Dear friends…who among us would not like to live our lives so that you are remembered? How many of us would not imagine ourselves to be a famous dentist or maybe an astronomer who discovered a new planet… or an artist? Yes, as an artist… A great artist with a capital letter, a great artist that millions are talking about?

This article is a kind of dedication, a Requiem for the legendary band Queen, a Requiem for all the people who buried themselves and their talent by loading themselves with household chores. Open your eyes at last! Maybe you need something else? Maybe you can do more than you are doing now? Is there a rebel, a rocker, a journalist, a doctor, or even a dancer inside you? Do you spend your life and your talent on resentment, alcohol, and household chores? Stop just for a minute and think…. Is this what you’ve wanted all your life? Think. What would you like to change in your life?

And now… Let’s close our eyes for a moment and live out the highlights of the world’s greatest band!

Meet me on stage….. QUEEN!

QUEEN. It's a Hard Life., изображение №1

1964-th. Inspired by the novel by George Orwell, two young guys known as Brian may and Tim Staffel create a rock band “1984”. Guys play in bars, small clubs…

1968-th. After four years of performing, the guys realize that they are missing something… the Band needs sharpness and … drums! Brian puts up an ad in Imperial College saying the band needs a drummer. This ad is noticed by a young dental student, Roger Taylor, who played the drum better than Mitch Mitchell and ginger Baker, whom Brian and Tim wanted to hear in their band.

The guys decide to rename themselves the band “Smile“, but their only achievement was that they played as the opening act for Pink Floyd. Some time passes, and Tim Staffel decides to immerse himself in his studies, deciding that it is now more important than playing in a student group. May and Taylor were not going to give up their musical careers and shared their creative ambitions with friend and roommate “Staffel” Farrukh Bulsara. He often attended performances of the band Smile, but may and Staffel did not suspect that he could sing. Farrukh had a clear idea of what the band’s performances and stage work should be. Once in the band, he came up with a name for it — “Queen“, developed a logo and took the pseudonym Freddie mercury. The band now consisted of a vocalist-keyboardist, guitarist, and drummer…

1971-th year. After the band has replaced several bass players, they meet the talented John Deacon, who later became an integral part of the family called “Queen“.

Роджер Тейлор, Фредди Меркьюри, Брайан Мэй и Джон Дикон
Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, Brian May and John Deacon

1973-th year. In parallel with their studies, the guys decide that it’s time to record their first album, if they don’t want to stay at the level of a student group. Recording while the Studio was free, young musicians decide that Britain is too small…. They want the whole world! “Queen” record their debut album, which includes the song “Smile” “Doing All Right“, but the musicians bet on the song” Keep Youself Alive“, releasing its debut single. In the same year, the band makes a big tour throughout the UK and enjoys their success!

1974-th year. In many countries, the band released a new single- “Seven Seas of Rhye“, which provided the group with its first success by staying in the UK charts for 10 weeks at number 10! The band begins to believe in what they are doing and record their second album Queen ll, which broke all records and lasted 29 weeks! This was a new record.

A couple of months passed, and the musicians became a family. Of course, as in all families, they had disagreements, but each of the four friends could calmly cool the other’s ardor and direct his energy in a new, productive direction. It is thanks to this unity that the band wrote songs, released albums and was a favorite of the audience! But even in such a seemingly “ideal” life, there is always something that can discourage the desire to perform…. This something became the single “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

1975-th year. After the release of the new album, the musicians bet on the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” and tried in any way to make it sound on the radio. But the sophisticated ears of the British did not perceive this song as a masterpiece and the composition was showered with a lot of criticism. Because of what? It’s very simple… the British just didn’t understand the motives hidden in the song, they just couldn’t hear in it something that would touch parts of their soul, as in the beginning it touched the souls of the band.

Официальная обложка Bohemian Rhapsody
The official cover Bohemian Rhapsody

1976-th year. The band is releasing a new album! But the most amazing thing is that this time they do without their co-producer Roy Thomas Baker and produce the album themselves! Of course, the group has to face criticism again. Agree, many people like to sit on the couch in front of their old monitor and demand, demand, demand… Instead of just supporting them. People always need some kind of scandal. They should always be dissatisfied with something, and even if you are Freddie mercury and perform at their home, they will definitely say something to you. Isn’t it? However, this album broke out on the very first places in the US and UK!

1977-1979. News of the World and Jazz are albums released by the band over the years. But the albums aren’t as interesting as the participants ‘ lives, right? After all, even the most scandalous album of the group does not compare with the fact that even then the group began to have minor disagreements? Freddie drank, threw parties and was often late for rehearsals, which caused a storm of indignation among the other members of the group, many of whom had already got wives and children. Part of the group seemed to grow up at once…

Skipping another couple of years, we want to transfer to the last concert of the band together…

Легендарный образ Фредди Меркьюри, в котором он вышел на сцену в последний раз
The legendary image of Freddie Mercury, in which he appeared on stage for the last time

A huge crowd of people. About 120 thousand people and Queen who decide to appear royally… They appear on a helicopter, during the performance of another band, and on the plane itself the symbolism of the album Kind of Magic! People’s delight was mixed with shouts, music, songs and of course clips…. Everyone was waiting for the appearance of Freddie, who was already beginning to lose his strength due to illness.

Later, Brian May said “ Freddie said something like: “God, I can’t take it anymore, my whole body is in pain!” But he often said these things at the end of the tour, so we took it seriously at the time.”

At the end of the show, Freddie came out, as usual on the Magic Tour, in his robes and with a crown in his hand, saying goodbye to the audience. If any of the participants guessed that the show in Knebworth would be the last, they did everything to make sure that they left really royally. Just like they appeared.

Six weeks before Freddie Mercury died. And this story we will trust to tell Brian May himself….

«I think I should dispel a common misconception. In “The show must go on“, there are lines in the middle:

I will touch the heights with my soul, like a bright butterfly,

And yesterday’s fairy tale spirit, growing up, will not die,

I’m flying, friends!”

These lines are dedicated to Freddie, but he didn’t write them. I wrote them consciously, as if paying tribute to him. I know a lot of people think that Freddie was self-absorbed, because of things like “We are the Champions”, but that’s not true. He was very humble and generous to other people. Of course, I’ve written a lot of songs over the years, knowing that Freddie was going to sing them and knowing that their meaning might change slightly because of it, just like it did with “Keep yourself alive”. I remember this and always take it into account. If you think about it, the meaning of the song “Fat Bottom Girls” has also acquired several new interesting shades. It’s the same with “These are the Days of Our Lives”, because of the context of the song, people usually think it was written by Freddie. But this is not the case. Every word belongs to Roger.

In this case, I just woke up with these words flashing through my head, and immediately realized that they would be the right words for this song, which was originally intended for Freddie.

I had a plan for the song, and I felt a certain obsession with it, these constantly repeating chord sequences – I had to stop it to insert these lines, but behind them in a circle is the same chord sequence – something similar to the famous Pachabel sequence. I practically made Freddie sit down and work with me on the lyrics when he could, but he didn’t feel good enough for it and we only got to creating the first verse before he had to leave. Freddie was unavailable for a long time, struggling with a terrible illness that struck him, and at that time I was finishing the song. I used the two parts of the verse that we agreed on, they form the beginning of the first verse and the beginning of the second. But the middle part was at that time just a sequence of chords with rough sketches of the development of the melody. And one morning I got this! By the time Freddie returned, the song was ready with my lead vocals. The main vocals were very high in the last chorus, and I had to switch to falsetto. I remember I particularly liked the lines “I’ll top the bill, I’ll overkill” – I thought, very similar to Freddie. I asked, “is it too high? “” O-On with the show.”I started to apologize, but Freddie said: “No problem, dear”…or something like that… I may be making the usual mistake of putting “dear” at the end of every Freddie quote… But there were no problems. He put down a glass of his favorite ice-cold Stolichnaya vodka and went to the Studio. And he did it!»

Freddie recorded the song from the first take. He became a legend during his lifetime and remains a legend to this day…

QUEEN. It's a Hard Life., изображение №5
Photo by Anastasia Carnot

And we can only remember those lines that each time with pain echo in our hearts. We can only implement all our most intimate dreams, because at any moment you can realize that you have lived your life dreaming of becoming this or that person, but still work at an unloved job, adapt to the framework of society, listen to other people’s opinions… You just want to be free. Isn’t it? So what’s holding you back? What’s stopping you? Maybe just you…?

Author of the article: Anastasia Starostina.
Especially for the publication of “Out of the dark of the wings” and in memory of the original line-up of the band Queen.

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