Queen fans finally have a tribute act worth championing
One of my all-time favorite interviews happened earlier this week when I talked to Gary Mullen, who is currently touring North America as part of One Night of Queen: The Music of Queen by Gary Mullen & The Works. [Read the full interview here]
Yes, it's a tribute act. And oh yes, Gary can trade note for note with the late, great Freddie Mercury.
But what I enjoyed most about our half-hour chat was the mutual admiration both Gary and I have for the British band and its music. There was no posturing. Just two guys, one with an outrageous Scottish accent, gushing about our favorite Queen memories. (Gary met guitarist Brian May backstage a few years ago -- that's his personal highlight. Mine still remains seeing George Michael take Somebody To Love and turn it into something even better during the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. I still cry like a baby whenever I see it on video.)
And of course, we talked about others who have tried to step into the shoes of Freddie, including American Idol's Adam Lambert. "He did a phenomenal performance. But I don't really agree with the Idol thing," Gary said. "They get all these kids and they build them up and build them up. And then the next year, they're yesterday's news. But I think Lambert's got a long career ahead of him. That was the best performance I'd heard since George Michael. The guy can sing."
Sadly, neither Gary nor I had a chance to see Queen perform while Freddie was still alive. But on Saturday night, at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall, I get the next best thing: a chance to see Gary bring Freddie back to life for an evening. What more can a Queen fan ask for? It's a kind of magic.
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