Interviews: Roger Taylor: KKLZ Radio '97
This telephone interview took place live on 96.3 KKLZ FM, in Las Vegas, starting about 7:50 am local time, on December 16th. It was on the Johnson & Tofte Show, KKLZ's weekday morning show, with Ken Johnson and Jim Tofte. Dennis Mitchell was also in attendance I believe, so all three are asking the questions.
Many apologies for only being able to provide a transcript - I don't have enought web space for an audio file!
RT - Roger Taylor
KJ - Ken Johnson
JT - Jim Tofte
DM - Dennis Mitchell
I did my best to discern between the 3 interviewers, but I may be wrong in some notes.
Many thanks to Ken Johnson, Bruno, and the rest at KKLZ for kindly copying the interview for me!
JT: Roger Taylor from Queen, why the new song, "No-One But You"?
RT: Um, Brian wrote the song, sent it to me, ahh, a few months ago. I lost it, found it again, and I played it, and just thought, 'it sounds like a Queen song', and I know Brian wanted me to play on it, I think for his solo album, and I thought, boy, did we need John here. And so we eventually got together, and it was like the old chemistry just came back, and it just felt great to be playing together again. It just clicked in, just like a, just like a... click.
KJ: It is very much a Queen song - who is it singing?
RT: Well, Brian sings the first verse, and the first chorus, I sing the second verse, and then after that it's all a mixture.
DM: That's a very nice touch.
KJ: A lot of people forget, you know, how good all of you guys sing. Freddie was so dominant in that area, but your harmonies were impeccable.
RT: Well, thanks a lot, you're very kind. Yeah, Freddie was such an amazing front man, and we were always so proud of him. Um, but in fact it was true that we, that there was a lot of vocalizing from, mainly the three of us. John was very much in the background with that, but, um, yeah, we were always quite proud of our vocalizing. But obviously, when you've got a guy like Freddie, you let him take most of the, um, most of the front stuff.
DM: Did you guys go your separate ways after we lost Freddie, and then have no intention of getting back together again? What was the situation?
RT: Well, no, that's not really true. We had such a thing; it was like a, it's grew up into quite a monumental, I would say, organization, in a way. And I suppose it's a kind of business as well. It becomes your life - like a four-way marriage, and we thought, 'ok, it'll just die away' when Freddie died, and that would be the end of it, but it didn't. And the interest continued. So then we found ourselves obligated to sort of keep running the whole thing, even on a business level, which sounds boring, but I mean it just needs to be done, you know. And of course we've always remained friends - you can't be friends for that long, and then just split up.
DM: I don't know, ask the Eagles.
RT: Obviously, we're in touch on a regular basis, and that was why it was easy to get together again like that.
DM: There was never any desire to establish some non-Queen kind of identity in, you know, some sort of new band with a new sound? You're comfortable with the Queen identity?
RT: Yeah, I mean I think we're always very, we were very proud of what we did, whatever. You know we had a lot of critics - we had a lot of praises and a lot of critics. And Brian and I did our own solo stuff, and so did Freddie, and we were all very happy to do that, and express ourselves separately. But always we would come back to the, we call it 'The Mother Ship'. And it was good, you know, it was this wonderful feeling of security, at the center of all things. And in a very odd and strange way which we would never have guessed it to do, it remained.
KJ: Now, you have done a bunch of things with other vocalists guesting, and you have done things now, this song, No-One But You, with you guys singing. So are you guys gonna stay together and start rockin' again, or what?
RT: Well, I don't know. Wouldn't that be, in some ways that would sound so great. Um, I don't know. I mean, you see, we always did, Brian and I usually sang at least a song each on every album we made, I think, almost. Maybe not the last couple. And so, to us it's not so unusual that we should take a lead vocal, or share a lead vocal. But to the sort of 'public at large', it probably does seem a little unusual. I don't know, it's just a difficult question.
JT: Start with the soundtrack thing, slide into it easy, you know, do a real kick-ass soundtrack for some kids action flick and then get into it!
DM: It's a thought!
RT: Hey, I tell you what, you need a job as our manager. The ticket's on the way OK?
DM: Any thought whatsoever though, to maybe another vocalist, and trying to take it on the road? And Freddie's shoes are huge to fill.
KJ:Lee Ann Rimes comes to mind.
JT: Lee Ann Rimes, what about it huh?
JT: My ticket's going back across the ocean!
RT: No comment there! Um, Freddie's shoes are definitely enormous to fill, they're impossible to fill, I think. Um, but at the same time I think we can do things together, because we proved it by this. The chemistry's there, It was great fun. Um, you know, I really don't know. The answer is so difficult, we don't have it. but I feel sort of, vaguely optimistic.
JT: Well, we wanna rock with you guys, You gotta get over the emotional thing and start rockin' again cause there's a lot of people that wanna pay for it.
RT: Well, hey, I mean, that is such a pragmatic view, I can relate to that.
DM: It seems like you'd be perfect for the smaller...
RT: I love you Americans, so-[?]
DM: It seems like you be perfect for the smaller venues, right now at least, like The Joint here in Las Vegas.
RT: Well, true, but Freddie had a thing - he didn't have the word 'small' in his vocabulary.
JT: Thats true. But you gotta rebuild, so you start small, you go to The Joint here - small but prestigous - and then hype the CD, the brand new CD on QVC! [much laughter] This is the way to go...
RT: This is like a lesson in how to rebuild a career.
KJ: And then you get into a fist fight with one of the fans, and that'll get you some press. Yeah! sure!
RT: That suits me, that suits me.
KJ: Now speaking of the movies, what did you guys think of how Mike Myers treated the whole Queen thing in Wayne's World?
RT: Oh, well in one, in three words or whatever, we loved it. I thought Wayne's World was funny, I thought it was brilliant. Now I've given up with David Gilmour, who didn't like it...
all: Oh, really?
RT: That just proves that they're too old!
KJ: Very true, very true.
RT: We thought it was a very funny film, we loved it, we were flattered. Maybe we shouldn't have been!
JT: Oh, no, that's immortilization!
DM: Which one of us didn't, did not do that, the rockin' out listening to it in the car like those guys did. It was a ritual.
RT: It summed up that period in the mid-seventies.
KJ: Exactly. That summmer the movie came out my son and I did that in the car anywhere we would go.
RT: We used to do it in the station wagon. I think that was how it was written.
KJ: Speaking of Mike Myers, just as long as we're on this side topic, did you see Austin Powers and what did you think of that?
RT: I loved it, I though Liz Hurley looked...
JT: Oh, yes, no argument here!
JT: [Austin Powers accent] "Oh, behave!" "Does it make you horny?"
RT: You know, you do that better than we do! I loved that movie.
DM: You know, seriously, the soundtrack business is something that I know that Brian has been involved in, and it'd be great to see you guys more involved in that.
RT: Yeah, I think that Brian would probably point out, I know he's in the next room, and he would actually point out that there is a guy, there was an Australian guy I think, who's name is Brian May, who also did a lot of soundtracks, and there's been a lot of confusion there.
DM: I see. Is that right?
JT: Alright then we'll call him Brian Wilson or something, but get back into it, you guys!
RT: Oh, that won't be confusing at all!
JT: Yeah, we miss you guys!
KJ: Thanks a lot, Roger Taylor, for joining us, we sure do appreciate that.
RT: Thank you, cheers, you're wonderful.
JT: Best of luck with the new record.
RT: Alright, thank you.
JT: Alright, take care.