Brian May on Freddie Mercury’s ‘anger’ in new Queen IMAX film ‘He went berserk’ | Music | Entertainment

Last night, attended the premiere of Queen Rock Montreal at the BFI IMAX.

The newly remastered concert movie, which is in IMAX globally January 18-21, captures Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon at the Montreal Forum in November 1981.

Before heading into the auditorium containing Britain’s biggest screen, fans lucky enough to be invited to the screening had their photo taken sitting at a piano. Attached to it was the very same microphone that Freddie used during the iconic performance captured in the film.

And just before the preview began, there was a surprise introduction from Sir Brian himself. 

The guitar legend promised, “This performance shows Queen at the top of their game”, one that was no easy feat given the backstage tensions he went on to describe.

The 76-year-old rocker shared how Queen Rock Montreal director Saul Swimmer and his people had never done a live show before and didn’t realise just how disruptive they could be. As a result, things got worse between him and the band during the rehearsals.

Sir Brian shared: “A message came from Saul Swimmer saying: ‘Make sure the boys wear exactly the same clothes for the two nights so we can cut in-between.’ So Freddie goes completely berserk and says, ‘I’m not being constrained in my wardrobe! I will wear what the f*** I like!’ It becomes a huge row and Jim Beach, our illustrious manager, came in and tried to make peace.”

Queen’s manager tried to reason with Freddie and yet it didn’t go so well for him.

Sir Brian continued: “Jim Beach got banned from backstage…it wasn’t a good situation and we got more and more grumpy and you can see this in the film. You can see… we are very hyped up. Some of the tempos are really fast and there’s a lot of almost angry playing. You can see it in Freddie I think.”

The Queen film’s official synopsis reads: “IMAX and Pathé Live in partnership with Mercury Studios and Queen Films have announced that Queen fans and moviegoers will now be able to experience, for the very first time, one of the world’s biggest bands perform on cinema’s biggest screens with the global release of QUEEN ROCK MONTREAL, exclusively in IMAX beginning January 18, 2024.

“This exhilarating live concert from 1981 is a window into Queen in their most unalloyed form, giving audiences a larger-than-life, front-row immersive experience. The film was digitally re-mastered for the first time into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience, including 12-channel surround sound, crystal-clear images, and IMAX’s customised theatre geometry. 

“Rock & roll royalty Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon take to the stage in a historic and exhilarating performance of their greatest hits including We Will Rock You, Somebody To Love, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, We Are The Champions, and additional songs from popular album The Game including Dragon Attack, Play the Game, and more.”

Queen Rock Montreal is screening in over 400 IMAX cinemas worldwide from January 18-21 and tickets can be booked here.

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