7 – Blog 12 – Casino Night

Nobody wants to eat raclette, considered a cheap Swiss imitation of American pizza.

“Perfect for a cheap American imitation of a crappy English band,” I mock the fake members of Queen.

Freddie stays above the fray. He and David invite Amar, Mike and I to ride to the restaurant in the Rolls with Jim driving. The Knobs must take a taxi. Before going inside le Museum restaurant, Freddie advises the Knobs to behave, reminding them that, ‘We don’t need two drummers and Laz can take over for any of you.’

They cast aspersions at me, on top of their disrespect for sleeping with Freddie.

There are so many fans outside the restaurant, a local policeman tells us we must make them leave. He knows why they are there.

“Thank you, Montreux,” Freddie addresses the pressing fans. “Tonight, we cannot sing for you. In case you haven’t heard, tomorrow night we are performing our new set at the Casino. Get your tickets early as it will sellout.”

Someone with a French accent yells, “Sell Outs.”

“Oui, monsieur, a trente francs un siège.”

The crowd laughs and we escape inside the restaurant. We sit away from the window, at a table for eight already set with a proper raclette feast, melting cheese, baguettes, and all the fixings: sausage, ham, potato, and vegetable garnishes and pickles.

Henri has a photographer there to document Queen’s embrace of Swiss cuisine.

A waiter asks what we want ‘pour le deuxième cours.’

Freddie adds, “Only if we sing for our supper.”

Orders are taken. No bangers and mash, but the choices are mostly overcooked beef and potatoes. You can lead a pig to the trough but all it wants is swill.

Wine is constantly flowing. Any doubts about personal performance at the next day’s show wash away.

Finally, it is up to Freddie to decide what song to do a Capella. As a complement to our fine dining, the choice is easy, ‘Killer Queen.’

“Messieurs et mesdames, Merci pour votre attention. Nous chantons maintenant pour votre plaisir.”

‘She keeps the Möet & Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Kruschev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well-versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice’

We all join backing up the chorus

‘‘She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime
Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?’

Freddie solos the next verse,

‘To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness

Met a man from China
Went down to Geisha Minah
Then again incidentally
If you’re that way inclined

Perfume came naturally from Paris
For cars she couldn’t care less
Fastidious and precise’

We repeat the chorus with Freddie

‘‘She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime
Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?’

Songwriters: Mercury Frederick

Without the rock guitars and drummers, it is a perfect dinner club ballad. The applause is hearty but polite. We bow and depart. A small crowd outside cheers us.

We drive Amar home. The arrival of Freddie’s Rolls Royce creates a stir in the neighborhood. Amar is cheered as he gets out. His father looks worried that they will be a target for extortion if the neighbors think he is rich or has connections. David asks if Amar can participate in the next evening’s show. The parents are added to the guest list. David notes on the list that they will need seats and not be forced to stand or dance for the whole performance. Amar sisters almost faint as Bowie speaks with their parents. They worry they may be grounded from attending.

“Your good breeding goes well with a common touch,” I observe.

David smiles, a paragon of class superiority.

David sleeps with Freddie. After turning down the Knobs invitation for an after-dinner spliff, we walk down to the Lake. Raclette sits heavily at the bottom of skinny teen bellies. A good walk will hopefully break up the cheese and bread brick. Afterward we go straight to bed.

“I suppose tomorrow night seems pretty normal after all your shows as the Jackson Five.” I am all nerves and energy.

“I’m not a nervous nelly like you,” he mocks me. “I am worked up about us performing the first song I’ve ever written.”

“Well, you don’t get credit for it.”

“I knew that before I wrote it. But it means my days in The Jacksons are finally over. That’s what they call the band now.”

‘Free. Free at last!”

“You are so funny. No one I know mocks MLK Jr.”

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”

“Nothin’, it ain’t nothin’ honey, if it ain’t free.”

“I’m your little honey bun?”

“Yes,” he tackles me. We wrestle on the bed,

until his string bean body wraps around me like a snake. He starts squeezing like a phython. I freak out and shake him off.

“Too gay for you, Queen groupie.?”

“They’re always after me. What’s your excuse?”

“I’m a sadistic masochist who wants to kill and eat you,” Mike makes an ugly evil face. For a second, he looks like a Black Satan.

“I really am scared.

“Hah. You are scared of me.”

We calm down, laying together at the head of the bed.

“’Another One Bites the Dust’ is your first song?”

“Barry Gordy has songwriters to write all our records. We just danced and sang.”

“And made millions.”

“For mean old dad, not me.”

“Freedoms just another word for no parental abuse.”

“I am so happy here.”

“Me, too. But I don’t have any memories to compare it to. What if we can’t get any happier.”

“Is that what’s called being an adult?”

“I’ll be twenty soon, but I have no idea what day my birthday is.”

“Freedom’s not knowing what’s in your file.”

“Freddie said he’d show it to me. I ran into a guy who said he knew me in Hollywood and that I was a gay slut. I told Freddie I don’t want to know.”

“I knew you were gay.”

We laugh.

“We both are, except we never get horny.”

“The good gay life.”

“As opposed to the slutty one.”

“We now know who that is,” Mike laughs.

“When you were squeezing me, your face became the devil’s,” I admit.

‘A black devil?”

“Yeah,” I admit. “Am I a white devil to you.”

“We’re both racists.”

“When we get married, we can live in trailers and beat the dog.”

“That’s a white racist viewpoint. I’ll abandoned my kids and do drugs all day.”

“I’ll pretend to like your kids and treat them as slaves.”

“I’ll seduce your wife so you have black kids whom you treat like slaves.”

“I’ll treat your wife nice so she won’t sleep with you until you stop doing drugs.”

“Oh, the horror of being an adult.”

We are laughing so hard we start to cry.”

“Oh, my poor Laz, almost 20.”

“My poor MJ, King of Pop with no money, playing Las Vegas lounges when he’s 40 years old to his only fans, over-the-hill housewives.”

“You’re crying. You never cry.”

“These are tears of joy.”

“I’m crying because my dad stole all my money.”

“We’re getting paid for the show. Let’s go to Paris and spend it all.”

“How much do we get?”

“It’s all in francs. I have no idea what they are worth. And I’m the one who decides how much we get.”

“We’re Socialists. The rich rock stars get nothing. They don’t need it.”

“The Knobs are the workers. They should all get the same.”

“What about Amar? He’s our friend.”

“He’s the commissar. He has to pay all the dancers, the proletariat.”

“They can eat cake.”

“I’ll tell Henri. He’s the KGB.”

We stop laughing and crying. Mike tries to snuggle into me as I try to do the same. We fall asleep sprawled on top of each other.

In the morning, Jim makes everyone crepes. After breakfast Mike and I work on the keyboard intro to ‘Another One..’ Since it is his song, I tell him to play the bass line on the MOOG. Jock takes over on electric bass and Mike will start the dance routine with Amar.

“Where’s Amar?” everyone asks. The fifteen-year-old is late. What did we expect. Jim is sent to pick him up in the Rolls. Amar is becoming entitled. While waiting, I work off excess energy in the pool. Mike wants to do the dolphin tandem butterfly with me. His fear of the deep end is gone.

Amar arrives with his two younger sisters who are giggly about being in our presence, more specifically Mike, David and Freddie. They promise Mike to never reveal his secret identity, except for their close friends in the neighborhood. I realize that once Mike’s identity is exposed, he may have to escape. We make more Paris plans.

After lunch everyone strolls down to the lake front. The crowd of teen fans has again grown. Amar continues to take names for the night’s guest list, which now exceeds 250 kids. Amar’s sisters get Mike to teach them dance moves. Moon-walking will remain his singular trademark. Once we have a hundred kids dancing in the park, the local Gendarmes show up and we are dispersed.

I give David dolphin rides in the Lake. Mike and Amar dare to get in up to their waist. The kids refuse to stay on the shore. Several are good swimmers. David and I become part of a local dolphin pod. More kids start wading until the Gendarmes again appear to finally break up the party.

Freddie advises, “Come to the show tonight. With live music, the dancing will be heaven.”

My cue to sing ‘Heaven’ to Freddie,

‘Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
Heaven, I’m in heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gambler’s lucky streak
When we’re out together dancing (swinging) cheek to cheek’

Songwriter: Irving Berlin

As we dance together like Astaire & Rogers, the kids are thunderstruck and once they realize how bent we are, a cheer goes up for being outre.

Everyone disperses on that note. The Gendarmerie is pleased and notes our crowd control method.

Sound Check

With everyone together and ready for the evening show, the crew has a final meeting by the pool. The Knobs are upset that they will perform without the hair and makeup treatments that regular Queen members would expect.

“Jesus, guys,” I deny their need for a makeover. “You’re twenty-five-years-old? What wrinkles can you have that need to be covered-up?”

“What about costumes?” Billy has pretentions.

“No one cares what you look like. Be proud you can play the songs. The fans expect nothing less and nothing more.”

They look deflated. This may be their only chance to ‘play’ rock n rollers.

“Basically,” I tell them, “wear what you already would wear to a show. Everyone looks fine in your normal everyday jeans and tees.”

No Rolls to deliver us to sound check. We all pile into cabs, including Freddie. Jim will bring the Rolls for his after-show departure.

Claude is onstage as we set up.

“Where’s your tambourine, Claude?” I ask.

“You really want me on stage. I’m ten years older than Freddie and David.”

“This is your show and your band is playing. Hell, David and Freddie are ten years older than me and Mike. Just don’t sing.”

We laugh.

“Is that really Michael Jackson with the dreadlocks?” Henri has already spilled the beans to his boss.

“Yeah, but nobody’s supposed to know, especially the press. He’s hiding out at David’s in Lausanne. He left the Jackson 5. Their manager was abusing him.”

“That is sick. I can get their manager banned from all European venues.”

“Don’t bother. The manager is Mike dad, Joe. It’s a family issue.”

“If you pull this show off, I’ll hire you.”

“I already hired you as Chairman of Knobs Records.”

“Is that what Henri was going on about.”

“After this show, the whole question of Queen’s future will be resolved. If it is a success, the original members will beg to come back. If we flop, you can take Claude & the Knobs on the road.”

He kisses me on the cheek. How European.

I see that Henri has removed the first six rows of seats where the floor is flat. I imagine Mike leading a chorus line of 250 kids. It will be spectacular, at least in my imagination.

We get down to business on the sound check. This is the Knobs expertise; as roadies for Queen they tune the guitars, check sound levels as well as the monitors and place the mics at appropriate spots, the mixing board at stage left and the MOOG next to it. Freddie hooks up a wireless mic for himself. The house sound man starts to hook me up. A sense of grim doom settles over me.

“Stop. I can’t go cordless.”

“Don’t worry about it. You can control it from the mixing board,” the sound man explains as he fastens the transmitter to my back. The doom envelops me. I need to sit down.”

“Out of energy,” Freddie is worried.” “Too much swimming this morning.”

“Something I can’t remember is really bothering me. It is connected to the cordless mic. I can’t explain it.”

Freddie sits with me.

“I know you don’t want to know about your past, but I know what it is that only your memory feels.”

“Did someone die?” I ask.

“Not someone,” Freddie answers, “Your dog was shot and killed while you were on stage. You went crazy while still mic’d.”

“My dog?”

“He was more than just a dog. Someday you’ll find out.”

I feel better and get busy bossing everyone on stage. I make sure my wireless mic is turned off.

After sound check, time flies as we huddle in the Green Room. Amar sends his sisters out to sit with their parents. Their constant twittering about Mike and David was annoying everyone. I realize the Knobs are nervous. They go out the back to the loading dock. Billy’s supply of pot takes the edge off and they relax. Mike assures me that pre-concert jitters are normal. I tell him about my dog and the cordless mic.

“You had a dog?”

“Is that so unbelievable?”

“I never had a dog. What kind of dog?”

“I have no idea. Freddie only told me because I was freaking out about the mic and didn’t know why.”

“What did the dog do, eat the mic?”

“It died while I was on Stage. I freaked out and my screams freaked the crowd.”

“I heard about it. Max, the pot dog.”

“Yeah, some kids’ band opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd.”

“They got to play with Skynyrd after you scared everyone. It was classic. Your band was never heard of again.”

“Maybe that’s because I died.”

“No. That was like three years ago. I was so sad because the dog died. I tried to get Joe to let me have a dog. He bought me a rat. It bit him. I wasn’t allowed to have a pet.”

“Poor Mike,” I mock him.

“I named the rat, Ben. It was bad karma.”

“Your glory years were so sad, and no one knew.”

We hug each other over sad memories. I think maybe it was a mistake for Freddie to tell me about my past. I notice a photographer is snapping our photos as we hug. If anyone asks, it is just Young American racial equality.

Bowie comes over and asks why we are sad.  

“Missing our dead pets. I had a dog. Mike had a rat.”

We all have a good laugh.

“Yeah, Ben. I saw the movie. It was psychotic.”

“I see you gave me my own mic, Boss,” David needs a sound check.

I show him how he can control his vocals himself at the mixing board.

“If I move around, you’ll have to mix my vocals,” he trusts me.

“You want the cordless mic?’ I show him the transmitter on my back.

“I hate those.”

“It makes me wonder why my dog died. It’s a long story.”

David looks at me funny, then laughs, “You are so strange.”

“It is one of my few memories. I was 15.”

“Getting your memory back?”

“I hope not, if it is all bad memories and dying.”

“That’s right,” Spirity, the voice in my head, pops up.

“What?” I shout.

David looks at me funny. “Who are you talking to?”

“It’s the voice in my head. His name is Spirity, the spirit of rock n roll. He claims he is the one who knows how to play any song on any instrument. The truth is I have no talent.” 

“That’s right,” I hear him again.

“Shut up,” I shout again.

David continues to look at me funny.

“I guess if we’re to be haunted at this show, it’s best to be haunted by the spirit of rock n roll. Does he think disco is rock?”

I start singing, “It’s still rock n roll to me.”

I am floating above my body which is running and singing Billy Joel to the Knobs and anyone I
 see.

‘What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing?
Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide?
Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?
Welcome back to the age of jive.
Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey?
You can’t dress trashy till you spend a lot of money.
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?
Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?
Should I get a set of white wall tires?
Are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby blue Continental.
Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
It’s still rock and roll to me.

Oh, it doesn’t matter what they say in the papers
‘Cause it’s always been the same old scene.
There’s a new band in town
But you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine…
Aimed at your average teen

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
You could really be a Beau Brummell baby
If you just give it half a chance.
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me’

(MOOG Break for sax solo)

‘What’s the matter with the crowd I’m seeing?
Don’t you know that they’re out of touch?
Should I try to be a straight ‘A’ student?
If you are then you think too much.
Don’t you know about the new fashion honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money.
It’s the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock & roll to me.
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me’

Songwriters: Joel William M

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me lyrics © Impulsive Music

Everyone is in stitches. The photographer has been snapping away. Mike joins me at the choruses ‘It’s still rock and roll to me.’

Showtime

I look through the curtain. The house is packed. The sea of kids in front is restless from waiting around. There is not an empty seat in the  house. Time for rock n roll.

“Yeah,” Spirity says in my head. From that point on, I float above the stage watching my body perform. It’s the best seat in the house.

Freddie bounces out, The Lake kids burst into spontaneous applause. They are either mindlessly cheering or anticipating they will never stop applauding. They need to dance.

“Thank you, thank you. Merci bien, Montreux. I have found my true home here, ma maison veritable,” Freddie is thanking everyone in advance. The anticipation is palpable, yet to be earned.

“I know everyone is here to hear the old Queen songs, which we want to play for you. But first I need to send a message that Queen is new and better with new songs, new players, and a little help from our friends. If we succeed tonight, Montreux will see the old Queen here at the festival playing the songs of the new Queen.”

Freddie does go on. The crowd is still constantly applauding and cheering.

“The name of this song is ‘Don’t Stop Me Now.’ If you hear this Brian, Roger and Deacy. I want you back.

‘Tonight I’m gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world I’ll turn it inside out, yeah
I’m floating around in ecstasy
So, (don’t stop me now)
(Don’t stop me)
‘Cause I’m having a good time, having a good time’

When he gets to the chorus, everyone on stage adds the backup vocals,

‘(Don’t stop me)

(Don’t stop me)

(Don’t stop me)

(Don’t stop me)

I see myself singing the ‘don’t stop me’ into the Moog mic, while David sings next to me. The Knobs are at their mic’s. Mike and Amar jump into the pit in front of the stage. Hundreds of kids are dancing and singing to Freddie. I worry we have opened with a show stopper. How can it get better than this?

“What’s matter?” Spirity asks me. “Missing out on the fun of playing and singing and dancing?”

Suddenly I am back on stage, playing the MOOG and singing the chorus. I am slightly spun from the quick transition.

Freddie grabs the mic stand and spins it around. He knows how to grab attention.

“You wanna dance? How about a little reggae? No smoking in the Casino. We don’t want another fire. Just let the music move you. This is not Queen. This is Toots and his Maytals, ‘Pressure Drop.’

The kids are swaying and doing their personal hippie dance.

At the end, Freddie motions to Mike and Amar.

“Get up here, boys. Show off the hairstyles you got from Montreux’s Toots’ Stylin’ Salon.”

The boys bounce up and sway to the beat of the next song, ‘Police and Thieves.’ Freddie runs his hands through their dreads.

“Now for you white boys who want to be stylin’ but not just copying your Black heroes, Toots has the style for you.”

Freddie directs the spotlight to the mixing board on to David, who fluffs his shaggy locks. The crowd gasps as many recognize Bowie.

Freddie puts an arm around Mike’s shoulders,

“Now I can’t sing this song as high as it requires. You give it a go, Mike.”

The drummers are having problems with the beat. I quickly take over with the drum machine and MOOG. Spirity looks down at me and gives me a big thumbs up. Mike sings the whole song. Freddie backs him with the ‘Oh, yeah’,

Police and thieves in the streets (oh yeah)

Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition

Police and thieves in the street (oh yeah)

Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition

From genesis to revelation, yeah

The next generation will be hear me

All the crimes committed day by day

No one try to stop it in any way

All the peacemakers turn war officers

Hear what I say, hey

Police and thieves in the street (oh yeah)

Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition

Police and thieves in the street (oh yeah)

Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition

All the crimes committed day by day

No one try to stop it in any way

All the peacemakers turn war officers

Hear what I say, hey

Police and thieves in the street (oh yeah)

Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition

Police and thieves in the street (oh yeah)

Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition’

We all sing the final chorus,

‘Police and thieves

Police, police and thieves

Police and thieves

Police, police and thieves’

Written by: Junior Murvin, Lee Perry

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

“Everyone chill,” Freddie is relaxed and has the crowd eating out of his hand. “Now we’ll do a new song, that’s a bit reggae, a bit disco and all Queen. Our message to the missing Queen members is this is what happens when you miss the bus to your future. It’s called ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’”

‘Let’s go

Steve walks warily down the street
With his brim pulled way down low
Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet
Machine guns ready to go
Are you ready hey are you ready for this?
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat yeah

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust…’

Mike and Amar step up and put on their dance moves. The kids in front quickly pick up the moves and the whole crowd is moving as one. Mike breaks away and moonwalks around the stage. Amar keeps up the normal moves as the kids gasp and cheer Mike’s magical moves.

 The people in the seats are clapping and stomping to the beat. Mike and Amar come back together and do a final dance-off as the song ends. The Knobs keep playing as I use the drum machine to repeat the beat.

Freddie is back on the mic, “That’s what happens when you let kids do their thing. Queen will never grow old but how about some old hits to follow the new ones,”

I look up and see Spirity is not moved by all the slower reggae and disco. I nod to him and we swap places as Freddie announces, “We Will Rock You/Champions,’

Steve and Tommy must really love this song. They thunder on double drums without any help from the rhythm machine. The audience in the seats are instantly on their feet, singing along. The kids are swaying in place, catching their breath from trying to dance with Mike (little did they know).

“Okay. That is classic Queen. Looks like you want us to be here for the Festival. Well, the decision is yours, Claude,” Freddie motions to Claude standing with tambourine, waiting for the next song. “I want to introduce our band tonight. The leader, of course from Montreux, Claude Nobs, with his band, The Knobs, Billy on guitar, Jock on Bass, Steve and Tommy on double drums, all from London, and the Boss on the MOOG, is Laz from Romania.”

We all get polite applause.

“Now, Some of you have noticed our soundman from Lausanne is of some repute, David Bowie. Get up here David. I know you’ve wanted to play this song to me for many years. David Bowie, folks, and ‘Queen Bitch.”

Freddie gets his laugh. David gets his revenge. I still am floating above it all. Spirity looks up wondering if we are to switch. I shrug. I am still hanging above the stage as Spirity bangs the tune out on the MOOG>

She’s so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that
Oh, yeah

She’s an old-time ambassador
Of sweet talking, night walking games
Oh and she’s known in the darkest clubs
For pushing ahead of the dames
If she says she can do it
Then she can do it, she don’t make false claims
But she’s a queen and such a queen’

Freddie steps up to the mic and they sing as a duet,

‘Now she’s leading him on
And she’ll lay him right down
Yes, she’s leading him on
And she’ll lay him right down
But it could have been me
Yes, it could have been me
Why didn’t I say? Why didn’t I say?
No, no, no’

David goes solo,

‘She’s so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that

So I lay down a while
And I gaze at my hotel wall
Oh, the cot is so cold
It don’t feel like no bed at all

Yeah, I lay down a while
And look at my hotel wall
And he’s down on the street
So I throw both his bags down the hall
And I’m phoning a cab
‘Cause my stomach feels small
There’s a taste in my mouth
And it’s no taste at all
It could have been me
Oh yeah, it could have been me
Why didn’t I say? Why didn’t I say?
No, no, no’

Freddie joins in at the end,

‘She’s so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that
Oh you betcha
Oh yeah
Uh-huh
Mmm

Songwriters: David Bowie

Queen Bitch lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Tintoretto Music

I take over the mix as Spirity stays on the MOOG (How can he play without a corporal body?) Ah, Rock n Roll.

David stays on the mic.

“Being with Freddie and the gang, Laz the Boss, and Mike’s friend Amar, has really upped my game. How about a new version of ‘Fame/” A huge applause. “Get back here, Mike. You wrote these lyrics, I hope they like this new version,

‘Fame
Fame fame fame fame fame
Fame fame fame fame fame
Fame fame fame fame fame
Fame fame fame fame fame
Fame fame fame
Fame
What’s your name?
What’s your name?
What’s your name?…

Fashion

There’s a brand new dance
But I don’t know its name
That people from bad homes
Do again and again

Fashion, turn to the left
Fashion, turn to the right
Ooh fashion


We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town
Beep-beep, beep-beep

Listen to me, don’t listen to me
Talk to me, don’t talk to me
Dance with me, don’t dance with me

No
Beep-beep, beep beep

Ooh bop, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do
Fa fa fa fa fashion
Ooh bop, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do
Fa fa fa fa fashion, la-la-la-la la la la la

Ooh bop, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do
Fa fa fa fa fashion
Ooh bop, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do
Fa fa fa fa fashion, la-la-la-la la la la la

DJ

I’m home,

lost my job,

and incurably ill

I am a D.J., I am what I play
Can’t turn around no, can’t turn around, no, oh, ooh
I am a D.J., I am what I play
Can’t turn around no, can’t turn around, no, oh no

I am a D.J., I am what I play
I got believers
Believing me, oh

I am a D.J., I am what I play
Can’t turn around no, can’t turn around, no, oh, ooh
I am a D.J., I am what I play
Can’t turn around no, can’t turn around, no, oh no

I am a D.J., I am what I play
I got believers
Believing me, oh

I am a D.J., and I’ve got believers

I’ve got believers
I’ve got believers
I’ve got believers in me
I’ve got believers
I am a D.J., I am what I play
I am a D.J.

Let’s dance
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let’s dance
To the song they’re playin’ on the radio
Let’s sway
While color lights up your face
Let’s sway
Sway through the crowd to an empty space

If you say run
I’ll run with you
And if you say hide
We’ll hide

Let’s sway
Under the moonlight, this serious moonlight

And if you say run
I’ll run with you
And if you say hide
We’ll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall into my arms
And tremble like a flower

Let’s dance
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let’s sway
Under the moonlight, this serious moonlight
Let’s dance
Let’s dance
Let’s dance, dance, dance.

Songwriters: John Lennon / David Bowie / Carlos Alomar / Grace Jones

“Okay, David. I give you one song and it turns into four. So, this song is by my bandmate, Brian.”

 I move back to the MOOG as David is back on the mixing board. As soon as Freddie mentions Brian May, Spirity has me floating above as he cranks the reverb on the MOOG,

“It’s for kids who need a reason to escape the family prison, ‘Tie Your Mother Down,” Freddie shouts.

“And once you do escape, here’s a couple of new songs on what to do surrounding an old song about what we all need,” Freddie announces the new sex/love songs,’ Get down, make love’

‘Somebody to Love’

“Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Ooh, each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
(Take a look at yourself) Take a look in the mirror and cry (and cry)
Lord, what you’re doing to me (yeah yeah)
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief, Lord!
Somebody (somebody) ooh somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?’

Everyone joins in on the ‘somebodys.’ The song ends with a long string ofthem.

Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love love love
Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
Somebody somebody somebody somebody
Somebody find me
Somebody find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
(Find me somebody to love)
Ooh
(Find me somebody to love)
Find me somebody, somebody (find me somebody to love) somebody, somebody to love
Find me, find me, find me, find me, find me
Ooh, somebody to love (Find me somebody to love)
Ooh (find me somebody to love)
Find me, find me, find me somebody to love (find me somebody to love)
Anybody, anywhere, anybody find me somebody to love love love!
Somebody find me, find me love’

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Somebody To Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

That song does go on.

Freddie yells at me, “Get up here, Laz. You wrote this song. You are the somebody who really knows how to love. Let’s sing ‘Save Me’ together.”

It is what we planned. Spirity sits at the MOOG; it echoes the song throughout the hall.

We rehearsed that I sing the first verse to Freddie, Freddie the second to me and together for the ending. The chorus ‘Save me’ will be backed by the whole band and dancers.

‘It started off so well
They said we made a perfect pair
I clothed myself in your glory and your love
How I loved you
How I cried
The years of care and loyalty
Were nothing but a sham it seems
The years belie we lived a lie
I love you till I die


Save me save me save me
I can’t face this life alone
Save me save me save me
I’m naked and I’m far from home

The slate will soon be clean
I’ll erase the memories
To start again with somebody new
Was it all wasted
All that love?
I hang my head and I advertise
A soul for sale or rent
I have no heart I’m cold inside
I have no real intent


Save me save me save me
I can’t face this life alone
Save me save me save me
Oh I’m naked and I’m far from home

Each night I cry I still believe the lie
I love you ’till I die
Save me save me save me
Save me save me oh save me
Don’t let me face my life alone
Save me save me oh
I’m naked and I’m far from home’

Songwriters: Brian May

Save Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, DistroKid

We turn to each other at the end and kiss.

The dancers stop in shock. The audience takes a collective breath. Girls scream as their gasp echoes throughout the hall. Everyone is on their feet, some swearing, some yelling ‘No!’, their opinions of Freddie overturned forever. Many start clapping and do not stop until the shouts of ‘No’ stop. Freddie and I stand there holding hands, watching the various reactions. In front on the hall floor, the kids find a partner and kiss, mostly boy/girl but several same sex couples. They are the future. As the applause stills the nay sayers, Freddie and I bow and run off stage.

The cheering never stops. Claude is quite flustered about our ending.

“You’ve got to get back out there. That crowd is excited, angry, crazy and mindless. They will tear apart my Casino if you don’t keep playing.

“No worry, Claude we have a new song that be the finale to this night,” I tell him.”I will sing and play. Freddie can abstain if he wants. We knew our ending would not be enough. You go out and announce that I will do the encore.”

He shakes his head, crosses himself, praying this will not be a disaster.

“Bon soir. Bon Soir (louder).” Claude repeats himself until the crowd quiets enough for him to be heard. “Le rappel sera chanté par les Knobs. S’il vous plaît respecter le Casino et quitter après. Freddie et Queen ont terminé.”

I shudder when Claude says terminé but this is my moment. Spirity is at the MOOG. The Knobs look determined. I pick up Freddie’s Gibson SG. I plan to rip.

“Thank you so much for coming tonight and supporting Freddie and Queen. Regardless of what happens in London, Queen ne sera pas terminé. This song is for those who think they have the last laugh. It is called ‘Fools Who Laugh.’”

They hang around

Abate and fade

They don’t realize

Their nomad fate

Repel one another

Complacent that way

Their vermin minds

Just waste away

We are the fools who laugh

We are the fools who laugh

Inclined to humor

They spread their rumors

Mourn themselves

They’re nothing but dregs

Emancipated and meandering

They act like cherubs

Without their wings

We are the fools who laugh

We are the fools who laugh

Beset on others

For their fun

Til the night

Is finally done

And when they’re all gone

They’ll realize

How precious time was

To their lives

We are the fools who laugh

We are the fools who laugh

But now they’re gone

And we remain

How vacuous they were

To call us insane

Fools we may be

But we linger on

While all of them

Have gone beyond 

We are the fools who laugh

We are the fools who laugh

…..We laugh last

MIB 1981 David Delgado

Spirity turns the drum machine to its highest, fastest setting. The chords come flying off my fingers. The kids in front go crazy, thrashing in every direction. Those in the back of the spinning kids are thrown into the front row of seats. The sitting crowd exits into the aisles. There is panic in the back of the hall.. I see Amar’s parents looking aghast and racing up the aisle to the exit. That the kids like us and move to the music and the older crowd hates us and cannot keep up only confirms what I already knew. Spirity looks gleeful at the chaos we created. We are the future. No future.

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