ARTICLE ABOUT Roger Taylor (Queen) FROM SOUNDS, October 19, 1974

I don`t know what it is, but I`m guessing that the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” has led to a renewed interest in the band Queen. I notice that more people than ever is looking at the Queen articles on my blog lately. So here is an short article with the cutest guy in a drag outfit ever – Roger Taylor.


`A drum is a drum is a drum…
and that`s as far as it goes`

By Geoff Barton

A lot of musicians featured recently in “Play Your Own Sounds” have admitted to being frustrated guitarists, and Queen`s drummer Roger Meadows-Taylor appears to be no exception: “I really would have liked to be a guitarist – my first instrument was a guitar, but I just somehow found myself with some drums and it went from there.
“I first started playing drums when I was about 11 or 12, along with some friends who were also learning instruments at the time. I found that I was best on drums by far, and it eventually blossomed into a bit of an obsession.
“I began to acquire a collection of drums, and I built a kit up slowly. I worked at it a bit and gradually learnt how to play and earned a bit of money to get a better kit. I had a Premier kit for years, but now I`ve got a very nice big Ludwig kit which has taken some time to get together really, because it`s made up of unusually-sized drums. I`ve always liked Ludwig best. They`ve always been the drums I`ve wanted – I like the sound of them and all my favourite drummers play them. I just couldn`t think of playing anything else.”


Roger had amongst his array of equipment a seven and a half inch Ludwig snare; a large 26 inch bass drum; an assortment of Paiste cymbals and Shaftesbury stands, which he recommends. He uses Ginger Baker sticks: “They`re one of the few sticks made that don`t get very thin at the end. They get thin, but not too thin – they don`t snap too easily. Also, you can get a really good whip on them and they`re very controllable.”
Roger said that he was quite obsessed with drum playing. I wondered how far that obsession went – was he as dedicated a musician as, say, Billy Cobham?
“No, I`m not as dedicated as he is. I`m… fairly dedicated, but it doesn`t run my whole life. There are times, like when I`m on holiday, when I forget I`m a drummer.”
Visually, Queen are a very exciting, very active band. Do you ever tend to feel in the background?
“I don`t know… I`m not really the sort of person to be in the background. The drummer always works so hard. It`s the most energetic job, no matter how much your lead singer might prance around. If your lighting is good, there`s no need for you to feel in the background at all.”



Roger`s favourite drummers include Max Roch, Billy Cobham, Carmen Acapulco and John Bonham: “For a rock `n` roll drummer, Bonham is absolutely untouchable. His live sound is incredible.”
Queen are also a band very much into effects, both musically and visually. I wondered if Roger was particularly into that side of things.
“Fairly… just as a means to a musical end really. Some effects, like echoes are really important. There`s nothing wrong in using them.”
How about drum effects?
“Umm – no, you see we played about once with sort of different delayed effects, but that didn`t work out really. I think it`s all a matter of equalisation on the drums. If it sounds right that`s all that matters.”
And synthesised drums?
“Not interested, no, not really. A drum is a drum is a drum and that`s as far as it goes.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Humble Pie, Stephen Stills, Robin Trower, Big John Vary, Aj Webber, Rolling Stones, Syreeta Wright, Wishbone Ash, Mike McGear, Bert Jansch, Rufus, Minnie Riperton, John Coghlan, Bob Henrit, Slade.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Queen FROM SOUNDS, August 17, 1974

Something different with Queen today. A very tech-oriented article that should be very interesting for hard core fans and those Queen cover bands who will want to reproduce the “sound” of Queen exactly as it was. I hope this will make things clearer for you!


Queen with a bit of distinction

Edited by Geoff Barton

Like it or not, you have to admit that on record Queen have a pretty distinctive sound. You`ve got Brian May forcing those freaky sounds out of his custom-built guitar, and Freddie Mercury reaching some wine glass shattering notes on the vocals at times. All this, plus some expert overdubbing give Queen, as I say, an impressive recorded sound.
To reproduce this sound live is a task and a half for John Harris, the band`s sound engineer. John went to the same college as the band, and has been with them since the very beginning. That makes a total of about four years.
Queen rent their extensive sound system. It is Livewire RSC and they can squeeze an astonishing 3,500 watts out of it. The highest wattage the band used on their last British tour was 2,500 – and that was for places like the Newcastle City Hall.
But still, it`s pretty damn loud. The system incorporates JBL components with 15 inch bins and drivers on large acoustic speakers. The whole lot is held together by Quad Amps.
The band use two mixing desks. One is soley for the drums, which are mixed down and passed into the second desk which deals with the other instruments. That gives them a hell of a lot of channels to play around with.
In all, there are eight channels on the drums, which, as I say, are mixed down into a stereo pair. There are five – count `em, five – channels on vocals alone, two on bass, one on piano and three on guitar.
And that`s not all. Other pieces of equipment, such as a stereo casette machine, need channels as well.
Queen use AKG microphones, and John considers them to be very versatile.


To reproduce their recorded sound live, the band employ the use of various special effects. They include an echoplex on Freddie Mercury`s vocals, which gives them a delayed effect when required. Brian May uses two echoplexes to produce separate repeats. Each repeat is mixed up in turn, and Brian is able to add harmonies or elaborate on lines and riffs he has already played.
“All in all, the assembly of the whole system is pretty straight forward,” says John. “The only real problem we have is when we try to group the internal balance of the drums on the one mixer. But that`s not too bad, really.”
Queen favour a two hour sound check. The check takes that long because of the number of effects the band use. These have to be checked over and over again. Any malfunction or delay in operation can be disastrous – Queen rely that much on effects.
The whole PA system is balanced equally on either side of the band – “a straight stereo split” as John says. The band are currently thinking of adding speakers to the rear of an audience, but whether this will come about remains to be seen.
Unlike Tony McPhee, John is very much concerned about hall acoustics. Apparently, with some halls there is very little he is able to do about their echo qualities.
As for good venues, well, John thinks that the Glasgow Apollo is one of the best. When Queen played the Rainbow, they experimented by putting one mixer up in the gods, and having the other one down below. John was pleased with the results, as he considers the Rainbow a very awkward place in which to get a really good sound.
He is only too aware that in venues of that size someone high up in the audience may not be able to hear, for example, the drums, whereas someone in the stalls may complain that the drums are too loud. The problem is to strike a happy medium.
To compensate for hall acoustics, Queen use a third octave graphic equaliser on the outputs of the mixing desks.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Tim Hardin, Joan Baez, Mike Garson, Mike Oldfield, ELO, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, Russ Ballard, Wendy Waldman, Alan Stivell, Contraband.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


I don`t know what is happenning. Lately I have had a peak in the number of views on this blog, but the number of visitors have stayed the same… I can see that I have a lot of views from the USA, so someone over there must be reading this blog extremely thoroughly. Well, to that someone: It seems you enjoy this as much as the rest of us do and I hope that you will take much pleasure in this one from the days when Queen still were a fairly unknown entity.


Queen street

Erskine does it again! This week, Queen`s drummer Roger Meddows Taylor

Gosh it would be so easy but I don`t think I can trash on a man who says he hated “Bridge Over Troubled Water” even if he does fruit about with a band who, it has been decided, are the new persona non grata.
Are Queen really that obnoxious? You tell me. I wouldn`t rightly know, never having heard them you see. I tried but the albums never arrived in time. They were despatched no doubt, strapped to the horny hindquarters of a rheumatic tortoise still making its way past Victoria Station.
So anyway, at least they`ve inspired extremes of opinion and a predominantly negative reaction from the press all of which is good for business because then the kids who buy the albums and go to the gigs can feel that they know something we don`t – and they could just be right.
A rather smug lady who figures she discovered the band has finished her interview and is flicking through the papers sneering at this week`s putdowns of her new pets and she also figures she knows something the rest of us don`t and makes quite sure everyone in the office realises it. I tell you, socially your rock clique has to be the most exciting thing since the day the paperclips arrived.
“I don`t pretend to understand the workings of the journalistic mind.” Drummer Roger Taylor`s looking svelte in felt – a black jacket with piped seams festooned with chains and silver coins. There had, it appeared, been a problem with the publicity shots. The one that you won`t be seeing on this page because it was too blurred and boring was officially approved. It had a `yes` scribbled on the back. The shots we are using instead are not approved. The smug lady shrinks in horror at the thought and my o my I`d sure like to stick one on her… Julie Andrews ain`t got nothin` on this doll.

Anyway, it`s hot and clear outside and I would much rather be cruising slowly round South London looking at office girls with trim little jugs and downy earlobes, but onward we go serving and returning the cliches like your verbal Ken Rosewalls.
“There are really only two things that hurt,” he continues, “firstly when we`re called a hype – that`s one thing we`re not. We`re making it in the old-fashioned way which is initially through selling records through playing concerts… enabling the record company to get behind you for the second album. The other thing is that they cast doubts on the musicianship which is one thing we`re really sure about… obviously we think we`re bloody good… oh yes, and we`ve also been accused of being a part of supermarket rock – which is a bit much when you write your own material.
“Considering the abuse we`ve had lately, I`m surprised that the new album has done so well. I suppose it`s basically that audiences like the band.”
Yes, I `spect it is.
“We`ve had the name for four years now, believe it or not – most people don`t – and it was Freddie`s idea. It was just a reflection of the social world we were in at the time, when he and I were working together on Kensington Market – it was good then. In those days there was a pretty eccentric crowd there, people in sombreros and a lot of them were gay and a lot of them pretended to be and it just seemed to fit in. I didn`t like the name originally and neither did Brian, but we got used to it. We thought that once we`d got established the music would become the identity more than the name…”
And how about this “New Zeppelin” tag with you in the States?
“Oh that`s happened here too, but it seems mainly an American thing. We haven`t been there yet but the first album did quite well there. Apparently we`re known to an extent on the East coast and in the South… sorry to go on about journalists but it seems to be a trait to describe any sort of band that the journalist isn`t particularly aware of in relation to other bands.


We`ve been compared to Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Zeppelin, Purple… everybody, even Geordie and Nazareth. In fact, Geordie`s album was reviewed the other day and they got accused of sounding like us which made me laugh…
“There must be parallels but we`re not aware of them. Obviously we have our heroes. I personally think Zeppelin and the Who are the two best rock bands in the world. I`ve got all their albums and I`ve listened to them a lot. I still think John Bonham is one of the most underrated rock drummers, so I suppose we`ve absorbed some of that somewhere…”
The debut Queen album was universally ignored but is now selling in increasing quantities whilst “Queen II” has been universally panned and is selling in even larger quantities.
“We took so much trouble over that album, possibly too much, but when we finished we felt really proud. Immediately it got really bad reviews so I took it home to listen to again and thought Christ are they right? But after hearing it a few weeks later I still like it. I think it`s great. We`ll stick by it.
“There are a lot of things on the first album I don`t like, though, for example the drum sound. There are parts  of it which may sound contrived but it is very varied and it has lots of energy… but then I think one of the best albums last year was the “Mott” album and that had loads of inconsistencies and rough bits…”
Roger has `O` and `A` levels, a biology degree and is a former dropout from dental college. He also says he learnt from observing such luminaries as Pete Townshend and Ian Hunter who, he says, has “an interesting philosophy”. He is, Taylor adds, “far more intelligent than you might give him credit for”.
We are digressing. Could Roger see himself slipping into a Rick Wakeman lifestyle?
“To be quite honest I`d like to have a house here, one in Cornwall, a house in Greece and move back and forth between them but still be totally involved in music, but perhaps getting to that level removes the necessary paranoia that keeps you going.”
Oh yes and Roger says the stages were too small, the gigs too crowded, and in general the sound was bad on their recent British tour and I have to wonder because, as I say, I know very little about Queen, but to me it seems like rampant craziness to be starting yet another rock and roll band on the rise up the slippery pole at this point in time with all those prospects of marathon Stateside tours and continuing abuse from the press and an image which to say the least, has become a trifle hack-kneed. Although Roger claims it to be totally uncontrived although Zandra Rhodes is their stage costumier which must mean something… perhaps, as the lovely and indubitably Polish Pete Makowski says, that they are trying to straddle two markets at the same time – your progressive can-crushing and your pretty-boy teenscream, but I don`t know. It`s a nice day outside, the public bar awaits me and I have to investigate that torso of a man in his mid-40s and subsequently I have to put the cat out and mow the lawn…


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Elton John, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, Refugee, Mott the Hoople, Uriah Heep, Sweet, The John Peel Column, Little Feat, Sparks, Strawbs, Ducks Deluxe, Alquin, Dr. Feelgood, Jimmy DeWar.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Queen FROM SOUNDS, January 5, 1974

With the new Queen movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” now out in theaters everywhere, a movie I most definitely will go and see, I think this article can be interesting to look back on. Here they still were in their infancy and not yet the mega-band that they were to become. It must have been nice for Mr. Hayman, or anyone else for that matter, to meet such an influential band this early in their career. That`s sure something to tell your grandchildren or anyone else that have just a little bit of interest in this extremely creative and wonderful band.


Queen: Britain`s biggest unknowns

By Martin Hayman

Queen are being hailed as the natural successors to Led Zeppelin on the other side of the Atlantic. This may cause an outburst of derisive laughter, hoots, boos, jeers and catcalls from those who think Zep are the cat`s whiskers. But most of the people who have seen Queen agree that they are pretty hot.
They have been touring with Mott the Hoople and make a good showing on what is now a pretty tough assignment, opening the show for Mott: They write and play punchy songs, they are loud and aggressive to the right degree, they look good and move well on stage, especially their singer Freddie Mercury, who besides strutting and prancing has an excellent sharp-edged voice with a lot of power.
It makes one wonder why the New York Dolls were so lavishly feted on their derisory couple of British gigs. I reckon that a British provincial audience would have pulled the Dolls apart in a jiffy; Queen handle them well, and they were getting encores on their set.
And the public are giving them the thumbs up too, which is reflected in steady sales of their debut album – standing now at 15,000 in Britain and a quite incredible 85,000 in the States, where it has crept into the lower reaches of the album charts. Not bad when you think how comparatively unknown they are even here. Evidently not as unknown as we imagine. You might say they were Britain`s biggest unknowns.
I went to Trident Studios on a rainy night before Christmas to find the band hard at work trying to complete their second album before the inevitable cutbacks in production at EMI slowed up their progress. For at this point Queen are at a crucial stage of their career – just before the break, as they say in the business. If they are to maintain the initial impetus it is essential that they get out another album – and preferably a single too – and then get a support gig with a big British act in America.

Business-wise Queen seem to be quite well set. They are signed to Trident Audio Productions, the production and management arm of the studios. Queen are TAP`s first signing and this is likely to give the group considerable leverage with EMI. They are no newcomers to the music scene though, it`s only in the last year that they have turned to music full-time. Bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor had been in a semi-professional group called Smile for a year or two while at college, but it was not until singer Freddie Mercury`s arrival that they named themselves Queen. Wisely they all decided to finish their respective courses before going professional.
John, originally from Leicester, had been at the Chelsea College of Arts and Technology; Roger, up from Cornwall after leaving dental college, joined up with Freddie to run a stall in the Kensington Market; Brian May the guitarist took a degree in Physics and went on to do a Ph.D. in, believe it or not, infra-red astronomy; and Freddie they just describe as a “Kensington poseur”.
I talked to John and Roger in Trident`s re-mix room as they played through such rough mixes as they had finished. The sound was still a bit raw and ragged, but there was no mistaking the originality of the songs and the thrusting energy of the playing, the kind of buzz you only get from a new band whose creativity has not yet peaked.
First song up was “Fairy Feller`s Masterstroke”, so titled after a painting by the Victorian Richard Dadd (it hangs in the Tate Gallery). “Freddie just wrote a song using all the characters in the painting – it`s fairly incomprehensible,” commented Roger. Next up were “Loser In The End” and the atmospheric “Ogre Battle”, with bumping and grinding effects. Freddie (the one with the Bugs Bunny mush and the wigwam of dark hair) is the principal writer, followed closely by Brian, although Roger occasionally turns in a song.


The band were complimentary about the way their first album had been handled by the American record company Elektra, who had used the original cover art-work supplied by the group, which EMI here had not done. They also complained that the record had gone out of stock for six weeks in this country, which could have done them a lot of damage if they were not pushing hard.
It`s to avoid such complications that they are working so hard on the album, to give plenty of margin for other people`s errors. They have their heads screwed on, these fellers, following the business manoeuvres with an interested eye, and Roger was able to give me a sort of market breakdown of Queen`s global trading position – they are especially strong, it appears, in Germany and Sweden as well as the US.
But closer to home, they feel that they acquitted themselves fairly well on the recent Mott tour, despite an outdated PA – actually David Bowie`s old Ground Control. “It was the first time we`d done gig after gig, night after night,” says John, “but we were really pleased with some places – Newcastle and Glasgow and, strangely enough, Bournemouth, seemed to know about us.”
Continued Roger: “I`ve been with the band two and a half years and I`m the newest member. Queen was Freddie`s idea really, about three years back. We`d like to make it everywhere, but we are placing a lot of emphasis on America, but we don`t want to go out there too soon and blow it. For example we`ve been giving a lot of thought to getting in a keyboard. We may get another guy in. It would thicken the sound up. It`s a bit limited with only three instruments on stage, but we don`t really want to make it a five-piece. We`re going to do a tour of concerts before we go to the States. That`ll probably be in April. It`s got to improve a lot yet, the stage sound has to be good every night.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Denny Laine, Hughie Nicholson, Savoy Brown, Deep Purple, Greenslade, Gary Glitter, Dave Lambert.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.


This is a really good article about Queen, but at the end of it there seems to be some “filler” when we get an update on what Ian Hunter and Bernie Taupin is doing. But all that is fine when the rest of this is so good.


`I conquered New York in a maroon velour bath robe`

Actually it took a little more than that – like a satin jump suit slit two feet below the navel and four impressive Queen shows at The Beacon Theatre. Here`s the full story.

By Lisa Robinson

Things seem different this time around for Queen. No one has to ask who they are, there are even girl fans standing outside the entrance of the posh Sherry Netherland hotel where the band have a penthouse suite.
High-powered publicity people are taking care of the press, and an expensive party in their honour follows the first of four sell-out shows at New York`s Beacon Theatre.
And yet, once again, when Freddie Mercury and I sit down to do an interview, we both have the `flu. Even John Reid, manager of Queen and Elton John, can`t do anything about that…
“But last year, with our previous management, I couldn`t even talk to you in person,” Mercury laughed. “This year, I can at least sit up, and talk face-to-face… So that`s the difference.”
He coughed, seated on a couch, dressed in pink Biba (circa 1973) pyjamas and a maroon velour bathrobe.
Brian May also seemed a bit under the weather – but was fully dressed in a black velvet suit, having done an interview previously in the hotel dining room.
“There`s just so much to take in in New York,” said Freddie, explaining his touch of the `flu. Pressing further, I ask how much they feel their new management has had to do with their continuing rise: “Absolutely nothing!” laughed Freddie, then adds, “he`ll kill me…”
“I think it`s very hard to pin down, really,” says Brian. “We feel better. Some of the things that have come about because of John Reid have helped us settle down and finish the album.”

“It`s a whole new outlook,” said Freddie, “and certainly the new management has helped a great deal. It`s given us a release, and opened up whole new areas of thinking. We`ve done things that we wanted to do for a long time.
“And it`s just shown in our music in a way, and in the way we`ve come up with this new album… and subsequently it`s led to better chart places and sales… Things trigger off…”
What about the rumours of Brian leaving the band? “Oh, that,” May shrugged. “No, that was really blown out of… that happened a year before, it was never a serious thing. I got friendly with Russell and Ron Mael, live quite near them and we sort of got on well, and we talked of doing something together at some point. That was really as far as it went.
“It was at a time when Queen weren`t doing very much and they probably thought that I wasn`t doing very much but in fact it was when I was recovering from being ill. It was no big deal, you know; it was just a friendly talk. There was never any danger of my leaving Queen.”
“The only reason he`d leave Queen is to become an astronomer,” Mercury added, “not to join another band. My god” – he sneers.

“It`d be silly,” said Brian, “because we`re so fortunate in having this combination… and especially at this point when we`re just beginning to find ourselves. It`s all rubbish about that…”
Mercury: “Especially when it`s just starting to be fun.”
What do you mean, starting to be fun?
“Well, you know… we`re riding on the crest of a wave, and things have finally opened up for us. The rewards are finally beginning to show in the sense that we`re now being respected as musicians, and our songs are hitting the right kind of people. And that`s very rewarding.”
I wondered if, with the astonishing success of the single, as well as a worldwide prominence, they felt “respectable” in a way that had previously eluded them.
“We`d always had confidence in what we were doing,” Freddie answered, “and little things – like the press – didn`t really get us down. If it`s a bad review I tear it up.”
Brian: “It always hurts. I mean, even if there`s an audience of ten thousand and there`s one guy saying `rubbish`, it hurts.”

Queen performed at the Beacon Theatre here – four shows with about 3000 audience each night. Why not a larger hall?
“Well, all the places we`re playing are small halls that work well with the act at the moment,” said Brian.
“Instead of doing one big show we`re doing four small shows,” said Freddie.
How would the visuals change if there was one big show?
Mercury: “I`d just have to project further – grins, hand poised on his chest, which brings me to… ahhhh… his nails.
What shade of black is that? Black is really hard. You have to be careful… it can rot your nails.
“I know. I used to use Biba, but now I use Miners… do you know them? Do they have that here?”
No. How many coats to get it that dark?
“Only one,” he said, “and it goes on really smooth. Reminds me, I have to do them for tonight…”
We look over a photo of the group on stage… Who did your blouse, Brian?
“Zandra… I`d used some other things, but went back to her this time. I`m really pleased.”
“What about you, Freddie, are you changing clothes mid-show this time?
“I change after every number now,” he cracks. “You`re coming to a fashion show, not a concert…
We touch on the length of time the single`s been number one in Britain.
Freddie: “Slim Whitman in 1955 was Number One for 11 weeks… couple of others that have been eight weeks, nine weeks, but we`ve reached that, which in this day and age, I think is rather nice.”

Brian: “Once it got up there, and really caught fire, it just sold more and more. We couldn`t believe that people were still going out there and buying it.”
Freddie: “It sold over a million and a quarter in Britain… just outrageous. Imagine all the grandmothers groovin` to it.
“I think our music is becoming even more versatile, so we can please a pretty wide range of people. And the people who have come to see us, even in the few concerts we`ve done at home, have spanned a wide age group.”
Talking about “Night At The Opera” (record not film) Freddie explains: “Every molecule on that album is us, just the four of us, every iota. No session men, not for strings, not for anything… and we don`t try to reproduce that onstage, we present the music in a different way for stage.
“Sometimes we think about performing with more musicians, or a set… but at the moment, there`s just so much going within the four of us, that it would be a shame to latch onto something else. Because we haven`t quite burnt up our energies doing what we want to do now.”
“Maybe at some stage,” says Brian, “but at the moment the stage act`s evolved in its own right. It`s separate from the album. The songs are the same, but the treatment is so different, and that`s just what we do onstage. But for the moment it is what it is, this is not the time to do it otherwise.”


David Johansen (New York Dolls) and Freddie Mercury

I`ll say Queen`s management is classy. I arrive (with a mild flu in the midst of a snowstorm) at the Beacon Theatre and, predictably enough, find two people in my seats.
No ushers to be found anywhere, and the huge men guarding the doors refuse to help. In the midst of my plight – for I am blind as a bat unless I sit up front – manager John Reid comes to my rescue. He manages to con the 7` 4″ black man at the door (after various red tape and approval) to help me get to my seat, accompanies me down the aisle, stands there while everyone in the row is checked out, and at last manages to evict the two who have obviously trespassed.
So… sometime after “Flick Of The Wrist” and before “Killer Queen” I sit down. Well, I thought, no matter how the concert goes, John Reid gets a rave review for his performance.
“HE`S THE SEXIEST THING I EVER SAW!!”, shrieked Linda Stein sitting right in front of me. “Oh my god…” I whisper to my associate, look at his… errr… “Socks?”, he asks, not hearing me properly because of the volume.
The object of these observations was, of course, Freddie Mercury, who had the audience in the palm of his hand. Dressed in white satin, chest exposed… a flash of Flash Gordon at the wrists, he was all over the stage, down the ramp (very showbiz), at the piano, and his voice was in total control in a theatre that has had its share of sound problems.
The crowd was completely hysterical with every number; “Prophet” featured a digital delay system that was dramatically effective for Freddie`s voice… technology is wonderful when it doesn`t enslave you…
At the end of that number a cone-like silver object with flashing red lights was lowered to the stage over the drums as the band went off… and when they returned Freddie was dressed in… a black version of the satin jumpsuit, slit all the way down to there.
They went straight into “Stone Cold Crazy”. Girls were literally screaming all around.

It`s easy to see why Queen have made it here; they combine a sense of the theatrical (without the outrageous gimmicks) of the biggest American band – Kiss; have a legitimate hard rock appeal – like Aerosmith; and above all, have the added aura of being a Big British Band with the respectability of musical complexity.
While some critics here find Queen pretentious, I thought this was a stunning concert; they have a keen sense of showbiz humour that saves their songs from being too heavy, and what they do is so extreme that it defines its own terms, sort of a baroque stage show.
Meanwhile, it was freezing in the theatre. Freddie sat down at the piano for “Lap Of The Gods”, and it was time for the smoke machine… This year it worked. I`m not a big dry ice fan, but this stuff certainly is a crowd pleaser…
The lights were lavish and spectacular. The audience, who`d been on their feet for the last few numbers, went beserk for an encore…
Billie Jean King (yes, the tennis player) was standing in the back of the theatre wearing a maroon sweater and skirt and a backstage pass… (I can already see the photos… Billie Jean and Freddie… King and Queen…)
Freddie came back for the encore in the flowing white satin Zandra Rhodes top… and then “Big Spender” with the strip tease… no doubt about it, next time Queen`s here, they`ll be in Madison Square Garden if they choose to.
(I later found out that the band were annoyed because the flashpots didn`t go off: “It looks like the whole stage explodes,” Reid said, and Freddie laughed. “Every time you come and see us something goes wrong technically. Last year, the smoke machine, this year, the flashpots. Come and see us tomorrow night, it`ll be so much better…”)

At Le Pouilailler, an elegant restaurant near Lincoln centre, a magnificent buffet is set. Bottles of red and white wine are on the tables, and the bar is open and well-manned.
The party for Queen is being held in this welcome contrast to the blizzard raging outside; and everyone is here.
Bernie Taupin, Ian Hunter, Todd Rundgren, David Johansen, Ahmet Ertegun, David Nutter, John Reid, Clive Davis, Mel Posner, Steve Ross, (all the WEA brass), press – including Punk Magazine! – Paul Drew (important radio programmer who was recently slapped by Bette Midler when he told her he didn`t like her record…), Ron & Ellen Delsener – celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary, Renee Wexler, Connie Pappas, Billie Jean King, Frankie Rudge, Joe Armstrong, more, more, more.
Freddie, Roger and John arrived late, seemed tired. Brian didn`t come, he obviously was hit with a serious sore throat.
Freddie, after having a thousand photos taken (with Billie Jean King, etc. etc.) finally sits down, eats some food, throws some food at – I think – David Nutter who is wearing a Stevie Wonder backstage Madison Square Garden button on his lapel, chats with David Johansen.
We all talk about Bowie (“Send him my love,” Freddie instructed), Robert Plant (“I know he`s said nice things about me but you know, it`s really true – he always was my favourite singer,” said Fred), everyone called everyone darling and it was one of those very successful New York parties.

Ian Hunter talked about his new album: “It`s called `All American Alien Boy`, I think, and it`s amazing. I thought it would take two months to do and it only took 24 days, mixing and everything… Chris Stainton played on it with me, but he didn`t produce it. People think that, but I arranged it, wrote everything and produced it.
“I think it`s gonna surprise a lot of people, and I know that some people will think it`s a heap of shit because it`s very heavy. There are cuts on it called `Apathy`… `Religion`… no rock and roll. I had too many cuts for it so I eliminated the rock and roll ones… But I`m really writing well, and the musicians on it are incredible – David Sanborn, Cornell Dupree, this great guitarist from Reno who used to be with Edgar called Jerry Williams…
How`d you get them all together?
“Money.” He laughs.
As for missing England, Ian`s American wife Trudy says she misses it more than he does. “I had to come here to write,” claims Hunter. “I was just fresh out of words there; I needed to come some place where I would have new inspiration for lyrics.”

At another table Bernie Taupin talks of his solo album: “Oh, it`s really a good laugh,” Bernie smiled, “it`s like Bernie Taupin at the bar. The name? Well… I think it might be `Bernie And The Jets`… I`d really like to use that. And I do all these versions of other people`s songs – `Let It Be Me` with Phil Everly singing on it with me. It`s really corny, they`ll love it in England. And `Cryin Time`, Ringo sings on that with me.”
As the party ends, Freddie and I discuss a story that ran here about him. An amazing Hit Parader writer named Josephine Mori had written a piece on him that was, to put it mildly, euphoric.
Speaking of sphinxes… he was a Creature to me… a 70`s minotaur, half pop artist half Arabian Knight/Night (K or N optional with reader) – an impossible combination, like singles charts and scimitars, that somehow he could make work, the way he made another impossible combination the ether of Faerie and the heavy metal of rock music, somehow work. In a sense he was no more “real” to me than Scheherezade or the Big Bad Wolf… though in my fancy at least, he might well have been a bit of both.”
Hmmmmm… the Creature that Captured New York…


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits  – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Led Zeppelin, Tony Iommi, The Fania All-Stars, David Bowie, Sailor, Gay and Terry Woods.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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