Queen live at the Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada [03.08.1982]
Maple Leaf Gardens
doesn't exist - if you have any footage, please contact me
Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano, tambourine, acoustic guitar),
Brian May (electric guitar, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, piano),
Roger Taylor (drums, backing vocals),
John Deacon (bass guitar, electric guitar),
Fred Mandel (keyboards, piano)
ticket stub (from my own collection)
concert program (from my own collection)
Written by Roxy
It was a boring summer and for some reason, I was taking an elective summer course in Latin (of all things!). I was between Grade 10 and 11 in high school in Toronto. On Tuesday, August 3. 1982, another kid wore a Queen concert t-shirt to class, apparently having been at the concert the night before. I thought the t-shirt looked cool and I wanted one as well. So I decided to go to the second of the two Queen shows that night. The Latin-studying geek that I was... had no friends who were willing to dish out $12.50 for a ticket, so I went alone to Maple Leaf Gardens.
I wouldn't say that I was a huge Queen fan - yet. But I certainly knew their music despite the advent and dominance of synthesized tunes on the radio.
At the concert, I had a Red Section seat which was about 8 rows up from the floor. I remember the classic tunes being played as well as tunes I had never heard before, like Tie Your Mother Down. Then in the second half, Freddie Mercury made a gesture and suddenly there was a stampede toward the stage, so I ran along as well. I found myself right up against the stage, but I couldn't see very much because I was a petite little girl. My disappointment lasted for no more than a minute, when a guy offered me his shoulders to sit on. Normally I would not have considered doing such a thing, but the euphoria and great energy of the concert made me forget that I was only 16 yrs old and by myself.
Hoisted up on the stranger's shoulders, I could immediately feel the cold air conditioned stage. Freddie Mercury was running back and forth with great energy. Brian May stood still under a spotlight.
Then Freddie Mercury ran by during one of the last songs/encores. As he did, he looked me straight in the eyes, with a great smile, and slapped my hand "high five". Then Brian May came by and handed me a long stem red carnation from a loose bouquet that somebody threw on stage. He distributed all of the flowers to others as well, but it seemed so personal when he handed one to me.
What a great concert experience. I could still feel the smack of Freddie's hand on mine 31 years later. I still have the ticket stub and pressed red carnation in my box of fond memories. Sigh.