Live At Wembley Stadium 25th Anniversary: Harvey Goldsmith Interview
For those unaware of your history with Queen, could you please explain your connection with the band?
I was the UK promoter for Queen since the 70’s. My relationship with the band came about through the road crew who were fed up being badly treated by their previous promoter. They arrived at my house one morning for breakfast on their way to a gig, hungry! I think Gerry Stickles persuaded the band to change promoters.
Even though you had worked with Queen before and knew they were a class live act, at what point after the Live Aid triumph did you say to the band...'Let's talk and let's talk Stadiums'.
It was a natural onward move for the band to play Stadiums as they were so much in demand.
Having worked with the band before Live Aid, was it really Bob Geldof who persuaded them to do the show?
It was a combination of Bob announcing them at a press conference and then me persuading Jim Beach.
The size of the staging was immense for The Magic Tour, was this part of the band making a statement, or simply vital to the whole production?
The Magic Tour took place when Production was a major part of successful band touring. For Queen it was a simple progression to be amongst the top bands in the world.
What are the main stresses of promoting a concert as big as Wembley and an event the size of the Magic Tour?
The stresses were those that any promoter goes through when there is large risk. Having the best production team made the work easier.
Would you say the Magic Tour was a landmark tour? The Stones certainly took note when they finally went out again in 1989...
The Magic Tour was definitely a landmark tour. Queen were at the height of popularity, ranking in the top 5 of the biggest touring bands in the world.
Is it true that The Magic Tour as the first tour Queen actually made significant money on?
I guess with a tour of that size Queen made a lot of money.
How much actual real risk is there for a promoter in a concert or tour? Can you lose serious money?
Every time a promoter presents a concert he is at risk. Its like betting on the 3.30 at the races every day. If it works you make little compared to the risk. If it does not you can lose big time.
Do you think Queen would have scaled even greater heights had they continued as a live act?
Queen were spectacular live, no one could beat Freddie when on stage. Their audience lapped up everything they performed. Queen were the classic Anthem band. I have no doubt that Queen, if still going, would still be amongst the best ever.
Queen were certainly be one of the last true Stadium Rock bands would you not agree? There are not too many left at all.
Queen set the standard for Stadium Rock bands. That is why the memory of Queen lives on.
What do you think made Queen such a superb live act?
Freddie ranks amongst the best performers. He had a rapport with his audience that was unbeatable. He knew exactly when to whip them up to a frenzy. The audience adored Freddie.
How was your personal relationship with the band members?
I became friends with all the band members and are so today. They are fabulous people, genuine friends.
Did Queen ever play any jokes on you, or you on them?
There were always jokes, female mud wrestling at Knebworth and throwing me into the ring.
Have you got any personal momentos from your years promoting with Queen?
Only posters and passes.
What is your favourite memory of working with Queen?
My favourite touring band, I never missed a show.
Did you see any of the Queen + Paul Rodgers shows?
No. Too painful a memory.
Live At Wembley Stadium - 25th Anniversary Edition is released on September 5th on 2DVD and 2DVD/2CD