Queen: As It Began

Jacky Gunn, Author, Brian May, Introduction by, Jim Jenkins, With Hyperion Books $12.45 (292p) ISBN 978-0-7868-8003-4
The history of such a colorful, successful rock band as the British supergroup Queen (``Bohemian Rhapsody'') is a story worth reading--but not as written by these amateur authors, the manager of the Queen Fan Club and the ``archetypal `superfan,' '' respectively. Beginning with the birth of each band member, the book takes readers on a 45-year trek that ends with the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1991. Unfortunately, the authors include everything , burying fascinating anecdotes (a tea party with Groucho Marx in 1977; the 1978 filming of 65 naked women on bicycles in Wimbledon Stadium to promote ``Fat Bottomed Girls'' and ``Bicycle Race'') under endless details. Few readers will want to know the musicians' high school grades or where the band changed planes on the way to a concert. On the other hand, they will want to learn more about the enigmatic Mercury, whose flamboyant camp act transformed four heavy metal musicians into skilled performance artists with worldwide popularity. Given the authors credentials, it isn't suprising that there is a certain bias--``the only thing the press concentrated on when writing up news of the opening of the world's biggest ever rock festival, was the `near riot' . . .'' The book does contain an impressive 35-page discography/videography, useful for music collectors--in 1991, Queen became the second most collectible band after the Beatles. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1994
Release date: 08/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
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