the real queen

queenThere are few things more unpleasant than “reunion tours” that lack key members. I recently got a last-minute offer for tix to the “Queen” concert here in LA. I passed. Paul Rodgers might be a very nice guy, and a hell of a singer, but please.

Queen (with Freddie Mercury) was one of the Greatest Bands Ever. Certainly the most audacious: A six-minute top-forty hit? Kick-ass prog-metal (at least the first few albums) for teenage boys, from a bunch of poofters? Who called themselves Queen?? Subtle as Southpark, that one (Token, anyone?). But it never, ever occured to me… Honest. Listening to the albums, wearing out the grooves, learning the guitar riffs, staring at the sexy/cool photos of the band… Eventually, Freddie tossed aside all pretense and started dressing like a Village Person. No matter. When he died, it was the first “celebrity death” that actually made me cry.

It’s not even “Queen Minus Freddie,” because bassist John Deacon is missing, too. It’s “Brian and Roger and a guy from another band and some hired help.”