1983 is a year of rest for the band. Since the early 70's they had been touring-recording non-stop, and the time had come to slow down.
We were getting to close to each other ... getting on each others nerves which happens periodically. This time we said: 'Let's take a break and give ourselves some breathing space. Let's do individual things, then we can come back to Queen when we actually feel motivated'. We took about five months off work, up until August this year (1983). During that time we met and talked a lot, but we didn't actually do anything.
After touring America, Europe and Japan we were totally knackered, so we thought we deserved a bit of a rest... It also had a lot to do with the last album (Hot Space) not doing as well as previous LP's. We realised that it hadn't bee what a lot of fans wanted or expected from us, so we thought a break would give us the opportunity to think things through a bit.
During the time of, Brian decided to travel to America. In the back of his mind he was thinking of doing some sort of recording, and therefore decided to take the "Red Special" with him. He obviously was a little weary of letting baggage handlers 'man-handle' his beloved guitar, but was too big to put in an overhead locker. Eventually an agreement was made that he would pay the price of a child's ticket so that his guitar could have its own seat.
When he got to America, he met up with Jeffrey Osborne in the Mad Hatter studio's in Los Angeles. Brian played on two tracks from Jeffrey's forthcoming album "Stay With Me Tonight".
Whilst in LA Brian invited some old friends, including Eddie Van Halen and Fred Mandell, to come and 'jam' at a studio. What eventually came out of the session was a re-working of the theme of a Japanese Sci-fi show called StarFleet, which Brian's son got him addicted to, a recording of a song Brian had written a long time ago called "Let Me Out" and what is essentially a twelve minute jam called BluesBraker.
Brian eventually releases these tracks under the guise of the "StarFleet" mini album. Mack mixes the tracks and Brian enlists Roger's help for backing vocals before the listening public are able to buy it.
To be honest I didn't even know if I could play with other musicians. I had been so long with Queen I thought, 'what kind of musician am I?'. I had been working the machine, but maybe I had become too much of a slave of it... Edward and I took a break from the recording and started talking about how it was in the old days when Eric Clapton was doing his thing with John Mayall. We all found the "Beano" album had a big influence on us, remember, the one with Eric reading the comic on the cover? It was a classic collectors item for every guitarist. It sounded like they were having so much fun they couldn't stop... "BluesBraker", which takes up all of side two on the album is my favourite part of the record. It seemed very indulgent putting out a long ham but, having listened to it, I think that it's worthwhile... It's rock blues with all the mistakes left in.
Trouble was brewing in North America with Freddie refusing to record any more albums for Elektra. He was very unhappy about the way they were representing the band there. They agree to sign to Capitol a record company VERY happy to have Queen. At the celebratory party, Roger sums up what he thought of the Elektra deal by saying "It Shucked".
Even though the band was quite in their activities, the Queen offices were a hive of business. In spring Jim Beach and Gerry Stickells began to look into the possibility of another tour of South America. Unfortunately the same problems of equipment and unreliable promoters started to rear their heads again and they eventually decide that another tour is simply not worth it.
John discovers the art of surf boarding and Roger the art of skiing. Roger is arrested