The Parade College Writing Workshop – Luca Falvo: Queen – above and beyond


By Luca Falvo


Queen is one of the most famous and influential bands of all time. The bands’ members consisted of Freddie Mercury (vocals, keys – in the band until his death in 1991), Brian May (guitars, backup vocals), Rodger Taylor (drums, backup vocals), and John Deacon (bass (in the band from 1968 to 1997)).


Brian May and Rodger Taylor had originally formed a band called Smile with Tim Staffell (lead vocals and bass). Eventually, Tim decided he would ditch his dream of a music career and left the band. He was replaced by Freddie Mercury and John Deacon. Freddie started taking control of the band’s music and look. The band’s name was changed to Queen and the emblem was designed by him as well.


The band started to play in pubs to save up money to make an album. Eventually, they had earned enough and released their first album titled ‘Queen’ in 1973. The album wasn’t a success.


Queen first came to Australia in 1974. They had to play at a festival and were booed and heckled off the stage. This was nearly two years before their big hit ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. After gaining some popularity through the show ‘Top of the Pops’, success followed with albums ‘Queen II’ and ‘Sheer Heart Attack’. Both were released in the same year (1974). ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ contained the song ‘Killer Queen’, which was a decent success. The song reached number two on the UK charts and was a hit in the US. This hit started to push Queen under the spotlight.


Then followed one of the biggest hits and best songs of all time. This was the 11th song on the album ‘Night at the Opera’ (named after the Marx Brothers’ film) called ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. What made ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ so unique was that it had many genres combined into a six minute song. The harmonies and poetry in the music stood out the most. At the time, most songs on the radio even didn’t last for more than four minutes (if they did, they would be shortened). But ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was played fully.


Queen released many albums and hits before Freddie’s death in 1991. He died due to complications with the disease ‘AIDS’. The band decided they would continue to keep going. John Deacon then left the band in 1997. Rodger and Brian continue to play in the band with Adam Lambert singing.


The band is touring Australia at the moment, performing in Melbourne last week. They recently performed at the Bushfire fundraising event (playing their famous Live Aid set).


I was seven years old when I was introduced to Queen by my dad. He played me their album ‘Night at the Opera’ and told me to pay special attention to the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. I was blown away once I heard it. I quickly fell in love with the band and started to listen to all their songs (not just their hits). I would analyse and play their music on my piano (and even attempt to sing it!). Brian May’s guitar playing inspired me to pick up the guitar as well. I even went to go see them perform for a second time at AAMI Park last week with my friend. We were both so excited. The last time they came to Australia was in March 2018.


Overall, Queen is one of the best bands of all time. They will constantly be listened to by the younger generations and onwards. From an English band that played in pubs to one of the best bands of all time, they will always be remembered.



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  1. Yes, Luca, Queen is right up there with the very best bands of all time. I was a few years older than you are now when ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ was released with ‘Killer Queen’ as the single. It caught my ear, then ‘A Night at the Opera’ came out and just smashed it! Freddie was mercurial, Brian May’s guitar work is goose pimple stuff, John Deacon was the quiet one like Bill Wyman from The Rolling Stones, and Rodger Taylor held it all together and drove the rhythm at the back. Sensational!

  2. Luca, I must say that I was never a big fan of Queen, but surprisingly enjoyed the film “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

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