Queen Backstage: Dresden Exhibition Photos and Greg Brooks Report

The Dresden exhibition is called 'QUEEN BACKSTAGE'. It opened on October 12th and runs for 6 weeks through to Nov 24th.

It's based in a huge shopping complex called Elbe Park, in north Dresden (close to the airport), and covers approximately 500 sq mtrs - so there's a LOT to see.  

I would guess it's roughly the size the Stormtroopers In Stilettos exhibition in London early last year, but it's very different in various ways.  

I went out earlier this year to look at various venues with the people who organised the event, and then earlier this month I went back to set up the exhibits.  I had ten large glass cases to fill, in any way I liked, plus as many upright cases for costumes as we needed. So, it made sense to set the room up in chronological order. Q1, Q2, SHA in the first cabinet, NATO & DATR in the second, NOTW & Jazz, and so on. It worked well and the result was ten very striking cases, full of rare items as well as familiar product: picture discs, CDs, LPs, phone cards, toy cars, badges, books, tickets, passes, magazines, etc.  Many Freddie and Brian costumes too, plus lots of great items loaned by Queen fans - including the original Fat Bottomed Girls handwritten lyrics, and an original Fan Club Letter, penned by FM in '89.

Since I had 4 sets of 'Works' hand written lyrics with me, plus some Freddie Works costume and a Gold award, it made sense to set up two cabinets just for that album. Some cabinets were full of stuff, others were deliberately sparse for contrast.  I also did a Queen Live cabinet, just because I happened to have lots of tour programmes, tickets, LPs, CDs, laminates and passes, and this I think worked extremely well.  All of the memorabilia came from Brian's personal archive.

We also took out the 66 framed photos that comprise the Queen Photographic exhibition, and they were set up in an order I made up as I went along: a section for each band member, an Early Years section, the Promo Videos section, and Queen In Musicland Studios 1985. Aside from that, we printed off 40 huge posters to feature as 'wallpaper' kindly prepared by Richard Gray.  Since we already had photographs covered in the framed pictures, and memorabilia covered in the cabinets, it seemed a good idea to cover the walls in pictures of the 15 studio albums, and promo posters for some of the singles, etc. The best, most significant images, in my opinion, were 24 or so concert posters: Rainbow 74, Liverpool 73, Japan 82, Europe 79, Budapest 86, Opera 75, etc.  There are some real stunners there!

All in all, I think the exhibition looks great and has a good feel about it. There's a large screen showing GVH 1 & 2, plus the Milton Keynes, Wembley and Montreal concerts, all in 5.1 surround sound, it's free admission, and every person attending gets a rather nice plastic laminate which the organisers put together.  They're a friendly courteous bunch of people, the organisers cared a great deal about the detail and getting it RIGHT... and they did.  I was glad to be a part of it.  The exhibition is definitely worth a day out if you can manage it.    Enjoy, but don't smear the glass!

GB (Queen Archivist)

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