Category Archives: Brian May

The Day The Music Was Murdered

Hi folks. Today is a sad day for me, when it comes to some of my favourite bands and I will explain why, as you read the rest of this post.
Today marks the anniversaries of two murders in rock and heavy metal music and they have both affected me in varying degrees. On December 8, 1980 John Lennon, probably the most famous of the Beatles was shot and killed by mark david chapman, outside of his apartment in New York City. This took place after both him and Yoko Ono had finished a recording session for a song, which would appear on a Yoko Ono album years later. It’s all there on Wikipedia if you would like more information about the events that day. However I will say that John conducted his last interview that day, a few hours before mark david chapman murdered John. You will notice I didn’t capitalize his name because like the other murderer in this post, they don’t deserve to have their names written out properly, as they have killed two important iconic musicians who were and are loved by millions around the world.
Also on December 8th 2004, guitarist Dimebag daryl Lance Abbott was also murdered by a piece of nothing named nathan gail. The difference being that this murder took place in full view of everybody, who was at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus Ohio. This merger took place while Daryl was on stage with his band Damageplan and his brother Vincent Paul Abbott on drums, as they both were on their respective instruments and Pantera. The other big difference with the story is that in this case the murderer was killed, after he had shot, killed and or wounded various members of the road crew or fans. Then, a policeman came in and fired one shot and killed nathan gail, thus saving the lives of many people including Vinny Paul.
Now I will talk about where I was when I heard about both murders. In the case of John Lennon, I heard about it when I was at school when one of the staff mentioned it to me. He said something like “he was shot and he fell down” and I immediately thought that he was killed. I didn’t know yet that you could be shot and survive! I and many other fans of The Beatles were very saddened to hear of this and years later, it finally clicked and how important a figure John Lennon was to not just music but other things like politics. We’ve been robbed of a man who was a very good wordsmith and brought genres like musique concrete almost to the mainstream. If he was alive today I think he would be quite impressed with all the music out there, including the grunge, industrial, Brit pop and even ban such as Radiohead. Of course, he would always go back to his childhood music such as: Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, buddy holly and the other people he listen to before getting full-time into music. Also, I learned to write songs through a radio program about him called The Lost Lennon Tapes. Most of the demo recordings ended up on the Beatles Anthology albums and elsewhere and that gave me more of the drive to want to try to be a musician.
In the case of Dimebag Darrell, I had actually seen him back in June 2001, when Pantera and a number of other bands played at what was then known as Copps Coliseum, now known as First Ontario Center in Hamilton Ontario Canada. One thing I can talk about is that some asshole threw a beer on me during the first song of one of the opening bands sets. In case you’re wondering, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt plus my shoes and socks at the time and yes, I did kind of smell like a brewery for a while. However, it was a great show and of course, the last time Pantera would set foot in Canada before both the September 11 attacks and their break up.
 When the album New Found Power from Damageplan was released in 2004, I bought it on CD the day it came out and I loved it instantly. A highlight for me is the guitar solo on the song Moment Of Truth, which should have been released as a single. Then December 8th happened and I had actually heard about it the next morning at home on the radio. At first nobody said if any one was killed but I learned soon after hearing about it that it was Daryl, who had been murdered. It also happened that I was doing my grocery shopping that day and as you can imagine, it was difficult to concentrate after hearing such tragic news.
As for how heavy music has changed since then, not much has changed except the increase in guitar solos from newer bands like: Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch. Even bands like Mud Vayne decided to start putting guitar solos on their albums to augment the sound.
As a guitar player, I was and still am impressed with all the things he is done on Pantera albums and on New Found Power. I’m also quite happy that Brian May of Queen spoke up about the death of Daryl and I have a sneaking suspicion that Daryl was influence partly by Brian and his playing as well. However, he has never said that in interviews that I know of. If Daryl was alive today, I think that he would still be making music and still have the chops. Both of these guys were taken from us too early and if I could go back in time, I would make sure that they were both out of the way, of any danger to their lives.
As for the killers, I am glad that mark david chapman hasn’t been allowed to be paroled and I hope it stays that way. He can say sorry for what he did all he wants but it won’t change the fact that he did what he did to John Lennon. As for nathan gail, he got what he deserved and I’m happy. As for the families, I am glad that everyone is doing what they are doing and I am on their side, with all the annual events and such. I the case of the Lennon estate, keep fighting to keep mark david chapman behind bars and when he dies I will be happy. Shouldn’t he be on death row? After all, he did kill somebody and he knew what he was doing.
Anyway, I will be listening to an album with John Lennons last interview, which is available on iTunes and as for Daryl, I will probably be listening to New Found Power today as well.

Review Of Queen On Air

Hi folks. This is another album review of a band and album, which is of great significants to me. In this case it is the new album by Queen called Queen On Air. This album is composed of the bands BBC appearances on the radio, from 1973 to 1977. 8 of these songs have appeared on a previous album and others have been on the 2011 deluxe versions of the first 6 albums. I am going to give you some insight as to some of the recordings first appearances and I will even give you the complete track listing, for one of the previous albums along with this one.
In 1989 Queen released a compilation album called Queen At The BBC or At The Beeb. Initially this album was released outside of North America, in late 1989 but it was finally released in North America in early 1995. I first bought my own coppy as an import in late 1991, while trying to collect all of the bands back catalogue as it was released on Hollywood Records. It had 8 songs and all of them appear on this new album, from BBC sessions in 1973. They are spread out through the first disk of On Air, as it is a double album.
When Queen At The BBC came out in 1995 in North America I expected something like what we have today and was disappointed, that we only got the original 8 songs from the 1989 compilation. However, years of waiting have payed off and we have even more goodies, than what we got on the original album or 2011 deluxe versions of the Queen albums.
Some of these songs we may have heard on the radio and I have tried to find them but couldn’t up to now. The fast version of We Will Rock You is a prime example of this. I had heard it a few times over the years on radio specialty shows focussing on Classic Rock and a live concert segment. When Queen was on tap some of the songs which appeared on A Night At The Odeon and the fast studio version of We Will Rock you were played. Since the deluxe versions came out we had been teased about more material coming out in coming years, with BBC and live recordings as bonus tracks and now, they are here.
As for the material, it spans the first 5 years of Queen as a recording act, with a record label behind them. It is also part of an ongoing project of releasing archived material and there is probably more to come I’m sure. But for now, we have this as the latest offering and here is the track listing of the original album (Queen At The BBC) and the new album (Queen On Air), for comparison.
Queen At The BBC
Track 1. My Fairy King, four minutes and six seconds

Track 2. Keep Yourself Alive, three minutes forty-eight seconds
Track 3. Doin’ Alright, four minutes ten seconds
Track 4. Liar, six minutes a twenty-eight seconds
Track 5. Ogre Battle, three minutes fifty-seven seconds
Track 6. Great King Rat, five minutes fifty-six seconds
Track 7. Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll, two minutes
Track 8. Son and Daughter, seven minutes eight seconds.
Now for a comparison, here is the track listing for the new album Queen On Air.
Tracks 1 through 4 are exactly the same as Queen at The BBC. Track 5 is See What A Fool I’ve Been, which appeared as a bonus track on the 2011 Deluxe version of Queen II. Tracks 6 and 7 are Keep Yourself Alive and Liar, with a slightly different vocal track for both. Liar doesn’t even have hand claps at the beginning of the song. Track 8 is a version of Son And Daughter which was recorded at the same session as See What A Fool I’ve Been. Track 9 is Ogre Battle, with a guitar intro similar to how the song was performed live. Track 10 is Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll, 11 is Great King Rat and Track 12 on Disk 1 is Son And Daughter as all 3 tracks appeared on Queen At The BBC.
Disk two starts out with a version of Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll which is more or less like it was performed live, with the ending they added on.
Never more first appeared as a bonus track on the 2011 Deluxe Version of Queen II and next is White Queen (As It Began). All 3 of these songs were recorded on April 3rd 1974.
Tracks 4 though 7 are: Now I’m Here, Sstone Cold Crazy, Flick Of The Rist and Tenement Funster, which are taken from a BBC session October 16th 1974. The latter two appeared as bonus tracks on the 2011 Deluxe version of Sheer Heart Attack.
Now we get into one of the main attractions to this for me and Queen aficionados and completists. Next is a shortened version of We Will Rock You, with an explosion at the end and something about some mythical figure who imagined he had created the universe, or something like that. Next is the fast version of We Will Rock You, as a studio track. For years it has appeared on live albums such as: Live Killers, On Fire and Queen Rock Montreal but the studio version was a rare treasure, until today. I mentioned yearlier that I had heard it years ago on the radio and obviously, I tried looking for it and now I and millions of Queen fans around the world can own it for the first time.
Next is Spread Your Wings and this version first appeared on the 2011 Deluxe version of News Of The World, as a bonus track.
It’s Late is the next track but not the whole song is played. After the second chorus it goes into a psychedelic, hypnotic and tripie section such as like the one in Get Down Make Love. However the songs ends as it does on the album.
My Melancholy Blues is the last track and it also appeared first on the 2011 Deluxe version of News Of The World.
Over all, this is a great album for those of us who have been looking for rare and Long sought after material. The fast studio version of We Will Rock You was at the top of my list, after last years A Night At The Odeon came out and I have a feeling there is more to come. There are remixes which are waiting to come out and a whole bunch of live material in the can, that the band are hoping to release in the coming years.
This isn’t the only album which is related to Queen coming out this month! Sound garden are rereleasing their 1991 album Badmotorfinger in a deluxe and super deluxe version on the 18th. The song to look for is a version of a track called New Damage, which features a guitar solo from Brian May. This has also been a long almost forgotten track, except for Youtube and I am very glad I will finally get to keep it, rather than just listen to it.
As for the new Queen album, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have and I give those who put it together, nothing but props for finally being able to release this rare material.