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  • Writer's pictureJohn Carlow

29 Years back- Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

Pretty sure we tuned in for the entire event because I remember Metallica opening. The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert happened on April 20 some 29 years back. Another instance where you wonder where the hell time went . ( ..." no one told you when to run..." )

We were always big Queen fans. ( Still are for save for the lineup of the last few years without John and Freddie of course ) Lotta vinyl but went to town when we saw Queen collections on CD, so now we have a lot of the library in one form or another. Interest comes and goes like any band with longevity , but there's no denying the continual draw of a legendary front man.

The other day we rented the ten year anniversary DVD. ( available locally at Pic A Flic ) You sit and watch that and realize that everyone is looking older and many have left us since the original date...and this was only the ten year look back . I was curious to see what performances were left in, and what was removed on releases like this. I remember one of the worst performances being Innuendo taken on by Robert Plant. It was a train wreck . For a song that Freddie penned as a tribute to think he would have taken the time to learn the words. Thankfully it didn't appear on many of the highlight releases. ( much I suppose like Zeps tragic performance at Live Aid, also left off many of the concert releases ) Others were really a bad fit with Queen material , and yet some very strong. George Michael nailing Somebody to Love was such a amazingly epic moment and one that has deserved millions of You Tube plays since. Lisa Stansfield just didn't seem to have the chops for I Want to Break Free. Liza Minnelli , yes dear friend of Freddie but....mmmmm? We Will Rock You ? Paul Young for such an important track like Radio Gaga ? Pretty weak. Elton John was the wrong choice for Bohemian Rhapsody, and him and Axls awkward " forced hug " was cringeworthy.

Interesting that all 72,000 tickets were sold in 3 hours for Wembley before any bands were even advertised, save for the 3 remaining members of Queen. Also interesting was this was John Deacons last time on stage with " Queen ". Notably it was also Mick Ronsons last live performance before he died not long after. The event was broadcast to 79 countries with a viewership of almost one billion. Hard to wrap your head around that one. The kind of spectacle, love and sheer enormity of the day emerged from being able to focus on Freddie and his legacy. No one predicted the result and the aura has yet to be replicated.

" Legendary " is a term tossed about a lot with musicians of certain eras. Sometimes fitting, sometimes just stated by an artists label.

To me , and millions of other Freddie fans, "legendary" fits like a glove.


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