|I can't believe it was 30 years ago that I attended my first ever gig at Elland Rd Leeds in 1982. I was 17 years old at the time, I was into Queen when I first heard seven seas of rhye, which was so different to all the other stuff around at the time. I'd heard them live on tv, and had Live Killers. Also I used to buy bootleg cassettes of all of their tours from 74 onwards. But nothing could prepare me for that day.
They should have played this gig at Old Trafford Manchester, my home town, so I was gutted when the residents opposed it. Tickets were very easy to come by, believe it or not, cos Queen were not seen as a relevant band at that time. Also touring the Hot Space album didn't seem to excite anybody. So, Billy no mates had to go on his own, haha.
My memory is a bit hazy, but I will try my best. I got to the ground about 1pm, and was lucky enough to have a pitch ticket. I got right to the front, well about 10 yards from the stage, slightly off centre and to the right. If I told you I never moved from that spot all day and never spoke to anyone, would you believe me? One of the reasons for this is the rivalry between Manchester and Leeds, also I was only a kid, haha. Not sure who was first on, probably Teardrop Explodes, Julian Cope, I remember while they were throwing bottles at him, picked one up and started hitting himself with it and stretching his arms out saying he was an Argentinian bomber or something. It was during the Falklands war, remember. Then Heart came on, not really my cup of tea, and I had a lie down on the tarpaulin and tried to go to sleep. Then Joan Jett, who was better than the rest, but not really exciting.
During the band changes, I remember the roadies polishing Roger's drum kit and climbing up ropes and those threepronged lights, which before I saw them move I thought they were cameras.
Queen took ages to come on. From my recollection and I might be wrong, they didn't come on until 10pm and went off around Midnight. I heard later that they got fined so much per minute for being late on stage but they wanted to wait until it was dark for the lighting rig to take effect. If you watch the Bowl DVD you will notice it was light when they came on stage there. But that was being filmed by Channel 4. But it was absolutely pitch black when they came on stage at Leeds.
Then the floodlights went off, smoke started to appear and strange noises started, which I can't describe, sorry. Then Flash's Theme started, it was loud, very, very loud. I knew they were supposed to be loud and this was the part that scared me. The ground was thumping, the bass just pumping away. The these 'cameras' flicked into life, with men on them. The intro seemed to last for a very long time. Then BANG Brian appears with the first chord of The Hero and a flash of the biggest white light I've ever seen and will never forget and the absolute loudest noise I have ever heard just hit me. The intro was quite in comparrision to this. When I play Live at the Bowl, I tend to repeat the intro and The Hero, virtually every time, because it was definitely a life changing experience for me at that moment, just incredible. Then Freddie appeared in brilliant white again, I was that close, I swear His hair seemed blue because of the mass of white lights. His voice, so loud, so clear, honestly, I can't describe that moment properly. I heard Freddie swear, saw Roger spitting, quite a lot, over his drum kit and onto the stage, I was bewildered.
When they did Play The Game and also Somebody To Love, when Freddie was doing the intros for them and it will sound strange to those that weren't there, but I didn't know what the songs were. I thought they was new unreleased songs. The reason was they was so loud, It kind of deafened you and then kind of sunk in what they were about to play. Then the rest of the gig flew by and I was singing my head off. Everyone was, but you could only hear Queen.
Again my memory may be wrong, but I read afterwards that Queen had paid for residents to move out of their homes for the day. These houses were monitored and they said that the sound was like Concorde flying 10 feet over your head... Yep I will buy that.
For all that and for all the bad things said about it, The Works tour, which I went to all the 4 origional England gigs they had planned, was the best tour they ever did. The set list was fantastic and the lighting rig was incredible. Not as loud, I also add. I also saw them in Manchester, 86. They had to be off stage by 10pm and noise levels had to be adhered to. I was too far awy to see them and the screens didn't come on because it was too light. Also I couldn't here them properly. I've watched the mMagic Tour gigs on DVD etc, but for me, that was the poorest tour they ever did.
So that's it, hopefully some of you can confirm my bad memory, or say I'm wrong. Hopefully not bored you all. But it was the greatest musical experience I ever witnessed and I am proud I was there.
Thanks - Paul.
|The Real Wizard
|Thanks for that, Paul. Interesting to read the part about Queen paying people to leave their homes !
Check your private messages :-)
|Thanks, Paul, for a great, interesting story!|
|people on streets
|Great story! Thanks for sharing!
Did you tape the concerts (audio or video) ?
I was there too. Just one little correction, Heart were on first then TE.
|Reflects my own memories quite perfectly. I have a piece that I can post tomorrow that I've shared before but a Leeds thread always arouses my interest so I'll drop it in....amazing gig.|
|master marathon runner
|Great read Paul, it brought back memories of the Edinburgh gig which i attended, Thanks|
|Good story..just one thing I don t get it.
There were screens in Manchester 86?...I don t think so.Just fro Wembley and Kneb.
It will be great if this forum will be fill out with these stories or memories.
Not anymore stupid topics please
|QUEEN ROCKS ELLAND ROAD!
I was 15 years old in 1982 when I attended my first ever concert. Fortune would have it that it was QUEEN's show at Leeds AFC ground in the North of England.
I remember when my ticket arrived in the post, possibly 2-3 months before the concert, as was often the case in those days. I pinned my ticket on a cork notice board in my bedroom and could barely contain my excitement over the coming weeks. Every morning, I would wake up and look at the yellow ticket, wishing the days away. I imagined everything that could go wrong would. Queen would cancel the gig, I would break my leg, the family pet dog would die on the morning of the concert and it would be too insensitive of me to go, the transport wouldn't turn up or would break down, there would be a pile up on the motorway, I'd lose my ticket en route, etc, etc.
As it turned out, May 29th 1982 was a hot and sunny day, perfect weather for an outdoor gig. I was CRAZY about Queen and had been since the age of 9 but I really didn't know what to expect on that day. Myself and three friends took a coach organised by my Dad's company from Lancashire across the M62 motorway to Leeds. Our excitement began to really take a hold when we arrived at the football ground and we followed the droves of people towards the turnstiles. To me, this was something on a really big scale and I could already hear the hum of the crowd inside. Not really believing that we were actually about to witness a Queen concert, we found our seats on the West Stand, offering a great view of the stage. I remember marvelling at Queen's new lighting rig and the equipment that adorned the stage, shining in the afternoon sunshine. The ground was almost full at this point and the pitch was heaving with people. The atmosphere was relaxed as people bathed in the sunshine. I remember two guys climbing the fence from the stand and attempting to get a better spot by running into the crowd and losing themselves on the pitch. Their efforts were in vain however as they were quickly located and ejected back into the stand by two security guards.
We bought some black Hot Space tour shirts (I wore mine with pride until it literally fell apart) and a programme from a vendor inside the ground and waited for the first band to take the stage. A guy near us shouted and punched his way through Heart's set and then left just as they vacated the stage. Obviously not a Queen fan! The Teardrop Explodes suffered at the hands of the Queen congregation and found themselves battling against a shower of bottles and assorted missiles. Other than that, I don't really remember much about the support bands. I think that Bow Wow Wow were billed to play (an odd choice) but I can't recall if they actually turned up. No matter, we were about to witness what is still one of the best gigs I have ever attended.
As the dusk descended upon us, the giant floodlights were extinguished one by one and the memory of the roar that followed still sends shivers down my spine. Dry ice drifted across the heads of the crowd on the pitch as the intro tape of Flash thumped out of the PA and the strange 'grating' noises added to the recording created a foreboding atmosphere. Two of our party were on the pitch and to this day remember their chests thumping in unison to the powerful rhythm. A sea of hands clapped in perfect time to the beat. To me, this was already an amazing experience. And then the big moment. Freddie, resplendent in dazzling white made his entrance to The Hero and the blaze of the lights. An apt number to start with. Before he had even sung a note, the audience were locked tightly in the palm of his hand. Such an entrance, such a showman. "You're a F***in amazing crowd", he exclaimed after the first rush. The beginning of the gig is, in truth, my strongest memory of the show itself. In particular, the "Flash!!!" vocals cutting through the night air with so much volume. I recall being shocked at the sheer power of Queen's performance and the clarity of the huge sound they harnessed. Morgan Fisher's keyboards during 'Action This Day' sounded bright and hypnotic. Freddie's intro to Fat Bottomed Girls caused quite a response too; "the bigger the t*t the better it is!". I also remember the follow spots darting wildly over the crowd during 'Tie Your Mother Down' and everybody going crazy. We talked endlessly about our experience for months to come and one of my biggest regrets is not jumping on a train to attend the filmed Milton Keynes show a week later.
Having been to so many gigs since, I can honestly say that there is nobody who has been able to top Queen live; I was lucky enough to see the band five times between 1982 and 1986, including Wembley Stadium and their last show at Knebworth. I think that my personal favourite was their performance at the NEC in Birmingham on 'The Works' tour in 1984. People were literally stood there with open mouths, unable to believe how good they were. Leeds is definitely up there too. I recall Brian May stating that he thought it was one of their best performances ever. I can't argue with that Mr May.
I've often wondered if an audience shot cine film or even just photographs exist from the Leeds gig. It would be a dream come true to see those memories come to life again.
|Wow Keith, strange how the same things stood out for us. Your Dad's company wasnt Finglands, was it? That's who I went with. I lived in Prestwich, which was J17 of the old M62 and asked the coach driver to drop me of there, as that was where he was coming of the Motorway and heading towards Manchester. He wasn't going to let me and took a lot of persauding. Probably because his sleep had been ruined by Queen's noise. Haha.
The T- Shirt I bought was the black one, from the inner sleeve of the Hot Space album. I also, at that time painted my bedroom wall as the Hot Space album cover, it looked quite good actually, but cost a fortune to do. Red emulsion, try and buy it, you can't. Even though it's a primary colour they had to mix it. It cost £24 for a 1Ltr tin. I'll try and dig out the photos.
Was I right about the times they came on and off?
I went to the first 2 nights at the NEC in 84. Fri & Sat. Then two at Wembley Arena the following week. The first night at the NEC, I was with two mates this time, at last I found people who liked me, haha. Before they came on and as we got there, I said to my mates that the stage set and lights wasn't as good as Leeds. I didn't think anything could be. How wrong was I? Definitely better than The Magic tours set. Also do you remember the support band, General Public, formed from The Beat? After seeing them 4 times, I kinda liked there stuff. Remember their song, 'As A Matter Of Fact'? Haha, it grew on me in the end.
Great memories, still send shivers down my spine, even thinking about it. I went back to Ellan Rd in 87, again with mates to see U2 on the Joshua Tree tour, again I was on the pitch. I was a big fan of theirs, but they were very dissapointing, just going through the motions to me, no interaction with the crowd. The support bands were The Mission and the wonderful Pretenders, they were both fantastic. I missed the first act though.
queen79luca, yes you are correct, there was no screens at Manchester, sorry. Old age playing tricks again. TBH, that tour never did it for me, apart from Lap of the Gods...Rev. Even now I don't listen to stuff from that tour.
I suppose for us 'old' Queen fans, who saw the 'real' Queen, this is why we can never embrace 'We Will Rock You' or the Extravaganza or Adam Lambert. Paul Rodgers was fantastic though, a great live singer. But I couldn't go to the gigs, cos it just didn't feel right to me. I can listen to the tours they did though and love them.
Thank you all for your nice comments, I appreciate it so much. - Paul.
|The Real Wizard
zephead2112 wrote: I've often wondered if an audience shot cine film or even just photographs exist from the Leeds gig. It would be a dream come true to see those memories come to life again.Great review !
There's no known video, but I've got a few pics up on my website..
And here are a few pro pics that I can't host, but I can link to them :-)
|Thanks for the photo links The Real Wizard.
Paul, yes very strange how are memories are so similar. I actually came over from Lytham St Annes where my Dad worked for the GRE. I was at the second 1984 NEC show....after Leeds I didn't really think it could surpass and I remember not being overly excited. By the time I came out I was at the other end of the scale. I too bought the black shirt. I have a photo somewhere of my room at the time....as someone said when I posted it on Facebook, "so you like a bit of bedroom in your Queen". It was literally covered, I had The Game promo mirror, the GH1 cardboard display and other stuff that covered ALL of the four walls. Although I admire Paul Rodgers immensely, I felt like crying when I saw QPR at the MEN in 2005. I was there with my old school buddy who was with me at the Leeds show...I know he felt the same. Those are days that can never be repeated. My biggest regret is not seeing Queen on the Crazy tour; to be in the front row at Hammy Odeon probably would have been my own personal Nirvana.
Long P.S. Paul, no I seem to remember they came off earlier than that. I do remember reading about the sound monitoring equipment up by the houses on the top of the hill though. I remember buying an obscure mag a week after the gig called SFX with a Leeds BM/RT interview tape included...the reporter had recorded part of the opening "Flash!!!!" intro. It sounded superb....wish he'd done the whole gig, even if the boot is pretty good. Sometimes I put the headphones on when I've had a few beers and relive it....you get a real feel of being back there, hearing (mostly Yorkshire) audience members talking and shouting all around you.
|I was 10 when the last Queen show happened (the last Queen show being 1986 for those late to the party) so never really could have seen them live.
Unfortunately the only live Queen experiences available now are official releases that have had so much post production done on them you are not actually listening to something that is truly 'live' or crappy mono fan recordings that sound awful.
Bearing in mind Queen's live reputation its a sad situation.
|oh and by the way, I am envious as fuck of everyone who saw Queen live :-(|
|I remember when Queen did 2 shows in Toronto on the Hot Space tour. I was 11 years old and I pleaded with my parents to take me but they said I was too young and besides - I didn't have the money.
When "The Works" came out, I remembered that tickets to their last show were $8.50, so I saved up $15 for my ticket (just in case) and worked on my parents enough that they agreed to take me to the show.
The show that never came to Toronto...
i was lucky enough to see Queen at Elland road in 1982,thanks to the original poster for some great memories.
There was no screens up in manchester in 1986 for the maine road concert,the footage on youtube is from a video camera in the crowd.
In a Manchester evening news cutting i have from a few weeks after there was a report saying "Friends of the fans" going on to say Queen have awarded a plaque to Manchester City football club to recognize the recent concert.
It was a thanks from Queen saying "The audience reception and participation was unsurpassed by anything we have known before"..
I don't know if Queen often presented items to venues or if man city still have it....
|The Real Wizard
|Thanks for the interesting tidbit, Martin. I've added it to the Manchester 86 page on my website.
Feel free to contact me if you'd like to be properly credited !
|on my way up
|Great to see more people who've seen Queen in their prime tune in...!
For us - unlucky ones, who've never seen Queen - those stories are a great read. Coupled with the recordings I get an idea of what you guys must have felt when seeing that might live band at their best:-)
|The Real Wizard
Martinmanchester wrote: Queen have awarded a plaque to Manchester City football club to recognize the recent concert. It was a thanks from Queen saying "The audience reception and participation was unsurpassed by anything we have known before"..Actually, a thought - why would a football team receive an award for audience reception at a concert they likely weren't present at?
The Real Wizard wrote: Actually, a thought - why would a football team receive an award for audience reception at a concert they likely weren't present at?I'm assuming that it was probably more in the spirit of recognition and tip of the hat to the club/venue itself (for hosting the event) and the Manchester audience rather than the team.
|As a resident of the city of Leeds, the Queen gig in 1982 was the biggest music event ever to descend on the place!
I can recall being in the pub on the evening prior to the concert and listening to Radio Aire, a local station who were supposed to be broadcasting a live interview with the band. They explained that the interview would be late as the band were at Elland Road about to soundcheck. Being only 10 minutes from the ground we jumped in a car and headed over there straight away.
As we walked along Elland Road in the warm evening sunshine, the strains of "Las Palabras De Amor" could be heard booming out of the stadium (to this day I don't know if they were actually playing the song live or just playing back the album version to test the PA - certainly that song did not feature in the setlist).
We hung around near the main gates to the stadium with a group of 15 or so other Queen fans listening to the soundcheck.
Eventually the band appeared behind the railings having finished what they needed to do. Brian May and Roger Taylor walked over and chatted and signed autographs. Freddie kept himself to himself and John was nowhere to be seen. Brian in particular seemed very excited by the prospect of the gig to come and in answer to someone asking if he would be playing "Brighton Rock" he replied "Hopefully something like it"
He also explained that at the time the band were scheduled to hit the stage the temperature was due to be plummeting as night fell and his fear was that this would send his guitar out of tune and that an awful racket would emerge as he hit the first huge chord on opening the set.
The guys then climbed into a huge black limo (may have been two)with blacked out windows and made their way out of the car park and turned left along Elland Road. By this time we were also walking along Elland Road and the limo stopped at red traffic lights at the junction of Lowfields Road right by us.
My mate was waving frantically at the car and the window came down and Brian and one of the other guys waved back and gave us the thumbs up before driving off.
Come the day of the gig it was blazing hot with cloudless blue skies all day. We got there early morning and they let us in well before the scheduled gates opening time. We had pitch tickets and got a great spot not too far from the front and dead centre.
None of us had taken suncream and as the tarpaulin was black and absorbed heat we all got very hot and sunburned!
Two blokes and their blonde supermodel lookalike girlfriends were positioned near us and the blokes made a huge show of taking the lid off a cooler box they had brought in. Inside it was a French baguette which they had hollowed out and in which was a huge camera zoom lens and within an uncut loaf was an SLR camera body. Another loaf held their stash of weed which they then proceeded to get stoned on, smoking non stop throughout the afternoon. Amusingly one of the girls took ill (a whitey) just moments before Queen hit the stage and the four of them had to seek medical help and I guess missed the gig!
I enjoyed Heart and remember a storming version of Led Zeppelin's "Rock n Roll" being in their set. Teardrop Explodes were the wrong band for the day unfortunately and Julian Cope seized the opportunity to wind everyone up with the inevitable result that (plastic) bottles rained down on him.
Joan Jett was OK - she had just been in the charts with "I love Rock and Roll".
Queen were just amazing - the anticipation when we saw the lighting guys climb into those "pods" on stage and knew the show was moments away from starting was incredible.
I have a bootleg recording of the show but most of it passed by in a blur at the time. 30 years on and it still rates as one of the best gigs I've ever seen!
Walking back from the gig all you could hear in the dark were the words "amazing", "bloody brilliant" etc over and over from the people trudging away from the stadium.
It really did seem like just more than "another gig" and to hear Brian May many years later say exactly the same and that with hindsight the band wished they had sent the cameras to record the Elland Road gig rather than Milton Keynes Bowl confirms my own view of that whole show.
|I was there too! I was also 17 at the time and from Manchester,in fact Stretford, right near MUFC. I knew one of the petitioners and sent her on her way whg=en she called for a signature!
Incidentally, it also co-incided with the Pope's visit at Heaton Park and there was a fear that police and resources (namely 'portaloos') would be stretched, so I think this had more of a bearing on the outcome of it being moved to Leeds.
My memories of the big day are hazy.
I remember getting a chatered coach from Aytoun St in Manchester and it being a VERY HOT day.
I was sat in the stadium to right of the stage.
I vaguely remember Teardrop Explodes preaching on about the Falklands War!
It was only ny 2nd Queen concert. I went on to do see another 4!