4. Sources

Special thanks to: Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Michelangelo Matos, Annie Zaleski, Robert Ker.


Blake, Mark, Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen. Aurum Press: 2010. (“lose half an hour with them..drummer’s a wanker…if it’s true I never saw it…Freddie finally finished the song…As and Bs in blocks…wasn’t music to him”)

Corbett, John, Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music. University of Chicago Press: 2019.

Evans, David and David Mimms, Freddie Mercury: More of the Real Life. Britannica Press: 1995.

Hepworth, David, Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars. Bantam: 2017.

Hodkinson, Mark, Queen: The Early Years. Omnibus Press: 2004 (1995). (“fire in his bollocks… quiet thumper in the back”)

Innuendo: Off the Record. EMI Music Publishing: 1991.

Jones, Lesley-Ann, Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury. Hodder & Stoughton: 2011. (“kind of airy-fairy, really…absolute nerd…football crowd which doesn’t take sides”)

Mercury, Freddie (Greg Brooks and Simon Lupton, eds.), Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words. Mercury Books: 2006. (“all scientists”)

A Night at the Opera (Compete Guitar Tab). EMI Music Publishing. (source of transcription excerpts of “Good Company,” “Death on Two Legs” and “’39”)

Purvis, Georg, Queen: The Complete Works. Titan Books: 2011 (2007). (“bigger than bigness itself”)

Queen: Off the Record. EMI Music Publishing: 1993.

Queen Greatest Hits: Off the Record. EMI Music Publishing: 1993. (transc. excerpts of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Bicycle Race,” “Another Bites the Dust,” “You’re My Best Friend”)

Queen Greatest Hits II: Off the Record. EMI Music Publishing: 1992.

Richards, Matt and Mark Langthorne, Somebody to Love: The Life, Death and Legacy of Freddie Mercury. Weldon Owen: 2016 (“didn’t make a lasting impression”)

St. Michael, Mick, Queen in Their Own Words. Omnibus Press: 1992.

Tobler, John and Stuart Grundy, The Guitar Greats. BBC Books: 1983. (“[Queen] was old fashioned by the time it came out”)

Articles/ Interviews

Barton, Geoff, “Queen With a Bit of Distinction,” Sounds, 17 August 1974.

Benton, Michael, ” Standing Up for the Queen,” Melody Maker, 28 July 1973. (“glamour is part of us”)

Bradley, Simon, “Royal Opera,” Guitarist, October 2005. (“one note Roger refused to sing…”)

Brown, Mick, “Fit to Be Crowned: Queen’s Mercury Rising,” Rolling Stone, 5 May 1977.

Circus (no author listed), “The Three Phases of Brian May,” 6 July 1976.

Cohen, Mitchell, “The New British Invasion,” Phonograph Record, March 1976.

Cohen, Scott, “Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Shopping for an Image in London,” Circus, April 1975.

Coleman, Ray, “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” Melody Maker, 2 May 1981. (“Gestapo salutes..it’s all kitsch”)

Coon, Caroline, “Queen Bee,” Melody Maker, 21 December 1974. (“I was a precocious child…me and my image”)

Deevoy, Adrian, “Bravo Sir Frederick!”, Q, December 1988.

Doherty, Harry, “Brian May: The Power Behind Queen’s Throne,” MM, 6 December 1975. (“none of his friends were alive”)

—. “Queen’s Evidence,” MM, 22 November 1975.

—. “Queen,” MM, 18 September 1976. (“we wanted to play big, big concerts”)

Eicher, David, “Brian May: A Life in Science and Music,” Astronomy, September 2012.

Erskine, Pete, “Queen Street,” Sounds, 13 April 1974.

Ferrari, Nick, “I Am the Champion: Why Fantastic Freddie Stole Live Aid Show,” The Sun, 19 July 1985.

Fortnam, Ian, “The Hard Life of Brian,” unpublished interview with May, April 1998.

Fox-Cumming, Ray, “Queen of the Orient,” Record Mirror, 24 May 1975.

Gross, Terry, “Fresh Air Interview with Brian May,” 3 August 2010. (“we can no longer fight this”)

Hauptfuhrer, Fred, “The Mercury That’s Rising in Rock Is Freddie, the Satiny Seductor of Queen [CO: yes, really the headline],” People, 5 December 1977.

Hayman, Martin, “Britain’s Biggest Unknowns,” Sounds, 5 January 1974.

Henke, James, “Queen Holds Court in South America,” Rolling Stone, 11 June 1981 (“only one who likes black music”… “vaporized completely”…)

Horide, Rosy, “Queen Deserve Rock’s Royal Crown?,” Circus, 19 January 1978.

Houghton, James, “The Guitarist,” Sounds, 22 January 1977. (“all late developers”)

Ingham, Jhon (sic), “Mercury Rising: The Queen Interview,” Sounds, 31 January 1976. (“tough time getting the lyrics across…demon for a few days”)

—. “A Riot at the Opera: Queen Triumphant,” Sounds, 29 November 1975.

—. “Wimpy and Quips,” Sounds, 27 September 1975.

Irwin, Colin, “Queen at Rainbow Theatre,” MM, 6 April 1974.

Kent, Nick, “A Day at the Races,” NME, 18 December 1976.

—. “Queen,” NME, 26 January 1974.

Lake, Steve, “Queen’s Gambit,” Melody Maker, 22 September 1984. (“heavy police…I’ll be dead, darling!”)

Levy, Eleanor, “Queen: NEC, Birmingham,” Record Mirror, 15 September 1984.

Makowski, Pete, “Queen: Friars Hall, Aylesbury,” Sounds, 9 March 1974.

Mehler, Mark, “The Queens of the Ball,” Circus, 12 December 1978.

Mossman, Kate, “Bismillah! We Will Not Let You Go!,” The Word, October 2011.

Norman, Philip, “The Rainbow, London,” The Times, 21 November 1974.

Obrecht, Jas, “Brian May,” Guitar Player, January 1983. (“in the beginning the solo was there”)

O’Neill Jr., Lou, “Lights! Action! Sound! It’s That Crazy Little Thing Called Queen!,” Circus, 30 September 1980.

Quantick, David, “Inside the Royal Family,” NME, 9 August 1986.

Robinson, Lisa, NME, 14 February 1976.

Rose, Frank, “His Hands Are Soft But His Beat Is Hard,” Circus Raves, September 1975.

Ross, Ron, “Queen’s Four-Fold Strategy for Global Conquest,” Circus Raves, March 1975.

Sandall, Robert, “Fifty Years of Great British Music: the ’70s,” Q, March 2008. (“metallic sound”)

Santelli, Robert, “Queen’s Roger Taylor,” Modern Drummer, October 1984. (“guitar is a difficult instrument…one can’t be retrogressive”)

Shaw, William, “Queen,” Smash Hits, 26 March 1986.

Smith, Robin, “Blame It on Rio,” Record Mirror, 26 January 1985.

Stewart, Tony, “Freddie Mercury: Is This Man a Prat?,” NME, 18 June 1977.

—. “Helpful Boy Scout Transforms into Werewolf,” NME, 18 January 1975.

Strick, Wesley, “Queen’s Own Tale of Success,” Circus, 31 January 1977.

Sutcliffe, Phil, “Queen: Happy and Glorious?,” Q, March 1991.

Thomas, David, “Their Brittanic Majesties Request,” Mojo, August 1999. (“looking at his girlfriend…Freddie wrote in strange keys”)

Tiven, John, “Putting the Crown on Queen,” Zoo World, 20 December 1973.

Townsend, Martin, “Tin Toys and Star Wars Memorabilia,” OK!, 19 June 1998 (“living with a woman”)

Turner, Steve, “Four Queens Beat Opera Flush,” Rolling Stone, 11 March 1976.(“not authentic, certainly not”)

Valentine, Penny, “Queen’s Royal Flush,” Creem, April 1978.

Wanderlust (no author credit), “Brian May: ‘I Like Giving Back When I Travel,'” June/July 2015.

Webb, Julie, “Highly Strung? We Fight Over Hairspray!,” NME, 12 March 1974. (“gay as a daffodil”)

—. “Just a Regular Kinda Guy,” NME, 4 April 1974.

—. “Limp Wrist Section,” RAM, 7 November 1975.

—. “The Contents of Freddie Mercury’s Pants Are His Alone. They Belong to Him and No One Else,” NME, 2 November 1974.

Welch, Chris, “A Seventies Bombshell,” MM, 9 November 1974.

Wilde, Jon, “Killer Queen,” Uncut, March 2005. (“men, women, cats”)

Essential Websites


Queen: An Exploded Diagram.

Queen Cuttings (now only via Wayback).

Queen Live.

Queen Songs. A truly marvelous site—so highly recommended. The real goods.