29 December, 2010

I wish I could smack people over the internet

Ah, Youtube! A haven for some of the dumbest shit you're ever likely to see or read. And that's just the comments!

I was looking around for cover versions of Queen songs when I stumbled on this version of Don't Stop Me Now by Salcuk Sami Cingi and one particular comment made me crack up:

 lol nice tried, NO EFFENCE though but WOo! stop there, you're not even close to freddy's voice! i understand its a fun fun movie (to put it in your words) but common the beginning was ok then it all goes wrong,
There is only ONE man who can sing this song right... thats FREDDY FOREVER! - raydendj

Yes, I posted their Youtube user name, but not so anyone can go and start a flame war. I just wanted to shame that person.

First of all, it isn't a perfect cover, but it's also not terrible. Cut the guy some damn slack. Have you ever tried singing this? It's not as easy as Freddie makes it seem! Secondly, 90% of people who post disparaging remarks on the internet are fucking morons (and 67% of all statistics are made up). And third, how the hell is anyone supposed to take that comment seriously when the person can't be fucking bothered to spell Freddie's name correctly?! The spelling errors also irk me, but I'm chalking that up to the possibility that English is not their first language.

And for fuck sake! I get it! Freddie's the greatest singer in the world and anyone who so much as sings Queen in the shower should be shot on sight! Does anyone stop to consider that people who do covers don't try to be the next Queen or Freddie (except Robbie Williams)?

But as I said, this version isn't perfect. Not in a "he sounds nothing like Freddie" way, but in a "I think he could have done a little better" way. For one, I think he should work on the "Mr Fahrenheit" notes. And then there's the changing of the lyric so he doesn't have to sing "super sonic man out of you." If your sexual orientation is threatened by a lyric, then maybe you shouldn't sing the song at all. In Los Lobos' cover of Sleeping On The Sidewalk (which is pretty terrible), the line, "And I was sleeping like a princess" was changed to "And I was sleeping like a king." It's understandable, since singing certain song lyrics can determine and change one's gender or sexual orientation... oh wait, NO IT CAN'T!

16 December, 2010

There are other Queen songs, y'know...

(My brother used to tell me this on a daily basis when we were growing up)

I finally read that article in Mojo. I didn't think I'd learn anything, but I did! I've known for a while how Freddie got Ibex to change their name to Wreckage, but that's probably not my favorite gem anymore. Freddie used to annoy the shit out of his housemates by strumming Pinball Wizard on an acoustic over and over.

While flipping through, there's an interview with Cee Lo Green where he says, "Play Bohemian Rhapsody for these kids today. Show them the possibilities." and it got me thinking...

Bohemian Rhapsody annoys me a little bit, which is interesting since that was the song that got me started on Queen in the first place. But it's frustrating that this song is considered the be-all, end-all of music. I'm pretty sure some of you are thinking, "Zander, you weren't even alive in the 70's. You can't possibly know what you're talking about." but having been raised on classic rock I can certainly appreciate it's majesty and raising of the bar.

It's a great song, really, truly. But I think putting this song on a pedestal is ridiculous. For one thing, Queen have written hundreds of songs just between 1970 and 1991. In 20+ years and 15 studio albums it seems stupid to ignore the rest of the genius. What about The Prophet's Song? What about the entirety of Queen II? Innuendo? Queen are not one-hit-wonders so can we please as a culture get the hell over this single 5:55 track??

Second, no other band or musician seems to be allowed to write and record their own epic tracks without being accused of ripping off Queen. I've touched on this in previous posts, but to tear Green Day apart over Jesus Of Suburbia or My Chemical Romance for Welcome To The Black Parade is disgusting. Next, people will be freaking out over GF Handel's The Messiah for "trying to sound like Bohemian Rhapsody."

10 December, 2010

Queen in Mojo Magazine

I was informed a couple days back, via Queen on Facebook, that Queen are kind of a big deal in the January 2011 issue of Mojo Magazine. Normally, I wouldn't go out of my way to get a magazine just because it mentions Queen. But tonight I was in Harvard Square waiting to meet a friend (yes, I have quite a few of those) for an unrelated adventure, but I decided to poke around Out Of Town News, which has magazines and newspapers from pretty much all over, to keep warm. Anyway, I found the magazine and decided to buy it ($11.99 seems ridiculous).

From late September to the date of my last post, I've re-read Peter Freestone's book and Jim Hutton's book in succession. I love Freddie, but that kind of feels like too much, especially as I was reading on November 24th and December 1st. Basically what I'm saying is I'm not sure when I'll be able to get myself to read this article as I need to recharge that battery. It could be tomorrow, next week, whatever. I've managed to look through the pictures, though, and they're quite fabulous!

And a bit of random hilarity: Today's post on Cake Wrecks showed a tragic cake with Freddie's face on it.

I feel so bad for whoever had to pay for that. This is why I'm hesitant to get a Queen tattoo.

07 December, 2010

Reality TV's got nothin' on Freddie Mercury

I just finished reading Mercury And Me and my brain instantly started racing and wouldn't let up until about four in the morning.

When I first ventured onto Queenzone's forums, I remember hearing really horrible things about Jim's book and his overall character. Apparently, Jim Hutton was only after Freddie's money seeing as how Freddie left him 500,000GBP and "that still wasn't enough for him" because he wrote a book and made a bit of money. Then cut to years later where Phoebe Freestone, who also inherited 500,000GBP, also wrote a book. But not one of those Bastard Queen Fans attacked Phoebe and I have a theory about why that may be. It may not be very good seeing as how I thought of it in the early hours of the morning, but nonetheless...

Sorry to spoil it, but near the end of Jim's book, he claims that Mary Austin treated him, Phoebe and Joe Fanelli like shit after Freddie died. Phoebe ended his book at Freddie's funeral so there's nothing written from his perspective on this and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want to talk about it at this point. A lot of Bastard Queen Fans immediately come to Mary's defense at the suggestion that she wasn't a nice person because she inherited the bulk of Freddie's estate as well as Garden Lodge. Legally speaking, she was within her rights to ask the three men to leave, since Freddie hadn't put it in writing that they could stay at the house for as long as they wanted. But if what Jim's written is true, her way of going about it was in really poor taste. And the BQFs further argue that Mary knew Freddie first before he was famous, and so obviously the love between her and Freddie was greater than what was between Freddie and Jim.

I'm going to derail for a second. The love between Freddie and Mary was real. The love between Freddie and Jim was real. Both loves were different and unique to each person. Neither was greater, less than, valid or invalid. Just different. To take a quote from one of my favorite articles on polyamory: "Don't think of the contents of your heart the way you think of the contents of your wallet; it doesn't work like that."

[I'm not suggesting Freddie was poly, I'm just trying to illustrate a point!]

And for the record, Jim stated in his book that Freddie didn't see any point to leaving him Garden Lodge since Jim was HIV-positive and that shit was pretty much still a death sentence, so what good is leaving someone an estate when they could be dead within a number or months or years? And according to Phoebe, Freddie had wanted Garden Lodge to be a family home. And since Mary had one child(?) at that point...

Now, my theory! Phoebe didn't rip on Mary, so his book is cool. Jim Hutton did, so his book is a crime against everything good and decent in this world. Since Mary was Freddie's girlfriend for six years at the very beginning of Queen, she apparently must be a saint who could do absolutely no wrong or some such bullshit. And since Jim Hutton didn't get Garden Lodge and he wrote a book where he made Mary out to look like a dick, BQFs retaliate by calling him a dick. Which is a very mature thing to do.

Further, it could be argued that Mary's less than pleasant attitude toward Jim was due to the fact that Freddie and Jim had a romance that she could never have with Freddie. Freddie was gay, and while he did love her, they didn't have that connection that Freddie would have with Jim or any of Freddie's other relationships. Freddie never wore a ring for Mary like he did Jim Hutton, he never referred to her as his wife in the company of friends as he referred to Jim as his husband. I'm pretty sure if they were both alive and well, they'd be legally married. If he'd married Mary, it would pretty much be a lie. So for all we know, Mary could have treated all of Freddie's male lovers and gay friends with disdain. They were together for, what? Six years? It has to really suck that in all that time, the man she loved deeply wasn't and couldn't be truly happy with her. And then for the next 16 years she got to watch from the sidelines while he came into his own, partied a lot, fucked a bunch of guys, and eventually settled into a monogamous domestic life while she occasionally assumed the role as his beard so the press didn't flip out over him shacking up with a man.

I can see where that would be like a slap in the face. But at the same time...

Unless Mary ever comes across this and decides to put the record straight, I'm going to chalk it up to sour grapes.

But overall, yeah. The book was nothing like I'd been lead to believe. I actually liked it quite a bit. Lots of BQFs made it sound like Jim would write, "And now I'll tell you all, in unrelenting detail, the freaky shit Freddie and I did in bed! By the time you're done reading this, you'll never look at the following household appliances the same way ever again!"

Oh, and I'm pretty sure if Jim hadn't written his book, a ton of BQFs would flood the forums whining, "Why didn't Jim ever talk about his life with Freddie? That would have been so cool to have further insight!" If you don't want to know a damn thing about Freddie outside of his career, don't read anything that delves into his personal life. And if you do read it, remember that you chose to go down that road. If you can't handle that Freddie did cocaine, or that he had anonymous sexual encounters with men, or that his kitchen cabinets were colored Oxblood, then don't fucking read the damn books by Phoebe or Jim!

01 December, 2010

World AIDS Day

 I know we all just grieved over Freddie, but HIV and AIDS still affects over a million people just in the US today, and 20% don't even know it. To date, people most at risk are men and trans women of color who have sex with men. Get tested. Know your status. For fuck sake, play safe!

If you're in the Boston, MA area, check out AIDS Action Committee and TransCEND!

Video for Say It's Not True

"I'm almost done.
The fountain's not flowing now, they turn it off in the winter, ice in the pipes. But in the summer it's a sight to see. I want to be around to see it. I plan to be. I hope to be.

This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.
Bye now.

You are fabulous creatures, each and every one.
And I bless you: More life.
The Great Work Begins."
- Prior from Tony Kushner's play, Angels In America