Interviews - Queen

Bejart Ballet (Weekend Review, March 1997)

VH1'S "WEEKEND REVIEW" PROGRAM IN MARCH 1997

Roger: He was very much his own creation. He made himself and he just got better and better. At first we thought "he'll never get away with this" but he just developed and became a better singer, better and better all the time. He was a great writer from the start and absolutely inherently a musician. He was quite extraordinary.

Brian: He really didn't change, he didn't, in inverted commas, sort of become someone you couldn't talk to, we were always very close as a group, very democratic as a group, we were very much guided by each other in performance and in the studio we would produce each other and use each other to bounce off and I would always play a better solo if Freddie was there saying, "no, no, no, no, no, you can do this" or he would keep something that I was going to throw away.

VH1: The Freddie Mercury tribute was broadcast in 70 different countries and featured contributions from Elton John, George Michael, Guns 'n' Roses and many more; and allowed the rest of the band to see Freddie off in a style he would have been proud of.
Roger: I think it's something we had to get out of our systems, I know I did and spent about 3 months on the phone. It was a very difficult thing to get together and we had so much co-operation from all those great artists, some of whom I still haven't got round to thanking.

Brian: I always remember the moment Joe Elliott grabbed my sleeve as we were going off at the end and said, "Brian, you have to stop for a minute and just look at this and think what it is because you're never gonna see anything like this again". And he was right, so it was great to have those people playing with us, very thrilling for us and I think we did the job for Freddie.

VH1: The music of Freddie Mercury and Queen lives on and this year, a ballet performed in Paris was the venue for the first public performance for the 3 remaining members of the band since the Mercury tribute in 1992. They decided to do it after a personal request from Elton John.

Roger: There's a new ballet written by the father of French modern ballet, Maurice Bejart and it's written around our music with a few bits of Mozart thrown in which is quite a flattering mixture isn't it? And it's a wonderful work, it's a great piece and Elton thought that it would be lovely if we just came on at the end with the ballet and performed 'The Show Must Go On' as a surprise which we did and it was great, it was a lovely experience.

Brian: I was surprised that I enjoyed it, because in the interim period, I've very much been trying to get Queen out of my system, and I know that probably doesn't sound very nice but in a way it's unhealthy to be just clinging to the past.

Roger: It's a difficult thing, but having said that, it's been 5 years since Freddie's death now and I think we don't feel quite so precious about it as we did and we accept it as something that happened and it's in the past now and, so I think maybe the future is open to us doing something again.

Brian: I know people would love to see us together and stuff, but it would have to be in the right way, not in some way which would spoil what went before.

Roger: Elton put it very well, he said, "You lot are like a fantastic racing car, sitting in the garage with no bloody driver", which was a great analogy I thought, and very flattering; but you know, we'll see.

Interviews

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