I saw Queen in Madrid back in 1986. When I was a kid, I remember having heard Mustapha (perhaps it was released as a single here in Spain, it's always been a popular track), and I loved the song. I also remember, after watching Flash Gordon, which I loved, that the music was great! I was only 12 so when I read music by Queen I thought that it made sense because those voices seemed feminine to me. It was only when Greatest Hits I was released that I became consciously interested in Queen, and I started buying all their stuff. What a shock when me and my friends found out that the singer was the mustached guy! Don't know why but we thought that the singer had to be either the short-haired or the blonde one. Funny, Brian always looked like a guitar player. We never saw any videos until Radio Ga Ga and Live Aid on TV. Anyway, in 1986 we had a terrific LP and great singles - and Queen in Spain. Me and my brother Carlos got a couple of tickets for the Madrid show and the concert was just excellent, they could have filled up the Santiago Bernabeu (twice as big as the stadium they played in), they were at the top of their success in Spain. We enjoyed every minute of their performance (but for the guitar solo, always a little long for me), we sang everything, favourite songs: Who Wants To Live Forever and Hammer To Fall. I remember the crowd jumping during Magic, Rock You, the wonderful Champions and Bo Rhap... what a laugh in Break Free when at the start of the 2nd verse Freddie stopped singing expecting to hear I've fallen in love, and the crowd erupted I WANT TO BREAK FREE again?!! I'll always remember Brian´s face (What the fuck?), staring at us (not me, I sure knew the lyrics!). Ga Ga was GIGANTIC! Not a favourite of mine up until that day... My only mistake was when Lap Of The Gods started and I yelled LILY OF THE VALLEY!
After that I've always been a fan, and I was known as Freddie at university (nicknames were easier than real names when you got drunk, and they stuck with you forever!). Even after more than 10 years people still tell me that when they hear anything from or about Queen they think of me, not bad, huh?
The saddest moment was when Freddie died. My brother Jose said after reading the lyrics to the show must go on when Innuendo was released "He's sick, this is some kind of farewell, he´s dying of AIDS." I replied "you don't know what you´re talking about." Well, yes he did (but he always says the same about everyone!)
When Back to the Light was released I had the chance to see Brian in Madrid. Wonderful concert, all of us in our best Queen T-shirts (mine was the Magic Tour T-shirt). We missed Driven by You but we were treated to bits of Las Palabras de Amor, '39, Mustapha and a whole Teo Torriatte, which got so emotional...
A couple of funny things happened during this concert. One was the presence of one of the sisters of King Juan Carlos, who apparently seemed to enjoy the concert (even though she didn't really get up), even Brian's solo! The other one, I had the chance to speak with Jim Beach. I went to the concert with my friend Ricky, cheers man, if you're reading, and we started talking with some other Queen fans, basically showing off, trying to impress them with the sheer size of our Queen knowledge, we knew absolutely everything they asked, even why Freddie used a footless stand, but we were unable to convince them that Hot Space stinks (I mean I love it but just because it's Queen, otherwise, tracks such as Staying Power, Action this Day...) In the middle of this highly intellectual debate I see a little silhouetto of a man and as I seem to remember him from the Magic Years Videos I shout out loud "HULLO JIM!" The guy answers back "Hello", and quick as Han Solo I hit: "Think I know you, you´ve got something to do with Queen, right?" and then I realized "You're Jim Beach, aren't you?" Well, yes he was and very kindly he answered my questions (How's the tour going? OK. What's Roger doing? Basically nothing. Any chance to get anything new from Queen? Possibly). He explained he had to leave and I thanked him very much. When he left, everybody around me was nervous: Who's this guy? (remember the command of the english language here in Spain is not so fluent as it should be), What did he say? and, last but not least, how the fuck was I so dumb as not to ask him to take us backstage to meet Brian?