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The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ video without the music is comedy gold!
01.15.2014
09:39 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Queen
Prodigy


 
I never really cared much for The Prodigy or their song “Firestarter,” but this tinkered with, musicless video by YouTuber Mario Wienerroither had me in stitches. Totally ridiculous and yet… hypnotic.

I also included another one done by Wienerroither: Queen’s “I Want To Break Free.”

 

 
Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Freddie Mercury’s home videos
12.19.2013
03:54 pm

Topics:
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Freddie Mercury
Queen
Jim Hutton

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Behind-the-scenes footage of Queen filming their second last video for “I’m Going Slightly Mad.” This footage has been posted along with a mixed selection’s of Freddie Mercury’s home video footage, which includes a brief tour of Freddie’s home Garden Lodge, a group of his friends chatting in the kitchen (including his personal assistant Peter Freestone, the singer and actor Peter Straeker, and cook Joe Fanelli), some of Freddie’s cats playing, and the morning after Christmas.

However, it is the footage for “I’m Going Slightly Mad” which has more pop cultural importance as we see (after some filming with penguins) how much effort Freddie puts into shooting just one scene from the video, even though he was very ill.

As for the home video footage, well, over a decade ago, I met and interviewed Freddie’s partner Jim Hutton for a documentary I was then producing. Jim had written a personal memoir about his relationship with Freddie called Mercury and Me, and I wanted to talk to him about that and his relationship with Freddie. I traveled to Ireland, where Jim was living. His home had a few possessions from his time with Freddie at Garden Lodge: a dining table and chairs, a glass cabinet, photographs, assorted mementoes. Jim was a handsome man, with a soft Irish lilt. He was charming, unassuming, direct and genuinely kind-hearted. We spent the afternoon talking and looking through his photographic albums, which were piled in a corner, still in a remover’s box. Inside were hundreds of large glossy color photographs of Jim and Freddie in Japan, at home, at Christmas, at a garden party together. The pictures revealed glimpses of their shared private world. Jim then opened another box filled with Hi-8 video cassettes, which contained various home movies, clips of which have made their way onto YouTube since Jim’s death in 2010. The quality is not great, but for the time (late eighties-early nineties), that’s to be expected.
 

 
More of Freddie’s home videos, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Freddie Mercury presents Queen’s first LP to a less than enthusiastic public
10.09.2013
09:17 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Freddie Mercury
Queen
Danny Baker


 
During the early 1970s, the One Stop record shop was “London’s number one coolest record shop for those in the know in the contemporary music scene.” The store was crammed with a rich and diverse selection of stock from Zappa and Beefheart to US Funk and Soul imports. It was here you would regularly find Elton John rummaging through the boxes of 45s, Marc Bolan calling everyone “babes,” Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and David Bowie buying LPs, and an often drunk Vivian Stanshall offering to buy the entire stock for four pence (“New pence, no rubbish.”)

It was also here that an as yet unknown and undiscovered fifteen-year-old Danny Baker worked behind the till. As some of you will know, Baker had yet to make his name producing the Punk magazine Sniffin’ Glue with Mark Perry, before starting his career as an NME journalist and becoming the lovable star of TV and radio, we know today.

So, one afternoon, Queen came “tumbling into the shop, excited, babbling, and I think a little drunk,” as Baker recalled in his highly entertaining first volume of autobiography, Going to Sea in a Sieve. Queen carried with them advance test pressings of their eponymous-titled first LP, with which an imperious Freddie Mercury announced to Baker.

“We want you to play our record in your shop. Constantly! You can be the first!”

Two thick, white label acetates were then thrust into Baker’s hands. It was at that moment the shop’s manager, John Gillespie “drifted out from his office area and cut through the party with a loaded, “I’m sorry, can we help you?”

“Yes, you can,” briskly responded my presumed Freddie.

“You can fucking play this and nothing else for the next six weeks. We’re Queen and when it’s released you won’t be able to fucking stock enough of this.”

“Really?” John drawled back in a tone plainly designed to hose down their raging brio. “Can I hear it?”

Gillespie took one disc, placed it on a turntable “and rather archly put the needle on to track one of this allegedly momentous debut.” That track would be “Keep Yourself Alive,” incidentally)

He let it play for about a minute, all the time intently staring at the floor as if in solemn judgement. Freddie Mercury lustily sang to his own vocal in an attempt to clinch the decision. Then John calmly took the player’s arm back off the disc.

“Hate it,” he said, putting lots of breath into the H.

“You’re fucking joking!” said Freddie, or possibly Brian May.

“Hate. It,” repeated my manager and entered into a sullen stare-off with the group.

Then another thrust.

“You sound like Deep Purple or something. Can’t bear all that.”

Then he turned to me.

“Danny, you like rock. Was that any good?”

Oh, don’t do this to me, John.

“I thought it was, y’know…rocky. Bit like Stray, and I like Stray.”

“Stray!” exploded presumed Freddie. “Stray! Stray are a fucking pub band! We are going to be bigger than fucking Led Zeppelin!”

“Fuck you,” said maybe John Deacon.

“Well, fuck you,” said John the Manager.

Then everyone but me said Fuck you for a bit.

Leaving their record on the counter, the group beat a swift and noisy retreat with one of them—I recall some blond hair here, so let’s say Roger—yanking a handful of sleeves from their racks and letting them spill all over our floor.

In a final gesture, Freddie stood at the door and bellowed out into a bemused South Molton Street, “Attention, shoppers! If you have a scintilla of taste, you will never buy a thing in this dreadful shop!”

Then they were gone.

John, who enjoyed both style and drama, turned to me with a pixie-ish smile lighting up his eyes.

“Did you hear that? I like him. That was funny. Dreadful record though…”

This and many other tales from Mr. Baker’s wonderful life, can be found in Going to Sea in a Sieve, the first volume of his autobiography. Here you’ll also discover that the mysterious “Jungle-face Jake” from Marc Bolan’s hit “Telegram Sam” was not some drug-dealer, or even Mick Jagger but “..a battle-scarred old boxer dog who liked several saveloys at a sitting.” Baker knows this because Bolan told him.

Now, for the love of Freddie, here’s Queen in concert from 1974 at the Rainbow Theater.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Freddie Mercury and David Bowie: Listen to the isolated vocal track for ‘Under Pressure’

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Freddie Mercury first met David Bowie in the summer of 1970, when he was trying to sell Bowie a pair of suede boots. Mercury co-managed a stall in Kensington Market, with Roger Taylor, and while Bowie tried on the footwear, Mercury quizzed him about the music business. David was disenchanted and asked Freddie, ‘Why would you want to get into this business?’

Over the next decade, Mercury and Bowie’s paths crossed—Queen hired Mick Rock, the man whose photographs made Bowie an icon, to shoot their equally iconic cover for Queen II—but it would not be until the summer of 1981 that Queen and Bowie worked together.

In his biography of David Bowie, Starman, Paul Trynka described what happened next:

According to Mercury’s personal assistant Peter Freestone,Bowie only realized Queen were in Mountain [recording studios] working on their R&B-flavored album Hot Space by chance. Asked to add backing vocals on the song “Cool Cat,” David stayed for a marathon session in which Queen’s song “Feel Like” was transformed into “Under Pressure.” David contributed the bulk of the lyrics, set over drummer Roger Taylor’s descending chord sequence. By now, Mercury had developed more of an ego than in his market-stall days, and it was Queen’s drummer who was at the heart of the session, interacting with the interloper. ‘Roger and Bowie got on very well,’ according to Freestone, ‘although the lyrics and title idea came from Freddie and David.’

...

‘It was hard because you had four very precocious boys—and David, who was precocious enough for all of us,’ says Brian May. ’ David took over the song lyrically. |t’s a significant song because of David and its lyrical content—I would have found that hard to admit in the old days—but I can admit now.’ David championed the song, encouraging Freddie, and contributing a classic, swooping melody, as well as one of his own distinctive, reflective middle-eight sections (‘the terror of knowing what this world is all about.’)

Queen were uncertain about the track, even after Bowie and Mercury re-worked their vocals and mixed the recording at The Power Station in New York, a fortnight later—John Deacon’s distinctive bassline was added at the same session, hummed to him by David. Brian was particularly unhappy, recalling the ‘fierce battles around the mix, and his own misgivings about the song’s release as a single; instead it was Queen’s record company, EMI, that pushed the collaboration…

This, of course, is Bowie’s biographer’s take. Queen bassist, John Deacon said in 1984 that the song was primarily Freddie Mercury’s, and developed out of a jam session. Also, the song Trynka quotes as the original “Feel Like,” is a separate track by Roger Taylor. Also, Hot Space was more Disco than R&B.

Yet, it is true that most of the song “Under Pressure” came out of a ‘marathon session,’ which explains Mercury’s incredible, improvised vocals. Open Culture gives a slightly different version of events:

“David came in one night and we were playing other people’s songs for fun, just jamming,” says Queen drummer Roger Taylor in Mark Blake’s book Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Freddie Mercury and Queen. “In the end, David said, ‘This is stupid, why don’t we just write one?’”

And so began a marathon session of nearly 24-hours–fueled, according to Blake, by wine and cocaine. Built around John Deacon’s distinctive bass line, the song was mostly written by Mercury and Bowie. Blake describes the scene, beginning with the recollections of Queen’s guitarist:

‘We felt our way through a backing track all together as an ensemble,’ recalled Brian May. ‘When the backing track was done, David said, “Okay, let’s each of us go in the vocal booth and sing how we think the melody should go–just off the top of our heads–and we’ll compile a vocal out of that.” And that’s what we did.’ Some of these improvisations, including Mercury’s memorable introductory scatting vocal, would endure on the finished track. Bowie also insisted that he and Mercury shouldn’t hear what the other had sung, swapping verses blind, which helped give the song its cut-and-paste feel.

The ‘fierce arguments’ took place during the mix. Queen’s engineer Reinhold Mack is quoted by Blake as saying ‘It didn’t go well.’:

“We spent all day and Bowie was like, ‘Do this, do that.’ In the end, I called Freddie and said, ‘I need help here,’ so Fred came in as a mediator.”

Mercury and Bowie argued. Then Bowie threatened to block the release of the single. It never happened and “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie was released in September 1981. It was Queen’s second number one, making the top of the UK charts on 21 November. In America, it reached number twenty-nine a few weeks later. It is now recognized as a classic song, though Brian May would still like to re-mix it.

This is the Freddie Mercury’s and David Bowie’s isolated vocals from the recording of “Under Pressure.”
 

 

 
Thanks Richard Metzger! Via Open Culture
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Freddie Mercury Chicken Dhansak

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One of the things I enjoy most about reading biographies is the little personal details, which reveal much of what a subject liked or disliked. For example, Freddie Mercury liked Quality Street assorted candies; enjoyed Stolichnaya vodka; and had a love of spicy food.

According to Peter Freestone, who worked as Freddie’s personal assistant for more than a decade, Chicken Dhansak was one of the singer’s favorite meals. Peter (aka Phoebe) has now written-up the recipe for this mouth-watering dish over at FreddieMercury.com, where he explains:

Chicken Dhansak

This Indian inspired dish rose up the popularity stakes because it embraced two separate dishes, a dal which for Freddie was always a moistening accompaniment and a ‘curry’ meat dish which often, on its own, tended to be dryer. Living in Earls Court, both Joe [Fanelli] and I had easy access to supermarkets where every spice known to mankind was stocked as a matter of regular principle. The area was such a melting pot of nationalities that for anyone not to have been able to buy fenugreek seeds would be for the property market in the area to plummet in value immediately!

25 gm channa, 25 gm moong, 25gm red and 50 gm toor lentils
125 ml oil
650 gm boneless chicken 2cm cubes
3 med onions
2 cloves garlic
410 gm tinned tomatoes
1 medium aubergine chopped
1 large potato chopped
115 gm spinach (frozen)
100 gm fresh coriander
50 gm fresh mint
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 brown cardamom
5cm cassia bark
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon chilli powder
Salt.

Wash the lentils thoroughly, making sure you remove all the grit and residual husk. Soak together overnight.
The following day, cook the lentils in twice their volume of water for approx. 30 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the meat at a high temperature for 5 – 10 minutes until browned. Remove from the saucepan and keep in a warm place.
Fry the cumin seeds, cardamom, cassia bark and mustard seeds adding the onions, garlic and salt. When they have turned a golden brown, add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Add the remaining chopped vegetables, mix and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the lentils and roughly mash everything together.
Add the meat and rest of the spices. Mix well and cook gently for a further 40 minutes.
Add the fresh coriander and mint and cook for at least 10 minutes.
Serve with plain boiled rice.

It is more than a decade since I met Peter for a documentary I was producing called When Freddie Mercury Met Kenny Everett. Peter had written an insightful and highly enjoyable book on his day-to-day life working for Freddie. I met Peter in Prague, at his city apartment, where we filmed the interview, before taking some walking shots on the Charles Bridge. Peter was charming, delightful company, and if you are interested, you can ask Phoebe questions about his life with Freddie here.
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce has been put up for sale

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Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce has been put up for sale with auctioneers Coys (founded 1919). The prospectus states:

Estimate: £9,000 - £11,000
Registration Number: WLX293M
Chassis Number: SRH18696

Freddie Mercury is of course best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band “Queen” , and one of the most flamboyant performers in rock history. As a performer, he was legendary for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range. As a songwriter, Mercury composed many hits for Queen, including the legendary “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Are the Champions”.

In addition to his work with Queen, he had a massively successful solo career, and also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists.

Mercury was noted for his live performances, which were often delivered to stadium audiences around the world. He displayed a highly theatrical style that often evoked a great deal of participation from the crowd. A writer for The Spectator described him as “a performer out to tease, shock and ultimately charm his audience with various extravagant versions of himself”.....

More details here.

I can understand why one might want to buy Freddie Mercury’s piano, but his Rolls-Royce less so. One for the completist, I s’ppose.
 
freddie_mercury_rolls_royce_1974_for_sale
 
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Full details and more pix of Freddie’s Rolls, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hijabis sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: Though rock ‘n’ roll is banned in Iran, Queen is still king
08.19.2012
07:06 pm

Topics:
Music
Queer

Tags:
Freddie Mercury
Queen
Iran

Freddie Mercury
 
While one more rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” might be enough to drive one to Queen overload (as if that is humanly possibly), when we remember that “Western Music” is forbidden in Iran, and homosexuality is punishable by death, the sight of Iranian men and women (badly) singing a Queen song takes on new meaning.

In 1979, the Islamic Revolution spurred a rejection of all things “Western,” and rock ‘n’ roll was one of its causalities. Until the 90’s, all rock music was banned. Today most Iranian rock bands operate underground or flee to other countries to play (like New York’s own The Yellow Dogs). Some rockers skirt the rules by placing traditional Persian poetry over classic rock melodies. Others play instrumental music (metal is big), or write fairly “safe” lyrics in Farsi and submit them for approval from the Ministry of Culture.

So why were the Iranian representatives for the World Choir Games able to perform Queen? Well, Freddie Mercury, also known as Farrokh Bulsara, was Parsi, a Persian ethnic group that commonly practices Zoroastrianism. Growing up in India and Zanzibar, Mercury’s Zoroastrian funeral was noted after his death, but his ethnic identity was never a secret. Illegal Queen bootlegs have been floating around Iran forever, but in 2004, the first legal classic rock album was released, Queen’s Greatest Hits.

There were even translations of the songs in the liner notes, though “Bohemian Rhapsody” already had the Arabic word for God (“Bismillah”) proclaimed by the protagonist in a plea for redemption. Love songs (and presumably “Fat-Bottomed Girls”) were cut, but Mercury’s heritage and underground Queen fans greased the wheels for the Ministry of Culture. With a bisexual frontman and a sound steeped in American rock ‘n’ roll, Queen’s connection to the Persian world has been lauded by Iranian rockers since the beginning.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Fixed: Drunk guy who sings ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ video has been fixed
04.03.2012
11:40 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody


 
Cop Car Karaoke guy’s unforgettable performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” gets the royal treatment it deserves.
 

 
Via High Definite

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Drunk guy sings ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the back of a police car
03.29.2012
12:41 pm

Topics:

Tags:
Queen
Cops
Bohemian Rhapsody


 
I do hope this guy was let go without charges, but I doubt it. Bless him.
 

 
Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Skool Of Rock’ mix: over 60 minutes of fist-pumping Disco-Rock anthems


 
OK, enough of the hating between the rockers and the disco-freaks! This ain’t the damn 70s, so why can’t we all just get along? In love, peace and some sweat-drenched bell bottoms? Besides, there is a big crossover between these two supposedly “opposing” genres.

About five or six years ago, at the height of both nu-disco and the Italo revival (and while I was releasing music under the name Trippy Disco), I found myself playing more and more vintage disco records with crashing power-chords and wailing axe solos. Because of the “sell out” accusations that these kind of records attracted at the time (from both camps) it’s a side of disco that’s been neglected, even though I love those sounds. So, I decided to put together an hour’s worth of my favourite disco/rock records, and, lo, the ‘Skool Of Rock’ mix was born.

I decided not to feature anything too “New Wave” or post-punk as the disco influence on those sounds was already very obvious, though I did get to slip in a few acts who would technically be classed as “disco” but who dipped into “rock” now and again (Edwin Starr and Giorgio Moroder, for instance.) And accordingly, there’s also the obligatory disco cash-ins by some of your favourite rock acts (Queen, Bowie, ZZ Top.)  Besides that, there are some real gems here, including the Patrick Cowley remix of Tantra’s “Hills Of Katmandu” which is one the most “fuck yeah!” fist-pumping disco anthems of all time.

So, you might love this mix, you might really hate it, but either way here it is: 
 

Skool Of Rock Mix by Theniallist on Mixcloud

 
Tracklist:

ELO “Don’t Bring Me Down (Trippy Disco Re-Edit)”
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL “Fortunate Son”
ROCKETS “On The Road Again”
EDWIN STARR “The Rock”
CHILLY “For Your Love”
KISS “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
TANTRA “Hills Of Katmandu (Patrick Cowley Megamix / Automan Edit)”
LED ZEPPELIN “Whole Lotta Love (Acapella)”
MATERIAL “Bustin’ Out”
ZZ TOP “Legs (Metal Mix)”
GIORGIO MORODER “Evolution”
MACHO “Not Tonight (Dimitri From Paris Re-Edit)”
SKATT BROS “Walk The Night (Album Version)”
QUEEN “Another One Bites The Dust”
DAVID BOWIE “Stay”
WINGS “Goodnight Tonight (Trippy Disco Re-Edit)”

You can download the ‘Skool Of Rock’ mix here.

BONUS!

David Bowie performing “Stay”, live on Muzikladen, Bremen 1978:
 

 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Queen: Rarely seen promotional video for ‘Liar’, from 1973

queen_1970s
 
Even back then, Freddie Mercury looked like a rock star.  Brian May, Roger Taylor and a young John Deacon looked as if they wanted to be rock stars. Almost forty years on, this video of Queen from 1973 is still impressive, and shows why they were so successful.

“Liar” was Queen’s second US single release in 1974, taken from their eponymous 1973 debut album release. Originally titled “Lover”, the song was written by Freddie Mercury in 1970, when he was still Farrokh Bulsara. The track was a favorite of Queen’s early live shows, is noted for its use of Hammond organ and its backing vocals from bass player Deacon.

This footage of Queen was shot at Brewer Street, along with a version of “Keep Yourself Alive” for promotional purposes in 1973, but a different version, shot at BBC studios, was used instead.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Freddie Mercury’s Gorgeous Banana Hair


LEGO Freddie Mercury


 
Bonus track “Keep Yourself Alive” from same video shoot, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Pop Stars in Drag

freddie_mercury_great_pretender
 
A selection of pop’s bold in beautiful in drag.
 
roy_harper_robert_plant
Robert Plant and Roy Harper.
 
annie_lennox_whose
Annie Lennox in “Who’s That Girl?”
 
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Film footage of The Rolling Stones in drag from 1966


 
More beautiful people after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Bathday Freddie Mercury
09.05.2011
08:48 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Freddie Mercury
Queen
Jim Hutton

image
 
Happy Birthday Freddie Mercury, who would have been 65 today.

Here is Queen’s legendary frontman, having a soapy moment at home with his “husband”, the lovely (and also sadly departed) Jim Hutton.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Freddie Mercury’s gorgeous banana hair
08.08.2011
10:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Freddie Mercury
Queen
hair
banana
Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Killer ‘Killer Queen’ cover
06.12.2011
04:44 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Queen
FreddeGredde

 
FreddeGredde x 7. This is delightful!

Thank you Skye Nicolas!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment