Queen in Marbella, Spain on 05.08.1986 (written by Guillermo Hernandez)

Webmaster's note: this story is only fictional! Still worth publishing, I think.

In the summer of 1985 I was 15 years old, and everybody seemed inmerse in Wham!, Spandau Ballet, and especially spanish pop groups here in Spain. Altough I enjoyed these grupos I wasn't a such fanatic of them, their music was enjoyable but that's it. I remember that a week before live aid we saw the concert ad on a music program that the live aid concert was going to take place the week after and it was going to be transmitted live. Samantha, the girl I was dating, got very excited about seeing U2, also some of my friends were excited about U2 since the band was becoming very famous. That summer we were playing tennis every day, and we decided that the day of the concert we were going to spend the day watching it, along with hot dogs and pop corns.

The day of the concert we were all eating and critizizing the bands since none of them seemed to deliver, we were putting nicknames to the bands and performers and laughing, I keep making comments about Bono which were irritating Samantha. We decided to throw popcorns at the sceen if the performes suck, or clap if it was good. Finally U2 came, and did not make any impression with me or some of my friends, but Samantha said that she was jealous of the girl that danced with Bono. After U2 I got up, went to the closet took my tennis raquet and said "ok enough of Bono, lets go play tennis, and a friend say "Wait let's just see who's next!" The sound checking took a little longer than the rest of the bands, and finally two british comedians introduced Queen.

When Freddie came to the stage I was intrigued by his look, I have never seen him, a friend recognized as the singer of Radio Ga Ga, once his sat at the piano and started playing Bohemian Rhapsody, we got very quiet, the whole audience at wembley was singing it and Brian's solo sounded majestic. Then came Radio Ga Ga and the whole stadium clapping in unison and we were very impress, then Freddie started vocalizing with the audience and it was simply amazing. I remember saying, "that is a way better voice than Bono!" to which Samantha din't reply anything. Hammer to fall came and then Crazy Little Thing Called Love, I was just in shock of the command Freddie had on the audience. When We Will Rock You came I recognized the song, I didn't know that it was theirs and we stared clapped along with Roger on the drums and singing the chorus. Finally they ended with We Are the Champions and I was overwhelmed at the diversity of music I have just heard!! from a ballad to pop, to vocalizing with the audience, then heavy metal to rock and roll, to raw rock to a hymn that has almost all categories in it ( since We Are The Champions covers almost all categories, let alone Bohemian Rhapsody!). After Queen we just said "Naaa" lets go play tennis. It was already dark when we went to the tennnis courts and while we were walking I couldn't stop thinking about Queen performance especially the way Freddie had had the whole stadium in the palm of his hand, the rest of the evening we didn't do anything else but talk about the Queen performance.

The next day I soon as I wake up my friend Luis went to my house, and I ask money to my dad to buy some LP's, we went downtown to the record store, I bought Queen Greatest Hits, Live Killers and The Works, and the next week I bought a music magazine that came out every 2 weeks, and Freddie was on the cover with a picture from live aid and the title said "The King of Rock Stadium" The article detailed how Freddie had stolen the show and that Queen was by far the greatest stadium band in the world, the article contained a documentary of their South American Tour in 1981 as well as a section on the Rock in Rio festival, it said that they had just finished their last world tour, The Works Tour and their was no sign that a new tour was coming( that was dissapointing), there was even the rumor that they were going to break up!!!

On September we started another semester and many people at my school was getting into Queen, I wrote a letter to the fan club expressing how delighted I was with Queen and beging them to do a tour. I would spend hours listening to greates hits, the works, but my favorite was Live Killers, that special and unique atmosphere that was deliver by the band with a live audience was fantastic. I would spend hours by my self in my room or with Samantha, who by this time was also a consumate fan of Queen, (forget U2!!!) visualizing a Queen concert. On a cold day in November I got a letter from the Queen Fan Club saying that Queen were going to release a new single "One Vision" and that Brian, Roger and John were so motivated by the response of the crowd at Wembley in Live Aid, as well as numerous letters from fans and many new fans( that would include me) that were dying to see Queen live, many for the first time. The only obstacle seemed, the article say, is that they were trying to convince Freddie to tour!! aparently Freddie wanted to take a break from touring when he was in his pinnacle of success as the greatest performer in the world. The day came when I hit the record store in a cold Friday morning( I skip a class with Samantha and another couple) and bought the single "One Vision" and as soon as we got into the car we put the cassete on the stereo and we all love it!! The intro sounded so majestic, I remember my friend Ulises saying that that song would be perfect if played live and we all agree with him. By Christmas I got as a surprise gift, my father gave me The Complete Works box set and it was the best gift I could expect and my sister gave me the Rock in Rio VHS tape and before even listening to any album from the box set I started watching the Rio tape over and over. Finally I was able to see a concert of Queen even if it was only on the TV screen. and finally in mid January of 1986 while we were leaving school after playing racketball with Samantha we got in the car and instead of listening to One Vision(which for the last 2 months was almost the only thing we listen to) we were listening to the radio to a local pop spanish group when the song was interrupted by a last minute breaking news, I tought something tragic had happened by the DJ said that Queen had decided to tour in the summer after the massive demand since their Live Aid performance and that after 7 years Queen was going to play in Spain again!!!!!!!!!!!! a brief note of Freddie saying that he wanted this tour even better than the other ones was like being in paradise. I got to my house and couldn't eat because of the excitement and instead Samantha and I went to a park to have a milkshake, finally I was going to see Queen live!! Freddie in action, as well as the whole band. We spend the rest of the day playing tennis in the neighborhood tennis courts, by the evening after we left Samantha in her house(she lived closed by) my friend Carlos and I keep walking towards my house and started asking ourselves how the new tour will look like? the lighting ring, taking in consideration that in every tour Queen lighting rings seemed to be more spectacular and the last one the one of the Works Tours was absolutely fantastic, as I saw it all the time in the Rio video. Would they play in Marbella? only in Madrid? indoor or outdoor? I was hoping that they would play in a outdoor stadium since I saw the Live Aid show and Freddie's performance couldn't be any better than in a big outdoor stadium.

In February Queen came to Spain to promote the upcoming album "A Kind of Magic" and their new tour. During their interview in a Spanish TV program, Brian said that they were thrilled of coming to Spain after 7 years, and promised that they were going to make it up this time with their biggest show ever. John said that he was excited of coming to Spain and said that in this tour the sound would be like anything else in the world. Roger said that they were the best live band in the face of the planet and that everybody was invited to come, and Freddie said that at the beginning he was hesitant about doing the tour, but now he was going to push himself and the others to rehearse more than ever to give their best tour ever. I was exhilarated but couldn't travel to Barcelona to catch a glimpse of the band. In march I buy the A Kind Of Magic album and I was delighted, especially with the ballads such as "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure", and "One Year Of Love". But "Friends Will Be Friends" was my favorite, I was hoping that they were going to play it live. In may the dates for Spain were announced in the Media: one night at the mini stadi in Barcelona(which was later change to the Monumental Plaza de Toros), one night at the Stadium of Rayo Vallecano in Madrid and of all places!!!! ONE NIGHT IN THE MUNICIPAL STADIUM IN MARBELLA!!!!!!! a few blocks from my house!!! ON Monday morning the tickets when out on sale, but the previous Saturday a radio DJ offered 3 tickets to the person that answered what was the name of the place where Freddie was born, and I called right away, Zanzibar island, part of Tanzania!! I got the 3 tickets to the front stage, and I was in heaven. The following week I heard an anouncment that Queen was going to use the biggest lighting ring and stage ever used for a concert, just the way I was hoping it to be. In my neighborhood we created a min fan club, we went to madrid and bought our a kind of magic shirts. We knew that the Marbella gig was going to be the last one so that added more excitement to the show. I couln't wait for Freddie to come out on stage, I kept asking myself what clothing would he use, what would he said to the crowds after their first song? In August Queen finally arrived in Spain for the Magic Tour, the Spanish television put a clip of Queen performing We Are The Champions in Barcelona, and I couldn't wait for them to hit Marbella. The newspapers were saying that the stage was huge, that thousands of people were left out without seeing the band, and that the lighting ring was spectacular. Once Queen had arrived in Barcelona, that very same day I was walking towards the tennis courts when I notice several truck trailers outside the Marbella Municipal Stadium(later I learn that Queen where traveling with 3 stages, one getting ready, one getting disarm and one where the concert was taking place). I wanted to get inside the stadium but the authorities wouldn't let me in. My friend Carlos lived in an apartment complex right behind the stadium and he called me later in the afternoon telling me that from the window of his apartment he could see workers setting up the stage, I went running to his house and we saw people setting the platform. By the next day the whole stage was in full form and it looked huge!! The night before the concert I couldn't fall asleep, all the excitement of the following day was overwhelming me. I wake up at 6 a.m. the following day! 5 minutes later Samantha called to my house, and like 3 minutes later my friend Carlos called as well. After breakfast we all went to my room to listen to my Queen albums, we kept asking ourselves which songs were going to be playing, how would the lighting ring look like, and how the band would look like. At 1 after my mom and my aunt cooked the best burgers I have ever eaten(a special recipe of raw onions and mustard on the meet before it gets cooked) we started walking to the stadium, while we were walking we were singing the chorus of We Will Rock You, Radio Ga Ga, Friends Will Be Friends, as well as We Are The Champions. We got to the stadium at 1:15, the doors were going to get open at 4 p.m. and we weren't the first ones to got the the stadium, there was a crowd of about 100 people already there, most of them with Queen t-shirts, an older couple in their mid twenties said that they have been in the concert in Barcelona, and that the show was so spectacular that made the other Queen tours look very small. I started to bombard them with a lot of questions but the guy told me "For you the greastest enjoyment is going to be watching everything without knowing what to expect" how right he was!! but he promised me that it was going to be a concert that I would never forget. By 2 p.m there was a crowd of about a 1000 people outside the stadium, and by the time they open de Stadium doors there was a huge crowd of at least five to six thousand people. Once the doors got open, after the stadium staff got my ticket, I realized that my legs were shaking, I hold Samantha's hand, look at her, kiss her lips, and started running with her towards the field, once we got to the field we sarted running as if we were going towards an oasis in the middle of the desert. We got right in front of the stage and it was HUGE, the lighting ring was like two meters above, so I could figure out how it was going to look. The day was shining, but by 5:30 it started to rain, but it wasn't clowded at all, it was the first time in my life that I experience rain without the sky being clowded and it was a neat experience, it was a refreshement that lasted like 3 minutes. By around 6:30 the stadium was completed pack, in that summer the soccer world cup had taken place in Mexico, and the famous stadium "wave" had become very famous in that cup so we started doing it in the stadium, and at one point someone from the Queen staff was in the stage taking pictures of it. At around 8:30 technicians started checking the sound, and it was great, at the begining they were just checking the guitar/bass and drums, and after a while one technician sat at the piano an hit a few keys and the whole stadium erupted at the knowledge that it was Freddie's piano that we were listening. The technician just turned at the other staff with a face of amazement. Around 9:30, there was no sun at all, but it wasn't completely dark, and the begining of One Vision started... my heart was beating that I felt as if it was going to get out of my chest. Samantha said "they're coming they're coming", I keep looking at all the sides of the curtain trying to see where they were going to come out but only the technicians were the only ones showing their faces and then there he was, Freddie came running towards the stage with a yellow jacket, and pants with yellow lines, his arms up in the air with his right hand holding his microfone, with the little stand pointing upwards(just like the Wembley video), at that moment Freddie shouted a HEY HEY HEYYY!!!!!!!!! the sound was so huge it felt like a thunderbolt sound just came out from the stage. Only at that moment I notice the rest of the band, Brian's guitar soundes so clear, so in sinc, and John was completely focus on his bass, and Roger's drum sounded awsome. Freddie was running from one corner of the stage to the other greeting every single angle of the stadium. Then came Tie Your Mother Down, and it was just great with Brian at the front of the stage and Freddie exploring every single inch of the stage. After that a huge explosion of phyrotecnics was very impressive. Then Freddie and John walked towards the piano to get something to drink, (actually John had some drinks next to the piano). Freddie then started walking towards the front of the stage to greet the audience when the stadium started to do the "wave" again, Freddie bowed and then said "Beatiful my beauties, just beautiful", and then "Hola Marbella", "Nice time ha?" "I can tell". Then came In The Lap Of The Gods, and Freddie's voice was just amazing, as well as the piano of the Seven Seas Of Ryhe. After A Kind of Magic Freddie said "Our crew says that you guys are the most energetic crowd of all of Europe, let's see it." He started vocalizing and the whole crowd of the stadium started vocalizing in sinthony with another wave, roger left the drums and a few guys of the crew along with John and Brian were watching the marvelous interaction of Freddie with the stadium crowd. Freddie then went to said "This is by far the greatest crowd in all of Europe, you are absolutely fantastic my dears" During the improptu we were all following Freddie and it was just amazing. During We Will Rock You it was great to see Freddie with the Spanish Flag, it was great to see a performer so in touch with his audience. In We Are the Champions the whole stadium sang the whole song, and when Freddie came dress as a king it was just incredible he truly was the king of rock stadium. After the gig we all went walking to the tennis courts, discussing every point of the concert once we sat at the court it started raining heavily, before we have been concerned about rain ruining the show but now the rain was the perfect ending for a very happy and unique day.


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