Imagine a Queen biopic in which Jack Nicholson plays the part of Freddie Mercury, and the movie’s key scene comes when Freddie defends his decision to wear leotards on Queen’s ‘77 U.S. tour.
In this alt-biopic, based in part on my one time seeing Queen live in early 1977 and inspired by this week’s episode of Let It Roll, opening act Thin Lizzy have complained about being upstaged by Freddie’s provocative attire, and he’s decided to settle this issue once and for all.
(The third leg in this stool is Nicholson’s role in the ‘90s movie “A Few Good Men, with apologies to whoever wrote the screenplay for that movie).
It goes something like this:
Freddie: Son, we live in a world that has leotards, and those leotards have to be worn by men with my physique and artistic sensibility. Who's gonna do it? You? You don't want that, because deep down in places you don't talk about at after-show parties, you want me in those leotards. You need me in those leotards.
We use words like rock, roll, Bohemian and rhapsody. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent rocking and rolling. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rocks and rolls on the same bill as my band, in front of audiences here to see us entertain, and then questions the manner in which we provide it! I would rather you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a microphone, put on some leotards and get up on that stage.
Phil (Thin Lizzy bassist and singer): Are you still gonna wear the leotards?
Freddie: I will wear the outfit--
Phil (interrupts, louder): Are you wearing the leotards?
Freddie: YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I’M WEARING THE LEOTARDS!
Ed Legge (@freebirdyeller) is a life-long musician, long-time journalist and sometime corporate dweeb who’s writing a book about originating rock ‘n’ roll’s most absurd tradition.