Brian May Says He Used A John Lennon Song To Stay Away From Queen
Queen guitarist Brian May joined an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live’s podcast and talked about his grieving process following the band’s frontman Freddie Mercury’s death. Also, the musician shared how he used a John Lennon song in one of his solo performances.
Since its first debut on the rock stage in 1970, Queen has created extraordinary works and been an inspiration for young generation musicians. Even though the band’s legacy was set in stone, they could only perform with their original lead singer for two decades. Sadly, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 and died because of its complications on November 24, 1991. His early death was unbearable for everyone around him.
As one of them, May revealed that he and Roger Taylor were in denial at that time, and they decided to stay away from Queen as much as possible. Therefore, the guitarist focused on his solo projects and released his first solo studio album entitled ‘Back to the Light’ on September 28, 1992. According to May, it was a part of grieving after Mercury, who was an inseparable person from Queen’s works and legacy.
The Queen guitarist revealed he went too far with using a John Lennon song named ‘God,’ which belonged to the debut solo record ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.’ The song’s original lyric was ‘I don’t believe in Beatles,’ but May changed it to ‘I don’t believe in Queen anymore’ during a solo act. Then, May defined it as an overreaction caused by the pain and grief and added that he couldn’t cope with it.
May shared his ideas, saying:
“I think Roger and I both went through a kind of normal grieving process but accentuated by the fact it has to be public. We sort of went into denial, like, ‘Yeah, well, we did Queen, but we do something else now.’ Roger and I plunged into our solo work and didn’t want to talk about Queen. That seems almost nonsensical because we spent half of our lives constructing Queen.
We didn’t want to know at that time. It was a grieving thing. We just overcompensated. It went on for a long time. I went so far as to adapt John Lennon’s ‘God’ song in my solo stage act to say, ‘I don’t believe in Queen anymore.’ That was a vast overreaction. I didn’t need to do that; why would I do that? Because I couldn’t cope with looking at it.”
You can check out the cover below.