|Hello Queen fans!
I realize it's been quite some time since I've been on this board. I've been purposely avoiding posting here, as life has been quite busy recently, but I do have exciting news.
Several years ago, I purchased a book called "The Complete David Bowie" by Nicholas Pegg. I was only a casual fan then, but I really liked what he did with it: the book was divided into several sections, with the first section detailing all of the songs - unreleased and officially released - Bowie did in alphabetical order; the second section was a chronological breakdown of all of his studio albums; the third section detailed his live performances; and so forth.
I was floored with what I read, and it turned me into an even bigger Bowie fan. I started to look around for a Queen version, but was disheartened to learn that their recorded works hadn't been given a very thorough look-in; certainly, I had wanted to find out the histories of many of Queen's lesser-known songs, and was disappointed that nobody had done so. Ideas started to formulate, and I adopted the attitude that if something's gotta be done, you might as well do it yourself.
I started to write and research, and came up with about 50 pages until, in September 2004, I had a massive hard drive crash and lost everything (including pictures and all of the music I had burned from CDs). I decided to abandon the project out of frustration, but about a month later I was so inspired again to write that I worked even harder to recreate what I had lost. Wanting to make sure that I was not doing this all for naught, I emailed Brian in November 2004 and told him what I was up to; he responded, saying it was a good idea and that I should go ahead with it. He gave me Greg Brooks's email address as a contact, which proved to be useless. Initially, Greg had asked me to contribute to a similar project that he was working on, but nothing ever came of that - not that I would have done so anyway.
Nevertheless, I continued to write and research - initially, the book was only going to focus on Queen's works, but sometime in the summer of 2005 I decided to expand it to include solo works as well. This was an added burden, as most of the solo recordings - especially those of The Cross - were unavailable. Thankfully, through some very helpful people here - Rip Van Winkle, Dan Corson, and Thijs, if I remember correctly - they sent me The Cross's material, though they didn't have any idea that it was for a project. For that, I am very grateful.
The live section will prove to be a hairy situation, as we already have Greg's "Queen Live" as a basis, and several other people already working on more complete projects and analyses. I've forseen the probability of in-depth projects, especially by Sir GH, being published in the near future; I've decided to keep the live section somewhat skeletal, so as not to upset the research of those who are more interested in the live recordings and are willing to devote their time and energy to such means. However, it wouldn't be completely Queen without the live portion, so a reference will be made for Mr. Scully's site as well as Bob's site, and that those will be the definitive works on Queen's live career.
Anyway, I continued to work on the project for most of 2005, not really sure what I would do with it if I ever finished it. In January 2006, I sent an email to the publisher of the David Bowie book - Reynolds & Hearn, based in England - with an informal email about what I was doing. They responded back, asking me to send some PDF files of what I had; I duly complied, and they responded once again saying they were very impressed and were going to send it around the company for others' reactions. After a few weeks, in February 2006, I got another email from them saying they were very impressed and want to go ahead with it. I didn't hear from them again until this morning.
I was offered a simple contract with them, and I
|Nice and interesting reading Lester! I am looking forward to your writings.
Good luck and thank you for sharing this bit of information.
|wow lester you have been busy, well done and i for sure will buy the book! im also guessing you may be doing a section on the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaberaation?
if so i will gladly help you in anyway i can with it, as i have many recordings, some people have more but i also know some stuff about it. either way well done and keep it up!
|Good luck with that, count me in as one who will buy a copy!|
|Good luck Lester! Show 'em all that QZers are the best!|
|Wow, that's great! Congrats! :-)|
|Wonderful news, Lester; I'll just curse you behind your back.
I'm sure there are many of us willing to help if you ever run into a problem.
|That's great news, Lester. You make us proud:)
I'll definitely buy a copy.
|Thats really cool.|
|Freya is quietly judging you.
|That's really great! I'll certainly be buying a copy!|
|Well done Lester! Keep a copy for me! Good Luck!|
|Boy Thomas Raker
|Lester, that's fantastic news! If it's anything like your contributions to this board it'll be a great read and I'm sure a great success.|
|Good Luck, Lester. I wish you all the best.
I'm also busy with a Queen project myself.
|Woo,go you!!!Ill be buying a copy anyway!Thats real cool and I hope it all goes great for you!|
|Very interesting, indeed! You go-getter you. Well done and do pass on the details of where to get a copy.
|Awesome news Lester.
Like Zeni, I'll be muttering slanderous accusations about you to myself, as I always wanted to compile this kind of book about Queen, ever since reading the complete Beatles songs analysis 'Revolution In The Head' by Ian MacDonald, but my get-up-and-go is practically non-existent, so I'm happy that finally someone out there is doing justice in the published world to Queen's recorded output.
In what way are you looking at the individual songs in the book? Are you taking a more historical, technical or lyrical standpoint? Or is it just a general overview?
For the technical aspects of the songs, you really should check out (if you're unaware, which I presume you're not) link.
Denes (PD) over there will, I'm sure, be more than willing to help you out on this. What you're doing has been a dream of his for a long time.
And I'm far from an 'expert' on Queen, but I'm happy to help with any of the more technical musical questions you might have, as that's my forte.
Best of luck!
|Nice work! Should you need any artwork, contact me :-P|
|Thanks for your praise and well-wishes, everyone.
Bohardy, I have read "Revolution In The Head" too - many, many times over, actually - and, that too has been my dream, to write a book like that. The amount of research (and listening!) that went into that book is amazing, and it was a favorite book of mine for many years. I'll need to read that again, actually (when I have the time).
The way that I'm looking at the songs is something of a general overview along with historical analysis. I usually base an entry off of quotes from the band along the way, although I think you'll all be disappointed that there aren't any for 'Fun It' or 'Fight From The Inside', to name two. However, I don't try to sugarcoat things, and I do realize that every song means something different to everyone, but I don't have much praise for, say, 'Body Language'. I've also tried to mention, where applicable, when a song was performed live and if it was released as a single in a certain country. Personal opinion often comes into play, but I try not to become too biased - if you want to read something that praises everything Queen does, read "As It Began".
|I'm looking forward to this Lester. All the best!|
|Good for you, Lester. I'd look forward to something like this, best of luck!
Hopefully, five years from now, some new queenzoner isn't asking for an illegal download of your work.
|Great for you man!!! Can't wait to see the final product!!|
|[ Wybren™ ]
|I'm looking forward to reading this book. It would be a nice book to add to my collection. Good luck!
PS Do you have a co-writer? Maybe it would be cool to have Mr Scully as co-writer for the Live section...? Or Sebastian for some of the song analyses? Just an idea;-)
|Woah, congratulations! I don't think I could ever have the patience or the skill to write a book, but at least you're doing it on the best topic in the world! Good luck, can't wait!|
This is great. There are few people who are as articulate as you are on this site. That you have taken on such a challenge is excellent.
I wanted to just ask - I may have read your post too quickly and missed it - are you using a publisher, or are you self-publishing?
If you are looking for a third party publisher, look now before you finish your project - they can offer lots of help with proofing, style etc.
If you are self-publishing, have a look at Petetownshend.com. He's releasing "The Boy who heard Music" a chapter at a time - though for free.
Good luck - I will be looking for a signed copy!
|I do have a publisher - the same company that did the David Bowie book that so inspired me in the first place. Regarding self-publishing: I downloaded Pete's novella, but haven't yet gotten the chance to read it. While I do think that a project quite like this might be feasible for download somewhere along the line, I'm something of a traditionalist, in that I just love to read something in print instead of on a computer screen.
As for co-authors, I don't really have the time to work with anyone else right now, though who knows what the future may hold. This is, after all, only my first book ;)
|This is pretty excellent stuff, rock on!|
|Wow Lester, Congrats and Good Luck!
I cant wait to have myself a copy!!
|Good luck. Can't wait to get my hands on it.|
|Great job Lester. Incidently, I did try to help you out, but I was too late, as others had already done so. I sent you Blue Rock, but someone beat me to it. But I did learn about yousendit.com to broaden my horizon a bit.
Again ... good luck ... and contact me if you think I can help somehow.
Word of advise: make sure you get at least 7-10% in royalties up to a certain amount of copies sold, and then 12-15% for the reminder of the copies sold after. Also, have an attorney to read over the contract just so the publishing firm does not f u over.
Once again. Great job!!!!!
|Lester, can I have a signed copy? Great stuff big guy!!!|
|It will be interesting to see what Greg makes of this, and might finally show him up for the light weight he is.|
|congratulations from my heart.someday i will the same:i´ll write a book but my work and my family take all my time.good for you my friend.|
|Wonderful, absolutely WONDERFUL!
I very much look forward to reading this when you are finished.
Congrats Lester, and, best of luck!
|Well, I already told you waht I think about it- BRILLIANT, that's all :)
I'm not surprised Greg was useless (yeah, right, similar project my ass...), but if Brian responded and wished you good luck... Don't you think you could ask him for few quotes about certain songs that weren't covered in detail? Unless you of course did it... ;) Especially now, if it's really on the cards- he could be helpfull, you know? Have you tried contacting people like Dave Richards or Mack? Just wandering ;)
If you need any help- who knows, might be able to help. I'm absolutely up for anything if a REALLY great and serious and done with passion Queen related project is in the making! :) Kudos for that- we NEED this kind of release :)
It is incredible how difficult it is to track those contemporary ANATO reviews...! I even tried to get something from like Polish or Russian magazines from 1975... Nothing!
|One more question- are you doing the Q+PR thing or not?|
|Great news! Good luck, I will buy one exemplar for shure.
|Well, this is indeed exciting! Count me on it!!!|
This is fabulous news. What an amazing accomplishment! Gaining interest from publishers these days is no easy task - your work must truly stand out from the rest - maybe it's the passion you've put into it. <stands to applaud> I hope you will enjoy the process while working to meet your deadline - and what a fantastic deadline that is! In time for the holidays!!!
Congrats! And I'll also be buying this book.
|Well Gawdddd damn! Our Lester has gone and made it in the big world!!! I couldn't be more proud of you and I can't think of anyone better suited to take on a project like this. I wish you all the success in the world. You deserve nothing less. I bet your mom is so proud. I'm here for support but as far as contributing...better leave that to Zeni, Bob, YV, etc.
Good luck!!! :)
|Go for it Lester! Good luck!
|Congratulations man!!! That is so awesome!|
You'll have a handful of Queen fans more than ready to buy your book.
|Wow...this is incredible. As enjoyable as your posts have been, I can only imagine how great the book will be. I honestly can't think of a better man for the job. Kudos to you, my friend.
I look forward to the day I own a copy.
|John S Stuart
|Wonderful news Lester, and a great reward for all your hard work - I know this will be an excellent reference.
If you need any small bits of help, you know my e-mail, but, I think your ideas are both sound and commercial.
I'm going to buy a copy!!
|Thats awesome Lester, congratulations mate!
Don't hesitate to ask for any help, and I will buy the book :-D
All the best mate,
|Many congratulations, Lester! If you can pull this off, you deserve to be a millionaire! Put me down for a copy! :)|
|Great news! Congratulations.|
|In case any of you were wondering why Brian's site suddenly says "CONTENT NOT TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION" in about 72 point bold font, I'm afraid that I might be to blame for this.
A few weeks ago, I emailed Brian to ask him if I had his permission to use some quotes in the book. The quotes I used were what Brian had to say about the makings or inspirations behind certain songs - really harmless stuff, if you ask me - but the publishing company made it clear that I needed to gain permission for anything that needed permission.
Instead of taking my chances and having the quotes published anyway, I playfully emailed Brian asking for permission to the quotes. Jen, the dear that she is, responded saying "no, but please ask again in April when Brian gets back from the tour". I felt that, even though it was technically her website, I still wanted Brian to be aware of what I had emailed, because I was almost certain that she hadn't passed the email along. I responded back with something of a more serious tone, appreciating her help but I was just emailing Brian as a precautionary measure and I would really like it if she had passed my email along anyway. I didn't hear back from her for a few weeks when she confusingly said that "Soapbox and Letters are sacrosant and the subject of another project, and should be left well alone."
For those of you who don't know what sacrosant means, it's not a word. It doesn't exist. I assume she meant sacrosanct, so here's the definition:
"Regarded as sacred and inviolable."
Yes, the very words that Brian wrote about how 'Hammer to Fall' came about, or the reconstruction of 'I Was Born To Love You', are sacred. The manner in which 'Chinese Torture' was recorded is inviolable. I realize they are his words on his website, but they're just words. Brian of all people should realize that he's going to be quoted on his website, especially considering it's a public forum, and he's gaining nothing financially from writing those words (whereas I am, and would be rightly pissed if what I'm writing at the moment were to be reproduced without at least my own permission). What he wrote was enlightening, and would've been a great aide to my book; alas...
I was quite frankly peeved that Jen didn't have the consideration to pass along my email to Brian. Defeated, I replied to confirm that she did, in fact, mean that I could not use his quotes, to which I finally got a forwarded email from Brian saying that I was not able to use his words.
Frankly, I'm pissed off about it, because he offered such amazing insight into certain songs that would benefit my book greatly. Hell, I even offered him - and Roger -- and John! --- free copies. But, what can you do. The man may be a great guitarist and a great songwriter, but sacrosanct? Give me a fucking break.
In any case, that now frees up three copies of the book, so I guess three more deserving people will receive it.
|I am sorry...
What a disappointment. :(
|Lester; Brian is being an idiot, but don't let him hold you back.
I wish you all the best of luck with your publication. Keep me updated as to how negotiations with the publishers go. I have a book that I have been meaning to write(nothing to do with Queen), that I know would sell well. I was gonna self-publish it but maybe going for a publisher would be a better idea.
|Lester, is it really necessary to quote whole entries from his soapbox? You could as well use indirect speech and only quote some of the most important expressions. As long as you give credits, I don't think he can forbid you to use some quotes, you don't even have to ask.
Good luck with this project, it sounds very very good.
|I think Hank is right. Brian can only forbid you to copy/paste his own words. If you paraphrase his comments and give proper credit, you do not even need permission.
About the fair use of weblogs look here:
Aren't we lucky that the apostles were not concerned about copyright - there would not be a bible. It needed Brian May to come up with the idea that his words are sacrosanct, how pathetic.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you start to rely on your heroes to actually come up with the goods. Nine times out of ten, they don't.
It's also another exampple of how incredibly poor BrianMay.com really is as a "forum". The fact is that it is only a forum for Brian's opinions and those people that agree with them. Anyone that has anything constructive to say as a point of fact AGAINST one of Brian's opinions is quickly shuffled away and pushed out. Jen is sticking to the rules that have been laid down by (probably) Brian's Duck Productions team in terms of what is and isn't allowed, but Brian clearly has no idea who to interact witht he wider public on the web.
Dear old Pete Townshend, God love him, CLEARLY does and it would be interesting to know what Brian's "opinion" is of Pete's incredibly open and free spirited approach to his Blog. Can you imagine Brian being taken to task over his non-smoking opinion in the same manner that Pete was on his experiences of the child-abuse that he suffered and his continual references to Rape in his songs? Absolutely not - Brian simply isn't articulate enough.
If I were you, I would keep the book something that is yours and yours alone. In that way, you know that you can take every single ounce of credit that is due to you, as opposed to having that credit dispersed towards "official" channels.
The Queen machine has gone that far as to completely disregard the wants and needs of the people that have sustained the band for all these years - reference non-appearance of Box Sets, the mystery and illusion that is Greg Brooks, the shambles of the ANATO Anniversary edition, Official Bootlegs.......the list goes on.
Why should a dedicated fan(s) have their work salinated?
Good luck mate - you absolutely deserve success with the project!
|Fuck that- use your own words to say what he said about those songs. There's no way in hell you could be sued for paraphrasing. Very disappointing...|
<b><font color=teal>Sasha wrote: Lester, Isn't there another way? Can't the potential publisher try to gain authorization through Brian's agent or management company? It doesn't seem like trying to go through the website could be the only route?Lester, I think Sasha has a point in that, maybe the publisher could contact Brian and perhaps he would be more willing to have his words published.
And also Barbara, and anyway you may not quote the whole Brian thing, but say it with your own words...Would that still be ilegal?
I don't post too often here, but have read your so interesting album discusion threads, and I think your work has to be just excelent.
Please, don't lete that "sacrosanct" silly thing get you down, and keep us updated about the course of the project.
As Serry said, show them that Queenzoners are the best.
And the best of lucks to you.:)
Wow, I had not been in this part of the forum for a long while, and totally missed this topic!
This is great news all in all, I am realy happy for you and -being a writer myself- very proud of you as well ;-)
Good job and I wish you all the best in completing this wonderfull achievement.
Aside from that, regarding you not being permitted to use Brian's quote's: as a reporter/journalist I've come around this problem lots of times and I can guarantee you, as some others also already stated, that one is ALWAYS free to paraphrase with clear statement about the source. No, without permission you can not use the straight "quotes", but if you say where you found the words, paraphrasing is never something that can bring you into legal trouble.
Cheers, man and lots and lots of good luck on ya!
I want a signed copy!! ;-)
|I'm sorry to hear about happened, but I'm happy to see that so many Queenzoners tried to help you, Lester.
|Lester, I think it is a great thing you are doing, and I'm really looking forward to your book. I will certainly be buying it as it is something I've been looking for quite a while myself as well.
The posters above me are right, if you cannot use the quotes from Brian's site, then you can still paraphrase his words, that's not illegal.
|Great news Lester! I'll surely purchase a copy! Good luck dude!
Again, if I can help out with anything just let me know.
|Jereon :Wow, I had not been in this part of the forum for a long while, and totally missed this topic!
Finally something "New" about Queen, I'd pay for that.
|The Real Wizard
|I don't really come to the forum much anymore, but I'm glad I came across this topic.
Lester - I'm so proud of you!! I really can't add to what has been said here already. Show 'em how it's done, brother!
And I agree, I'd say you should just paraphrase the words of Brian. But be sure you won't get nailed for copyright infringement.