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Tag: Brian May

Happy Birthday Freddie Mercury…celebrate Angry Birds style! (video)

by on Sep.05, 2012, under FUNNIES, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Happy Birthday Freddie Mercury…celebrate Angry Birds style! (video)

Iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was born on this day in 1946, and to commemorate, this week the Freddie For a Day annual celebration gets angry, as in Freddie becoming an honorary member of the Angry Birds family.

'Freddie For a Day' is in its third year and if you're wondering how to celebrate, just dress like Freddie in leather, leotards, aviator shades or most importantly wear a fake bushy black mustache. For the second year in a row, a fundraising event will be hosted by surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor at the Savoy in London in Mercury’s honor. He will be remembered and funds will be raised for the Mercury Phoenix Trust – Fighting AIDS Worldwide.

Check out Freddie the Angry Bird, riding his bicycle to Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race' below. To help raise even further awareness for the Mercury Phoenix Trust, Angry Birds are partnering up to release a limited edition Freddie Mercury Angry Bird t-shirt. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each shirt will be donated to the Trust. The limited edition t-shirts are available here:

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Queen News: ‘Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest ’86′ to be screened in U.S. theaters, ‘The Great Pretender’ and ‘Greatest Video Hits’ to be released

by on Aug.15, 2012, under CD/DVD RELEASES, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Queen News: ‘Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest ’86′ to be screened in U.S. theaters,  ‘The Great Pretender’ and ‘Greatest Video Hits’ to be released

It was great to see Brian May, Roger Taylor and a projection of Freddie Mercury at the recent closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. Now you can follow that up by checking out a classic concert by Queen on the big screen.

Screenvision, in an alliance with More2Screen and Eagle Rock, brings Queen, one of the world's most iconic British rock bands, to the big screen with the feature presentation of "Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest '86." Originally filmed on July 27, 1986, this Queen concert film has been re-mastered for digital cinema in high definition with 5.1 surround sound and features many of the band's most popular tracks, including "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "I Want to Break Free" and "We Are the Champions."

Part of the hugely successful Magic Tour, this concert is significant because it was the last time Queen toured with their late lead singer Freddie Mercury. It was also the largest stadium concert ever staged at the Nepstadion in Budapest, in front of 80,000 ecstatic fans – three years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This special performance is introduced with a 25-minute documentary feature including rare footage – some of which has never been seen before – that gives the inside track on events, following the band from just after their historic performance at Live Aid in 1985 through the year leading up to the concert in Budapest. Using archive footage from rehearsals, interviews with the band in studio and on the road during the Magic Tour, this fascinating feature has been specially created for this new cinema release. Fans worldwide can be part of this celebration of Queen's global appeal as this event is shown in movie theaters across the U.S. in a limited engagement on September 20, 23 and 27, 2012.

"We're delighted that Queen fans across the world will finally have the chance to relive this amazing moment for the band. We knew a stadium concert in Budapest was ground-breaking, but hadn't quite anticipated what a historic night it would turn out to be. The concert looks fantastic on the cinema screen in all its digitally re-mastered glory and the documentary does a great job of setting the scene – it really was an extraordinary time in the band's history." – Brian May and Roger Taylor  Go to to find a screening near you.

A new documentary film chronicling the life, career, and even his solo projects of Freddie Mercury titled ‘The Great Pretender,’ will be available from Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD and Blu-Ray on Sept. 25th. It was created by the same team behind the fantastic ‘Queen: Days of Our Lives’ BBC documentary and was produced and directed by lifelong fan and expert Rhys Thomas.

Rare interviews with Mercury, concerts, video shoots, and personal material from the singer’s own collection are included, along with testimonials from Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor and band manager Jim Beach.

Film highlights include Freddie and Rod Stewart singing their demo of the unreleased song ‘Take Another Piece of My Heart’ and Mercury’s unreleased collaboration with Michael Jackson on ‘There Must Be More to Life Than This.’ Plus, Mercury appears in some of the archived footage with the Royal Ballet in 1979. Footage is also included of Mercury’s 39th ‘Black and White’ birthday party back in 1985 where the singer and his friends celebrated with a cross-dressing theme party to signify his final year before turning 40. Outtakes from the video shoots for ‘I Want to Break Free,’ ‘One Vision,’ ‘Days of Our Lives,’ ‘I Want It All,’ ‘A Kind of Magic,’ ‘Princes of the Universe,’ ‘Living on My Own,’ ‘Born to Love You,’ ‘Great Pretender,’ ‘Made in Heaven,’ and ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ are also featured.

Coinciding with ‘The Great Pretender” DVD offering will be the ‘Barcelona: Special Edition’ album in which Mercury teamed with Montserrat Caballe for a record that’s been re-recorded with a full 80-piece orchestra and will be issued with the book titled ‘The Great Pretender.’

In more Freddie Mercury news, the Savoy Hotel will host the second annual ‘Freddie for a Day‘ charity event Sept. 3, with proceeds aiding the Mercury Phoenix Trust to fight AIDS worldwide. ‘The Great Pretender’ film will screen three days later (Sept. 6) at BAFTA.

A re-packaging of Queen's two greatest video hits releases into one box set will be available on Aug. 28th. 'Greatest Video Hits' features 33 promo videos and new commentary from Brian May and Roger Taylor. All the videos have all been restored and mixed with DTS Surround Sound.  The first disc includes the band's '70's hits and disc two will include works from the band’s 1982 album ‘Hot Space’ through the 1989 project ‘The Miracle.’ All 33 videos were previously released in individual 2002 packages.

Disc One
1. Bohemian Rhapsody
2. Another One Bites the Dust
3. Killer Queen (Live on Top of the Pops)
4. Fat Bottomed Girls
5. Bicycle Race
6. You’re My Best Friend
7. Don’t Stop Me Now
8. Save Me
9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
10. Somebody to Love
11. Spread Your Wings
12. Play the Game
13. Flash
14. Tie Your Mother Down
15. We Will Rock You
16. We Are the Champions

Disc Two:
1. A Kind of Magic
2. I Want It All
3. Radio Ga Ga
4. I Want to Break Free
5. Breakthru
6. Under Pressure
7. Scandal
8. Who Wants to Live Forever
9. The Miracle
10. It’s a Hard Life
11. The Invisible Man
12. Las Palabras De Amor
13. Friends Will Be Friends
14. Body Language
15. Hammer to Fall
16. Princes of the Universe
17. One Vision

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Olympic Closing Ceremonies recap with performance of Dave Davies and The Who you didn’t see (video)

by on Aug.13, 2012, under FUNNIES, ROCK NEWS, TV ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Olympic Closing Ceremonies recap with performance of Dave Davies and The Who you didn’t see (video)

The closing ceremony of the London Olympics wrapped up last night with a performance of The Who, but we here in America, didn't get to see all of it initially because NBC decided to edit over an hour and a half of the ceremonies. Although the network did show more of the Who's performance during their late night (after midnight) recap, I and many others weren't watching then. I was also following the timeline of the closing ceremony and noticed that NBC didn't show Ray Davies performing The Kinks 'Waterloo Sunset.' You can watch both performance below.

I did see the ceremonies described as the "Brit-pop equivalent of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade." I also saw DJ FatBoy Slim helping coin a new term "hand-syncing." The closing ceremonies did include many classic rock artists besides the Who and Davies. I was hoping the tease of the works of David Bowie was leading to an appearance, but that didn't happen. And who knew Jesse J was one of the superstars of British music? I certainly didn't, although she looked good.

Some of the other highlights were a rock connection included:

A children's choir and video footage of John Lennon singing 'Imagine,' with a sculpture of Lennon's face displayed by performers on the stadium floor.

Footage of Freddie Mercury at Queen's triumphant 1986 show at Wembley Stadium led into Queen guitarist Brian May and Roger Taylor being joined by Jessie J on 'We Will Rock You.'

A British pop star I have never heard of, Ed Sheeran, teamed up with Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Mike Rutherford of Genesis for Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here,' that included a re-inactment of the man-on-fire album cover.

The Kaiser Chiefs covered The Who's 'Pinball Wizard,' and Russell Brand lip-synched 'Pure Imagination' from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Beatles' 'I Am the Walrus.' There was a bit of ELO music in there too at one point. There was a lot of the "cheese factor" during the Olympic closing ceremonies, but all-in-all London put on a fantastic games and should be commended. On to 'Rock In Rio,' for the next summer games in 2016, where they really know how to bring the rock. Maybe Sepultura at the closing ceremonies there, huh?


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Freddie Mercury hologram to be part of 10th Anniversary of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ musical in London

by on May.14, 2012, under ROCK NEWS

Freddie Mercury hologram to be part of 10th Anniversary of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ musical in London

Here we go, the dead guy (and girl) hologram concert 'wave' is underway, much to my chagrin. After the Tupac hologram at the Coachella festival with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, and the announcement that Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes will appear as a hologram with a reunited TLC later this summer, the 10th anniversary of Queen‘s 'We Will Rock You' musical in London will 'celebrate' starting tonight (May 14) by bringing back Freddie Mercury. The late singer will appear via hologram during this week’s run of shows at the Dominion Theatre.

Roger Taylor and Brian May say they will use different technology than the Coachella organizers used to bring rapper Tupac Shakur to the stage last month, but the effect will be the same. This is happening after Roger Taylor had already said: "I don’t want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It’s the real one or no hologram for me." So I suppose it's ok to bring the hologram of Freddie out, as long as Taylor isn't onstage performing with it. Taylor added: “Were somebody to use a hologram of Freddie, I would have no objection.”

Brian May told the BBC: "People will come out saying, ‘Did we actually see Freddie?' It’s a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we’ve been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while."

May points out the effect does not produce a true hologram and adds the musical won’t use the technique employed at Coachella. "It’s something we’ve looked at ourselves,' he explained, "But I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week, it’s not really quite practical. People will come out saying, 'Did we actually see Freddie?'"

Once again, I understand bringing forth additional revenue streams for bands and artists in this digital age of music, but I am already wondering where it is going to stop, even though it has just begun. I would think that we could see mainly dead singer holograms, but I imagine guitarists could be next. I just don't want to see a Jimi Hendrix hologram on tour, Jim Morrison with the surviving Doors, or Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain presented as holograms. I just don't want that to happen. We already have trouble with new bands getting recognized and a high percentage of music sales coming from catalog artists, and this will just add to it all, hindering more development from new artists. I just wonder where the new classics will be coming from.

Queen have also confirmed they'll be playing a third concert in London with Adam Lambert singing. The show will take place at the Hammersmith Apollo on July 11, 12 and 14.

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Queen News: Roger Taylor says he’ll never perform with a hologram of Freddie Mercury, backstage at American Idol


Queen News: Roger Taylor says he’ll never perform with a hologram of Freddie Mercury, backstage at American Idol

Roger Taylor talked to and to promote the upcoming eight-week run of 'The Queen Extravaganza' and addressed questions regarding the possibility of ever using a Freddie Mercury hologram when performing as Queen.:

"I don't think I want to," Taylor told during a conference call with reporters to promote The Queen Extravaganza road show, which launches its eight-week run on May 26th in Quebec City. "Were somebody (else) to use a hologram of Freddie, I would have no objection... It just doesn't sit too well with me. I don't want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It's the real one or no hologram for me. But I think it's an amazing effect when used properly -- obviously in darkness." Taylor added that he and guitarist Brian May considered a Mercury hologram/projection for the musical "We Will Rock You" before deciding against it and also pointed out that the Tupac at Coachella was not strictly a hologram but rather "a two-dimensional thing. It gives the appearance of being a hologram. It's an illusion in the true sense." Read the entire interview here:

Roger Taylor talked to about the upcoming Queen Extravaganza tour and how he would never perform with a hologram of former Queen frontman Freddie Mercury: Taylor said, was conceived as a way to present Queen's music will finally be performed in their entirety. Complex tunes like "Bohemian Rhapsody" will finally be performed in their entirety. "We will be able to do what we couldn't do before – all the harmonies, all the little parts we put onto the record," said Taylor. "This will give us the tools to do that." In typical Queen fashion, the Extravaganza will also be quite the visual spectacle: Taylor and May have hired designer Mark Fisher, who worked on Pink Floyd's The Wall concerts and every Rolling Stones show since 1989, to work on the tour. "I don't want our music to be represented in any average kind of way," Taylor said. "We look to excel with this and really teach other bands how to really do a show properly."

While Martel's vocal resemblance to Mercury is striking, Taylor noted that there's no replacing Queen's iconic singer, who died in 1991. And Taylor firmly dismissed the notion that he would ever perform with a "hologram" of Mercury, the way that Dr. Dre did with one of Tupac Shakur at Coachella. "I don't want to sit up here with a hologram of my dear friend," said Taylor. "Were somebody to use a hologram of Freddie, I don't think I would have an objection. But I don't want to. It just didn't sit too well with me.

"When Freddie died, we were in shock," continued Taylor. "And it didn't go away for five years. We would have probably remained together. We were very tight and very close. We never saw the need to break up. I think he'd love (these shows). I think he would have been really flattered. He would have loved the idea of keeping our musical flag flying. Brian and I always sort of imagine he's in the room. Read the entire interview here:

Queen + Adam Lambert will be performing five shows this summer, with the recently announced July 7th date in Wroclaw, Poland, as well a June 30th show in Moscow, sold-out July 11-12 shows at the HMV Apollo Hammersmith in London and an outdoor appearance with Elton John that's still being finalized.

Here's some backstage interview footage with Roger Taylor and Brian May wioth members of The Queen Extravaganza from the night of their appearance on American Idol (Apr. 26):

Fast Tube

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