Just spent the last two days in Cornwall, mainly for the Queen party held in St. Agnes at the Driftwood Spars venue that Queen played on 9 August 1971, but also for a tour of the various places that are associated with the early Queen days.
And fascinating stuff it was too.
A small group of us including Jim Jenkins and Rupert White, went on a sightseeing and fact finding tour of the area visiting such places as Roger's school, various places associated with the Reaction days, Roger's house he grew up in, the first ever Queen concert venue at City Hall in Truro, Tregye Hotel and, thanks to the superb detective work of Rupert, we actually stood at the same location that Freddie was photographed at and featured on the back of the first Queen album.
Myself and Jim were like teenagers again and so excited to find this place after all these years.
Another reason the trip was special is because the first copies of Rupert's new book on these early days of Queen were on sale at the party. The book is QUEEN IN CORNWALL by Rupert White (Antenna Publications ISBN 978-1-4477-7647-5), and a superb read it is too.
If you like these pre-Queen early days, then you will love this. Focussing mainly on Roger Taylor's connection with Cornwall, the book follows his story from a small boy, his early musical career, the definitive history with The Reaction, moving to London, returning to Cornwall with Smile and the early days of Queen.
Yes this is the same guy who does the blog - he dug up some great info.
And to joxer, do you mean Penzance in Cornwall? If so, you couldn't drive a few miles to join us? We had six people come as far away as Liverpool for this.
It was great to read your post and be transported to Truro!! As a result, I just had a happy flashback
moment thinking about Queen rock'in city hall and raising the roof! What a milestone.
I hope you got some videotape of the spots you mentioned. Thanks for letting us know about the
book, Queen in Cornwall.
It is a good read - a lot of research obviously went into it...
I can add a couple of things that weren't in there (no criticism, obviously there's always a final edit and maybe these bits weren't relevant):
Opportunity Knocks was auditioned for - by Roger on his own. I read that years ago in the press in the early '70's. He went along with his drum kit, set up and played for them. I remember reading he said' "Of course, they just said 'Thanks very much...'"
Freddie and Roger went on holiday to Spain and it was reported by Roger that Fred's idea of dancing at the local disco was to move like he did on stage, which upset a few of the locals on the dance floor. This piece of info probably came from Music Star...
Its Rupert here (author of above-mentioned book)
We did have a great weekend visiting the sites in Truro etc....and meeting people like Mike Grose again
I would recommend buying the book from ebay because I can sign it and send it to you direct - though I wont be despatching it until next week.
re Opportunity KNocks: I think Roger was involved twice - once with The Reaction and once by himself. That second occasion was shortly after the accident on Goss Moor which is why I think the whole band didnt go.
Lastly I havent any record of anyone buying it off Lulu: please get in touch if theres any problems with that
I was watching this video yesterday evening and it is really fascinating! Now I'm sure the book is worth to buy. A bit dissapointed that some interviews are cut. Is there any more material? I'd love to see even more of this! :D