Music Monday is on a Wednesday this time, so Wordless/Wordful Wednesday will have to wait, and I’ll mention why later.
A few years after the original airing in 1992, I came across a cable re-run of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness. I liked Queen, but wasn’t a fanatic. Only one tape of theirs was filed in my giant wooden wall rack of cassettes (yes, cassette tapes) yet I appreciated their unique sound compared to the other rock or hair bands of the time. Somehow, I knew every word of every song played during that concert – apparently Queen was a bigger part of my life than I’d realized. I was so moved by that concert I had tears all the way through. And when Annie Lennox & David Bowie (such favorites of mine) took the stage I was a wreck, bawling and smiling, in awe and… and respecting, which seems like a weak word compared to the feeling.
The first time my parents gave permission for me to attend a high school party it was at the home of a Senior. I was a mere 8th grader. To be fair to my parent’s judgement, it was a movie party with popcorn and soda with my fellow cross-country ski team members. I moaned at the movie choice (VHS, by the way) because it was such a “boy movie” — Highlander. How prejudging I was. Highlander was a fantastic movie! Then a haunting voice and orchestral music accompanied a beautiful montage. Wait, is that… ? Yes, it was Queen, and Freddie’s voice pierced my heart with Who Wants To Live Forever. But my reaction to hearing that song was a sprinkle compared to the flood of emotion that took over my very being when I saw this:
After the power of that video, you truly can not still have a dry eye, especially if you have knowledge of Freddie’s life off the stage.
“I told the orchestra to play all the notes they’ve ever wanted to play.” ~ Freddie Mercury
My children have always been exposed to Queen. Especially after their father and I were fortunate to experience the rock opera We Will Rock You while on a Vegas vacation, where we stood, sang along, and both had emotions flowing from the music and the story. We brought home the soundtrack, recorded with the British cast, and listened to nothing else for months. It was wonderful hearing two tiny voices singing Brian May’s lyrics. I also brought home a “Killer Queen” shirt that I wore often, and my now 9-year-old GirlChild has claimed as her own.
There’s been a Queen revival in our home recently. (I started this post weeks ago when the streak began, but you know me and getting around to posting.) The obsession exploded this past week. Not only was Queen resonating in our home and car, but I’ve watched any documentaries and live performances I can find online, much to the detriment of my sleep needs. While watching one particular documentary I learned September 5th was Freddie’s birthday. So… Music Monday is being posted on this day, September 5th, to honor Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury, a brilliant and brave, unabashedly unashamed, genius of a man.
Added for BoyChild:
One of my more contemporary favorites is the alternative rock group, Breaking Benjamin. BoyChild loves them as well and has hijacked my iPod rather than downloading the albums to his own. When he saw Queen’s video for Who Wants To Live Forever he said, “That’s a Breaking Benjamin song”. What?!?!?!?!?!?!? So he pulled up the following recording. Benny has a voice that weakens my knees, from melodic to hardcore, and I really enjoy the cover. But come on, BoyChild, it’s a Queen song.