Queen Discover Tape of One of Their First Concerts

Brian May has discovered a recording of one of the earliest shows that Queen ever performed.

He gave the news to Classic Rock, saying, “We’re always looking at finding stuff that is historically important. And this one tape that cropped up very recently which I am excited about, which is one of the first gigs we played in a lecture theatre at Imperial College. I didn’t even know I had the cassette.”

May didn’t provide specifics on the show, but he has said that, although their first concert as Queen was June 27, 1970 in Cornwall, their “first proper gig” was three weeks later, July 18, at the Union Hall at Imperial College, where May had studied physics. Mike Grose was the bass player at the time, although he would soon quit because they spent more time working on material than performing. The guitarist added that their inexperience is evident, which has left him and his bandmates unsure if they should release it.”

“We were very unformed [on the tape],” May added. “Hearing Freddie [Mercury] at that point in his development is fascinating. He had all the will and charisma and passion, but he didn’t have the opportunity to harness that voice yet. Which makes me hesitate a little bit, because I’m not sure Freddie would be that happy hearing himself at this stage. But strangely, if he were alive and sitting here at this moment, he’d probably be the same as me: ‘Oh darling, we were kids.’”

“We’re debating what to do with it,” he continued. “A few years ago we’d have felt very protective and thought, ‘Nobody should hear this, because we’re very rough.’ But now, in the position that we are in our lives, we feel forgiving. We’re not ashamed of where we were at that time. It was us against the world.”

Queen’s 1984 single “I Want to Break Free” is featured in a commercial for Doritos that will run during this year’s Super Bowl. The spot features actor Matthew McConaughey becoming mysteriously flattened, only to be restored to three dimensions after taking a bite out of Doritos 3D Crunch.


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