In October 2005 Queen played two shows in the US under the guise of Queen + Paul Rodgers, the plus one being the former front man for Free. I got slightly swept up in the excitement of it all and bought a ticket to see them at the Hollywood Bowl. Fortunately I saw sense in time and didn’t go and blogged about it here.
Things have been fine since and I’ve continued to revel in my Queen obsession with my FronteraFest show and my sense of superiority that comes from being a fan for over 30 years. But Queen + are it again. Just got an email today announcing that they’re doing another tour this year. So far they’ve only announced dates for the UK and Europe which makes a slight mockery of the fact that the tour is called ‘Rock The Cosmos’. Though I suppose that’s fair enough given that they can call themselves Queen when it’s only two of the original four. I really never expected to have this much respect for bass player John Deacon.
And really, ‘Rock The Cosmos’? It’s hard to think up a more cheesy 70s sounding name. Hey kids, the joint’s jumping, lets really raise the roof on this place tonight. Even worse, the press release also announced that they’ve got a new album coming out just before the tour. I think this totally misses the point of why people want to see them. They’ve become a tribute band, a pretty good one no doubt, but people go to hear them play Queen songs. And if you’ve never had the chance to see them live before I suppose this is the next best thing. But I can’t believe anyone will want to listen to their new stuff. I’m sure it’s bad enough having to listen to a Free medley halfway through the show, especially as the only Free song anyone knows is ‘Alright Now’ No-one goes to see the Stones hoping to hear something completely new or groaning when they play Satisfaction, ‘oh god, not that old chestnut again .. boring’. And to further quash any sense of anticipation that the new album might be half decent, they name one of the new tracks that’s going to previewed. It’s called C-lebrity. I can’t wait to find out what that missing ‘e’ is all about. Perhaps there’ll be another track called ‘Tellin’ it Str8′. That’d be awesome.
I suppose this is what happens when you start being brilliant at something too early. Queen were incredible in their 20’s and 30s and if Freddie had lived they probably had a good 10 years or more before he turned into Elton John. But without him the mystique is gone, they’ve started being far too accommodating to fans, signing autographs and posing for photographs like regular people. What happened to leaping into their limos at the end of a concert and going off for some debauched party with naked dwarves without giving a toss for the fans waiting at the stage door. Plus I don’t want to look at Brian and Roger and be reminded of how old I am. It’s hard for me to fantasise about Roger without seeing him with his greying beard and strange velvet jacket. It’s enough to put a girl off her stroke.
At least none of this will happen to me. I won’t taste success at the thing I’m brilliant at (as yet undiscovered) until my late 40s, hitting my peak somewhere around 57. Thus even if I live to be quite old I’m not in much danger of wearing out my welcome. And if my brilliant and undiscovered thing happens to involve someone else then I promise to stop when they die and will not seek out some random other person to relive my glory days with, especially as my glory days may only have been a few years hence and not 30 years before.