Re-live the special moment ahead of live album
tom skinner
13:10 1st November 2016
  • Between sporadically touring with Queen and Adam Lambert, what does Brian May like to do with his free time? Well, if his Twitter is anything to go by, he enjoys toiling away on Minecraft. Much of his feed is clogged by retweets of follower's creations - and he's extremely complimentary if you send him something good. He described this piece as "incredible".

  • In somewhat unsurprising news, Rufus Taylor, son of Roger, is a pretty accomplished drummer. It was a little more unexpected, however, that The Darkness announced he was joining earlier this year. Like father, like son, although we're not sure The Darkness will ever be mentioned in the same breath as Queen.

  • After previously admitting that he could not compete with the three strong singers in the band, John Deacon finally received his own microphone on the Sheer Heart Attack headlining tour - but it was only to capture the one note he plays on the triangle during Killer Queen.

  • Queen wasn't the rock god's first band. At school, he formed 1984, named after George Orwell's novel of the same name, with vocalist and bassist Tim Staffell. The pair later became Smile and led to May's first meeting with Roger Taylor. These things have a mysterious way of working out, don't they?

  • Have many iconic music videos have been filmed in your back garden? If you're Roger Taylor, two. According to various rumours, the videos for 'I Want It All' and 'Spread Your Wings' were recorded on his grounds. That's some house party, Roger.

  • While many fans know that Brian May attained a PHD in astrophysics, he also boasted the title of "science team collaborator" on NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. In the aftermath of the historic flyby, May admitted he was thrilled to be present. "You have inspired the world. Thank you", he told the team. If sealing your place in space exploration history wasn't enough, being complimented by one of the greatest guitarists of all time should do nicely.

  • You're a bassist. You've just joined a band and you can't wait to spot your name on the debut album that you've been working tirelessly on. But wait - it's been altered to make you "sound more interesting". That was the reason given by Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor for listing the bassist as 'Deacon John' on the record's sleeve notes. To be honest, they had a point - but his name has been written correctly on every album since.

  • Between sporadically touring with Queen and Adam Lambert, what does Brian May like to do with his free time? Well, if his Twitter is anything to go by, he enjoys toiling away on Minecraft. Much of his feed is clogged by retweets of follower's creations - and he's extremely complimentary if you send him something good. He described this piece as "incredible".

  • We're guessing there's plenty of room in Roger Taylor's garden, as last year he was accused of pinching a Freddie Mercury statue from the lobby of the theatre that housed We Will Rock You. According to the show's writer Ben Elton, Brian May was "not happy".

  • Aside from being a terrifically steadfast bassist, John Deacon is a trained electronics engineer and built much of the equipment that the band used himself. The Deacy Amp, perhaps his most famous invention, was built from an abandoned circuit board unearthed in a skip.

  • Brian May has become legendary for his playing style and shirking of using the traditional plastic plectrum, instead opting to unleash those iconic riffs with the pieces of shrapnel left in his wallet. That's right, coins. And his preferred value of choice? A sixpence, obviously. May is known for always carrying them in his pocket, just in case.

  • Brian May has become legendary for his playing style and shirking of using the traditional plastic plectrum, instead opting to unleash those iconic riffs with the pieces of shrapnel left in his wallet. That's right, coins. And his preferred value of choice? A sixpence, obviously. May is known for always carrying them in his pocket, just in case.

  • Aside from being a terrifically steadfast bassist, John Deacon is a trained electronics engineer and built much of the equipment that the band used himself. The Deacy Amp, perhaps his most famous invention, was built from an abandoned circuit board unearthed in a skip.

  • We're guessing there's plenty of room in Roger Taylor's garden, as last year he was accused of pinching a Freddie Mercury statue from the lobby of the theatre that housed We Will Rock You. According to the show's writer Ben Elton, Brian May was "not happy".

  • We're guessing there's plenty of room in Roger Taylor's garden, as last year he was accused of pinching a Freddie Mercury statue from the lobby of the theatre that housed We Will Rock You. According to the show's writer Ben Elton, Brian May was "not happy".

Queen have today released a special live recording from their first ever performance on radio. Re-wind to 1973 and listen to 'My Fairy King' from the BBC radio session with John Peel below.

So ingrained in music culture, with a decade-spanning history - it's difficult to imagine a world without Queen's music. Yet - like all bands - they had to start somewhere. Fans will now be able to witness that very moment Freddie and co first took to the airwaves on the legendary John Peel show before they even released a debut record. 

Speaking about the release, guitarist Brian May highlighted the importance of radio in regards to the band's progress in performing "This was the first time we'd really seen Freddie working at his full capacity. He's virtually a self-taught pianist, and he was making vast strides at the time, although we didn't have a piano on stage at that point because it would have been impossible to fix up. "... the studio was the first chance Freddie had to do his piano things and we actually got that sound of the piano and the guitar working for the first time which was very exciting"

The 'On Air' release compiles all six of the band's BBC Radio sessions, and will take fans on a journey through the bands early career in 1973-1986. Unique versions of classics such as 'We Will Rock You' 'Under Pressure' and 'A Kind of Magic' will be included in the release, alongside archive interviews with the band.

From these humble beginnings, Queen have continued to tour to this day - with recent performances including a headline set at Isle of Wight festival this summer. 

Currently taking-on frontman duties, Adam Lambert has said recently that he is open to recording new music with the band, providing the sound is right. 

Brian May is also considered to be one of the best guitar soloists ever and recently celebrated his 69th birthday.

'On Air' will be released November 4.


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