I’m a Queen snob. Queen the band, not HM up at the palace. I loved Queen, was (am) obsessed with them and anything related to them. Except for the musical We Will Rock You, which is less a musical and more a travesty. And the horrendous Queen plus Paul Rodgers combo which resulted in the embarrassingly titled album ‘Rock the Cosmos’. Sample lyrics:
Come on down let’s rock this place
Come on down and
Sock it to me
I’m a Queen purist which means that I definitely won’t be going to see ‘One Night of Queen’, the Queen/Freddie Mercury tribute band that’s playing at the Long Center this Sunday. I hope that saves you the bother if you haven’t already sent me the link or mentioned it in email, or in person.
The bloke fronting ‘One Night of Queen’ is a Freddie lookalike, basing his look sometime around the mid-eighties. He’s got the gay Freddie moustache and photos show him in the iconic Magic tour outfit with the bright yellow buckle jacket, white trousers with the red stripe and adidas white trainers. An outfit I once tried to make for myself out of a lemon yellow blazer and some white leggings and xmas ribbon. Anyway, he’s apparently been doing Freddie for a while (not in a necrophiliac way) as he won the talent contest ‘stars in their eyes’ in 2000. It’s a hideous makeover show that makes American Idol look sophisticated.
I’m not a big fan of lookalikes. Having played a ‘professional impersonator’ in my recent show, I know they’re all unhinged loonies. And the idea of watching someone try to be Freddie, doing all the moves with the mic stand and getting the crowd involved in the vocal scales makes me feel a bit icky. Probably because I’ve seen the real thing.
I’m not entirely against tribute bands. There was always one at the Fan Club conventions I went to and there’s a great band in Austin called Magnifico who play excellent covers of Queen songs in small sweaty venues. And while the singer dresses in a lycra unitard, the fact that he’s over 6 feet tall, shaven-headed and beanpole skinny prevents any Freddie comparison. But he’s a damn good singer
Of course I’m able to be a snob because I’ve seen Queen play live, quite a few times. And part of me is tempted to go to the show on Sunday and wear my sweat-stained tour t-shirt from 1984 and be all unmoved as I stand amidst the crowd and pontificate on how it’s ok, but not as good as the real thing and did I mention that I saw them at…etc, etc. Because everyone loves that person.
But then I looked at the ticket prices – bugger me, $49 to be aloof and stand-offish. As the old saying goes, why pay for the cow when you can be one at home.
And there’s also my slight fear that I might get to the show and start feeling that weird Queen sensation. The one where I want to cry and sing and shout at the same time. That I might be glimpsed standing on a chair or clapping along to we will rock you. God forbid that I could enjoy myself watching a lookeylikey, I’d never live it down.