Sunday, April 25, 2010

Freddie Mercury Will Rock You

I don't know about you, but when I'm in the car, and a song by Queen comes on, I have to listen to the whole thing, no matter how many times I've heard it. "Momma...just killed a man...put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger now he's dead," with the same emotion as when I first heard it in Wayne's World (I'm not old enough to have been there the first time around.) I will even sit in a parked car and be a few minutes late to work just to hear the song. Freddie Mercury has the most gorgeous voice in rock and roll that I know of, and I even found out recently that a famous opera singer requested to perform a concert with him.

Two of the best-known Queen songs, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" are regularly played at sporting events, particularly hockey. And I find it poignant lately that many of the people who attend these games probably are not big Queen fans, or maybe even don't know that the songs were made by Queen, or could just be too young to know. Most of these people are men, and may exist in a culture where masculinity is placed at a premium, and where homosexuality is considered a weakness, or at least something to stay away from. The word "gay" is tossed around as an affectionate insult, as in "dude, that shirt looks gay on you," or "that's gay," or "I don't hug men, that's gay."

And yet these songs were written by a man who was very gay and who still rocked enough to get stadiums full of tens of thousands of people stomping their feet and clapping their hands in unison 30 years later. Who wore tights and a skinny bare chest during concerts and yet whose song "We Are the Champions" is automatically played at the winning of the Stanley Cup, World Series and other finals.

And that is the beauty of real art--it transcends these boundaries. In New York City, when I would stop to see a really good drummer with his plastic buckets I would look around me to see who else was listening. People of all backgrounds would stop--the audience was merely composed of people who loved drumming. Stoners, stockbrokers, housewives and seniors all together. But somehow I find it more powerful to think of a gay lead singer, who was aware of the homosexual connotations when naming his band "Queen," bringing the sports world to its knees, giant men with chipped and missing teeth hugging and loving each other when they win the championship.


Anonymous said...

I've been at some of those hockey games. You are right on

MakeOne, The Love Man said...

HAHA - this is awesome. I love Queen and Freddie Mercury was one of the best.

Albeit, I am guilty to often use the word "gay" to describe something weak or lame, I do not by any means mean it derogatorily towards gays. But then again, in essence, when used synonymously with weak, I can see how one can assume or define that one who is gay, specially with men, is weak or weaker. But not so. I have known many gay men who are hella tougher than most men and even definitely tougher than me. LOL

And as you said, you have bands such as Queen, who although more blatantly openly gay than other bands such as Judas Priest, are being played in these testosterone filled arenas or sporting events where men often overwhelmingly push their machismo in your face. To me, honestly, anyone way too macho is gay. A man secure with his femininity is often more man than them jocks. LOL

I think one of the biggest upset ever for men was Rob Haitford of one of the hardest metal Bands ever - Judas Priest - coming out and saying he was GAY. yeaahhhh \m/