Up to a billion people saw Freddie Mercury’s memorial concert exactly 30 years ago – Axl Rose’s and Elton John’s Bohemian Rhapsody duo pre.excited everyone – Culture

The concert in London featured some of the biggest rock stars of the time, both legends of past decades and hot names from the early 1990s.

Of the year On the second day of Easter 1992, 72,000 music lovers and a whole host of the biggest rock stars of all time gathered at London’s Old Wembley Stadium to pay tribute to one of the greatest rock singers. Queen soloist Freddie Mercury had died just five months earlier in November 1991.

Among the performers were rock legends from previous decades and hot names from the early 1990s: The Whon Roger DaltreyLed Zeppelinin Robert Plant, David BowieEurythmics Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Paul YoungMetallica, Extreme, Guns’N’Roses, George Michael and many others.

In addition to the tens of thousands of listeners present, it was heard by a total of up to a billion people, as it was televised live in 76 countries. Given the size of the event, it is impressive that it was produced from the idea stage to a finished concert in just five months.

Freddie Mercury photographed at London’s Wembley Arena on Queen’s album The Works in 1984. Wembley Arena is an indoor hall smaller than the adjoining stadium.

Queenilla and, of course, its employees had a wealth of experience in organizing and performing at major stadium concerts. Queen’s performance at Wembley Stadium in a Live Aid concert in 1985 was the most musically successful event, as the band practiced it tirelessly.

The following year, Queen sold out Wembley for two consecutive nights, and a third would have gone if the stadium had been free. Instead, the end of the tour was held huge open air concert In Knebworth, and it became Queen’s last concert with Freddie Mercury. The official audience was 120,000, the actual audience maybe even bigger.

Mercury then announced that it no longer wanted to perform. However, with Queen, he made two more records and prepared a third one, posthumously released Made in Heavenia (1995).

Freddie Mercury’s death from AIDS in November 1991 was a huge news event that shocked the band’s fans but also caused an increase in homophobia. In the 1980s, AIDS was considered a disease of gays in particular, “gay plague,” as it was sometimes called.

There had been tremendous talk and speculation about Mercury’s health in the world press, but he himself said he only contracted AIDS the day before his death in November 1991. The British tabloid press in particular had been on duty outside his home in London for a long time, reporting to doctors.

The same tabloid press also began to plague Mercury’s lifestyle soon after his death. This made the rest of the band’s musicians feel good and they decided to hold a memorial concert for their friend and bandmate. It was held as a charity concert, the proceeds of which established the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

“It became a headache for me to have a hell of a farewell and spread the word about AIDS and HIV,” says Queen’s drummer. Roger Taylor fresh Freddie Mercury: Final Screening document. Yle Teema will broadcast the documentary and the entire concert on Saturday night.

About the concert became an emotional farewell to one of rock’s greatest singers. Fans were involved, which also swelled to the stage, like the vocal soloist of the band Extreme Gary Cherone says, “It wasn’t just a group song, but something that went to the bones and cores.”

In the documentary Roger Taylor and the guitarist Brian May tell how they started compiling a list of performers soon after receiving the concert idea. Soon Wembley Stadium was reserved for them, and the soloists had to start playing.


Annie Lennox and David Bowie sang the song Under Pressure.


Annie Lennox and David Bowie sang the song Under Pressure.

A friend of Freddie Mercury Elton John was one of the first to be called. David Bowie and Annie Lennox were made to sing as a duet Under Pressure a song with which Bowie is already singing on its studio record. George Michael wanted to sing Somebody to Love because its message touched him deeply. Before long, an impressive list of performers was obtained, and rehearsals could begin.

“Is just one Freddie Mercury, ”read on a fan sheet in the auditorium of Wembley Stadium. Mercury was such a skilled singer that anyone else is sure to have a hard time singing Freddie Mercury’s stakes, even with other Queen members playing in the background.

While Paul Young says in the documentary that everyone was trying to step into Mercury’s boots when performing at the concert, Roger Daltrey is quite the opposite: “I really wasn’t trying to be Freddie Mercury! It just does its best, nothing more. ”


Trevor Kitchen, who was in the audience for the concert, heard during his school years that he resembled Freddie Mercury.


Trevor Kitchen, who was in the audience for the concert, heard during his school years that he resembled Freddie Mercury.

Mercury’s vocal parts are developed by him for himself and are therefore difficult for others to sing. Elton John also had to reconcile Bohemian Rhapsodyn to its own sound field, several towards a lower octave than Mercury.

Illan one moment of tension was just related Bohemian Rhapsodyyn. Guns’N’Rosesin solisti Axl Rose had previously made homophobic statements, so Roger Taylor wanted to get Rose and Elton John to sing Bohemian Rhapsodyn as a duet – Elton John when one of Britain’s best-known homosexual musicians.

However, Axl Rose did not show up at rehearsals, and even on the day of the concert, she refused to open the door to her locker room, so no one knew what would happen at the concert. However, Rose spun on stage Bohemian Rhapsodyn to the post-opera rock part and sang it recognizable by his energetic style. In the calmer final episode, the men sang side by side, hands on each other’s shoulders.

Queenin for members, this concert was a farewell to Freddie Mercury and Queen’s original lineup. Bassist John Deacon then dropped out of the band, and the two-man shrinking Queen paused until the singer’s soloist gave a concert Paul Rodgersin with.

Eventually, the new vocal soloist was found in the American Idol Singing Competition Adam Lambertwith whom Queen has made several tours and will also give a concert in Tampere this summer.

Freddie Mercury: Final Screening, Theme Sat 16.4. at 9 p.m. (K12) In Memory of Freddie Mercury, Theme Sat 16.4. at 10.34 p.m. Both also at Yle Areena.

By Editor

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