Tracy K. Lorenz ...

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Queen

There’s a movie out now called Bohemian Rhapsody about the life and times of the band “Queen.” It’s been the #1 movie at the box office for a couple weeks now and going by all of the attention you’d think the band Queen was the greatest thing since the Beatles.

I was alive when Queen was in their prime and I don’t remember them being that big of a deal. They were more of a novelty act because they tossed some opera into the song the movie is named after and it was unique and everyone loved it even though I knew exactly zero people who liked opera in any form. (Speaking from personal experience all my opera knowledge came from Bugs Bunny, whenever that episode came on I’d switch channels.)  The song “Bohemian Rhapsody” was big for, like, a month and then, like every song, you wanted to barf when it came on the radio.

Then they put out “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” and those songs were huge because you could play them at football games and fans could stomp their feet. But I’m not sure a lot of kids put on their headphones and laid on the couch listening to “We Will Rock You.” 

I’m not saying they (Queen) weren’t big and/or popular, I’m just saying they weren’t THAT big and/or popular, not in the group of miscreants I hung out with anyways.

It’s like when George Michael from “Wham” died, there was this huge sense of mourning and TV and radio stations had massive tributes.  I just remember him as the guy in short-shorts on the “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video.  Again, he had his fifteen minutes, but it wasn’t like Elvis died.

At the time Queen was at their peak these other bands and solo artists were popular:  The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Carley Simon, Bob Dylan, Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees, Paul McCartney, Chicago, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, The Beach Boys, The Who, AC/DC  and Aerosmith to name a few off the top of my head,  I’m not sure Queen would crack the top five of that list.

BUT!  That’s not really the point, the point is that people my age were lucky enough to grow up during the greatest musical generation ever.  Look at that list, we had music coming at us from all directions and, amazingly, they didn’t all sound like variations of each other and seldom did you hear the word “featuring.”  We were also lucky enough to get to listen to the music via vinyl records as God intended and we had speakers bigger than actual ear drums.  Music back then was a communal medium not the singular medium it is today.

So if you liked Queen, great, if you didn’t, you didn’t, but sometimes movies put a revisionist spin on things and I’m telling you I was there and they weren’t that huge. But hey, that doesn’t mean they didn’t ... pay their dues.



Printed by permission of the author. Email him at Lorenzatlarge@aol.com.
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