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Stand Up For Queen

(a 1974 interview by John Deacon : from OIQFC)

It's nice to keep in touch with people we know, to see how they're making out and what sort of exciting things they've been getting up to. That's why we decided to pay a return visit to the one and only Queen (hope there's no dafties out there thinking we mean Lizzy and the other Royals!). Queen, if you may remember from our article on them back in our October issue, comprise Darling John, Gorgeous Freddie, Super Roger and of course Handsome Brian, who're all so much in demand these days that we had to share them around with other interviewers. Not to worry though, 'cause we had a good ol' chat with John who gave us the up-to-the-minute on what's been happening to them!

Looking a little tired - but none the worse for it - John sighed in his beautiful serene voice "Phew, we've never been so busy in our lives, not that we're complaining mind - in fact we've never been enjoying life so much as we have since you last came to see us. You may remember how desperate we were to get ourselves off the ground by doing a tour, which was then very up in the air about coming off. And then not so long after that we were asked if we'd like to play as a support band to Mott The Hoople who were touring up and down the country."

"Of course we jumped at the chance (we'd have been fools if we didn't) and we really did have a good time. We'd never met the guys before until we got together for rehearsals. We didn't think they'd heard of US come to that but when we met up they said we were going like the clappers over in the States 'cause they'd just come back from doing gigs over there. It seems our last single, "Keep Yourself Alive" is going very well in the American charts - which is great to know! "

How did the tour with Mott The Hoople go?
"Oh great! It was really terrific!" he exclaimed. "You know it can be really worrying when you're supporting a band who are as great as Mott The Hoople, because you never know how the kids will react to you. In our case though, we couldn't have had it better because the audiences accepted us straight away and they were very good to us. It's funny because at one point we seemed to go down so well with everyone that Mott The Hoople were getting a little worried in case we stole the show!" he laughed.
"The only bit we weren't looking forward to was all the travelling - but even that turned our to be a big laugh. We went everywhere in one of those great big coaches and we all sat around playing chess and scrabble."

Do they have anything lined up at present?
"Yeah, we do actually. The other day, completely out of the blue, our promoter rang us up from Australia who for some reason or another specifically wanted us to go out there to tour. He said he'd pay our flight fares, hotel bills and any other expenses so we thought this is a golden opportunity not to be missed. So we snapped the offer up and we're off on Monday. I've got to admit I'm pretty edgy about it all 'cause I've never been any further than Germany myself and I gather it's about 30 odd flying hours over the Aussie land."

What exactly will the tour mean for them?
"I think they're doing a sort of 3 day festival in Melbourne and it sounds as though it'll be a pretty big one at that, because they'll be filming it for TV, so you never know, you may already have seen it by the time your article comes out. Then as soon as we get back home again we're planning on working flat our with rehearsals for our British tour in March. We're really looking forward to this because we'll be going on our own and not as a supporting group. I think it's more than likely we'll be playing at the Rainbow in London and then the rest will be fair sized gigs, perhaps in places we've already played in before."

What about stage performances and clothes?
"We seem to have a theme for mainly black or white gear whenever we go on stage so that there's some sort of unity about us. It doesn't look like a school uniform or anything like that but at least you get the effect that we're all part of the same band. Freddie is obviously the front man of the band to anyone walking in for the first time, so we try to make the act very visual - Freddie does his thing by prancing away on stage. We get lots of lights fixed up too so that the whole thing is colourful and, as I've said before, VERY visual. At the beginning of the shows we invariably walk onto the stage in total darkness while a guitar is being played, and this always leads up to our first number, and when that time comes the lights go up and we go straight into the song without any breaks or messing around!"

Do they have a follow up to their last LP "Queen"?
"Yeah, we've just finished our second album which is called 'Queen 2'. Sounds very boring doesn't it but we couldn't find a title we all agreed on. Our first LP didn't do too badly because it sold about 15 thousand copies. One of the tracks written for this LP by Freddie was an inspiration he got from a painting he saw in the Tate Gallery, which was a gathering of fairies bundled together in a wood."

What about outside interests?
"To be honest I think we're all mainly into music so we don't have hobbies as such. Though Brian was heavily involved with astronomy at one time and I think he missed that a bit. At the moment he's too busy looking out for the Kohoutek to worry about anything else. I'm quite interested in the technical side of music 'cause I used to study electronics at college. And I think eventually I'd like to build my own studio. I don't really know what Roger likes doing! Ha." he breaks into a laugh.
"he's always reading press papers and articles on pop bands etc., in fact he seems to know EVERYTHING about what everyone else is doing so he's always got the info if anyone wants it! I'm not sure about Freddie either because he's very musically minded as well."

What are their future ambitions?
"To go to America" he said right of pat! "But before we do shoot over there I think we'd all rather establish ourselves over here first, then do a few European tours and THEN go over to the States. I think we'll be pretty nervous of going over there but already there seems to be some mystique about what sort of band we're like because we've had a few invites over there as it is!"

And with that we said our farewells, feeling very confident that we haven't heard the last of these boys again!

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