Queen's Freddie Mercury: The Circus Magazine Tapes

Source: Circus magazine 17th March 1977

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

 

 

Originally sourced from queeninterviews.com

by Don Rush


Back in the old days, we were often compared to Led Zeppelin. If we did something with harmony, it was the Beach Boys. Something heavy was Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant was always my favorite singer-and he's said nice things about me, you know. He actually said he liked "Killer Queen."
We were always a sitting target in the press because we became popular so quickly. But, you know, we spent two years putting our act together It destroys the soul to hear that you're all hype, that you have no talent, and that your whole career has been contrived. I was never too keen on the British music press. They've called us a supermarket hype, and they used to suggest that we didn't write our own songs. When the whole point of Queen was to be original.
I'm the first to accept fair criticism. But the dishonest reviews-where people haven't done their homework - I just tear them up. I do get annoyed when up-and-coming journalists put themselves above the artist.
I don't care what the journalists say, we achieved our own identity after Queen II. As for the Beach Boys or Led Zeppelin comparisons: it's the combination of all those influences which means Queen. We were disliked by the press in the early days because they couldn't put their finger on us, and that was the case with Zeppelin as well.
A lot of people slammed "Bohemian Rhapsody," but who can you compare that to? Name one group that's done an operatic single. You know, we were adamant that "Bohemian Rhapsody" would be a hit in its entirety. We have been forced to make compromises, but cutting up a song will never be one of them.
We've always put our necks on the line. We're fussy and finnicky and have very high standards. If a song can't be done properly, we'd rather it isn't done at all. We're the fussiest band in the world, and we put so much loving into every album. We're a very expensive group; we break a lot of rules. It's unheard of to combine opera with a rock theme, my dear.
And, we have no such thing as a budget anymore. Our manager freaks when we show him the bill. We're lavish to the bone, but all our money goes back into the product. We've gone overboard on every Queen album. But that's Queen. If people said, "The new album sounds just like Night At The Opera," I'd give up. Wouldn't you?
After Sheer Heart Attack, we realized we'd established ourselves. We felt that there were no barriers, no restrictions. A Night At The Opera featured every sound from a tuba to a comb. Nothing is out of bounds. Every molecule of Day At The Races - every iota-is us. No session men. We don't try to reproduce that onstage.
We've been slagged in the press for our flamboyant stage show. We think a show should be a spectacle. A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It's a theatrical event.
In the early days, we just wore black onstage. Very bold, my dear. Then we introduced white, for variety, and it simply grew and grew. "Stone Cold Crazy" was the first song Queen ever performed onstage.
I have fun with my clothes onstage; it's not a concert you're seeing, it's a fashion show. I dress to kill, but taste- fully. My nail polish? I used to use Biba, now I use Miners. One coat goes on really smooth.
If we're weird onstage, I don't know what you'd call the Tubes. We're a bit flashy, but the music's not one big noise. I think we're sophisticated. I like the cabaretish sort of thing. In fact, one of my early inspirations came from Cabaret. I absolutely adore Liza Minnelli, she's a total wow. The way she delivers her songs-the sheer energy. The way the lights enhance every movement of the show. I think you can see similarities in the excitement and energy of a Queen show. It's not glamrock, you see; we're in the showbusiness traditi