These were the days of their lives


There‘s been said about the band Queen and their vocalist Freddie Mercury tons of things. Yet, a lot of things are still being said, because this particular band made a huge influence on lots of people and musicians in the world. They left a mark in a musical history.

Recently, I re-watched the two part BBC documentary about the band called „Queen: Days of Our Lives“. What can I say? Since I‘ve read a lot of stuff about the band and even though lots of things shown in this documentary weren‘t new to me (a lot of things been already told and shown), but still it was a very interesting thing to watch. It was not boring at all. I mean, how could it be? It‘s Queen!

The documentary is full of beautiful Queen‘s music, old interviews, videos from old concerts and performances – various material from different years which is really interesting to see from current perspective. The documentary is so full of everything, but it could be even fuller, because there is so much that could be told about Queen. I loved that the remaining two band members – Roger Taylor and Brian May were actively involved in this documentary and they told lots of things (sure there were used some old interviews of John Deacon and Freddie Mercury, but it is just not the same as if they were talking currently).

I‘ve been thinking how to write the things I want to say. And I came up with the idea of simply pointing every single thought separately.

  • Charisma that obtained F. Mercury. Here, at this point, I think there‘s no need to discuss the magic over the charisma of Mr. Mercury. Without a doubt he obtained one. However, Queen wouldn‘t be Queen without each one of the four members no matter how charismatic Freddie was alone. However, his ability to control massess is phenomenal.
  • Queen is a great example that success doesn‘t come as fast and easy as it might seem it does. The band had to go through various difficulties, work really hard before they became successful. Maybe it was a good thing, taught them to cherish what they had and reach for the star even harder.
  • This particular documentary gives us a chance to take another look (exactly, look) at certain songs, albums, how they were created. You get a completely different understanding of them and respect for them (e.g. now I have completely different respect for „Seven Seas of Rhye“.

  • It was interesting to hear how author rights were split between band members. I didn‘t know about the rule that whoever brings the idea of the song will own the rights for it even though others helped in creating it (wrote music, or lyrics). On the one hand, it was a fair rule, but on the other hand, I think it used to bring a lot of tension into the band. Rule to split the rights equally makes much more sense, because either way everybody works on recording of the song.
  • Fredddie’s persona. Well, for me he was not such a huge diva as he is portrayed. No. He had his opinion at certain things, he had his own visions and he fought for them. Strongly.
  • Queen members were extremely precise and detailed in creating music and writing smart ass texts. They were very precise at what they were doing. And this is one of those things I like them so much and respect them.
  • Problems with contracts. Not getting money for your own music. They‘ve been fooled by their managers, robbed by them. Up until I watched this documentary I did not know about this. However, I can‘t say it was schoking. They were definetely not the first band or artist that were fooled by their managers or record companies. It‘sa quite known situation.
  • Freddie and his sexual orientation. I don‘t know why, but when we talk about Queen this topic always comes up. Sure, I understand that back in a day it was huge, it was shocking, but today? Does it really matter what orientation Freddie rally was? He lived a life the way he wanted, the way he liked. Sure, he did mistakes, we all do. But he also paid the price and he didn‘t put the blame for it on anyone. I don‘t think it‘s relevant to discuss his sexual orientation each and every time we discuss the music created by him and Queen. For God‘s sake, his sex life, it was his business. Who are we to judge? He had the right to live it the way he thought it was right, and if nothing bothered his partners why it should bother someone else?
  • For me, it was surprising to find out that no one believed in the success of „Bohemian Rhapsody at the very beginning. This song (one song!) was recorded in 6 different studios.It’s gorgeous as much as asong can be. And this example shows us how important it is to find people who will believe in you and what you do.

  • As well as, it is very important to have complete freedom to create. Usually musicians are limited, put into frames by their managers, record companies, because these people only think about the profit. And you can‘t blame them. It‘s their job. What about the creator? His primal goal is to create something beautiful, not get profit from it (though if he gets it, then it is great).
  • I didn‘t also know that the press was very harsh, I‘d say even angry with Queen. But, again, there‘s also nothing new, because press is always harsh with those who are successfull.
  • You know, as I was watching this documentary I couldn‘t get rid of this strange feeling. When you see someone talking about those who are no longer with us, it‘s sometimes so hard to realise that they actualy once were alive, especially if you were born after their death. You start to perceive them as some sort of mythical figures.
  • Taking over America back then seemed to be a very difficult mission to acomplish. But when you think about it, nothing really changed. To take over American music industry, audience is still extremelly hard for non-American artists, even though Internet has changed things a bit. And it is also interesting that you can be famous all around the world and yet fail in America.
  • Shows back then. If you were a talented artist you didn‘t need much, just good sound, vocals, well… and maybe lights. Today, I think it‘s the same: you don‘t need these grandiloquent things if you are that good to control an audience with your music and vocals.
  • One of the key moments for me in this documentary was the fact that May‘s dad was against him becoming a rock star, but at the same time it was May‘s dad who helped him become a rock star by helping him  with his guitar. Irony.
  • I did know that Jazz“ album was recorded in France, because it was simply cheaper than to do this in London due to high taxes.
  • John Deacon in this documentary was mentioned as „secret weapon“ of the band. He probably was that way: always quiet, shy, but writing damn good songs. Even though it is thought that Deacon is least noticeable member of the band I don‘t know what it would look like if he wasn‘t in this band in the first place. Sure, he doesn‘t play with Brian and Roger now and I think the band really lacks him, as same as it lacks Freddie. Queen was and always will be a four member band, that‘s what made the essence. You take one member, you take the essence away. Despite the fact that I am happy that Roger and Brian are continuing to work and tour as Queen, they continue going on with the legacy of Queen, I can’t admit that it is exactly the same as Queen that we know of. It‘s not, but it‘s the best we can have now.
  • Interesting to know that because of „Another One Bites the Dust“ Queen was thought to be a black band. And that this song made them very popular among black people and black people (listeners) made the song to hit the charts and become best selling record. Crazy, but at the same time so sad to learn about this huge division between black and white people.

  • Queen is an interesting band because it was loved by people, hated by ctitics and press. The band that was never in fashion, was always in fashion.
  • No matter how apolitical you can be but different political situations in different countries, especially in those where you about to tour touches your music, touches you as an artist and saddly you cannot escape it. For example, had no clue about their performance in Sun city and all the scandal related to that place (the huge problem of apartheid, racial segregation back there).
  • Paul Prenter‘s character was new to me and turns out a nasty one. I did not know about those dark moments in Munich that happened while recording „Hot space“ and his part in it before.
  • What this documentary taught us? That in a band (or any different collective) you always have to search for compromises, even though it might be hard. It‘s a simple truth, but it‘s essential.
  • Live Aid performance. After watching this documentary I watched that performance. It‘s truly one of the most majestic performances. Lucky are those who got a chance to see it live.
  • Learning something about Queen you can‘t escape hearing something about Freddie’s disease (well, just like about his sexual orientation). For me it was quite sad to hear that this tragic event made band members even more closer. Sad not that they became closer, but the reason why they became closer. I mean why can‘t things be opposite? Why can‘t something joyful make people come closer? It was extremelly sad to listen the band members, and other people talking about Freddie’s disease and how it was killing him. Very sad.
  • About yellow press. I understand that it works the way it works. People working there have to feed their families, pay for kid‘s education, etc. I‘m not defending them, I‘m just saying that they do their job. However, some thing in their job should be untouchable: children (especially under 18 years old), family members (if they aren‘t public people) and health (unless person is OK to make it public). But on the other hand, aren‘t we the ones who make yellow press work in the direction they work? I mean, we consume and demand that kind of information. Hell, we pay money for that. Then maybe we should take our part of responsibility for making someone‘s life miserable at the most sensitive moments of their life, like dying from some terrible, uncurreable disease?
  • Such a talent, such a bright person and his life and such a sad, tragic ending of this gorgeous journey filled with wonderful music. But even though it was short it still goes on through that music and songs.
  • Queen, as well as Freddie, are more than a band and a singer. Both the band and Freddie are Phenomenons. Nothing less.

 

At the end of 2017 I saw Queen perform with Adam Lambert. What can I say? I missed John Deacon, not to mention how Freddie is missing. But Adam did a GREAT job. He’s not Freddie, he is Adam who is a gorgeous performer of his own. He doesn’t need to even try be like Freddie. But what he does with Queen is incredible. Brian and Roger still kick ass. I loved how they paid tribute to Freddie reminding us that he will Always be a part of this band no matter what. And the entire show… Well, it was a lifetime experience, gorgeous show, the best show I’ve ever seen. Pure magic.

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