Right now, I should really be slapping on my new, glossy Vamp Red lipstick, downing two shots of vodka, dancing around in my underwear to Kanye West and partying like the out-of-control rock chick that I am (on paper and on my blog, that is).
But aside from dealing with international emails (including the very exciting project I have for another blog post that I am co-writing via email – wait till we unleash it, it’s literally going to rock your world. I mean it!), I am a homebody tonight, updating you all on the latest and greatest (and not so great) of what arrived for review in the past few weeks, so you can fork out your hard-earned dosh on something that’s worth a pretty penny, in my books.
So, here we go…
Metallica & Lou Reed
OK, I’ve had my fun with this one on Twitter. But seriously, what were they thinking? Oh yeah, they weren’t. Not enough Rick Rubin telling them to SHUT THE HELL UP. It kinda sounds like a very inebriated Bob Dylan squealing over the harsh, brutal sounds of Metallica. It does not work. Was there an A&R guy or producer in the studio at the time they cut this monstrosity, which is so self-indulgent, it goes over two CDs? It ends with a 20-minute song, “Junior Dad”, that would have been great if they cut out 15 of those minutes. Remember, less is more folks. “Iced Honey”, which clocks in at a manageable five minutes is the only one with the potential to be great. The operative words there are “potential” and “to” and “be”. The opening line of the first song, “Brandenburg Gate”, is a scorching, deep and poignant one: “I would cut my legs and tits off,” courtesy of one Lou Reed. Thanks for that Mr Reed. I would do the same if I had to listen to this one more time. #earbleed
Footprints & Fingerprints
A two-CD set that features all of seminal Brisbane rockers Powderfinger’s songs from “My Happiness” through to “Empty Space”. If you don’t know Powderfinger, get educated with Odyssey Number Five, then ask me about the time I spent an entire awards night sitting and chatting to their guitarist and didn’t even know it was him. Curses!
40 Years of Queen
Allen & Unwin
Coming in a case with a DVD and a large hardcover book, this is a beautiful collection of everything to do with Queen. From personalised letters, tour passes, menus (check out the 1977 menu from one of Queen’s shindigs – so ‘70s), newspaper clippings and chock-full of information. It has forwards by Brian May and Roger Taylor (natch) and rare photographs, covering the entire history of Queen.
And while we’re on the subject of Queen and to give you some insight into the main man Freddie Mercury, in July 2009, I was lucky enough to score an interview with Peter Freestone, who was Freddie Mercury’s personal assistant for the last 12 years of Freddie’s life. I spoke to Peter about the Queen tribute show, Queen: It’s A Kinda Magic, before it opened in Melbourne, so here is the interview:
Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic
Preview: Angela Allan
Peter Freestone has some amazing stories about late Queen singer Freddie Mercury. As his personal assistant for the last 12 years of Mercury’s life, Freestone knew the real creative genius.
“On stage, everyone knew Freddie could hold the world in the palm of his hand. The Freddie that I knew would walk down in his tracksuit into the kitchen and go outside into the garden to play with his cats.
“He needed some space to be on his own and think lyrics. The garden was his place.”
In the 18 years since Mercury’s death, Freestone has been asked on countless occasions to attend Queen tribute shows. He usually declines (although at the moment, he has six projects on the go – only two of which do not involve Mercury and Queen), but when he heard about Queen – It’s A Kinda Magic, he decided to go along.
“I went into the theatre and sat at the back and it started, and I thought, oh another Queen show. But I was struck by the audience. They were on their feet for the entire show, dancing and screaming.”
Melburnian Craig Pesco portrays Mercury in the performance, who Freestone says the audience reacts to him like they would for the real British pop group.
“The last time the crowd did that was during Queen’s Crazy Tour in England.
“Everything (Pesco) does comes from within. He would never want to appear to be sending Freddie up or doing something wrong. He really does believe it. He’s got it in him to carry it off.”
After touring around the world and securing a legion of more than 250,000 fans, the theatrical production is back in Melbourne. The show recreates a Queen concert with the classic songs, dazzling lighting and costumes.
“Queen’s music is just magic. It was before its time. Some of their songs are now 40 years old and they sound as fresh as they did all those years ago,” Freestone says.
Until next time pals!