"Queen" by Queen

By John Saleeby
August 1, 2012


Why did it take thirty five years for me to finally appreciate how really great the first Queen album is? I know I've always been a really hard headed guy but . . . Damn, THIRTY FIVE YEARS? I remember quite clearly buying this album, playing it, and just feeling kind of like . . . Uh . . . About as excited as I was a couple of weeks ago after I heard . . . Oh . . . Whatever that crummy record I bought a couple of weeks ago was. Boy, what a piece of crap. If I'm yelling at you about how great that piece of crap is thirty five years from now just pull the plug on whatever piece of machinery I'm hooked up to and feed me to the alligators. Hell, you can do that to me now if you want. No, wait a little bit until I finish this article. But, really - I bought the first Queen album in 1976 and it never hit me how good it is until 2012? Geez, that's retarded even by John Saleeby standards! I must have been distracted. Let's see - I bought this album in 1976 and then . . . Oh, Punk Rock happened and I was all Gung Ho over The Clash until they went down the toilet. No way is some Queen album going to make an impression on you when you're in the midst of a wild eyed teeth gnashing Clash frenzy. That's like trying to feed sauerkraut to a penguin. And I used to work at The Zoo so I know what I'm talking about. Then I lost my mind over The Replacements and if you think Queen was inappropriate when I was a Clash fan you can imagine how much interest I had in Queen when I was into The 'Mats. It was like that time I tried to feed hay to The 'Cats. The lions and the tigers, I mean. That's when I knew my days at The Zoo were numbered. Then The Replacements went down the toilet (The Zoo had a number of Rest Rooms, fortunately) and it was Guns N' Roses Time which brings it all full circle to Queen which is kind of like feeding the tigers to the lions and the lions to the tigers and I don't want to talk about working at The Zoo no mo'! Axl Rose envisioned Guns N' Roses as a combination of Queen and The Sex Pistols - And there are people that think Axl is out of his mind? I think the guy is a GENIUS! I was about to tell him that last night at Genghis Khan's Birthday Party on The Hindenberg until Fatty Arbuckle threw up on the Magna Carta and I jumped out before they made me clean it up. Yeah, I've really had Queen on the bean for the past few years - Aren't they GREAT? I mean, weren't they great? Oh, what the Hell, living in the Past is what it's all about when you're as old as I am - QUEEN IS GREAT! Freddie Mercury is dead, John Deacon is retired, Brian May and Roger Taylor are even older than I am, but put on one of their albums and it's just like the late Seventies and I'm listening to The Clash again. Gosh, what will happen if I really did listen to The Clash again? Maybe I'll do all my Homework so I won't wind up working at the goddam Zoo again!

I liked Queen a lot when I was a kid but it was always the Big Hit Albums like "A Night At The Opera" and "News Of The World" we listened to while the first one sat ignored and unappreciated with the Paul McCartney solo albums and the Santana record I bought for some idiot reason. I really ought to dig up my old vinyl copy of the first Queen album and apologize sometime - Maybe take it out to see Aerosmith with Cheap Trick opening. It'll think it's 1976 all over again! I'll wear a "Wayne's World" wig and Earth Shoes.

Debut albums are interesting because they present the band as Small Time Nobodies who play in crummy bars rather than World Famous Celebrities who sell out huge arenas. You know, like every Wil Forbis CD - BA ZIIINNNGGG!!! When we think of Queen today we remember the highly polished professional outfit which spent huge amounts of time and money recording Epic Extravaganzas like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are The Champions" - Unless you're a real Weisenheimmer and the first thing you think of a Freddie "Sissy" gag. What do you think this is - Acid Logic? STOP IT! Pedro is DEAD! You think that's FUNNY? Pedro? Oh, I got mixed up. Granted, Queen was always a pretty . . . elaborate proposition and their Music always makes you want to get up on a podium in a tuxedo and wave a baton around until the Marx Brothers throw you into a river, but their first album presents them as a hard rocking bad ass Rock And Roll Band of the early Seventies Led Zeppelin-Bad Company-Humble Pie school. Far out! It's crazy as Hell but, like most conventional Seventies Rock Music (Is that "conventional" kinda redundant?) the album is based on the Musician's performance rather than technically manipulated recordings of such a performance. In other words, it's the most Rock And Roll record Queen ever made and that is a GOOD THING! You think The Electric Light Orchestra could have done that? No way! Boston? No . . . Geez, can you believe their really was a band named "Boston"? That's even gayer than a band named "Queen"!

Yeah, it's one Heckuva record that first Queen album! It's really cool to hear that Queen never had to get into all that Studio Production stuff to make it sound like they were worth a crap. They could really ROCK! Hell, let's get right down to it - After all these years it's pretty goddam obvious that if it wasn't for Jack Douglas and his Production Pizzazz Aerosmith would be absolutely NOWHERE! Total chaos breaks out - Screaming, crying, screeching of brakes, gun shots, dogs barking, windows shattering, etc. But Jack Douglas gets it all down on tape, spends three months mixing and remixing, and it comes out sounding like something on "Toys In The Attic". The Man is a WIZARD! But with Queen that foolishness was just the frosting on the cake! And the first Queen album is like a cake that is so good you don't need frosting. How about comparing it to a pie? Pies don't need frosting. Anybody ever tried selling pie with frosting? That could be The Next Big Thing! Let's get to work on that now the Humor Zine thing clearly hasn't worked out. What the Hell was I talking about that got me talking about frosting? Oh, Queen. Well, that makes sense. Their first album (A catchy title might have made it more fun to read about - Don't blame me!) was Produced by Roy Thomas Baker who went on to Produce all of Queen's most popular records as well as albums by The Cars, Cheap Trick, The Darkness, and Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy"( Until he got fired anyway. I think I was Producing that album for a while there. Either that or I was an Intern for the Howard Stern show. All I remember is a bunch of long haired dudes yelling at me to get out of the studio and getting thrown through a plate glass window.) But in 1973 all that was in the Future and when Baker was hired to Produce "Let's Sing Like Fairies!" (What the Hell, I'll give it a name) he was just a starry eyed kid with a "Goon Show" Fan Club Cassette Recorder who won Queen's "Get To Produce Our Album!" Competition by suggesting that they call John Deacon "Deacon John" to make him sound "Funky". Brilliant!

So run out and buy "Let's Sing Like . . . Who Stole My Eyebrow Pencil!?" right away! The sooner you play it for the first time the sooner it will be thirty five years later and you will be able to really DIG IT! That may sound dumb now but in 2047 it will make perfect sense.

Now I'm going to give this Jimmy Walker "Dy-No-Mite!" Stand Up Comedy Album a listen . . .

John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - jacksaleeby1@hotmail.com

Dude, partake of some other Motherfucking Masterpieces!

Iggy Pop's "Party" by John Saleeby
With the arrival of the 80's, Iggy Pop turned to one man to resurrect his career: Ivan Kral!
Heavy Metal by Wil Forbis
This animated film from the 80's had more naked alien chicks than you could shake a phallicized laser pistol at.
Scanners by Johnny Apocalypse
Was Scanners a parable about out of control corporations or just an excuse to show exploding heads?
Repo Man by Wil Forbis
Packed with dead aliens, punk rock angst and Harry Dean Stanton in the role of his career, Alex Cox's cinematic masterpiece defined the term "cult film."
RoboCop by John Saleeby
Peter Weller shines as the clanking crimefighter in need of axel grease.
Falling Down by Wil Forbis
The final defense of the angry white male.
Office Space by Wil Forbis
Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butthead, satirizes the modern deskjob.
Mr. Bungle by Wil Forbis
The maniacal album that inspired tens, even dozens of musicians to become agro/metal/funk fanatics. Remember the clowns!
Body Count by Cody Wayne
Ice-T's hardcore metal group, famous for their ode to cop killin', get their due.
John Carpenter's "The Thing" by Cody Wayne
John Carpenter redefined the horror genre with his study of arctic isolation and shape shifting aliens.

And here's more!



Columns - Features - Interviews - Fiction - Acid Radio - GuestBook Sign/View - Blogs
View ForbistheMighty.com for more sin and wackiness!

Email Publisher