Added on 27-Oct-2005
What Would Freddie Mercury And Paul Kossoff Discuss In Heaven Re: Queen+Paul Rodgers?Writer Steve McClure from The Daily Yomiuri imagines what Freddie Mercury and Paul Kossoff might have to say about the Queen+Paul Rodgers Tour.
''Queen+PR: What would they say?''
Steve McClure / Special to The Daily Yomiuri
''The scene: rock 'n' roll heaven, that far-off realm in the clouds where, as the song tells us, ''they've got a helluva band'' Paul Kossoff, late guitarist of blues-rock band Free, is taking a stroll through the Elysian Fields when he espies deceased Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury.''
''Hey, Freddie. What's shakin', man?''
''Oh, hi, Paul. Not much, actually. Don't you find this unending celestial bliss a bit of a bore? Sometimes I want to break free!''
''Well, I used to think so, too, but it's all right now.''
''Anyway, it's funny you should pop along, Paul. I've just been thinking about your old mate, Paul Rodgers.''
''Yes, Freddie, he was the singer with Free, when I was lead guitarist with that band, and later on Paul fronted Bad Company. A great set of pipes and a diamond geezer. I hear he's teamed up with your old bandmates Brian May, on lead guitar, and Roger Taylor, on drums, and they've been touring as 'Queen+Paul Rodgers.'''
''Yes, Paul. It's enough to give you a sheer heart attack. At least John Deacon, our bassist, had the good taste to give the whole thing a miss.''
''So when did Paul, Brian and Roger get together?''
''Well, it seems that Brian and Paul performed 'All Right Now,' that old Free chestnut, at the Fender Stratocaster 50th anniversary gig in 2004, and the proverbial chemistry was there, so they say. They roped Roger in, and since then they've been playing concerts featuring all our great Queen songs, plus some Free and Bad Company numbers to keep Paul's fans happy.''
''And they've released a live album and a DVD as well, right, Freddie?''
''Yes, indeed, Paul. Were we not up here in heaven, where bitchy barbs are banned, I would accuse them of trying to ensure a fat bottom line.''
''Ouch, Freddie! But you've got to admit that Rodgers is a great singer, even if he can't camp it up like you could?''
''I'll take that as a compliment, Paul. Can you imagine him in white tights?''
''Uh, no, actually. But at least he's got a mustache, Freddie.''
''A mustache and a goatee, Paul. Not really the Mercury style.''
''But I must say that he's very effective on rousing tunes like 'We Are the Champions.' Brian May is in fine form, too. And I should point out that Rodgers has been quoted as saying that he's not trying to replace you, Freddie. He described you as 'one of a kind,' and says that he's happy just to be himself and sing some great songs with some great musicians. And that's why the show is being billed as 'Queen+Paul Rodgers' with Rodgers' name in a smaller typeface than Queen's, I might add.''
''Fair enough, Paul. But the whole thing seems wrong, somehow. With all due respect, I'm not sure that Paul Rodgers is the right man for the job. I'm kind of partial to George Michael myself.''
''How about Liza Minnelli, Freddie? After all, she did sing with the remaining members of Queen at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. And she's a gay icon to boot. Anyway, I wonder how they manage to perform elaborate tunes like 'Bohemian Rhapsody' live.''
''Well, Paul, apparently they have a giant video screen showing yours truly singing said number, and everybody in the audience sings along as the band goes through its paces.''
''Sounds a bit ghoulish, eh, Freddie?''
''Well, it's not exactly an idea that was made in heaven, Paul. A kind of kitsch karaoke, if you ask me.''
''I wonder why people pay big bucks to see this kind of thing, Freddie?''
''Well, Paul, it's just a crazy little thing called nostalgia. And I guess people reckon an old Queen is better than no Queen.''
''I hear that the band is now playing a series of live dates in Japan, Freddie.''
''Yes, indeed. We were always big in Japan. We