, the walls, the bar area and the loos.

The whole effect was spectacular and as his first big party, Freddie’s thirtieth birthday celebration opened the floodgates to what became a tide of lavish and remarkable parties which marked the course of the rest of his life.

David Evans
This Was The Real Life

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Queen Live 26 – 27 January 1979 @ Forest National in Brussels, Belgium 🇧🇪 ‘Live Killers’ Tour

Before the concert on the 26th, the promo video for their new single ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ directed by Jorgan Kliebenst) was filmed.

Freddie, after the first song: “Hello Brussels! We meet again! It’s really nice to be back. You wanna rock? You wanna roll? Okay, let’s dooooooo it!”

Brian: “Thank you, good evening people of Brussels. It’s great to see you again. An old song for you now. This is a song from a couple years ago. This is something called Somebody To Love.”

Freddie, after a standing ovation following You’re My Best Friend: “Merci beaucoup! You lovely people. Okay, on with the show. Do you people remember a group called Mott The Hoople? I’m sure some of you do. A long, long time back when we first started out, we did a tour with those guys – the only support tour of our lives. And Brian wrote a song in dedication. This is from an album called Sheer Heart Attack.”

Freddie, while listening to the audience sing a football chant after Now I’m Here, says: “Let me hear you, c’mon! Thank you, you’re a beautiful audience.”

Brian, after Spread Your Wings: “Somehow you make a good noise here, people. You’re great. I think I should tell you an interesting fact. We’re thinking of making a live album, and this is the first night we’ve ever recorded for a live album, so I hope you make a nice little noise, as you are.” After Roger lets out a gigantic scream, Freddie says, “You bitch!” This is a beautiful version of Dreamers Ball, sung very passionately by Freddie.

Freddie, speaking to masses of cheers: “The last time we did this song when we were here, you were the best choir in the world. We’d like a repeat performance. This next number is called Love Of My Life.” After the song, Brian says, “You’re the best. The best. Unbelieveable. I don’t think we need a singer.” Someone in the audience keeps shouting for I’m In Love With My Car, even though Queen have already played the song. Brian continues, “Right, we’d like you to sing some more if you’d like. This is called ’39.”

Indeed, this was the first show to be properly recorded by the band with the intention of making a live album. The next twenty shows were recorded, but for quality reasons many of the shows couldn’t be used. Live Killers would be released in June.

Plenty of footage from this tour was filmed to be shown on TV, as it was likely intended to be used as promos for the upcoming live album. But much of the footage isn’t great quality, as the cameras weren’t able to handle the amount of brightness coming from Queen’s lighting rig. The only truly great quality footage is from Munich and Paris.

Footage of this show in Brussels was used in a TV special called “Follies” that initially aired in 1979, there is a clip below.

The beautiful pictures were snapped by Philippe Carly

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