Queen on tour — and not on the edge of splitting up — in 1984, the year before Live Aid.
And while that’s great for the band’s legacy — proof once again that its music has universal appeal — it also means that a surprising amount of untruths are now enshrined as the biography best known to the moviegoing public.
Before you dismiss that as a necessary evil of storytelling, consider this: When you dig into the band’s actual history, the true version of their tale is, in almost every instance, far more dramatically interesting. Queen was larger than life, and certainly larger than the standard-issue music biopic cliches that populate Bohemian Rhapsody.
Case in point: the band’s origin story.
As It Began
In the movie, a shy young Farrokh Bulsara (calling himself Freddie, but not yet Mercury) introduces himself to Brian May and Roger Taylor, guitarist and drummer of a band called Smile.
Smile’s lead singer Tim Staffell has quit to join another group called Humpy Bong (fact check: true). Brian and Roger are suspicious of this newcomer with the big teeth until he sings a few bars of May and Staffell’s song “Doin’ Alright.”
In real life, however, Freddie and Tim were good friends who went to the same art college. Freddie got to know Brian and Roger through Tim, and started running a flea market stall in Kensington with Roger in 1969.
Their friendship went through a year-long comedy of errors, in which Freddie became lead singer of a Liverpool-based band called Ibex, traipsing up and down England while he and the two other future members of Queen actually moved in together back in London.
Freddie quit Ibex. Tim quit Smile. And still these three lunkheads didn’t figure out for weeks that history wanted them to be in a band together.
Tell me that isn’t a perfect Hollywood meet-cute montage sequence.
The first gig
The movie shows bass player John “Deaky” Deacon joining the lineup immediately; in fact, the band would go through three bass players in quick succession before finding him.
It also features an iconic moment where Freddie gets frustrated and rips off the top half of the mic stand for more on-stage mobility; this did in fact happen, but while he was singing with Ibex……………………………………………….”
Taraji P Henson: ‘Hollywood didn’t grasp my talent’
Harvey Weinstein obstructed her rise now, with her new film What Men Want, she is calling the shots. But what does she make of her Empire co-star Jussie Smolletts hate-crime controversy?
“On a December morning in Los Angeles, the sun blazes down on a large and abundantly decorated Christmas tree in the parking lot at Paramount Pictures. It is upstaged, though, by the actor Taraji P Henson, who swans past wearing an ensemble that calls to mind the futuristic fashion of the 1970s: steampunk sunglasses, a black tracksuit under a puffy gilet and chunky grey, orange and lime sci-fi pumps, possibly with rocket boosters in the soles. Her hair is arranged in tight braids, some piled on her head, others swishing around her shoulders.
As we take our seats in a brightly lit office upstairs, she removes from her flowery backpack a tub of beige mush. What is that, mashed banana? Nuh-uh, she says between mouthfuls. Its an oatmeal alkaline thing. Its got quinoa in it. I gotta be careful because I dont digest a heavy grain. She takes a sniff and laughs. It smells like dirt, it really does. She went vegan last year after a doctor told her it could reduce the chances of getting stomach cancer. You can do it if you have a good chef, she says encouragingly. I make a mental note to have a chat with mine……………………………………………………………………….”
Netflix vs. Steven Spielberg is a battle over the future of the movie experience
“New York (CNN Business)Netflix wants to change how you watch movies. Steven Spielberg wants to preserve the theatrical experience. Those two points of view are clashing, with Netflix pushing back against a plan that Spielberg reportedly has to create rules that could block the streaming giant from future Oscars contention.
Luke Perry: forever the thrillingly cool teen pinup
Perry never quite escaped the shadow of Beverly Hills, 90210. But this was not a failing it was proof of how seminal the show, and Perrys handsome rebel Dylan McKay, was to a generation
“Teen pinups who free themselves of their TV origins can be counted on one hand with fingers to spare: Ron Howard. Michael J Fox. Zac Efron.
Luke Perry never quite made it to those ranks, but thats no discredit to him. Despite working pretty regularly until the day he died which is more than a lot of teen stars can say he always knew his obituaries would read Dylan McKay has died, referring to the bad(ish) boy he played in the original series of Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990-1995, and then again in 1998-2000 when he gamely, if through somewhat gritted teeth, revived the character. And so it has proved to be the case.
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