January 27, 2019

Perhaps The Easiest Question To Answer Ever

Over at The Atomic Fungus, a small amount of griping can be seen regarding the rock band Queen.  Fungus Prime is wondering just when this group of... moderately okay reputation became such a thing that they now are considered legendary.  The song that causes such angst in the Fungal Vale is, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody, which lends its name to a well-regarded movie about Queen and Freddy Mercury.  "Why have they suddenly became such icons?" is the refrain.  Here's the thing: it wasn't sudden, but the exact starting point of this popularity can be traced to a very specific date and time:


July 13, 1985, 641pm London time.
It was Queen's performance at the Live Aid concert that turned them from a band of "that's nice" to the hottest thing on the planet.  Some 33 years ago, give or take, I had pulled a comfy chair up in front of the TV, hooked a audio recorder up the the headphone jack, and diligently set about recording as much audio from the concerts as I could.  I don't know what happened to those cassettes.  I don't even remember if I caught Queen's set.  But I know it now, and if any one thing can be said to make a band popular, this would be the poster child.

A tight band full of talented musicians playing nigh-on perfectly, led by the consummate showman who has 72000 people in Wembley Stadium and millions more watching across the world eating out of the palm of his hand.  After that performance, oft called the greatest single live performance of all time, the question isn't how they became what they are, it's how come they didn't become bigger?

I don't know how much fandom I had for Queen before the show, but I appreciated them a lot more afterwards, and to this day Radio GaGa is on my short list of favorite songs.

Oh, and that Wayne's World thing didn't hurt them, either.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:43 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1  Haven't stopped by Atomic Fungus for a while, and now I feel guilty...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 28, 2019 08:17 AM (2yngH)

2 Just an amazing show. The cementing of legendary status, right before our eyes.

Posted by: GreyDuck at January 28, 2019 08:36 AM (rKFiU)

3 Well, at least now I know why.

...and I'm glad you're feeling good enough to post again!

Posted by: Ed Hering at January 28, 2019 08:57 AM (/cXdK)

4 I got my musical listening start from my brother's collection of LPs.  Queen, All That Jazz, and News of the World are among the albums I remember being in that box, and that spent a lot of time spinning on the desk at my elbow piping tunes through my headphones while I did high school homework.  I remember the Live Aid phenomenon, but those three LP's were already wearing out by that time.
I have an SD card of music in my phone, and another SD card with a lot more in my car.  Both of those have Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Who Wants to Live Forever, and The Show Must Go On on them.  The Show Must Go On gets me in the feels every time, I don't know if it's the last song Freddie did, but it's among the last, and written with his upcoming death in mind.  He really poured emotion all over the performance I have.

Posted by: David at January 28, 2019 11:12 AM (A/T0R)

5 I recall hearing Queen on the radio as a kid in the 70s:  the only song of theirs I remember is We Are the Champions--I probably heard one or two more but don't remember.  Champions got decent if not regular airtime.  I don't recall hearing Bohemian Rhapsody back then, but I might have.  I do recall starting to hear it on the radio maybe 10-15 years ago, so the idea that it's an overnight sensation this year is a bit of a surprise to me.

Posted by: Rick C at January 28, 2019 06:30 PM (Iwkd4)

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