A Night Of Summer Magic
Queen & support
Knebworth Park, Stevenage, UK
August 9, 1986
This is the FINAL concert of Queen with Freddie Mercury on vocals and John Deacon on bass guitar.
It's also the last concet of their biggest tour ever - the Magic Tour. After they sold out 2 nights at Wembley and they couldn't get a third one, their promoter Harvey Goldsmith booked a couple of extra nights for the UK part of the tour, the last one being the park (about 30 miles North-West of London).
The concert was opened by a new wave artist Belouis Some
at approximately 2PM. Everybody who was there
claims he sucked, so it's hard to imagine why he got the job - there are some rumours that Freddie was "interested" in him. After the first three songs the audience members started to throw bottles and tried to hit him on stage. Of course, none of these bottles ever got as far as the stage, but one of the backing singers held what looked like a washing bowl over her head for protection. The bottles were landing on the crowd in front, who were picking them up and throwing them back from where they came from. Then he
announced that the next song will be called "Target Practice", and the whole stage was then swamped for
about 2 minutes non-stop. When people were running out of bottles, huge chunks of turf were then sent inbound.
Does anybody know if an audio recording exists? Or a video would be probably even better :) Unfortunately I
wasn't able to get one but I do have a very good reason to believe that the audio recording exists.
Approximately 1 hour later Status Quo started their set. They had 3 concerts that day and went directly to
Germany (?) after finishing Knebworth. During their set, one of their roadies climbed to the top of the giant Starvision screen with a big cardboard guitar. The crowd went of course wild, unfortunately the band thought the audience reaction means they love THEM. After they found out they fired him immediately. During Quo's rocking set Queen arrived to the park in a helicopter, which can be seen in the DoRo footage.
An hour after Quo finished Big Country took the stage and delivered a surprisingly good show. A personal note
- I never heard of them before, but after hearing an audience recording of their gig I fell in love with them.
And then Queen finally arrived on stage and delivered a perfect performance, not knowing that between the acts a 21 year old Qeeun fan Thomas McGuigan was repeatedly stabbed in the chest during a fight in front of the stage. When St. John Ambulance crew members finally got to him, he was unfortunately dead. Goldsmith knew about this incident, but he has decided not to tell the band, they were informed later that evening and Freddie was recorded saying "If people have to die because they wanna see us, I'll never perform live again." The sources : BELOUIS SOME
- I've been told that an audio recording exists, but I wasn't able to obtain a copy. Does anybody have one ? STATUS QUO
- there are 3 known recordings available. The main source used for this merge has the best sound quality, overall I'd rate it "EX" or "EX-". The recording seems to be recorded from the same spot and with the same gear as the best Queen source, so I assume it's from the same taper (Crazy S) but it's just a guess. This recording has been released on the "Big Day Hero" bootleg, which was added to later re-releases of the "Thank You All " Queen bootleg (see below). Unfortunately something very, very bad happened during the production of this CD. Last 4 songs suffer from some very bad digital noise and it gets worse with every minute. It gets again better during the last song, Caroline. I have done every filter I could to make the last song sound at least tolerable, but there's absolutely nothing which could be done to the last part of Roadhouse Blues and the first part of Caroline, I had to replace these parts with an alternate source. If somebody wants the original files let me know and I'll upload them, maybe somebody else will be able to clean them up more, I have simply given up. From now on I will reference this source as SQA1 (Status Quo audience recording 1).
There is an alternate source. It sounds much worse that the "SQA1" source, but still it sounds better than the last
songs on SQA1. This source was released on LP, but unfortunately I couldn't find any lossless transfer, so I had to rip it from youtube. So in other words this source is lossy and in pretty bad quality. That's the reason why I used this source only to fill the gaps in the first source. I'll call this source SQA2.
The third source is a recently discovered TV report, which features some backstage footage before the concert and approximately a half of the first song (Whatever You Want) and the final seconds of their gig. I'll call this source SQV. BIG COUNTRY
The Big Country gig was recorded and released also on the same bootleg as the Status Quo gig ("Big Day Hero"). Again
it has basically the same sound quality as the best Queen tape and seems to be taped from the same position so I again assume it was recorded by Crazy S. I'll call this source BCA.
I have also a second source, but because the first source is complete and in much better quality, I didn't use it for the merge. QUEEN
Multiple people have recorded Queen. The best, most complete and most known is the recording done by Mr. Crazy S. The sound quality is excellent, the sound is very clear. There were a few short gaps, so the people behind the bootleg label Wardour have filled these gaps with the audio from the bootleg video. Their recording was released on the bootleg "Thank You All". I'll refer to this recording as QA1.
I used a few seconds from a different, inferior source, I used it only for the closing speech by Harvey Goldsmith. This source will be referred as QA2.
The whole concert was recorded professionally, part of it was released on the 1986 album Live Magic. Unfortunately it runs slightly faster than the QA1 source, so I had to slow it down slightly so that both recordings run at the same speed. The 2001 Japanese release was used for this merge and will be referred as QS1.
A part of Freddie's improvisation and Under Pressure were remixed in 1999 and released on single. I'll call this source QS2.
Parts of this concert (at least the second half) were filmed by DoRo, who were documenting the European tour for a documentary. Various songs have appeared in various documentaries, but for my merge I used the song Is This The World We Created, which was released on their documentary Magic Years, vol. 2. This source will be called QV. The merge
4 CDS featuring the performances of Status Quo, Big Country and Queen. Every concert is as complete as possible and every song is in the best quality I was able to get, even when it means that during some songs the sound will "jump" from one source to another. Take it as a warning, if you don't like when sources change during a song,
this is not for you. CD 1 - Status Quo (01:09:13)
SQA1 : AUD master (possibly "Crazy S") > ? > "Big Day Hero" bootleg > EAC > WAV > Cool Edit Pro > clip restoration, click reduction on last 3 songs > WAV
SQA2 : AUD master > LP bootleg > ? > Youtube video > mp4 > wav (lossy) > Cool Edit Pro (hiss reduction) > wav
SQV : PRO master > Dutch TV report > VHS (x) > ? > Youtube video > mp4 > wav (lossy) > Cool Edit Pro (hiss reduction) > wav
01. Concert Intro (including backstage banter) (SQV / SQA1) (03:41)
02. Whatever You Want (SQV / SQA1 / SQV / SQA1) (04:01)
03. Paper Plane (SQA1) (03:20)
04. Roll Over Lay Down (SQA1) (06:21)
05. Little Lady (SQA1) (03:43)
06. Mystery Song (SQA1) (02:29)
07. Railroads (SQA1) (01:37)
08. Most of the Time (SQA1) (01:06)
09. Wild Side of Life (SQA1) (01:59)
10. Slow Train (SQA1) (01:04)
11. Hold You Back (SQA1