Brian May says Queen first thought their historic Live Aid set was only “kind of OK”
He added that at the time they had no idea of the impact the set would have.
Image: Pete Still / Getty
Brian May has spoken about Queen’s initial thoughts on their performance at Live Aid 1985, revealing how they didn’t realise at the time the set would go down in history.
The 22-minute set is often cited as one of the best live performances of all time, but according to a recent interview with May by TalkRadio, the band weren’t aware of the massive implications of it. It was recently recreated for the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, spurring May to reminisce: “It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie. They recreated it so incredibly faithfully, and to be there on that set was really spine chilling; it brought it all back. And at the time, we weren’t aware of what an epoch-making thing it was, really. We came off [thinking], ‘Well, that went kind of OK.’ But we didn’t realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether. … It sort of lives on, doesn’t it?”
May also spoke of how late frontman Freddie Mercury brought a “great spatial awareness” to his stage presence, “and that’s something very important,” he said. “If you’re working with people on a stage, you need to have musical contact, but you also need the kind of physical chemistry going on — the awareness of where you are and where you’re aiming your energy. Freddie was wonderful for that, and we just clicked from the very beginning.”
Today also saw the Brian May’s guitarist’s Save Me wildlife trust successfully convince a supermarket to reconsider its expansion, saving a hedgehog habitat and an area of woodland totalling 67 trees.
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