In a new interview with TalkRADIO‘s Kevin O’Sullivan Show, QUEEN‘s Brian May was asked what it was like to stand next to Freddie Mercury on stage every night during the band’s heyday. He responded (hear audio below): “Challenging and always entertaining. He was a very unpredictable guy, but wonderful to work with. He had a great spatial awareness, and that’s something very important. If you’re working with people on a stage, you need to have musical contact, but you also need the kind of physical chemistry going on — the awareness of where you are and where you’re aiming your energy. Freddie was wonderful for that, and we just clicked from the very beginning. From the days when he was very much a training singer, but he had all the presentation, he had that connection, and it was his amazing kind of skill that he managed to bring himself up to the point where he was using his talent to the best end. He really did work on himself. He was an incredible self-made man.”
Asked what the highlight was from QUEEN‘s time with Mercury, May said: “Well, you’d have to say Live Aid. And it was so strange kind of reliving it for the [‘Bohemian Rhapsody’] movie recently. They recreated it so incredibly faithfully, and to be there on that set was really spine chilling; it brought it all back. And at the time, we weren’t aware of what an epoch-making thing it was, really. We came off [stage thinking], ‘Well, that went kind of okay.’ But we didn’t realize that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether. ‘Cause it sort of lives on, doesn’t it?”
Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 and battled the disease in private, telling only a select few close friends in the years which followed. He died in November 1991.
Released in November 2018, QUEEN‘s biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” has become the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time, bringing in more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. It was also No. 1 biggest-selling film of 2019 on home release.
QUEEN‘s six-song performance at Live Aid serves as the triumphant finale for “Bohemian Rhapsody”, starring Rami Malek as Mercury.
“American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert has been fronting QUEEN on tour since 2012. May told TalkRADIO about the singer: “He can do everything that we need a frontman to do. He’s not imitating Freddie, but he’s very much a parallel talen in terms of his expertise as a singer.”
Lambert, May and drummer Roger Taylor first performed together during “American Idol” in May 2009 for a rendition of “We Are The Champions”. They teamed up again in 2011 at the MTV European Music Awards in Belfast, Ireland for an electrifying eight-minute finale of “The Show Must Go On”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” and in the summer of 2012, the singer performed a series of shows with QUEEN across Europe as well as dates in Russia, Ukraine and Poland. They have since completed a number of tours and performed at some of the biggest festivals in the world.
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT released their first-ever live album, “Live Around The World” on October 2 in CD, CD+DVD, CD+Blu-ray and vinyl formats. The set presents a compilation of concert highlights captured the world over personally selected by Taylor, May and Lambert from over 200 shows they have performed with several featured here becoming available for the very first time.