Queen & Rolling Stone Magazine. The 20 reasons why Queen should have been put on cover 1981

Here’s an interesting reading from a copy of the original Telegram sent by the Elektra Records, behalf of Queen. This memorabilia was found among other press stuff in the archive of the former Vice President, Bryn Bridenthal.

Sent to Rolling Stone Magazine on May 1st  1981, It lists the 20 reasons why Queen should be appear on the cover of Rolling Stones magazine. As you know, this unfortunately never happened. Enjoy!!!







From the day before another telegram was sent from Elektra Records to Queen Management, speaking about all the effort done to be finally considered by the famous US magazine…..


Freddie’s personal items. Auctions from 2015 Part II


Following Part one, here’s another lot I acquired from the Freddie’s personal items auctioned in Feb 2015. My first interest, from the published photo above, was that purple folder. I suddenly thought about an early press kit. I love items from early period and the purple and gold colours immediately make me think of 1973 early promotional items.

purplefolderIt turned to be a personal promo folder containing the famous Queen Headed Paper in lilac sheet often used by the band for personal handwritten letter (see an example here) or printed for the very early 1973 press kits.

Another item you can also see in the first photo is the Barcelona LP press kit.

Personally I never came across of a copy of it… EMI or ELEKTRA USA ones are more common This is, of course, from Polydor Records.

here it is:


The clock, an official 1980’s merchandise. Not an oustanding piece I know, but nice to see it was saved all this time. The clock was sent, as you can see from the box, by Jacky Gunn, the Official Fan Club secretary.


Ok, le’ts go on… A sealed promotional T-shirt for One VIsion. I must admit that I never came across one… Don’t know if it was ever available for sale (???!!!)


Another nice item put in this lot was a lapel pin, once owned, according to the vendor, by Freddie Mercury himself. I have no idea if he ever wore this pin.. so any help would be very appreciated, maybe you can check some private Freddie’s photos. As I told in the previous article, all this stuff was given by Jim Hutton to S.M. (housekeeper of Garden Lodge during the months after Freddie’s death).


and here’s another image of the pin togheter with an early 1974 official EMI 1974 Music book which was included in this lot along with the Magic Tour Program and another 1986 magazine.



Ok… is it enough? no…. now the magic part comes in. Unexpected surprises and the final proof for me that these items were really from Freddie himself.

You probably have noticed some cassettes in the first photo, the one published from the auction house.

Well there were a couple of those K7 really interesting….

Firts one….


This is a Tape containing a transfer from Reel of the Somebody To Love track. Still an incomplete mix!! It misses the intro and also the bridge part, so you can clearly hear Freddie ending with the voice solo. Very interesting! One of the tape that probably were needed to play by Freddie to work on the Gospel solo which is the final and great part of the Bridge.

The videocassette contains two different edit of the famous 1985 David Wigg Interview, one of 10 min and the other of 5 min, both containing the classic production countdown at the beginning. Maybe sent to Freddie to chose which version has to be broadcasted or just for archive.


Ok… now one of  the most thrilling moment in my collector’s life…

Another tape in the lot was included among others, unlabelled….


Another reel transfer…. this time: Bohemian Rhapsdoy. The tape starts with the song as we all know it…. By the end of the song, the recording changes immediately in a Guitar playing… Probably in studio, excercises for about 1 min with some riffs. I’m quite confident this is Brian playing.

Then the most amazing (at least for me) part begins…. This tape contains the original Kenny Everett airing of Bohemian Rhapsody. Yes, the very first moment the song was put on the Radio and presented to the World…. (still excited and shivering while I write this)…

In some of this audio clips, Kenny refers to a tape so I now think that Freddie bring one of these tape transfers to Kenny (or a reel tape) to let Borhap be played on radio. The record, or test pressing was not yet available… and Kenny returned this after having recorded to him some of the aired parts. I cannot imagine Freddie recording this clips himself from the original time… but who knows…


Stay tuned for other informations…. still going deep on these..

Freddie’s personal items. Auctions from 2015

In feb. 2015 some very interesting records and items once belonged to Freddie mercury have been auctioned from a UK-based auction House.

One of the lot I was interested in was presented with this photo

original (1)

This lot consisted of approx. 43 records both 12″ and 7″ from Freddie personal collection. Then given to Jim Hutton who presented them to the housekeeper of Garden Lodge who helped him to move after Freddie’s tragical death.

Hidden in this lot there were two very rare Queen collector’s gems which probably were not spotted by many bidders attending the auction both live and on line.

The first rare sleeve found in this lot was the Radio Ga Ga withdrawn picture sleeve. Finally I have an original one  in may hand. There were much debate in the last 15 years about this one. This is presented not finished with front and back laying in a same card and with folding parts for the final closed. In early 2000 a number of this have been circulated but I cannot check the quality of printing of the small details especially on the back of the sleeve.

The cat. number and the EMI details in the bottom center of the back sleeve are perfectly clear and sharp in the Freddie’s copy.

Originally this alternative sleeve appeared in the market in mid 90’s from the list of a famous UK rare record dealer: Greg Vandike. I rememeber he told me that the artwork of the sleeve was in a A3 printed card ready to be cut. Some collectors who have seen the finished closed one have told me that some printings were not so sharp. But in this one I see no problem. So we still have to investigate if a fake issue of this exists.

Here are the pictures of the front and back of the radio Ga Ga alternative withdrawn sleeve:






As for test pressing and acetates even test sleeves were usually sent to band members for approval. This sleeve concept was aborted and the most famous one was then chosen for its worldide release. So this is an extremely rare cover.

But that’s not all….

there was another hidden jewl inside the lot. Another rare picture sleeve, unknown to most of the collectors worldwide: the inhouse EMI promotional picture sleeve for You’re my best Friend 7″ single. I Only saw one copy of it in one of the box of records and memorabilia from the 2011 ‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos: Queen, The Early Years’  exibition.

That was from Brian May’s personal collection. Some collectors thought it was a radio home made sleeve or probably fake but it’s not. Having found one in a set of records coming from Garden Lodge and once in Freddie’s collection, it’s confirmed that this is a genuine item.

Also, quality of the paper, weight, and style are perfectly matching with the Bohemian Rhapsody UK 1975 picture sleeve. There’s also a reference printed on the back of this “Best friend” sleeve to “Delga”. Same printing you find in the “Borhap” sleeve which refers to the factory where this sleeve was printed. Probably made for inhouse EMI purpose, was almost unknown for nearly 40 years.

here are the picture of this rare single:


You’re My Best Friend UK In house promo sleeve – Front -

You're My Best Friend UK In house promo sleeve - Back-

You’re My Best Friend UK In house promo sleeve – Back-

The record inside this sleeve comes with the “factory sample” sticker on the label. Matrix numbers also shown that this comes with the earliest codes in the run-off grooves with rare first mother (1) and first stamper (G), same as the white label test pressing version.




Go To Part Two


Queen A kind Of Magic Signed Test Pressing LP


In the Queen History there are few example of official signed memorabilia. The only know commercially available items is the fully signed Complete Works LP box released in 1985, which we’ll be focus it soon.
Here’s one of the few examply of promotional item given out to Record Business men. It’s a fully autographed Test Pressing LP for release of A kind Of Magic in early 1986.
We’re not sure hom many of this were sent out; There should be a couple of dozen pr someone says 30-40 but anyway not too much. The LP itself is a rare piece of vinyl. You know how rare test pressing lp’s are, because they were only given to people involved in the making process of the album, band’s members and only few copies sent for advance promotion.
This signed test pressing was included in a white lp paper band featuring the autographs of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. And this a good example on how the band signed in that period, especially Freddie, whose signatures changed a lot during his known career.

The run-off codes for both sides of the lp’s are the following:




It’s not so easy finding a Test pressing LP and try to fake a white sleeve. Be sure if you come across one of these the at the bottom front of the white paper sleeve you find the following text, as pictured in the photo:


freddie signed picture 87_qm

Freddie Mercury Signed Promotional Picture 1987

freddie signed picture 87_qm

‘Taverners LTD’ are a renovations company for the rich & famous and are still based in London.
Freddie had extensive building works done in the interior of Garden Lodge & ‘The Mews’ which lasted well over 3months whilst Freddie was out of the country. All this is documented in various Freddie book publications. Upon Freddies return he loved ALL the works carried out on his home that he invited through Peter Freestone all employees of ‘Taverners LTD’ to a private party at his home. The directors of ‘Taverners LTD’ duly passed Freddies best wishes onto all employees whom worked on the renovations project and informed them all of Freddies ‘THANKYOU PARTY’.
All employees who were to attend the private party were told by the directors that ‘under no circumstances’ must they approach Freddie at the party. The party was held in Freddies garden, there was a marque and plenty food & drink. After 20mins or so of the party getting started Freddie came out of Garden Lodge and ‘pounced’ on everyone, personally thanking them all for the wonderful work carried out.
Freddie later had one of his staff (POSSIBLY PETER) bring the newly ‘produced’ Barcelona Shoot Photographs ‘to which Freddie and his mother were extremely fond of’ out to the garden, Freddiepersonally signed each and everyone of ‘Taverners’ workforce one of these promotional photographs.
So an example of TOTALLY GENUINE Freddie’s signature and is special due to the fact that it was actually signed at Garden Lodge in the garden at a very private THANKYOU party!!!
I actually still retain the letter of provenance, purchased it directly from the employee.

Queen Promotional Items

Queen Tour Memorabilia

Queen Records 1973-1979


Queen concert on November 12 1977 – Boston Garden


Published on the Sunday Bulletin Nov. 20 1977. By Matt Dumsker

A Royal Quartet rules the World of Heavy Metal Rock

Boston — By New York or even Philadelphia standards, Boston is a generally sedate town, although an an outsider on hand last week at the Boston Garden would be forced to reassess any such generalization. Indeed, the more than 13,000 young rock fans who packed the Garden on the evening of Nov. 12-provided. an awesome example of mass hysteria, as the British rock group Queen unveiled a new stage show of such epic proportion and sustained excitement that there seems no way to adequately describe its impact.

It was only the second performance of the quartet’s current 27-city American tour (which touches down here at the Spectrum for shows Wednesday and Thursday nights), but it was a clear enough indication that Queen has blossomed into the leading practitioner of heavy-metal rock drama, With British kingpins Led Zeppelin temporarily out of the touring picture (due to the sudden death this past summer of singer Robert Plant’s young son), Queen literally reigns, thanks to ah impressive new album — “News of the World” (Elektra Records) — and the sort of non-stop, three-hour, no-opening-act show pioneered by Zeppelin in the early 1970s.

Queen’s triumph — after about five years of increasing popularity and one smash hit single (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) — derives from a wise and welcome change in musical/theatrical direction. Originally a busily theatrical “glitter” band reliant on a multitude of costume changes, smoke, strobe and fire effects, Queen has considerably toned down its flashy excess. With the exception of one major costume change — from stripes to sequins — on the part of lead singer Freddie Mercury, a modicum of smoke and flare, and a massive, 5,000-pound lighting rig in the shape of a queenly crown, the group’s theatrical impact is almost exclusively tied to its music. Noticeably phased from the current repertoireare the rococo, operetta-like tunes of an earlier period, and in their pIace is a masterfully paced program of eruptive yet polished hard rock
With such boldly articulate new, recent and old Queen songs ” We Will” Rock You,” “Keep Yourseif Alive”, “Liar,” “We Are the Champions”,  “Tie Your Mother Down,” the group brillantly sates the mass appetite for the  surefire basics of modern pop rock: soaring tenor lead and harmony vocals, pungent electric guitar lines, driving  yet  sophisticated rhythms, evocative Iyric:s and rich melodies.

“I suppose we’ve been leading up to this all long. It certainly feels like the breakthrough  we’d  never quite made”   admitted Freddie Mercury after the Boston Performance. Mercury is tall, dark, muscular yet lean, retiring yet intense in terms of eye contact, and possessed of a rather pronounced overbite which makes him a most unlikely Rock Star. But he’s a gifted showman of genuine grace and relentless energy, a first rate vocalist and songwriter, and quite lucid on the subject of Queen.

“I think it got to the point with us where the theatrical tag began to take over our image, but it was only a matter of time before the musci began to come into its own. That’s what’s making the difference on this tour”, he reflects. In a near chair, bassist John Deacon – quietly amiable – nods in agreement.

“What bothers me so often when people discuss rock ‘n roll is their tendency to label it,” continues Mer­cury. “Either it’s ‘glitter’ or ‘punk’ or progressive’ or whatever, and these tend to obscure the fact that you’re really talking about a kind of entertain­ment that often touches on a lot of styles. The last thing l’d want to do is limit our music to a label.”

Speaking of labels, though — and of “punk” rock in particular — one can’t help but note that one of the group’s new tunes, “Sheer Heart Attack,” affects the piledriving intensity of today’s “punk” sound.

“I suppose it does, now that you mention it,” agrees drummer Roger Taylor, who wrote the song. Blond and blue-eyed, Taylor is very much the pretty boy of the band. “But even so, I wrote it a few years back and we only just got around to recording it. I do think, though, that the punk rock scene is still very nascent, and you’re going to see a lot of these young bands making a lot of crappy music before the good stuff comes along, i suppose it has to be that way”.

The nucleus of Queen — Mercury, Taylor and guitarist Brian May — met up in London in 1970 and rounded out the following year with John Deacon. Previously, Mercury had been with a group called  Wreckage, while May and Taylor had been members of one called Smile. All four are in their late twenties,  and  each  has  a  college degree, Mercury in graphic design and illustration, Taylor in biology, Deacon in electronics and May in astronomy.

The most accomplished academic of the four, May not only taught astronomy but published a few papers in British scientific journal before forming Smile with Taylor in 1968. Tall, leather Jacket and sporting an abundant mane of curly black hair, May could hardly look less a scientist.

“I was doing research on cosmic dust”, he explains, ” and I really did enjoy my work, in fact I still keep up with the latest developments”.

By now, the party has thinned down and it’s quite late – 3 A.M. – as May and I share an elevator to respective floors. he shakes his head, dazed and happy. “You know”, he odfers, “we’ve played a lot of places, but everytime I hear an audience roine crazy like they were tonight before we even got onstage, I get such a feeling inside, and I know I could never feel that way doing anything else…”