April 26, 2012

Queen: The singing drunk guy – and so much more

By Aimsel Ponti aponti@pressherald.com
News Assistant

Here's a look at some of the ways the music of Queen has been immortalized in various pop culture ways:

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UNFORGETTABLE LIVE PERFORMANCES

LIVE AID: Of the many performances on July 13, 1985, at London's Wembley Stadium during the Live Aid benefit concert, arguably Queen's stands out as one of the best. They started with part of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and went into "Radio Gaga," "Hammer to Fall" "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and finally "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions." Much later in the evening, Mercury and May returned to the stage for one more song, performing the chilling "Is This the World We Created?"

FREDDIE MERCURY TRIBUTE CONCERT: April 20, 1992, was the date of "A Concert for Life" to raise money for AIDS awareness, again at London's Wembley Stadium. One of the most compelling performances was David Bowie and Annie Lennox dueting on "Under Pressure."

"WAYNE'S WORLD": It was 1992, and Freddie Mercury had been dead for less than a year when characters Wayne and Garth made the triumphant leap from the small screen of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" to the silver screen. Who can forget the opening scene with Wayne, Garth and three members of their posse as they cruised through the streets of Aurora, Ill., singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the top of their lungs? The movie helped propel the song back to the top of the charts.

"WE WILL ROCK YOU: THE MUSICAL": Following other successful musicals based on pop catalogs like "Mamma Mia!" and "Jersey Boys," this play opened in London in May 2002 and is still going strong. Critics were so-so on it, but audiences continue to eat it up all over the globe.

"GUITAR HERO" and "ROCK BAND": Video may have killed some radio stars, but certainly not Queen. What's more, video games "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" include a huge variety of their songs. Keep up, if you can.

THE SINGING DRUNK GUY: Soon after being arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in March, a drunk dude sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" in its entirety in the back of a police cruiser. Yep, the clip went viral, and there's nothing quite like it

"THE MUPPETS": except maybe for The Muppets' rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody," which also went viral and features Animal singing the word "mama" repeatedly and an ending by the diva herself, Miss Piggy. Absolutely priceless.

HOMELESS MAN "UNDER PRESSURE": Los Angeles resident Sky Soleil originally developed his puppet lip-sync sensation years ago as a comedy act when he was in college. He then dreamt up the idea of a duet of the Queen/David Bowie classic "Under Pressure" and decided it would pack the biggest punch if the character performing it was a homeless person. After the clip went global, Soleil realized the impact it could help with the issue of homelessness, and subsequently included links to advocacy groups.

"GLEE": Even the TV show "Glee" caught the Queen bug. Both "Somebody to Love" and "Another One Bites the Dust" were featured on the show.

"FLASH GORDON" SOUNDTRACK: Two words: "Flash ahah!"

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

aponti@pressherald.com

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