Facts about Queen

Facts about Queen
  1. Band: Queen is a British rock band formed in London in 1970
  2. Members: Freddie Mercury (vocals, pianist), Brian May (guitarist), Roger Taylor (drummer) and John Deacon (bassist). All members were students when they met; Freddie went to art school, Brian studied astronomy and physics, John studied electronics and Roger was a dental student but ended up with a BSc in biology
  3. Queens crest: As Freddie Mercury had attended art school, he also designed the band’s logo – the so-called ‘Queens crest’. The logo combines all 4 members’ zodiac signs with a phoenix, a crown and a Q
  4. Stamp: In 1999, an English postage stamp was released in honor of Queen. The stamp depicted one of Queen’s concerts and caused consternation in the British royal family because Royer Taylor was visible in the background; and according to tradition, members of the royal family are the only living people allowed to appear on stamps
  5. Guitar: Brian May’s guitar is called the ‘Red Special’ and was made by Brian’s father, who was an engineer. The materials used include an old bicycle frame and construction waste from the renovation of the family’s house. The actual manufacturing took place while Brian was in high school
  6. Freddie Mercury: Freddie Mercury was born on September 5 in Zanzibar and grew up in India. He was of Persian descent. Freddie Mercury was a cat person and at one point had 10 cats!
  7. Girlfriend: In the early 1970s, Freddie Mercury had a female girlfriend. Even after they broke up, they remained close friends. Freddie stated in a 1985 interview that “she was his only friend and he didn’t need any other friends”. He was also godfather to her first son and in his will he left the majority of his estate to her
  8. Destiny: When Freddie Mercury moved to England in 1959, he lived less than 100m from Brian May, but the two never met until 1970!
  9. Biopic: A biopic of Freddie Mercury’s life is in production. Originally, Sasha Baron Cohen – best known from the movie ‘Borat’ – was set to play Freddie, but he was replaced with Ben Whishaw, who played Q in the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’
  10. Synthesizers: Queen were proud to state that they didn’t use any synthesizers before 1980
Fact: The 4 band members of Queen were Brian, Freddie, John and Roger
Attribution: Carl Lender – Wikipedia.org

Fact: Here are the band members of Queen: Brian May (top left), Freddie Mercury (bottom center), John Deacon (top right) and Roger Taylor (bottom right)


Queen’s history

  • Education: In 1968, three people formed the band Smile, which would later evolve into the group Queen: guitarist Brian May, bassist Tim Staffell and drummer Roger Taylor. All members of the group were students. The distinctive lead singer Freddie Mercury was not yet part of the group
  • Farrokh Bulsara: Tim Staffel, who attended Ealing Art College, became friends with fellow student Farrokh Bulsara, who had adopted the English first name ‘Freddie’. Bulsara liked Smile’s music and quickly became an avid fan
  • Queen: Tim Staffel left the band to join another. The remaining members changed the band name to Queen at Bulsara’s request. It was also Bulsara who came up with the name ‘Queen’
  • Bassist: Queen had a number of different bassists until 1971, when they found John Deacon and started practicing for their first album. They recorded 4 songs on a demo tape, but no record companies were interested
  • Name change: Around the same time, Bulsara changed his surname to ‘Mercury’ inspired by the line “Mother Mercury, look what they’ve done to me” from the song ‘My Fairy King’
  • First appearance: On July 2, 1971, the band Queen performed for the first time together in their new quartet: Mercury, May, Deacon and Taylor at Surrey College outside London
  • Record label: Queen were spotted by De La Lane Studios in 1972 and ended up getting a record deal with Trident/EMI in 1973. This was despite the fact that it was hard to find record labels willing to take on bands with such clear connotations to the gay world as the name ‘Queen’ had
  • First album: In July 1973, Queen’s first album was released under the name ‘Queen’. The album was well received by critics. In 1974, the group released their second album ‘Queen II’, which reached #5 on the UK Albums Chart. The band’s first hit was the song ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’, which reached number 10 in the UK charts. Critical reception to the second album was mixed, but in retrospect, many die-hard Queen fans cite this album as the best the group has ever produced
  • International success: Queen’s third album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ was released in May 1974 and reached #2 in the UK, sold well in Europe and was a success in the US. This was the group’s first experience of international success
  • New manager: In September 1975, Queen left Trident Studios in search of a better manager. They ended up with Elton John’s manager, John Reid
  • A Night at the Opera: In 1975 Queen released the album ‘A Night at the Opera’, which at the time was the most expensive album ever produced. In 1976 they released ‘A Day at the Races’. Both album titles were taken from the Marx Brothers movie
  • Success: Queen’s success continued – with numerous albums and performances – until 1991. The only exception to the success was Queen’s 9th album Flash Gordon, which was a soundtrack to the movie of the same name; both movie and soundtrack were a failure
  • AIDS: From 1988, Freddie Mercury’s health began to deteriorate, sparking rumors that he had AIDS. However, Freddie denied all rumors, explaining instead that he was simply exhausted and busy. On November 23, 1991, Freddie Mercury confirmed on his deathbed that he had AIDS. Within 24 hours of this, he died
  • Made in Heaven: Queen’s final album with Freddie Mercury, ‘Made in Heaven’, was released in 1995, four years after his death. The album was constructed using Freddie’s final recordings from 1991, leftover material from previous albums and material from the other band members’ solo albums. The album was completed at the group’s studio in Montreaux, Switzerland
  • Statues: On November 25, 1996, a statue of Freddie Mercury was hoisted in Montreaux, Switzerland, facing Lake Geneva. There is also a statue of Freddie at the University of London
  • Legacy: Several of Queen’s albums and singles have received international acclaim in the aftermath, with high rankings on lists from major magazines such as ‘best rock albums in history’, ‘best rock songs of all time’ and the like. Today, Queen is considered one of the most important and influential rock bands in world history
Fact: Freddie Mercury pioneered the use of the microphone stick in his performance
Attribution: kentarotakizawa – Flickr.com

Freddie Mercury accidentally – or coincidentally – found himself using the stick from his mic stand as part of his show; in one of Queen’s first concerts, his mic stand broke and because he didn’t think anything of it, he kept holding on to the stick instead of finding a new stand. He continued to do this in his shows from then on. Over the years, this was copied by Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses, Bret Michaels of Poison and Klaus Mein of Scorpions, among others.