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Saturday, 8 December 2012

#33: The Magic of Bohemian Rhapsodizing

In my teens, I became a big Queen fan. I’m not referring to Elizabeth II (as much as I liked and admired her), but Freddie Mercury & Co.

Back in the mid-80’s frontman Freddie was in his pomp and lead guitarist Brian May’s Collosa-Perm still jet black, rather than jet silver. While we’re here, though, how many jets are actually black? Surely it should be jet white?

Anyhow, there was A Kind of Magic about the way the Queen boys – also featuring bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor (the latter who pipped Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor to the title of Best Rock/Pop Drummer Called Roger Taylor) – produced their unique and iconic brand of rock music, banged out hit-after-hit.

They perfected the art of anthemic tunes before the phrase had even been invented, with classics such as the afore-referenced Bohemian Rhapsody; Don’t Stop Me Now and We Will Rock You.

May was perhaps the month for A Nation of Haircuts. Though May didn’t agree. He was born with that mop of crazy fuzziness, and he’s sticking with it through every thick-&-thin guitar solo.

Mercury joked they should call the song A Winter’s Tail – until May threatened to bounce his fellow band member off his trampoline-like perm and into the middle of December. Or Barcelona. So it reverted to A Winter’s Tale.

There were many pretenders to Queen’s crown, but it was always a case of Another One Bites The Dust. They just couldn’t hack the pace set by a band who wrote around a million songs (according to my Google search) and released a good 800,000 of ’em.

During an as-yet-unseen BBC documentary, Taylor said the key to the band's success and longevity, was...

To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds.

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