Gary Numan - 'Freddie Mercury sent a limo to buy him a Big Mac'
Quietus hero Gary Numan tells Julian Marszalek about his 13 favourite albums and how they "kicked my arse"... plus the time Freddie Mercury sent a limo to buy him a Big Mac.
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Queen – Sheer Heart Attack
I was really big Queen fan when I was younger and for two reasons. First of all, I think the second show I ever went to was Queen supporting Mott The Hoople at the Hammersmith Odeon. I'd never heard them before and loved it and became a fan. Secondly, they did a show at the Finsbury Park Rainbow and I stood outside the stage door and tried to get an autograph and they actually invited everybody in – all the people hanging around by the stage door – and they invited them in into the dressing room and signed everything for everybody and I never forgot about that. It was a fantastic lesson in how to look after your fans. So to this day, I sign everything and I go outside and I talk to people and meet people and it all came from that. It was a lesson in how to look after the people who've given you the life you have.
I've been to gigs at the Rainbow many, many times and there were so many bands who'd come out of their dressing rooms and the people would be pushed back by their security, throw themselves into a car and they'd leg it and wouldn't talk to anyone and be the big star. Queen? Not that at all. They actually welcomed you in and I thought that was fantastic.
After that, I met Roger Taylor and I've got loads of stories about them. I once went to Japan with the band Japan – I was meant to be doing a guest thing with them – and they blew me out and they didn't have the guts to tell me. I went all the way to fucking Japan, yeah, and they'd fucking legged it! I found myself in Tokyo on my own. Japan had fucked off and had left me behind – wankers! – and I noticed that Queen were playing at the Budokan. So I went to the gig and I didn't try to get in on the guest list; I went and bought a ticket. I was in the crowd and some security man and came and got me, 'cause I was quite famous in Japan at the time, and he said, 'You really don't want to be sitting out here. Come backstage' because everyone was standing up and I didn't realise it was because of me! I was in the crowd at it was causing quite a bit of fuss. So they came and got me and took me backstage and introduced me to the band and they were really lovely and sort of took me under their wing.
We went out afterwards and they took me for sushi and I don't like that food. So Freddie Mercury says to me, 'Are you alright, luvvie?' and I said, 'I don't really like the food but I'm just happy to be here and I'm alright' so he went and got his limo driver and sent him up to McDonalds up the road and paid the restaurant owner some yen so I could sit in his restaurant with a Big Mac! And Freddie was just lovely. He was the loveliest man and when I met him after that he was always super-friendly. They all were.
A few years later Roger Taylor came down to the studio and played some drums and didn't want any money. John Deacon was there too. And my brother played drums in a pub band and they were playing at The Airman pub in Feltham and Roger said, 'Let's go and see them!' so I said, 'Alright, then!' So he's got this big Aston Martin car and there was Roger Taylor from Queen and me and we walk into this pub to watch my brother. Just brilliant! He was so absolutely down to earth and easy to be with and lovely.
So yeah, I'm always going to have a Queen thing somewhere and they were brilliant live.