Brian May admits Freddie Mercury and Queen thought Live Aid performance was ‘OK’ at first

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It’s one of the most iconic live performances of all time and was recently recreated for the Oscar-winning Freddie Mercury movie Bohemian Rhapsody. But according to guitarist Brian May, the band were totally unaware of just how good and lasting in the public memory their 1985 Live Aid set really was. Now in a new interview, the 73-year-old has shared how Queen felt they had only really been “OK” at first.

In the full interview below, May spoke of watching Rami Malek and the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody recreate Queen’s Live Aid set.

The 73-year-old said: “It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie.

“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.”

May continued: “We came off [thinking], ‘Well, that went kind of OK.’

“But we didn’t realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether. … It sort of lives on, doesn’t it?”

Interestingly, in a recent UK poll of 2000 people by Klook it was found that Brits were equally interested in time travelling back to see the first day on planet Earth as they were with watching Queen’s Live Aid performance in 1985.

Asked by Talk Radio what it was like working alongside Freddie, May admitted: “Challenging and always entertaining. He was a very unpredictable guy but wonderful to work with.”

May said of Freddie: “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.”

Last month, caught up with May who shared the Queen break-up moment that was missing from the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.

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May told us: “Even up to 1986, there were times when we split up and you kind of see a reference to that in the movie.

“And essentially that’s true, we did split up for a period. But there was always this feeling that the mothership was still there.”

The mothership is what Freddie, Brian, Roger Taylor and John Deacon would call their Queen foursome as a whole.

He said: “We used to call it the mothership. And we’d say, ‘When we’re ready we’ll come back to the mothership’.”

May added: “Strangely enough that isn’t in the movie, but you can’t put everything in a movie.

“You can’t put the whole of 20 years into two hours.”

Bohemian Rhapsody went on to make over $900 million worldwide despite the lukewarm reviews from the critics.

While the Freddie Mercury biopic won more Oscars than any other movie at the 2019 Academy Awards.

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