Forums > Queen - General Discussion > IMPORTANT DISCOVERY REGARDING EARLY CONCERTS

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QueeninCornwall user not visiting Queenzone.com


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am researching Queens early concerts, many of which were in Cornwall, UK where I live.

This is the blog that details some of the research. It includes details of interviews with members of the Reaction.

I have found an advert from the local paper dated 16th April 1970 announcing Smiles demise. I dont think there are any other copies of it on the web so I thought Id share it with you.

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Cant see how to edit posts so added link here www.queenincornwall.blogspot.com

Would be grateful for feedback on the advert that also mentions Sour Milk Sea. Does this fit with your understanding of the early history of Queen??

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Outstanding detective work and great first post. Thank you.

This, according to Queenpedia, suggests Sour Milk Sea didn't play because Fred had just left to join the newly-formed Queen.

"The only other gig featuring Freddie which the other members of Sour Milk Sea are certain about was a benefit for the homeless charity ‘Shelter’, staged at the Highfield Parish hall in Headington, Oxford, on 20th March 1970 – just weeks before Freddie teamed up with Brian May and Roger Taylor in a new group. 'That was probably the last gig we played with him,' remarks Chris Chesney."


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow.. who are you and where did you come from, good sir?  Excellent stuff.


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi y'all

I'm a Queen fan who has the good fortune to live in the fair City of Truro, Cornwall...I ve been visiting some of the locations of the gigs that they played down here and meeting some of the musicians and promoters who knew Roger when he lived down here...

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lovely, thanks !

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow, wonderful find! Thanks:-)


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 11:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've got quite a few interesting bits and pieces that i will be putting on the blog over the next few weeks.

This picture, for instance, is of the walled garden at Tregye (as it looks now) where Queen played on the same bill as Arthur Brown and Hawkwind...

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 11:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Cool stuff.  Thanks for sharing.  Welcome to QZ!


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 12:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Now that's a first post! Wonderful stuff! So it appears that, based on that ad, we could speculate that Freddie had left Sour Milk Sea already.

Now, the question this ad poses is which incarnation of Smile does it refer to? "Breaking up" suggests that Freddie hadn't joined yet, or at the very least it wasn't considered a permanent arrangement.

The most likely theory is pretty close to the above statement. Tim Staffell was still a member of Smile at the time of this concert, but he had told Brian and Roger that he was leaving the band after a few more shows. Brian and Roger hadn't yet decided to continue on with Freddie as the lead singer, so, at the time, the plan was for the band to go their separate ways. This was to be their final show in Cornwall as they rounded out a few last gigs.

Now, there's a more fun theory here. What if Tim Staffell had left the band already and Freddie had joined? Not as a permanent member, but as a "fill-in" vocalist to help them finish out the dates they had already contracted for following Staffell's departure while they all decided what the future held? If this is the case, wouldn't it effectively re-write what we know about the June 27 show being Queen's "first"?

I guess the better question here is how much do we know about Smile's May 9, 1970 gig in London? Do we know who the lineup that day consisted of? That's a key piece of any puzzle that exists here.


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 12:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Exactly what I thought when I saw it...

I think it more likely that Sour Milk Sea were going to play - but when they split up Smile took the gig instead....

But you may be interested to know that I'm meeting the ex-manager of PJs tomorrow so I will ask him and let you know why the ad reads as it does...

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 12:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm guessing you've already read the book 'Queen - The Early Years' (I think it's called that!). It mentions lots of Cornwall type stuff. Hope it's some help.


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 13:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have and its pretty good on most stuff but it doesnt mention these PJs gigs which are very close to the moment when Queen formed properly...

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 13:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great stuff!

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 17:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Very cool.


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 18:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Really good stuff! One of the reasons I joined Queenzone was for posts like this! Thanks for taking the time to share.


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Posted: 07 Jun 10, 01:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm still very excited about this find. I honestly believe this could re-write the history of Queen that we all know, and I strongly believe this--not Truro--could be the first Queen show. So many pieces fall into place, but here's another key piece of evidence (circumstantial though it is) that I failed to notice both for my first reply here and the e-mail I just sent to another member of this forum discussing the implications of this gig:

Smile was a replacement band here. Sour Milk Sea was contracted to play but broke up beforehand. The fact that Tim Staffell's band stepped in to cover for Freddie Mercury's ex-band is NOT a coincidence, period. I'm sure Tim, Brian and Roger were approached (probably by Freddie himself) and told about the circumstances of this show needing a replacement band to help Freddie out of the bind he'd have likely found himself in if no band showed up at all.

Being that Tim Staffell already had other priorities at this point (i.e., Humpy Bong), it's entirely possible that Brian and Roger were very keen on the idea of taking the gig, but Tim was unavailable. Reading the ad, one almost gets the feeling that Smile playing this show was a last-second arrangement to begin with, and Tim may well have had other plans. In that instance, who would they logically ask to step in and sing other than Freddie, who was certainly familiar with their music and had planned on being there that night anyway?

Initially, I thought that the May 9, 1970 Smile show would be key to this one. If Tim Staffell was singing there, Freddie almost certainly would not have been the lead singer here--why would Tim quit the band then come back for one show when he's already recording with Humpy Bong? Now, I'm not so sure that a Freddie-led May 9 show is necessary. The advert for the May 9th show looks like a bill that was set a long time in advance, and is not covered by a disclaimer that any replacement bands are playing. Maybe Tim was perfectly happy to finish out the already-contracted Smile shows, but was unavailable to take this one on at the last second. In that situation, having Tim back on lead vocals for the May 9 Smile show would not in any way rule out the possibility that Freddie was on lead vocals for this show.

The more I think about it, the more apparent it seems to me that there's a very strong chance that this, and not the June show in Truro, was the first "Queen" concert. Sure, Truro was the first one after Freddie, Brian and Roger decided to rename the band and tour together, but based on the implications of the "replacement band" line in this advert, I'm slowly becoming more and more suspicious that April 17, 1970, was the first time Freddie Bulsara performed a show as the lead vocalist of a band that had Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums.

To the Queen fan who found this ad and posted it here (I'd address you by name, but "QueeninCornwall" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue), THANK YOU for getting the wheels of my mind spinning, and getting me more excited about Queen than I've been in quite some time. The possibility that Freddie fronted Smile *before* the June Truro show has me absolutely giddy. I'd like to ask, though, if you've been able to look a few days ahead in the microfilms and see if there are pictures or a review of the show--anything which could answer definitively the now very-real question at hand:

Who was the lead singer of Smile on April 17th and 18th, 1970?


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Posted: 07 Jun 10, 02:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Youre right ....its an important as a historical document and its interesting to think what the implications are. I ve sent a copy to Jacky Gunn to see what she makes of it.

I found it late on Saturday when the library was about to close but I should be able to take another look soon. Meanwhile here is a scan of the whole page so you can see it in amongst the other adverts. Its easily missed. In fact I would have missed it, but printed this page because of the other PJs advert (which is for the same gig).

One consideration is that the journey to Cornwall in the sixties particularly was not easy and you can imagine that Tim in London may have opted out of singing in this gig for that reason alone.

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Posted: 07 Jun 10, 16:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

QueeninCornwall.

Thanks for all of this info.

As you can see you really have opened up a lot of Queen fans imagination.Including mine.I'm kinda wondering what the line-up for those two gigs were too.

Cheers mate.


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Posted: 07 Jun 10, 17:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

OK I'll admit it but this is a shameless attempt to get you to visit my blog

Its www.queenincornwall.blogspot.com 

In the last couple of days I've uploaded some images taken from inside Rogers boyhood home as it is now, and the original advert for the first Queen gig, June 1970, which I don't think has appeared in reproduction before... please feel free to leave messages etc there...