Roger Taylor Recalls The Queen Show That Had Blacklisted Him And Brian May
Queen drummer Roger Taylor recently joined an interview with Classic Rock in which he remembered the time one of Queen‘s shows caused some trouble for him and Brian May.
Between the years 1948 and the early 1990s, apartheid existed in South Africa and South-West Africa. It mainly ensured that South Africa was socially, politically, and economically dominated by the white population. According to this system, white citizens had the highest status in society followed by Asians, Coloureds, and then black Africans.
Back in 1984, Queen embarked on their The Works Tour. The tour featured nine dates in October in Bophuthatswana, South Africa, at the arena in Sun City. However, back in those days, the United Nations requested artists to boycott the country due to the apartheid policy, and Britain’s Musicians’ Unions banned any member who violates this by performing in Sun City.
Despite all these, Queen performed in Sun City. When they returned to England, they faced outrage as they violated the United Nations cultural boycott. After being criticized for this act, Queen stated that they were performing for their fans who lived there and highlighted that the concerts were held for integrated audiences. However, they ended up being placed on the United Nations’ blacklisted artists.
In an interview by Classic Rock, Roger Taylor remembered this incident. He recalled the aftermath of the performances in Sun City, and said they got grief for that. Moreover, the musician claimed their intentions were good, and they didn’t make any money out of those performances. Then, Taylor revealed he still thinks it was a mistake to make such a thing.
About Queen’s performances in Sun City, Roger Taylor told Classic Rock the following:
“Oh shit, did we get grief for that. Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow. They didn’t get any stick, but we did. We went with the best possible intentions, actually. We didn’t make any money out of it. I remember Brian went to award some of the prizes at the Soweto festival. We went with the best intentions, but I still think it was kind of a mistake.”
Throughout their career, Queen tried to have an apolitical stance mainly due to Freddie Mercury’s views. According to the late frontman, Queen would go around the world to play their songs to all people who can enjoy. However, it seems Roger Taylor thinks this approach resulted in a mistake in Sun City.