Interviews: Queen: Rockline '91
Brian May and Roger Taylor with Bob Coburn.
BOB: Never before has there been such a blend of flamboyance, brilliant musicianship, outrageous theatrics and just plain old good songs as there is with Queen and tonight we'll play a selection of new songs from the just released 'Innuendo' CD as well as some of your old favourites. More important we'll give you a chance to talk with Queen's guitarist, Brian May. Good evening.
BRIAN: Hi Bob. Great to be here.
BOB: Great to have you back. And also the drummer for the band, Mr. Roger Taylor. Welcome back.
ROGER: Good evening. Great to be here, Bob.
BOB: I got to ask you this right off the bat because your North American fans are starved to hear you live. Are you going to tour this time, my gosh!
BRIAN: We hope so, yeah. The signs look good. But we still have to persuade Freddie that he actually wants to be here. But we can talk about that later.
BOB: Now how long has it been? It's been a long time.
BRIAN: Well, the last time--
ROGER: I think it's nine years.
BOB: Nine years?! Oh, man!
BRIAN: The shame! The shame!
BOB: How did it get to be that long? How's it been that nine years went by?
ROGER: Well, we went to a lot of other countries. We went to South America, a few times, and it got to be a habit not coming here.
BOB: Change your habits! Let's talk about 'Innuendo', the new one. You produced it along with David Richards, and I guess he is the regular engineer at your studio in Switzerland. Is that not the case?
BRIAN: That's right. He's kind of our in-house guy. He's very good.
BOB: He obviously lends a lot to the band, that you feel comfortable doing albums with him, and what not.
BRIAN: Yeah, we have a lot of confidence in him. He started off being the engineer, now we sort of use him as a sort of fifth member of the band. And we use him to bounce off...
BOB: For the second time in a row, everyone in the band contributed to every song. It was literally a group effort. Is this going to be the trend for Queen, as the years go by?
ROGER: Well, we started that on the last album, 'The Miracle'. We found that it was just the best decision that we ever made. It removes all the ego things that get in the way of making decisions on merit, and people aren't worrying about, "hey this is my song, it's better than your song," and whatever the single is, it's contributed to everybody. Everybody contributes to each song. So, it's really worked out well for us.
BOB: Pride of authorship can be a sticky thing sometimes.
BRIAN: That's right, it breaks up groups. So we have a great idea, as Roger says.
BOB: Now the first song that's released here, in the U.S., and I believe Canada, too, "Headlong," is not the song that was released in Britain, which was the title track, "Innuendo. Why choose two different songs for different locations?
BRIAN: It was kind of as a result of the feeling that was fed back by the record company here. They thought that "Headlong" would be the easiest to break into the A.O.R. situation here. The other track, "Innuendo," seemed to be a natural single for England, and in fact it went in at number one in England last week.
BOB: That's right. It debuted at number one.
BRIAN: Yes, we're pretty thrilled about that. It looks pretty good in Europe. I think it will be the second single in the States.
BOB: Now I hear raves about the video for "Innuendo." There is no video for "Headlong," is there?
BRIAN: There is, but we're still messing with it. Yes, it's hiding away somewhere.
ROGER: Actually, the "Headlong" video is basically a performance video, which is a more straight forward animal than the "Innuendo" video, which is a very involved state-of-the-art video.
BOB: Until the video for "Headlong" is available, let's listen to it the old fashioned way, on the radio on Rockline, this is Queen:
BOB: "Headlong," by Queen, and that of course is on the new one, 'Innuendo', and of course every caller that gets on the air with Brian and Roger from Queen will get an autographed copy of 'Innuendo' courtesy of Hollywood records. Let's hit the phones, the first caller is on the line. Caesar is on the line, from El Paso, Texas. Good evening and welcome.
CAESAR: Hi, Brian and Roger.
BRIAN: Hi, how're you doing?
CAESAR: Great, you don't know what a thrill it is to talk to you guys, you guys are my favourite band.
BRIAN: Brilliant, it's nice to hear that.
ROGER: Thank you. How's Texas?
CAESAR: My question is: You know how David Bowie re-released his old albums. I heard there's a rumour that Queen will be releasing their old catalogue, and if so will there be rare tracks, songs that were never released, different versions of old songs? What's going to be on it?
ROGER: Well, yes, we are releasing the back catalogue. It's been remastered digitally for the CDs. I think what the idea is, they're doing some real interesting remixes of our old tracks, like Rick Rubin has done a sensational remix of "We Will Rock You." It should be interesting.
BRIAN: It's really funny. Very interesting.
BOB: And there are some bonus tracks that are going to be on there.
BRIAN: Yes, we're digging through the files to see if there's some of the old stuff that never got out that we can put on there. There are a few unreleased bits and pieces off our English radio appearances that might get on there. The only trouble is a lot of the tracks we rejected at the time ought to have been rejected. Sometimes you don't want to go back and fish out your garbage.
BOB: There's a reason it didn't make the cut to begin with.
BRIAN: But there may be a few little gems that make it out there.
BOB: Now the information I have is sometime in March, which is obviously very close, we'll start with four CDs. Is that right?
BRIAN: That's right. We've been supervising the remastering onto digital of all those, every album that we ever made. It sounds so much better on the CD.
BOB: We do not have those, but we do have a DAT, digital audio tape, tape recording of those. And from 'Sheer Heart Attack' we'll play "Killer Queen" in just a few minutes. It's from that batch. Caesar, thanks for joining us. Now we'll go to John, from Jacksonville, Florida. Hi.
JOHN: Hey, fellows.
ROGER: Hi, John.
JOHN: Roger, Brian, you've both been involved in solo projects. What did you learn from these that you've been able to bring back an incorporate into the band?
ROGER: Mmm, that's a good one. This is Roger here. I had lots of good fun away from the band, but one of the things I learned was the strength we have together in the band. It's always nice to get back, it's like home. There's a sort of magic that happens with the four of us in the studio and when we're on stage. I think I learned that it's nice to get back home.
BRIAN: Yes, there is a lot of good stuff that comes about from getting out into the world, because we were pretty inchular for a lot of our career. You know, the band is working all the time for fifteen years. We would tour, then we'd make a record, another tour, and another record. Recently, we have had the time to get out and meet other musicians, work with them, and it's great. You do bring back in new blood, there's no doubt about it.
BOB: John, another good call. Let's move on and talk with Ryan, in Sawyer, Michigan.
RYAN: Hi guys, how're you doing? My first question is to Brian. I was wondering, the last time on Rockline you said there was going to be a solo album out, I was wondering how it was going, and...
BRIAN: Yes... I'm still working on it. It's the ongoing saga of the Brian May solo album. It's still in the cards, and maybe by this, I'm hoping, by this summer it will be finished and I will put it out. See I have a lot of stuff, but it just needs making into an album. It's a difficult task, making a lot of decisions.
RYAN: How easy is it to work with Freddie in the studio?
BRIAN: It's wonderful, because he's always full of ideas. You couldn't ask for more of anyone. He's never still, and very inspiring, and the stuff he managed to produce out of the instrument he calls his voice, this time around, is unbelievable.
ROGER: I bet you thought he was hard to work with in the studio?
BOB: Is that the case, Ryan? Did you think he was difficult?
RYAN: I was just curious.
ROGER: Ah, ha. No, he's a pleasure. He's always a pleasure.
BOB: Let's listen to the digital audio tape version of "Killer Queen" we have. This is how it's going to sound on the forthcoming CD.
BOB: There's a lot more clarity there, it's very audible.
BRIAN: Out of the murk of the vinyl comes the real music, at last.
BOB: We have another song that we have on DAT that we'll play a little bit later. Right now we go back to the phones, it's an evening with Queen. Russ is waiting patiently on the phones, he's from Memphis, Tennessee. You're on the show, Russ.
RUSS: How're y'all doing?
BRIAN: Very well, thank-you.
RUSS: Greetings from Elvis, Vegas, and I hope you all get to play the Great American Pyramid right here in Memphis, Tennessee. I have one question: Will Queen ever make an album with the inscription "no synths!" on it?
BRIAN: Another one with no synthesizers on it? I think it's highly possible actually. Synthesizers, these days, are very much more human, and we regard them as not such an enemy anymore. Where we used to have an Hammond organ or a piano, it's quite acceptable to have a synthesizer these days, I think.
BOB: They don't have that same mechanical sound they used to have in the beginning. They were very mechanical.
ROGER: You couldn't even play a chord on a synthesizer when we were making our first albums, and it just sounded like a buzz.
BRIAN: We also had an aversion to them because people used to say that what was on the album was a synthesizer, all these complex vocal arrangements, guitar harmonies, etc. They used to say "all this is done by synthesizer." We just used to have a point of saying, "no synthesizers."
BOB: Thank you for your question, Russ. Let's see what Carrie has on her mind, she's in Winnipeg. You're on the Rockline with us, Carrie.
CARRIE: Hi, you guys played Live Aid and were fantastic, I was wondering if it will ever be available on video or cassette?
BRIAN: I don't think it's ever been on a commercial cassette. There's a few bootlegs knocking around.
ROGER: Yeah, I think they're releasing here, I know there's a laser disc, a thing called "The Magic Years," which is a three hour history of us, and they have included bits of that on there. That's the only way I know of that it would be available, I can't think of another way.
BOB: That was not only a landmark show for what it was and what it represented, and the money it raised and what not; it was for you as a band, too. It really served as a catalyst for the group.
BRIAN: It was a good time. I think it did our confidence a lot of good. It was the first time we went out without the lights and the big sound system, even without most of our stage gear, and we had nothing to hide behind, and it was just the four us, and we still got across.
BOB: It was just seventeen minutes, as they say in the film industry, "cut to the chase." Get to the good part quick.
BRIAN: And it has to be said that Freddie rose to the occasion, particularly. We were used to the stadium environment, that helped.
ROGER: But it was a great day, the atmosphere was unbelievable. You really felt like something great was being done that day.
BRIAN: For the right reasons for once, for once in everybody's lives.
BOB: Thanks, Carrie. We're going to speak with Chad now, in Lima Ohio.
CHAD: Yes, I was wondering, I'm a member of Royal Vision and I was wondering what old songs that you've done would you like to play live that you've never played live before?
BRIAN: Interesting question. "Bohemian Rhapsody" would be a good one.
ROGER: We've played that one a couple of times.
BRIAN: We could get it right for once.
ROGER: I would like to play a track on the second album, which you might know if you're in Royal Vision, it's called "March Of The Black Queen." It would be nice to do that whole side of that album, all the songs run into one another. That would be nice to do it live.
BOB: For those who don't know, Royal Vision is the fan club here in North America, and there's also now a Queen hot-line, and we'll give you the number for that at the end of the program tonight. Chad, thanks and we'll move on now to Tokyo, this is Allen.
ALLEN: Hi Bob, and here's my question to the members of Queen. You made videos for your music from the early days of your career. When you write your songs, do you think ahead to the video and then go ahead and write the songs?
BRIAN: I think it's safe to say no. In fact, there's a little bit of resistance from us to make videos these days. It seems there's an obligation, and sometimes you don't want to limit the vision of the record to a particular piece of film or video. No, I think the music comes first and that's all we think about in the studio.
BOB: You're very hands on with your videos aren't you? You don't just franchise them out.
ROGER: We're there from the beginning and we've lost a little bit of interest in the years in the middle. But we've been putting quite a lot of work into the new videos. In fact, Freddie is at the moment in London putting together the ideas for the scenario of the next video. That's what he's doing.
BOB: Good luck, Freddie, across the pond there. I'm going to play the title track from 'Innuendo' right now, and it just occurred to me that a lot of people may not have heard this, it's literally brand new. The album has only been out, you can count it in hours almost. Now Queen is not known for bringing in musicians, but Steve Howe makes an appearance on this track.
BRIAN: That's right, purely by fortuitous accident. He just happened to be around in Switzerland, when we were working and he just dropped in. We were working on this little Spanish guitar piece in the middle. He's very good at that sort of stuff, so instantly it seemed like a good idea to get him in to play all the stuff that I can't play.
BOB: Oh, yeah right.
BRIAN: No, he taught me how to play his chromatic runs, so I owe him a big debt.
BOB: Let's listen to it now, this is "Innuendo" by Queen.
BOB: That is the title track of the new CD by Queen, 'Innuendo'. I have to admit, we went into the other room and looked at the video while the song was playing. I think it's pretty safe to assume you spent more than two dollars on that.
BOB: Three-and-a-half, yes. That is a very exotic video with Claymation, and lots of editing, and it looks real hi-tech. There's a lot going on. Look forward to seeing that, it should be out in a couple of weeks, that's what I heard.
BRIAN: I'm not sure how long, I'm sure it depends on "Headlong"'s performance, and how everybody feels.
BOB: Anyway, keep an eye open for it, that's nothing short of spectacular. We go back to the phones on Rockline with our evening with Queen, it's Enrickay, in Burbank, California. You're on the Rockline, Enrickay.
ENRICKAY: Hi, I was wondering how long it took you to put together this album and how difficult it was to record it. It sounds very reminiscent of 'A Night At The Opera'.
ROGER: Yeah, this is Roger. I agree with that, Enrickay. It took about a year. But what we'd do is we'd go into the studio, work for about three weeks and take two weeks off. The album was really a happy album to make, they're not all happy to make. It sort of wrote itself. We didn't have any problems with it at all, and I think it shows in the end result. The material has depth and maturity to it, and it just runs well, I think, and in some ways it does remind us of the 'A Night At The Opera' days.
BOB: Well spotted, as they say, Enrickay. Let's talk with Mike, in Pueblo, Colorado. You're on the show with us, Mike.
MIKE: Hi, guys, how're you doing.
BRIAN: Very good thank you.
MIKE: I have a question for you: I was wondering that since you're now with virtually a brand-new label, Hollywood records, I was wondering if Queen considered it an honor that your contract with Elektra and Capitol were sold to Hollywood records, and how you felt about it, if you considered it an honor that they would buy your contract.
BRIAN: We're very very happy to be with them, and I don't think that we've ever been so close to a record company in our lives. They have a very good attitude, very open, and it corresponds to our way of doing things. They always want to do things different, they don't want to do anything through the established channels. Up till now, I think we've benefitted more in the last two or three months of being with Hollywood than the last five years anywhere else. It's a great relationship.
BOB: So, all the catalogue will come out on Hollywood records, the entire thing.
BRIAN: We were in the rare position of actually owning all our material, back to day one, which I think is very rare. So, we've given them the whole catalogue, so they can re-do it all properly.
ROGER: They bit the whole bullet.
BRIAN: So, they bought it!
BOB: It is a new company with some new faces and new configurations and what not, but you do have the backing of Warner Bros. behind it, so you get the massive distributorship. So, you get the best of both worlds.
BRIAN: And also a fantastic pool of talent, because we're next to the animation department of Walt Disney, the most wonderful team in the world in that area, and Touchstone films is under the same roof. There's room for so much interaction with other talent. There's a good feeling already being in there.
ROGER: We wanted to use, and they're willing to give us, help from all the other departments that we can. There's lot of potential there.
BOB: Thanks for being on with us, Mike. We're now going to speak with Brandon of Colombus, Ohio.
BRANDON: Hi, I wanted to ask you about rapper Vanilla Ice borrowing your music from "Under Pressure" and did you get any compensation for it.
BRIAN: Did you say "borrowing?" You mean he's going to give it back?
ROGER: He can keep it. The first thing is we were surprised and shocked. And then we were quite flattered in a way that he made a whole song out of one riff from one of our songs.
BOB: Did he have to ask for permission?
BRIAN: He should have done, but he didn't, and for this reason Hollywood records are suing his white ass off, if I may be so bold.
BOB: There might be a number of people out there who might think that's a good thing.
BRIAN: He doesn't seem to have an enormous number of friends here.
ROGER: I think he's too modest, he's just too modest.
BRIAN: He's going to die of modesty.
BOB: Hey! Ice-guy, check with them next time. We're going to play one of those DAT recordings now. This is from 'A Day At The Races', "Tie Your Mother Down," on Rockline.
[TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN, 1991 REMIX]
BOB: "Tie Your Mother Down" by Queen, wow what a difference!
BRIAN: There were a few little surprises in there.
BOB: That must be closer to what you heard in the studio when you recorded it.
BRIAN: Yes, but that is also remixed, I forget whose done this, but it's a remix which we've had nothing to do with. We gave out a few tapes to people and said have a go at this, "We Will Rock You" has been done, and "Stone Cold Crazy" is another, and some interesting results. So a couple of these will be available as bonus tracks as time goes on.
BOB: Well, that kept the integrity of the original recording but hit you with a couple of surprises in there, which you haven't heard before. We have a Brian on the line, waiting to talk to Brian and Roger, he's from Rodchester.
BRIAN: Hi, how're you doing?
ROGER: Brian, Brian.
BRIAN: I have a question for you, Brian it's about the song we just heard, "Tie Your Mother Down." Was there a certain experience that made you write the lyrics to that song?
BRIAN MAY: Well, it wasn't about my mum really.
ROGER: Strapped down!
BRIAN MAY: It's really meant to be a story about a young boy's frustration and where it leads him, really. It's a simple as that, it's not as personal about some of the stuff we've done, it's more fun.
ROGER: I often wonder what it's about.
BRIAN MAY: I'm bluffing wildly because I can't remember what it was about.
ROGER: Take his little brother swimming with a brick, or something.
BRIAN MAY: I'll tell you the truth, I know what happened. Sometimes you get a little riff, and you just put some words with it, and then you don't even think about what they mean. Now I'm remember thinking, now this isn't a good enough title for this song, but everyone said: "Well actually, it sounds okay," and so we kind of lyrically built it around that. That's the truth, folks.
BOB: There we go, the truth revealed finally, from Brain May. We're going to move to Toronto now, and speak with Fern. Fern, you're on.
FERN: Hey, hello Brian and Roger.
ROGER: Hello, Fern.
FERN: Great, I finally get a chance to talk with you guys, and thanks for the great tunes over the years, I hope your music lives on forever, boys. I have a question for you, okay: Would Queen ever work again with another superstar, such as David Bowie, or another of that stature?
ROGER: That's a good question. I think it would have to depend with who it was. If we sort of got on, and we sort of mutually respected each other as artist, then yes, I don't see why not.
BRIAN: Vanilla Ice, maybe.,p> ROGER: Yes! But, I don't see why not, it could be good.
BOB: Fern, thanks for calling us. By the way, every caller who gets on the air with Brian and Roger from the band will get an autographed copy of 'Innuendo' from Hollywood records. Bob Coburn, here at Rockline, having some fun with Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, this evening, and we have a call for the guys from Tokyo, Tetsuo is the callers name. Good evening and welcome.
TETSUO: This is Tetsuo calling from Tokyo, and I would like to ask a question. How do you select your concert material, because you have some songs more popular in one country than another? Do you use different songs for these countries?
ROGER: Oh, good question. Yes we do, actually. There are certain songs which are more popular in different countries, and we did used to vary the songs that we played. For instance, in South America, there was a song that was a major hit, called "Love Of My Life," which was never a hit anywhere else. So we'd always include that, and that became a major part of the show there. Yes, is the answer, I'd say. Can you think of anymore examples, Brian?
BRIAN: Good answer, Roger. Good answer. Basically, we would keep to a certain framework of the show, for the most part, because it was the stuff that was most in our heads at that time, but yeah, we'd make departures for certain countries. It's very important for people to know that you know where you are, I think. Also in Budapest, we played a folksong and played that to them. There is a "Live In Budapest" video somewhere, I don't know if you can get it in this country very easily.
ROGER: I don't think the Hungarians understood a word, though. Freddie had the words written, in Hungarian, on his hand.
BOB: It amazes me how you can go to Buenos Aires, to Argentina, and they sing the lyrics to everything.
BRIAN: Incredible, that was a surprise when we first got there. We were shocked at how many tickets we could sell, because we did all stadiums, "stadia" I should say, out there. We thought that maybe it was just a high curiosity value, 'cos rock and roll was still fairly new there, strangely enough, but in fact we found they sang along, as you said, they knew all the lyrics to the songs, as you said, so it was a genuine rock audience.
ROGER: But a lot of them were probably singing lyrics and they didn't even know what they meant. They were just singing them phonetically, which is incredible really.
BOB: Let's play something new. This is from the brand-new CD, 'Innuendo'. If you haven't heard this, this is one of the stand outs, I think. "I Can't Live With You," Queen on Rockline:
[I CAN'T LIVE WITH YOU]
BOB: That was Queen, from 'Innuendo'. This is Rockline, on the Global Satellite Network. We have Micky on the line from New York, Micky your on the show.
ROGER: Hello, Micky.
MICKY: I'd like to ask Roger how come "Sheer Heart Attack" the song was on the 'Jazz' LP and not on the 'Sheer Heart Attack' album.
ROGER: Ah, I think it was on the 'News Of The World' LP, I think. We came up with the title for the 'Sheer Heart Attack' album, and it was a song that I had an idea for, but I hadn't actually finished the song yet. By the time I had finished the song we were two albums later, so it just struggled out on the 'News Of The World' album. It's quite interesting because we were making an album next-door to a punk band, the Sex Pistols, and it really fit into that punk explosion that was happening at the time, which was happening right then. It was actually better that it happened that it came out on the 'News Of The World' album.
BOB: They were actually adjacent to you recording?
ROGER: Oh, yeah, yeah.
BRIAN: Strangely enough.
ROGER: We used to watch T.V. together.
BRIAN: There was a famous story that Sid Vicious came in and Freddie said, "And who the hell are you, are you Simon Ferocious or something?" And he said, "Oh yes, and you bring ballet to the masses, do you?" So, it was quite an interesting meeting.
BOB: What an exchange.
ROGER: It was great.
BOB: Micky, good call. Let's talk with Christian. Christian is in Torrence. Good evening.
CHRISTIAN: Hi, Brian, Roger.
CHRISTIAN: This is an honor, it's incredible. I have a question about Metallica's cover of Stone Cold Crazy. I was wondering what you thought about it, and if you had a chance to talk with the band beforehand, or if it was a bit of surprise for the band.
BRIAN: It was, in fact I only met James Hetfield last night for the first time, on our bash on the 'Queen Mary', and I think it's very very good, and I'm flattered that a class act should choose a bit of our material.
BOB: Now you mentioned the party on the 'Queen Mary'. We should mention that for those who weren't there, and didn't know you literally premiered the CD Saturday night on the ship, the 'Queen Mary', docked at Long Beach, here in Southern California. A unique approach, a nice way to do it, Queen on the 'Queen Mary', that's natural. It was quite a party, with a big fireworks display.
BRIAN: That's right, Hollywood records pulled out all the stops.
ROGER: It was great, it looked like Baghdad actually.
BOB: Christian, thank you for the call. We're going to talk with Chris in Colombus, Ohio. You're on the Rockline, Chris.
CHRIS: Hey, Brian and Roger, how are you doing?
BRIAN: Very nice, thank you.
ROGER: Fine, how are you?
CHRIS: Oh, I'm doing great. I tell you this, you're the most fantastic thing that ever happened to me.
BRIAN: Brilliant! That's great to hear.
CHRIS: Anyway, my question is directed at Roger. You spoke earlier about how videos limit music and one of your songs, "Radio Ga Ga," spoke about that. I was wondering if you still think that "Radio Ga Ga" is as valid now as ever considering the amount and other types of music that's out there?
ROGER: Ah, that's a good question, yes.
BRIAN: He's on the spot now! Answer that one Roger Taylor.
ROGER: Well, I'm on the radio right now, and I think all radio is absolutely incredible and fantastic. But, uh, I don't know. I definitely meant it at the time. I think things were becoming so formula-ized, and the videos were... It's nice to hear something on the radio, you can imagine what's happening, and the video, in a way, provides the imagination and the images for you. Maybe it would be more interesting if they were in your head. That's a good question, I don't really have an answer for it.
BOB: The next song we're going to play was voted by the British Phonography industry as the best song in twenty-five years, and Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame, said that this song redefined the parameters of what one can do in a song. This is Bohemian Rhapsody, on Rockline.
ROGER: That's very nice of him, thanks Dave.
BOB: One of the all time great rock and roll songs, without a doubt, from 'A Night At The Opera', "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Mike is on the line, listening in Winnipeg. Now your on with Roger and Brian of Queen, Mike.
MIKE: Hi, guys.
ROGER: Hi, Mike.
BRIAN: Hello, Mike.
MIKE: How're you doing?
BRIAN: Ver-r-ry good.
MIKE: I got two questions here. What was your inspiration for "Bohemian Rhapsody" and weren't you afraid to release such a long single?
BRIAN: "Bohemian Rhapsody" is mostly Freddie's baby, and he came in with most of that in his head.
BOB: You're kidding.
BRIAN: Yes, that doesn't happen by accident, this is Freddie going 1500 miles an hour. What was the second part of the question?
MIKE: Weren't you afraid to release such a long single?
BRIAN: We were advised by everyone that we shouldn't release such a long single.
ROGER: The record company was scared, but we weren't.
BRIAN: We had the feeling that it was right and it shouldn't be messed with, that we should go out full-length and take the risk.
BOB: And it wasn't messed with.
ROGER: When Freddie did write that song, he actually did have all those parts in his head, which is quite something else.
BOB: That is incredible, amazing.
ROGER: I wouldn't want to be in one of his nightmares.
BOB: That man needs a hobby, quick! Mike, thank you. Let's talk to Robert in Ontario. You're on the Rockline, Robert.
ROBERT: Hi, Brian.
BRIAN: How you doing.
ROBERT: I'd just like to get this off my chest, you guys just rule. My question is for Brian. Now that you're back in the spotlight, will you be endorsing any products, not that you need to, and your thoughts on endorsements by major artists like yourself.
BRIAN: The only thing I'd like to endorse is a re-issue of my guitar that Guild is going to build again. We're not heavily into endorsing things, but we are coming around to the idea that it's not such a bad thing for our stuff to be seen in adverts, which is not quite the same thing, but T.V. commercials have recently wanted to use a lot of our material, and we used to be very protective, but nowadays we think it's good for our stuff to be aired.
BOB: If you do decide to tour North America, would you consider a sponsor.
BRIAN: Yeah, I think that would happen.,p> BOB: Now the positive aspect of that, a lot of artists tell me, is it keeps the ticket prices lower, and to take a big stage show out on the road costs a big fortune these days. You have a crew of forty and a truck full of gear and what-not.
BRIAN: Yes, we always lived beyond our means, in terms of touring. We were always spending more than we were making.
ROGER: Yeah, we never did take a sponsor, before.
BRIAN: Yes, but they didn't really exist in those days.
ROGER: Not so much, no, but if it did bring the ticket price down, then it's got to be a good thing.
BOB: Let's play something that features Brian on guitar. This is a definite rock and roll song here, this is "Hitman" by Queen, from 'Innuendo', on Rockline. Hit it.
BOB: "The Hitman" from 'Innuendo', by Queen, on Rockline. I'm Bob Coburn. We're with Brian May and Roger Taylor, and our next caller is Marla, from Quakertown, PN. Hi, there!
ROGER: Hello. Hello.
MARLA: It really is a big thrill for me, I've been a fan for seventeen years.
ROGER: Oh, wow! Thank you. Great.
BRIAN: Love to hear it.
MARLA: I love the new album, but going back one album, the order in which the songs were placed on 'The Miracle' album, it almost sounds to me like it's autobiographical in the growth of a band. I was wondering if it was done intentional or did it just happen that way.
ROGER: I see what you mean with "Was It All Worth It" being the last track. I don't think it was that--
BRIAN: It's not quite as specific as that. I think we're very often aware that there's more than one meaning to what we're doing, in common with most writers. You can't help but have more than one level in the songs, so very often there are allusions to the group's, sort of, life in the lyrics, and sort of personal things, and things you can share with your audience. So, there is something of that there, but not quite as specific as you might say.
BOB: You didn't intend it, per se, in a linear fashion.
BRIAN: No, I don't think so.
ROGER: But the last track, in particular, was a sort of fun track.
BOB: "Was It All Worth It" to sort of wrap it all up.
ROGER: And it was a little potted history in the lyric of that track.
BOB: Marla, thank you for the call. We're going to talk now with Jeffrey, from Anchorage, Alaska. Jeffrey, welcome back.
JEFFREY: Good evening, everybody.
ROGER: Good evening way up there.
JEFFREY: It's about sixteen degrees.
ROGER: That's hot for up there, isn't it?
JEFFREY: Oh, it's really hot.
BOB: That's sixteen degrees Fahrenheit, not Celsius.
JEFFREY: Is it true, Freddie wrote the song "Delilah" about his pet cat?
BRIAN: So he tells us, yeah, or maybe he's keeping something from us. Yes, next question!
BOB: It wouldn't be the first time or the last, I guess, he's keeping something from you.
BRIAN: Yes, that's the general idea, I think. MEOW!!!
BOB: Jeffrey, thanks for being on. Let's go way back in the archives, first album, "Keep Yourself Alive," on Rockline.
[KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE]
BOB: "Keep Yourself Alive," Queen, back to the first one. Time for one more call tonight, it's Beverly in Seemy Valley, in California. You have the distinction of being the last caller tonight, Beverly.
BEVERLY: Do I really? Hello Roger and Brian?
ROGER: Hello, Beverly.
BEVERLY: How are you doing?
ROGER: We're fine, how are you?
BEVERLY: I'm doing good. First of all I'd just like you to know that I've been a fan of yours since the beginning, and that your music has always been so powerful and original, unlike any other type of music.
ROGER: Well, brilliant! Thanks a lot.
BEVERLY: Sure! And I kind of have two questions, the first one: what originally brought you together as a band, and the second: what has kept your together throughout the years?
ROGER: Yes, we we're brought together... We all went to university in London, but different colleges in London, and we were brought together by a common interest, we liked the same kind of music. That's how Brian and I met. And Freddie, indeed, we all used to like Jimi Hendrix and things like that, very much. I suppose that's what brought us together, and what kept us together?
BOB: Coming up on twenty-years, the same four men.
BRIAN: I think what kept us together was actually working on the relationship, because it's like any relationship, it's not always that easy, and we learned to give each other the space and room to develop, that we needed. There's been moments... And it sounds like a small thing, but the sharing of the writing credits, things like that really make a big difference, you learn to give everyone equal say. Just things like that. We gradually learn to exist together, because we value everybody's contribution.
BOB: Beverly, thanks for calling. Thanks to everyone for listening and calling, and congratulations to everyone who got on the air tonight, you'll each receive an autograph copy of 'Innuendo' on CD, courtesy of Hollywood records. If you'd like to write us at Rockline, our address is:
PO BOX 4384
Hollywood, CA 90078
For the latest information on Queen, there is now a Queen hotline you can call, that number is:
Guys, thanks a lot. It's always a pleasure to have you here and I enjoy your music a lot, and your company even more, and another thing, I'm going to nail you, you better tour.
BRIAN: Okay, just you supply the wine. We'll supply the tour.
BOB: You owe me one. Speaking of that, as we all have someone drive us home tonight, don't get behind the wheel, just use some common sense out there.