Stratospheerius Frontman and Violinist Joe Deninzon Reflects on Bohemian Rhapsody and Meeting Brian May during the “Back to the Light” Tour
Just saw Bohemian Rhapsody, and even though they screwed up a lot of things chronologically and factually, it still captured the essence of Freddie Mercury and brought back a cool memory from when I was 18. Queen was an obsession for me in high school. Their music was a constant soundtrack of my life and I had all their albums. My band at the time wrote many songs inspired by Queen and even learned all the harmonies to “Love of my Life”, including Brian May’s guitar solo, which I transcribed and taught myself to play.
In February of 1993, about a year and a half after Freddie’s death, Brian May put out a great solo album called “Back to the Light.” I heard through the grapevine that he was giving a secret, free concert at the old Agora in Cleveland. I went with my bandmates, Matthew James Murphy and Matthew Parrotta. The show was killer and afterward, we wanted to try to get backstage. It was frigid cold and snowing outside and there was a huge line of people waiting to meet Brian. We were in the back of the line freezing our asses off, so we just started singing as loud as we could, hoping the guy guarding the door would hear us.
All of a sudden, the door opens, someone from the crew along with the drummer Cozy Powell walks up to us and leads us past the crowd straight to the backstage area. There, standing in front of us, was Brain May! We sang him one of our songs and gave him our demo tape. He was very gracious, complimentary, and we chatted for a while. He signed our CD’s and we thanked him.
For what it’s worth, the memory of that night is forever etched in my mind.
Thank you, Brian, Freddie, and Queen for the incredible music and inspiration!
– Joe Deninzon
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