Promotional videos might help songwriting, actually. I think it’s going to be very commonplace where people start recording,

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

Queen performed at The Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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.

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

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

Forest National in Brussels, Belgium 🇧🇪 ‘Live Killers’ Tour

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

Queen performed at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan 🇯🇵 a short ‘Flash Gordon’ tour (The Game Tour)

12 February 1981, Queen performed at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan 🇯🇵 a short ‘Flash Gordon’ tour (The Game Tour)

This is the first of five shows at the Budokan, which are essentially warm-up gigs for the upcoming stadium shows in South America. In an interview on Japanese TV, Brian May says the reason they only played the Budokan was because of their lighting rig. Extra scaffolding needed to be installed into the hall to accomodate it, which he says wasn’t possible at the other venues they had played in the past. At the end of the interview he adds, “We’re particularly glad that we seem to be accepted as a musical group as well as what you call an idol group now.”

Fat Bottomed Girls is excellent tonight (particularly Mercury in the third verse). The audience dutifully sing their part in Love Of My Life, to which he responds, “It’s easy if you try, folks!”

In a TV interview the day before their first concert in Argentina, Brian expands on this latest experience in Japan: “It’s the best tour we’ve done there, and we’ve done four tours, and it was clearly hysterical. Our audience is changing a bit from a kind of teeny-bop audience into a more rock audience in Japan. Japan was one of the few places where we had a young audience, but now it’s more in line with how it is in the States and Europe.”

The picture of Freddie during soundcheck was taken by Koh Hasebe