Queen to rock Paris in comeback tour

29th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 29 (AFP) - Queen, the emblematic rock heroes of the 1970s and 1980s, are to play in Paris Wednesday, on the second stop of a European tour - their first since charismatic lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991.

PARIS, March 29 (AFP) - Queen, the emblematic rock heroes of the 1970s and 1980s, are to play in Paris Wednesday, on the second stop of a European tour - their first since charismatic lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991.

Mercury, known for his flamboyant stage costumes and strutting stage performances, has been replaced for the first time since his death from AIDS in November 1991, by Paul Rodgers, former singer with Free and Bad Company.

"I never thought I would be doing this again. I was always against the idea of putting someone in there trying to impersonate Freddie in any way," said lead guitarist Brian May, in a press release announcing the band's tour.

"Then suddenly I'm looking at this guy who doesn't in any sense try to take the place of Freddie. He's nothing like Freddie because he comes from his own place.

"Suddenly I thought, 'yes we can do this', we could do one more tour and the songs would mean something new."

The Queen + Paul Rodgers tour kicked off Monday with a sold-out date at the Brixton Academy in London.

Their second date is set for the Zenith in Paris on Wednesday, on the next step of a European tour of about 25 concerts which ends in July in The Netherlands.

Queen under Mercury brought the world such unforgettable rock anthems as "We are the Champions", "We will Rock you" (1977), "Another One Bites the Dust" (1980), "Radio Gaga" and "I want to Break Free" (1984). And not forgetting the rock opera "Bohemian Rapsody" in 1975 - the first song which had a video especially filmed to accompany it.

May has brushed aside criticism that Queen is simply not Queen without Freddie and that they are just trying to cash in on his memory to revive the fortunes of Britain's most successful pop group since the Beatles.

"This would not be like rehashing, trying to pretend Freddie's still here; suddenly we can reinterpret these songs with someone who understands what he's about, someone who relates to us," he said.

The idea for collaboration with Rodgers was born at a London show in September to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fender Strat guitar.

"We were both so amazed at the chemistry that was going on in 'All Right Now' that suddenly it seemed blindingly obvious that there was something happening here," said drummer Roger Taylor.

Rodgers also talked of a natural chemistry between him and the remaining band members. "The idea took hold for us to do something together after that, and with the chill factor off the scale the momentum has taken on a life of its own."

Of the original line-up, only May and Taylor remain in the tour with bass-player John Deacon having quit his musical career.

The last Queen concert was in 1986 at the Knebworth festival, before Mercury, by then a gay icon, became a virtual recluse due to his failing health.

After Mercury's death, May, Taylor and Deacon organised a concert in his memory at Wembley in April 1992 and released a posthumous album "Made in Heaven" in 1995.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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