Thank you. I grew up with rock ‘n’ roll. My mother fed me Elvis. I knew Bill Haley and the Comets. I LOVED Buddy Holly. If Elvis was the King, Buddy Holly was the Crown Prince. One of my colleagues in Advertising copywriting, whose taste I respected, turned me on
to Queen. I loved their eponymous album Queen (with the album-cover proviso, “no synths[Moog synthethizers, because Brian May could make his Fender guitar sound better than a Moog]),” but their Queen 2, with its vinyl Side White and Side Black, juxtaposing the White Queen with the Black Queen, sold me completely. March Of The Black Queen, with all of its tempo and mood changes, was a harbinger of Bohemian Rhapsody. I am biased. I got to meet John Deacon, Roger Meadows-Taylor and Brian May in Boston’s The Rat rock dive cesspool nightclub decades ago. They were, and remain, three of the most memorable folks I expect ever to meet. Freddy was off having sex.
On balance, I candidly think The Who, with their combination of ROCK songwriting (The Beatles are second only to George/Ira Gerschwin in terms of pop music writing, and that’s saying one hell of a lot), singing (Daltry, versus Robert Plant, Jagger, Bowie, Mercury), drumming (Moon versus Ginger Baker), lead guitar (Clapton, May, Paige; let’s leave Jimi out to this, because he wasn’t with any one band, he was a force of nature), and bass (Bruce, no other contenders in Rock, but, as a footnote, Brian Bromberg in Jazz, and that’s saying something, which is: Jack Bruce is the best Rock bassist thus far, in a league of his own) are up against massive competition, and do not win in every category. No band does. I think that The Who, when looking at the tie-breaking category of Most Energy Ever, win the R_Kane trophy of Best Rock Band Thus Far; but Queen win the title of my favorite rock band ever. Now I’m Here? Queen II? The soundtrack to Highlander? Bohemian Rhapsody? God Save The Queen (“no synths”)? Tie Your Mother Down? The March Of The Black Queen? The Seven Seas Of Rhye? This band had a passion and a vision that makes them special. Their passion was equaled by Hendrix in his various bands, arguably by Clapton, again in his various bands, by Zeppelin, by The Stones before they got old CONTINUED
, but none of them shared Queen’s vision. Zeppelin came the closest, with their allusions to The Lord Of The Rings. Queen set their own path.
Indeed, it would be more than interesting to see a movie charted around the music of Queen II and The Seven Seas Of Rhye.
What a shame that neither Mercury nor Bowie could be in it.
Do tell more of your meeting with Roger, Brian and John! What year, what you said to them, how'd they act...etc.
That was a LONG time ago, very late on a Saturday night in a very loud basement rock club. It was around the time that they released Sheer Heart Attack. The place was Boston’s version of CBGB. Lots of bands who played there went on to become big: The Cars, Talking Heads, ‘Til Tuesday, Aerosmith. I think it was cool that Queen showed up there to check it out. I never saw any other Name band who’d finished their concert at Boston Garden come to the club. This tells me that Queen wanted to stay in touch with the grass roots of rock. I seemed to be the only one in the place who recognized them. I also recognized all the members of Thin Lizzy, who opened for them. I spoke with Brian; John and Roger were talking with each other, quietly. Brian was very friendly, not at all full of himself. I thanked him for playing such intelligent rock and roll. Then the guys from Thin Lizzy bought me a beer, because they liked how I danced!
What an incredible story, R_Kane, a real attention-grabber that really show's your creative side and personality to boot! Now, I'm not going to say that I'm huge fan of the band, only recalling from memory the names of their hits, but am curiously fascinated into their interesting and unorthodox lives, how it shaped their music.
I hear that Brian May is not only a scholar (seriously) but also quite a down-to-Earth gentleman, so humble, which you confirm from the basis you provide in your story. Other people need to read your posts. It's stuff like this that make people, myself included, come to MovieChat to be part of the community.
I would love to hear more sometime. Great share, my friend.
Thank you, twinA. I’ve met Louis Armstrong, The Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore), partied with Patty LaBelle when she was in LaBelle, danced with Patti Smith and had dinner with Dana Delaney (at a dinner party, not a date). Why put limits on yourself? The world is more than willing to do that for you!
Thank you for elaborating, R Kane.
Very, very cool!
You’re welcome. Isn’t it pleasant to have some civil and genuine discourse on MC? Sharing little parts of ourselves, and maybe even expanding someone else’s horizons in the process. It should be clear that I love music. I love Classical and Jazz as much as I do Rock, each in its own way. I wonder how many people realize how much Jazz and Classical influence there is in Rock. I can hear the Classical influence in Queen songs like The Prophet’s Song and Bohemian Rhapsody. I can hear the Jazz influence in the bands Traffic and The Doors (especially in Riders On The Storm). I firmly believe that the more you learn and know, the more you enjoy. One way to learn is by sharing with others. Not by yelling at them or insulting them, as is too often the case on message boards.
It need not be so. Thank you for asking me to elaborate.
@R_Kane - Also The Who would be a very difficult movie to make, three documentaries as in The Kids Are Alright, Amazing Journey and the BBC Quadrophenia one really only scratch the surface and where would you end it and also have it not be all about Keith Moon (as that's the story Hollywood would want). Even Zeppelin would be tough as how do you cover them spinning out of The Yardbirds into Led Zeppelin (almost being called The New Yardbirds) and then follow through with all the influences they had from the blues and so-forth, both would be really difficult to fit into a 2 hour time structure.
Very good points. I hadn’t thought about the possible narrative structures for films about other great rock bands, and I doubt that any of the posters who were suggesting them as better choices than Queen for a biopic did, either. That’s a great contribution to this discussion! Thank you. It’s always a pleasure to meet another Yardbirds (which is slang for “prison inmates”) fan. That band produced some GREAT axe men; and, Good Lord!, how the Brits love the Blues.
Thanks and I missed with Led Zeppelin that Steve Marriott from The Small Faces was the first choice as the singer, he turned it down and suggested Robert Plant, to which instead Humble Pie Marriott went.
Then you can spin-off endlessly with Peter Frampton in Humble Pie and of course The Small Faces becoming The Faces with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood coming into the mix. Kenney Jones staying in The Small Faces/Faces and eventually replacing Keith Moon in The Who, Ronnie Lane from The Faces also did 4 collaborative albums with Pete Townsend and one with Steve Marriott in 1980. Then you have Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart being in the Jeff Beck Group before the Faces and of course Wood ended up in The Rolling Stones (while still doing other things with David Bowie, Eric Clapton and Prince).
All those bands (with the Yardbirds front and centre) are so intertwined in some way it makes 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon look like Kindergarten stuff, it would be so difficult to tell any of their stories completely or semi-accurately.
Neil Young would be an interesting one, as he could be followed as an individual from project to project, as he was pretty enigmatic in all instances. However, I could go on for weeks with the family tree of that from The Squires to The Mynah Birds to Buffalo Springfield to CSNY and Neil's various other bands, so I'll stop :)