The 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody combined Queen’s groundbreaking music with the story of their frontman Freddie Mercury’s incredible life, and it emerged a hit film that captured the hearts of audiences (and critics!) all over the globe.
And while the movie delved into the making of (one of) Queen’s signature hit(s), there’s still plenty to learn about the song that changed the way music is played (and heard) on the radio.
7. They had to add a symphonic gong to Roger Taylor’s drum set.
The drummer needed the 60-inch gong – which had to be cleaned, packed, and set up every day – just to strike the final note in Bohemian Rhapsody.
6. Freddie Mercury started writing it 7 years before its release in 1975.
He came up with the opening line in 1968 while a student at London’s Ealing Art College, and stored it in his mind as “The Cowboy Song.”
It would eventually become much, much more.
5. Mercury was always adding another Galileo!
The harmonies on the opera section of the song, sung by Mercury, drummer Roger Taylor, and guitarist Brian May, required 180 separate overdubs. That, combined with Mercury always adding “another ‘Galileo,'” ensured the song took three weeks and five studios to finish.
4. The band’s producer was initially skeptical of the composition.
Roy Thomas Baker, the producer on ‘A Night at the Opera,’ first heard the song’s framework in Freddie’s flat and laughed when Mercury told him “this is where the opera section comes in!”
He wasn’t laughing after seeing all of the notes and doodles. Instead he became determined to use everything at his disposal to capture the song on tape.
3. Even Elton John thought the song was too “weird” for the radio.
“Are you f*cking mad?” the singer said after listening to the nearly six-minute song.
Though John declared it too “weird” for the radio, it’s pretty clear now that Queen had the last laugh.
2. The scene in Wayne’s World took over 10 hours to put on film.
The classic scene in the 1992 film, in which Dana Carvey and Mike Myers head-bang to the tune, took over 10 hours to film – mostly because Carvey hadn’t learned the lyrics ahead of time.
All of the actors complained of neck pain after head-banging for so many takes.
1. The actual video took just under 4 hours to film.
The band arrived at Elstree Studios around 7:30 in the morning and finished up before 11:30, when they hit the local pub for lunch.
The video was produced by Bruce Gowers, who went on to direct the MTV Movie Awards, the Emmys, and the first 10 seasons of American Idol.
I can’t wait to watch the movie again!
Were you a fan of Queen? Are you now? Tell us why or why not in the comments!