A couple of weeks ago Queen and Adam Lambert ended their European tour which I had the great pleasure of attending in Assago (Milan). And since then my Queen fever rose again.
I have vague memories of a day in 1989, while I was wandering in the records department at UPIM (an Italian department store) in Carbonia (Italy) and I was about to buy my first CD. It was “The Miracle” by Queen. At that time I was fifteen and I had received as a birthday gift a stereo system complete with a CD player and turntable (and in fact, the same day I had also bought a vinyl). Although back then I didn’t know it, my passion for music at that time was about to take a crucial turning point.
In the years many CDs have been added to it: all studio albums by Queen, Greatest Hits albums and several other collections, live concerts (including several bootlegs), the albums by The Cross which was the side project of Roger Taylor (my favourite band member!), solo albums by Taylor, by Brian May (also the live one), those by Freddie Mercury (including the posthumous collection and the one with Monserrat Caballé), the album by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs the most famous songs of the band, and so on. Of course I also have lots of videotapes, but I cannot watch them, because I don’t have a VCR anymore, and now I have to migrate slowly to DVDs (I’m already starting). Not to mention the T-shirts, a jacket, which I don’t have anymore because I literally consumed it, posters of all kinds, even a buckle (never used), I also have some patches. Everything belonging to the official merchandising. Some of these things come from a mega box set bought in the 90s; I remember it had cost me a lot. I even own printed photos from some concerts in the 70s that I had purchased from one of the wonderful English catalogues (when there was no internet, you bought from catalogues!).
In short, a lot of stuff.
And with all this stuff, if my Queen fever comes back, I’m not lacking some material to treat myself.
Queen is part of the very few artists of whom at some point in my life I’ve had all original albums (not downloaded or, as you did in the past, copied) and of whom I knew all the songs by heart. Maybe I don’t remember all of them anymore now, but a good portion is carved in my mind and allowed me to sing out loud on 10 February at the Assago Forum.
The only other artist who is part of this small elite and that I continue to listen to even now is Elisa (an Italian artist), but it goes without saying that between her and Queen is an abyss, even in my liking.
But Queen is more than my favourite band. Their music has the ability to take me back in time, in the period of my happy teenage years and then when I studied and worked at the university. It’s a travel in my memories that puts me in touch with a part of me that still exists and that pushes me to face new challenges with enthusiasm, even if I’m no longer, alas, a twenty-year-old girl, let alone a teenager. That same part of me that was lost in the years when I had stopped listening to Queen, because it had disappeared from the scene, and that has awakened when they started to play live again ten years ago.
I would’ve never imagined in the past to have the opportunity to attend a concert by then, after the death of Freddie, and instead it has happened. Since 2005 I haven’t missed any of their three tours: the first and the second with Paul Rodgers (which I admit I prefer to Lambert), and this last one (picture on the left).
The one in 2008 at the Assago Forum was particularly beautiful, because I was in the parterre, close enough to the central runway, in the midst of a crowd that sang all the songs perfectly. At that very moment I knew I was attending the greatest concert of my life, but I also had the distinct perception of living a turning point in my life. I felt again like a young girl of fifteen with all the possibilities of this world ahead of me; I could take over my own life and do what I wanted of it. It was then that I decided that I would start to take care of a passion I had when I was a teenager and then I had left, a fire that seemed off but instead continued to burn under the ashes: writing.
And now it’s as if there was a link between the sense of accomplishment I had in those years of the past and what I am experiencing now that writing, in all its forms, has transformed from a simple passion to a job. This connection is represented by Queen, who now as then cheers and inspires my days with their beautiful songs.
The following videos were filmed by me at Queen + Adam Lambert concert in Assago (Milan) on 10 February 2015.