Q is for Queen
The band and the Monarch! A story about the band first. I’ll never forget the first time I saw them. Live Aid in 1985. I sat in front of the TV with my mouth wide open for the whole set. It’s been described as ‘the greatest twenty minutes in the history of rock n’ roll’ and ‘arguably Queen’s greatest single live performance’. They really did steal the show. Freddie Mercury – the ultimate showman. A rare talent.
I was working for the BBC and producing and presenting my weekly specialist music programme ‘Fretwork’ in the ‘90s. When he died in ’91, I didn’t want to do a long tribute – they’d all been done by the time my show went out. I did, however, play one of my favourite Queen tracks and just said ‘Freddie Mercury - such a waste of a special talent’. As it was an evening show on local radio, I answered my own phones (oh, and operated all the equipment!). During the track I answered a call (off air). An unpleasant and very shouty man screamed down the phone ‘I can’t believe that you’re hailing this a****** as a hero. He was a f****** q**** and deserves to be dead’.
Heaven knows how I kept my calm, but I just politely pointed out that I was not ‘hailing him as a hero’ and that I was just playing one track and had only said that I was saddened at the waste of such talent. He shouted some more abuse at me and also informed me that Mercury and Queen were c**p anyway. I bit my lip and just put the phone down. Some people are so cruel, bigoted, and bitter. I weep for them, I really do.
And, as I’m in Q, it reminds me of a great quote – attributed to Mahatma Gandhi…
‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’
And the Queen. I love her. What an amazing woman. I need say no more, need I?