Oct 13 2008 By Jane Tyler
Photographs of rock legends Queen which have never been seen before will go on show in Birmingham this week.
The pictures were taken by family and friends and are so rare many have not even been seen by the band members themselves.
St Paul's Gallery, at Northwood Street, in the Jewellery Quarter has been given the exclusive rights to show them in an exhibition which starts on Thursday and continues for a month.
There are 66 images in the show, covering nearly all the years of Queen. They include the very early days, stunning pictures of the late Freddie Mercury, the group together, and individually in all their various guises.
The surviving members of Queen are expected to attend a private viewing of the launch at the gallery ahead of their appearance in a concert at the NIA that night.
Mingling with specially-invited guests at the gallery on Thursday will be Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor and former Free frontman Paul Rodgers, who they have teamed up with for their latest tour.
The photographs were collected by Queen’s art director Richard Grey who rounded them all up from various sources and has kept them safe in Dorset until their unveiling to the world in Birmingham.
St Paul’s Gallery scooped the pictures because it has the largest collection of album cover art in the world and it has the right to reproduce signed pieces.
Gallery owners obtained the previously unseen pictures when they initially approached Queen to sign art prints from the News of the World and Jazz albums.
A spokeswoman for St Paul’s said: “It was during a conversation with management and the art director that these photographs came into discussion.
“The gallery asked permission to show these, as they carry much memorabilia from various musical legends and so had a great interest in being the first to unveil these here in Birmingham.”
On Thursday St Paul’s will also be releasing its limited edition fine art prints of News of the World and Jazz album covers, which the band members will be signing during their personal appearance.
• The opening day of the exhibition is by invitation only, but afterwards is open to anyone. http://www.birminghampost.net/news/2008/10/13/rare-freddie-mercury-and-queen-images-on-show-in-birmingham-65233-22025060
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