City: Puebla, Mexico
Venue: Estadio Olimpico de beisbol Ignacio Zaragoza
Date: October 17, 1981

Setlist:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


 

                             
 
                                 
     

This is the first of two nights in Puebla. The government and organizers chose this location at the last minute ostensibly in an effort to avoid the larger crowds of Mexico City, but in reality it was because they never got the proper permits. A lack of experience and infrastructure soon had the entire operation backfiring in all directions. Things went from bad to worse when the band realized upon arrival how poorly everything was organized.

Everyone entering the venue was searched thoroughly and all batteries were confiscated, as it seems the authorities wanted to prevent people from recording the show. But then upon entering the venue the ulterior motives became evident, as there was a stall set up inside the venue by vendors re-selling the same batteries at exorbitant prices. However, fans pushed their way into the venue and ultimately overwhelmed security, eventually allowing the tapers to pass through without examination.

These three Queen shows were among the first rock concerts in Mexico. Plenty of the people on hand weren't really Queen fans, but fans of rock music in general. Many people drank and misbehaved, and ultimately made this particular show a difficult experience for many - including the band. Backstage there was only one toilet for the band and crew combined. Furthermore, it didn't have a lock, so they had to devise a little system with signs for 'engaged' and 'vacant'. Meanwhile most of the crew got sick from eating the local food.

Queen would recall this concert to be one of their worst experiences, not least because various objects were thrown at them throughout much of the show. Since it was so overcrowded, at some point during the show people ended up tearing down the gate into the venue. In some parts of the stadium the tiers collapsed and many people were seriously injured, breaking arms and legs.

The band vow to defy the odds and play a fantastic show. Their vocal harmonies in Killer Queen are picture perfect tonight, and Mercury sounds magnificent throughout.

As Freddie introduces Brian May on the piano, he says, "Let's get a light on him." After announcing the festivities in Spanish, he quirks, "That's all my Spanish you're gonna get tonight." He then delivers a gorgeous version of Brian's ballad, phrasing the back half of the second chorus like the single version.

In the middle of Now I'm Here, Freddie reacts to the rowdy audience throwing shoes at the band: "I've never seen so many shoes on stage. It's like bloody Chelsea Cobbler, I tell you [Chelsea Cobbler is a men's shoe store in London]!" During the vocal exchange with the audience, he urges them, "Come on motherfuckers, let's get the beat!" Just as the band are merging back into the song after Dragon Attack, Mercury does his usual "Think I'll stay around" bit, but adds, "I think I'll go home, right now." More shoes soon hit the stage, and he responds again while the band are finishing the song. "Ah, you're dead, you buggers!" His frustrations are clear. At one point a boot hit John Deacon in the head.

Brian has some fun between verses of Keep Yourself Alive. Later, he breaks a string during The Hero, but he manages to keep it in tune with the whammy bar (a huge challenge with floating tremolo). Later, a bag of dirt is thrown at him by an audience member towards the end of the Bohemian Rhapsody solo, and he understandly struggles to the end of it. He gets hit by another bag of dirt later in the song, at "just gotta get out."

The band drop several songs to finish the show quicker - Fat Bottomed Girls and Sheer Heart Attack, at least. After the second encore of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, Freddie says, "Thank you for the shoes! Adios amigos, you motherfuckers! You bunch of tacos, goodbye!"

As a result of the atmosphere caused by the uncooperative audience, this may well be Queen's shortest headlining gig ever, next to Hyde Park '76 - clocking in at under 90 minutes.

Only one small door was open for fans to exit the venue, and people were still leaving at 3am. Police presence made things even more tense. With large batons they beat people who walked out of line, and they were left on the ground bleeding. Amidst all the chaos the band were locked in an underground room, where John Deacon, who was claustrophobic, was not having a particularly good time. Here the band were forced to sign a legal document ensuring they would return the following night, to prevent riots. Fortunately the second show would prove not to be nearly as problematic.



Five minutes of super 8 footage exist from this show. The coordinator of the Mexican Queen fan club is allegedly the filmer, who has only leaked short and heavily watermarked compressed samples in such horrible quality that would make 1990s mpeg files look pristine by comparison.

It is rumoured that a pro video filmed for TV once existed, but was destroyed in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.

Most of these pictures were submitted by Hugo Vázquez, Nareg Mikaelian, Daniel Minero, Fabio Minero, and Alessio Rizzitelli. The set of pics were snapped during soundcheck, either tonight or the following night. Pic 15 is of Roger Taylor and John Deacon being escorted to the stage by Freddie's assistant, Peter Freestone.

The last photo shows Freddie and Roger with a bolt that was thrown on stage. Freestone took it home as a souvenir.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B / B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "No More Mañanas" LP

   
Track listing:
Brian/Roger radio greetings, We Will Rock You (fast), Play The Game, Somebody To Love [cut], Save Me, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise) [cut], Love Of My Life, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This bootleg was released in 1988 in Mexico. It begins with a short radio segment with Brian and Roger from Radio Exitos 790 AM, and the concert material varies in quality. Somebody To Love through Love Of My Life sound great, while the rest of the tracks are average quality.

The bootlegger tells his story (translated from Spanish):

"In 1983 I saw for sale in Discos Aquarius a pirated LP by Queen in Argentina 1981, I thought that later I would see one by Queen in Puebla. The year 1988 came, then I already had more pirated Queen records, now from the Live Magic tour, and none of Queen's desired LP in Mexico; I decided to stop waiting, I would do it myself.

I got advice and bought a pair of AMPEX brand open reel tapes. An acquaintance who worked at Radio Mil made the transfer for $150, for this he used as a master a cassette of the concert with good sound quality bought in 1982 at the Museo del Chopo. With the transfer ready, I looked for someone to put together records, a recording studio found in the yellow section would be the link to the assembly plant. We checked the master that to my surprise did not work, Daniel Larrauri did not give the width and the transfer had to be redone paying extra hours in the studio.

Once the new master is ready, the deal was made for 1000 LPs. They asked for the material for the cover, for this a black and white photo of Freddie with a hat was used, and a large logo of Queen, the title would be: Queen Live in Puebla 1981. 1981-1988 7th Anniversary. Said cover and title was only for fulfilling the requirement since I had already made an alternate. Ready the discs they informed me in the maquila that they made 1,175 LPs, 175 copies of more not budgeted that I did not want to buy. They delivered 10 boxes with 100 LPs each. The manufacturers promised that they would recycle the paste from the extra 175 copies, and I naively believed them. The following week those copies were for sale in El Chopo, nor how to claim. They agreed to make an illegal record, and had no qualms about selling the extra 175 copies to a third party.

By chance of fate, the recording acquired in El Chopo in 1982 returned to its place of origin in 1988 in LP format. Of the 1000 copies of the disc, the cover was modified to a fraction, being as follows:

150 LPs Black cover with the title: No More Mañanas
80 LPs Silver cover with title: No More Mañanas
250 LPs Black cover with title: Tribute to Freddie Mercury
520 LPs were not modified leaving with the original title.

In books and specialized catalogs such as: Hot Wacks, Queen Live by Greg Brooks and Queen: A Visual Documentary by Ken Dean, the album appears with the wrong title: Queen En viva Pueblo Oct 16, 1981. It is a lie that the album was made in Texas, it was made 100% in Mexico. The rumor of the making was that 100 copies were distributed in 1995 in Austin Texas, a few dozen more circulated in Mannheim Germany in 1990 thanks to Rainer Landwher, a local distributor.

Most of the circulation was kept for years. 1991 year in which Freddie died, as a mourning it stopped being completely distributed. In 1994 the distribution was resumed. On August 24, 1989, the notice of the closure of a clandestine LPs maquiladora in the Argentine colony, the same one in which the Queen album was made in Puebla, appeared in the newspaper.

In 1995, 500 copies of the CD titled: Queen Ultra Rare Trax containing 2 tracks in Puebla were assembled: Flash / The Hero. This was reissued in Germany in two versions (plastic and digipack), such as Queen: The Ultimate Rarities Collection. In 1997 a CD with a circulation of 500 copies was released: Queen Nevermore Goodbye Tacos Live in Puebla, containing the songs that did not appear on the 1988 LP, including the soundcheck. Brian May learned of the existence of No More Mañanas Live in Puebla 1981. On April 13, 2005 two copies of the LP and a Nevermore Goodbye Tacos CD were delivered to him personally."


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B / B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "En Vivo Puebla 17 Octubre 1981" LP

Track listing:
Brian/Roger radio greetings, We Will Rock You (fast), Play The Game, Somebody To Love [cut], Save Me, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise) [cut], Love Of My Life, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


As explained above, this is another pressing of the same LP.


Recording length: 4 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Ultra Rare Trax" (FQ) silver

     
Track listing:
Flash, The Hero


This 1995 Mexican compilation bootleg contains two songs from this show. This bootleg was produced by the same person who did the two LPs.


Recording length: 4 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "The Ultimate Rarities Collection" (FBCD) silver

     
Track listing:
Flash, The Hero


This 1996 Italian disc is a straight copy of "Ultra Rare Trax."


Recording length: 55 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B- / B / B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Nevermore Goodbye Tacos" (FQ) silver

     
Track listing:
Brian/Roger radio greetings, Under Pressure (soundcheck), DJ intro, We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


Although the quality on this 1997 bootleg varies from track to track, this is one of those rare (and almost generous) bootlegs where the producer chose to include all the rest of the songs that weren't on previous releases.

Also on the disc are a few bonus tracks of various solo material ranging from 1988 to 1997.


Recording length: 84 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > Cassette (x) > CDR (x) > WAV (GoldWave speed correction, edits, re-tracking) > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast) [cut], Let Me Entertain You [cut], Play The Game, Somebody To Love [cut], Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive [cut], drum solo, guitar solo [cut], Flash [cut], The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust [cut], We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is the uncut audience source used for the bootlegs. It's likely a couple tape generations from the master since there is material on the bootleg LPs that sounds a bit better - but the quality here is still great, even with the periodic audience obstruction.

Most of the cuts are due to the taper trying to save tape between songs. The only significant piece of missing music is the second half of Let Me Entertain You.


Recording length: 85 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master > 2nd Gen Cassette > WAV > CDR (1)
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is a second audience source. A few bits between songs are missing, but musically it is complete.


Recording length: 2 CDR
Quality: ?
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Mexican Gluttons For Punishment" (Breakdown)

 
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This bootleg was released in September 2010.


Recording length: 8 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > Cassette > WAV > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
Rock It [cut], I'm In Love With My Car, Under Pressure


This longer recording of the Puebla soundcheck was found in 2015. Only a massively hiss reduced Under Pressure had previously circulated. This copy is definitely listenable.

It is said that Flash was also played, and that Brian noodled around with the solo from The Millionaire Waltz for a while.




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