When Brian May Thought Queen’s Live Aid Was ‘Kind of Okay’
Brian May said Queen came offstage at Live Aid in 1985 thinking they had performed “kind of okay,” not realizing they had just delivered one of the greatest moments of the band’s history.
The 22-minute set was recreated with as much accuracy as possible in the band's 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody – and that’s when the guitarist had a chance to reflect on what they had really achieved.
“It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie,” May told TalkRADIO in a recent interview. “They recreated it so incredibly faithfully, and to be there on that set was really spine chilling; it brought it all back. And at the time, we weren't aware of what an epoch-making thing it was, really. We came off [thinking], ‘Well, that went kind of okay.’ But we didn't realize that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether. … It sort of lives on, doesn't it?”
You can listen to the interview below.
May credited singer Freddie Mercury’s showmanship with a great deal of the band’s success, noting his ability to make the most of a stage. “He had a great spatial awareness, and that's something very important,” he said. “If you're working with people on a stage, you need to have musical contact, but you also need the kind of physical chemistry going on — the awareness of where you are and where you're aiming your energy. Freddie was wonderful for that, and we just clicked from the very beginning.
“From the days when he was very much a training singer … he had all the presentation, he had that connection, and it was his amazing kind of skill that he managed to bring himself up to the point where he was using his talent to the best end. He really did work on himself. He was an incredible self-made man.”