At the start of February Queen fly to New York for a 40 show American tour, their first as the headlining act. Unfortunately further shows in late February and April will be cancelled when Freddie develops problems with his throat.
Their first tour of Japan also commences in April, and all four members are visibly overwhelmed to discover over 3,000 screaming fans gathered to welcome them at the airport. The phenomenon is christened ‘Queen Mania’, and will re-occur at every Japanese tour hereafter.
Following rehearsals at Elstree Studios, and also the location of the Bohemian Rhapsody video shoot, the band kick off their third headlining tour of the UK. It begins in familiar Queen territory with two shows at the Liverpool Empire, and concludes on Christmas Eve with the renowned Hammersmith Odeon show, which is also televised and broadcast on radio live on the night. With new costumes, lighting rig and stage effects, the stage show now commences with Freddie's backlit silhouette behind a screen for the opening words to the opera section of the number one single Bohemian Rhapsody, and then bound onto the stage for the rock part of the song. Queen are now Britain's top band, and are just as well known internationally around the world as at home, and above all a top live concert draw.
Text taken from the forthcoming revised and updated edition of Queen Live: A Concert Documentary