Queen Opener Looks Back on 'Bucket List Moment' of Jamming With Freddie Mercury


Lots of people are speaking in regards to the new Bohemian Rhapsody film that includes the lifetime of Freddie Mercury and Queen. I met Freddie Mercury and received to jam with him. Bucket checklist merchandise — verify! It’s a wierd feeling to evolve from being a fan, to assembly one in every of your idols, to then have them view you as a colleague by having your band open for them throughout their Magic Tour of 1986, and even climbing onstage to play some music with them.

When I first began in music within the mid-1970s I used to be like each younger wannabe musician, dreaming of fame and fortune within the music world. I performed in a number of bands that made albums and toured earlier than changing into the skilled songwriter and producer that I’m right this moment.

Long in the past in a galaxy distant I performed keyboards in a gaggle named Zeno that was signed to EMI Records. In addition to myself the group was comprised of singer Michael Flexig, bassist Ule Ritgen, Dixie Dregs drummer Rod Morgenstein, and Zeno Roth, the youthful brother of Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth. We first opened for Queen on July 9, 1986 in Newcastle, England at St. James Park. The present was considerably of a catastrophe for us as our street crew stopped at each pub alongside the motorway from London to Newcastle (a few 10 hour drive) in order that they failed to look with our gear.

Thankfully, the Queen roadies have been so skilled and accommodating they allowed us to make use of a lot of their “headliner” backline gear — drums, amps, and so forth.

My first encounter with Brian May of Queen was later that day when he got here as much as me to apologize for not seeing Zeno's set. Brian is a towering determine in comparison with my 5 foot 10 top — so trying up at him backstage shortly earlier than Queen have been able to hit the stage after a full day of bands in between I assumed to myself “what’s he nuts? We went on at 12 midday, he goes on at 8pm. Why on Earth would the headliner care in regards to the least essential band?” But that confirmed me my first impression of the integrity and sophistication surrounding the Queen household. It’s high down administration and Brian needed me to know that each band opening for them, each musician sharing the stage was household, was essential.

Queen, after all, have been good. Freddie was a one in every of a sort. I watched him leap off audio system, doing a somersault while hitting a excessive observe in mid air with out shedding his pitch. This is extremely uncommon for somebody to maintain a observe on pitch with out their toes being on the bottom. But that was Freddie.

Then there was the legendary Queen after celebration in London after their second Wembley Stadium live performance on July 12, 1986 on the Kensington Roof Gardens. For many regular residents this may need been the celebration of their lives, however for Queen I think about it was simply one other night time out.

The elevator to the roof was a type of old school iron gate, hand operated sorts. An exquisite woman operated the elevator in a type of classic elevator operator outfits you’d see in an previous Hollywood film. As we went up and received a better look we out of the blue realized the woman was bare. The outfit was physique paint, completely accomplished from head to toe. This was the primary of many surprises over the course of a wild and loopy night. As we entered the celebration we observed a number of massive glass terrarium like buildings which appeared to have large writhing snakes in them, that upon nearer inspection have been bare women and men wrapped in unique and erotic efficiency artwork poses.

It was a who’s who of UK rock royalty from members of not solely Queen, but additionally The Rolling Stones, The Who, Cliff Richard, many others.

My ‘bucket checklist’ second with Freddie Mercury got here after I was invited as much as play keyboards with a rotating all star jam band. Freddie sang, Roger Taylor of Queen on drums, and I imagine, the occasions are a little bit fuzzy, John Entwistle of The Who on bass, or was it Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones on bass…? You get the concept. We did the corniest of canopy tunes — “Knock on Wood” with Samantha Fox, a former topless mannequin singing a duet with Freddie. The complete factor was uproarious.

Music and tradition modifications and to remain present all of us should pivot. These days after all I nonetheless play, write, produce and am stored as busy as ever. I’m additionally Chief Relationship Officer USA for a brand new music platform known as Pindify. It’s the place inventive individuals add their music on-line right into a market and make a dwelling by sharing a proportion of the subscription payment with their followers and followers. Their purpose is to assist 300,000 musicians make $three,000 monthly from their creativity. I used to be helped up the ladder to make a dwelling from my ardour so I’m impressed to assist others up too. It was simpler for musicians to make a dwelling than it’s now, but it’s nonetheless doable to stay your goals. To think about one thing so unattainable and implausible and to make it a actuality. I’m the dwelling instance.

From driving round Dumont, New Jersey smoking pot and listening to Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack album to having the respect even for one particular night time to play music and share the stage with Freddie and Brian… because the lyrics to “Over The Rainbow” merely state, “the goals that we dare to dream actually do come true.”

You can contact Larry Dvoskin right here and be taught extra about Pindify and join right here.