|City:||East Rutherford, NJ, USA|
|Venue:||Brendan Byrne Arena|
|Date:||August 9, 1982|
Flash (tape), Rock It, We Will Rock You (fast), Action This Day, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Save Me, Calling All Girls, Get Down Make Love, guitar solo, Body Language, Under Pressure, Life Is Real, Fat Bottomed Girls, 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 an eventful US Hot Space show played to an arena that is far from full. In fact, a second night in East Rutherford was originally planned for August 10, but later moved to New Haven due to the low ticket sales.
Roger tries to hit his usual high E flat at the end of Somebody To Love, but the old vocal cords just ain't what they used to be!
Towards the end of his vocal exchange with the audience after Save Me, Freddie tells them, "I'm gonna make you sing like Aretha Franklin", like he did during Now I'm Here in Milton Keynes a couple months back. But this time he doesn't succeed, as he gives up after only one line.
A bit over three minutes into his solo spot, Brian breaks a string on the Red Special. He turns off the analog delays, and tries to make the best of the situation for a brief while (the other five strings go out of tune when you break a string on an electric guitar with floating tremolo). But he ultimately gives up, unplugs, and is then handed his John Birch copy. Within a couple minutes, the Birch goes out of tune. He takes the guitar off, and throws it over his stack of Vox cabinets (the one and only time he did this), snapping it in half. Some audience members watch in bewilderment as they have witnessed the normally gentle and soft-spoken May lash out in frustration. Others cheer the 'coolness' factor. A roadie, visible to the audience, picks up a piece of the Birch guitar and holds it up for a brief moment. Brian then finishes his solo spot with a Gibson Flying V.
Brian (who hasn't spoken much on stage on this tour since Love Of My Life was his usual speaking spot) says a few words after Under Pressure. "People of New Jersey, we seem like good friends. I tell you, we've seen you a lot of times. We've been around quite a while and we've done some strange things here and there. And now and again we've done a song which actually means something, and I think this is one of them. This is a song Freddie wrote for the last album. This is called Life Is Real." Queen performed the song only a few times.
After the song ends, Freddie asks, "How are we doing with the guitars?" He tells the audience, "I think tonight's the night we're gonna break as many guitars as we've got. If anyone in the audience has a spare guitar, bring it over here!" Someone in the audience replies, "I've got three!"
It takes a few songs for the Red Special to be restrung, so Brian plays his Flying V for a few more songs, according to a fan who attended the show (although Brian stated in a January 1983 interview that he acquired the Flying V *because* of this incident - but this claim is questionable, as pictures from last week's concert in Toronto reveal his Flying V on a guitar stand side stage). These few songs sound very different with this new guitar tone - particularly Fat Bottomed Girls and the Bohemian Rhapsody solo. He would return with his beloved home-made guitar for the hard rock section of Bohemian Rhapsody, but he wouldn't fully regain his composure for the rest of the evening.
A fan wrote to Brian at his Soapbox about the show:
"During the show you had problems with The Old Lady and came out with the Birch copy. Then the birch copy had some problems and you threw it and your roadie missed it I think because he held up something that looked like a broken Birch Guitar. You then played a good part of the concert on a Flying V. I remember wishing I had a camera to see you playing on the V. You played Life Is Real while repairs were being done. Freddie even joked if someone had an extra guitar to please bring it up. After the break in BORHAP you came back with the Old Lady."
"You evidently saw a special night ... the only night when I ever threw a guitar off stage in despair ! And, yes, I did hit the ground behind the stage - I'm pretty sure I thought I was throwing to someone, but evidently I misjudged it. And, yes, its neck snapped clean through. I kept it for a while, intending to get it fixed. But we decided it would probably never be good at staying in tune, because it wasn't a very rigid instrument. And not being able to get it in tune was what drove me to distraction that night, and this was what led to its demise! As I remember, this was on top of having problems with the Red Special in the beginning - in the heat of the moment, this was the final straw ! I imagine your bootleg of the show will reveal the problems I was having. These things usually make me feel ashamed, frustrated, angry, in the moment... I don't like giving people less than the best. So this picture really does tell a story ... a unique story. I wonder what happened to the Flying V ... As for the Birch guitar, well, we lent it Guild, to compare, while they were making their Red specials under license in the 80's. Then we all forgot about it for many years. Then it turned up, and thanks to a friend (I think I told the story here) it now resides back with me. We have decided to keep it as it is, in pieces, just for historical interest, for the same reasons as before."
Brian has since reunited with the guitar, apparently after it was purchased on eBay. Its story and a couple pictures of it can be seen at Brian's website. It was repaired by Andrew Guyton, although it wasn't a complete restoration as Brian wanted to see exactly where he broke it.
Here are a few pro photos from the concert: 1 2 3 4 5 6
These photos were taken after the show, at a party in New York: 1 2
|Recording length:||100 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)|
|Lineage:||"Life Is Real" (Gypsy Eye) silvers|
Flash (tape), Rock It, We Will Rock You (fast), Action This Day, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Save Me, Calling All Girls, Get Down Make Love, guitar solo (cut twice), Body Language [cut], Under Pressure [cut], Life Is Real, Fat Bottomed Girls, 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 recording is a bit sharp in the top end.
There are five slight cuts, four of which are digital cuts at the fault of the bootleg company. One of the cuts during the guitar solo is a digital cut - precisely where Brian breaks the string.
Here's a link to the always-reliable GS review: http://www.collectorsmusicreviews.com
|Recording length:||102 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)|
|Lineage:||AUD > ? > CDR (x)|
Flash (tape), Rock It, We Will Rock You (fast), Action This Day, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Save Me, Calling All Girls, Get Down Make Love, guitar solo [cut], Body Language, Under Pressure, Life Is Real, Fat Bottomed Girls, 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 RoIO is maybe one tape generation worse, but the EQ is much smoother-sounding.
It has about 20 seconds less tape at the beginning of the show, and there is only one slight cut - while Brian is switching to the Birch copy. It's unlikely that the tape ran out at this point, as it's about 52 minutes into the recording. Perhaps the taper wanted to save this little piece of history for themselves.