Brian May reveals Queen were underwhelmed by their Live Aid performance at first

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
May 26th 2020 - Brian May - guitarist for Queen - is recovering in the hospital following surgery after suffering a heart attack. - File Photo by: zz/John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 3/29/19 Brian May of Queen at the 2019 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony held on March 29, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City. (NYC)
Brian May thought Queen's performance at Live Aid in 1985 was 'kind of okay'. (AP)

Brian May has confessed that Queen were initially underwhelmed by their famous performance at Live Aid.

The rock legends’ 22-minute set, which has become one of the most celebrated live performances in history, was recreated for Bohemian Rhapsody, the 2018 biopic of lead singer Freddie Mercury that starred Rami Malek.

May told TalkRADIO: “It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie.

UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: WEMBLEY STADIUM Photo of LIVE AID and Brian MAY and Freddie MERCURY and QUEEN, Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing live on stage at Live Aid (Photo by Pete Still/Redferns)
Brian May and Freddie Mercury at Live Aid in London's Hyde Park in 1985. (Getty Images)

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“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 realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether...

“It sort of lives on, doesn’t it?”

When the 1985 charity concert, which was organised by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, is remembered on television, the clip that is most often replayed is of Mercury strutting his stuff on stage, swinging his baton microphone and leading the huge crowd in singing and clapping along in unison.

Mercury died aged 45 in 1991 after suffering from AIDS.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985 in Wembley Stadium, London, England (Photo by Pete Still/Redferns)
Freddie Mercury at Live Aid in 1985. (Getty Images)

May said of the late singer: “He had a great spatial awareness, and that’s something very important.

“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.”

Read more: Brian May says wife Anita Dobson saved him after heart attack

Queen have gone on to tour with former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert performing lead vocals.

May has said he is grateful to be alive after a difficult year, having suffered a heart attack and a stomach explosion. He also believes he contracted COVID-19.

Watch: Freddie Mercury struts his stuff at Live Aid