Queen guitarist Brian May has revealed that he’s found an invaluable morsel of footage whilst digging through the archives.
In a recent interview with Classic Rock May detailed that he found footage of one of the first ever live performances from Queen at a lecture theater at London’s Imperial College. A performance May did not even realise was filmed.
“We’re always looking at finding stuff that is historically important,” says May on unearthing the video. “And this one tape that cropped up very recently which I am excited about, which is one of the first gigs we played in a lecture theatre at Imperial College. I didn’t even know I had the cassette.”
“We were very unformed,” May elaborated. “Hearing Freddie at that point in his development is fascinating. He had all the will and charisma and passion, but he didn’t have the opportunity to harness that voice yet.”
“Which makes me hesitate a little bit, because I’m not sure Freddie would be that happy hearing himself at this stage,” the guitarist continued. “But strangely, if he were alive and sitting here at this moment, he’d probably be the same as me — ‘Oh darling, we were kids.’”
May revealed that the band are not sure what they intend to do with the footage, though now that he’s allowed its existence to be known to the general public, we reckon it’s his moral duty to let us bear witness to the genesis of one of the most influential bands in music history. Especially so when one considers that awful, ham-fisted scene in Bohemian Rhapsody, where Freddie Mercury first crosses paths with Roger Taylor and Brian May. Queen have a lot to answer for.
“A few years ago we’d have felt very protective and thought, ‘Nobody should hear this, because we’re very rough.’ But now, in the position that we are in our lives, we feel forgiving,” he shared. “We’re not ashamed of where we were at that time. It was us against the world.”