Kansas Talk About Queen

Source: Goldmine

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

Courtesy of 'DrivenByYou' and Brenda Brubaker...

Kansas toured with Queen. Queen drummer, Roger Taylor guested on some Kansas
album tracks (backing vocals on "Play the Game Tonight,"Right Away,"
"Diamonds & Pearls" on the 1982 album, 'Vinyl Confessions'...)

During Goldmine's interviews with the individual members of Kansas, the
subject of Queen comes up a couple of times... here is one instance, from the
interview with Kansas' drummer, Phil Ehart:

Goldmine: "Of all the bands you guys toured with, who was the most enjoyable
for you?"

Phil Ehart: "It's got to be Queen. We did a tour with them, and every night
we'd rush to finish our set so we could stand by the side of the stage and
hear them. [laughs] That's how we learned about stage shows, watching them.
They were just the best. I think you'll find that everyone in the band will
say that."

Goldmine: "Did you guys get to be friends?"

Phil Ehart: "Oh yes. Brian May approached us first. When the tour first
started, their crew wouldn't give us any stage space, any lights, they
wouldn't give us an encore or anything. We didn't get ANY colored lights. We
got two white spotlights that they put on us.

So Brian walks in one night _ it was a dressing room just like this - and he
goes, "How's it going?" And I say, "Do you really want to know?" We were like
six dates into the tour.

I said, "Do you think there's a chance we could get some colored lights?
Other than the two spotlights?" He goes, "You don't have any colored
lights?!" I go, "No." And he goes. "Well why didn't you say something - what
else do you want?" I say, "Well, we're playing in Kansas City, and we're
probably going to get an encore. Can we have an encore?" And he says, "Sure!
Anything else you need? I go, "We only have five feet of stage space. Can we
have 10 feet?" He goes, "Sure!" I mean, it was a three-piece band, they
didn't have a lot of gear, but the crew didn't want to give us any space.
The next two weeks were like heaven. All the lights, stage space and if we
got an encore, we could go back and play one. It wasn't ever the band messing
with us, it was the crew."

Goldmine: "What was Freddie Mercury like off stage?"

Phil Ehart: "When things started going well, we started going into THEIR
dressing room, and Freddie was always there. He was always very nice. Very
friendly. Just a regular guy. He was just one of the guys. But the instant he
stepped out of that dressing room, he was the star. He was in character. But
that whole band was always very nice to us."