City: Inglewood, CA, USA
Venue: The Forum
Date: September 15, 1982


   

This is the final concert Queen would ever play in North America. The tour was ultimately not nearly as successful as previous outings. Four nights at the LA Forum had become two. In a 1999 interview with Mojo magazine Roger Taylor recalled, "I remember suddenly realising that we weren't packing them in quite as much as we used to."

Billy Squier, who has opened for Queen at every show on this tour, joins them in the encore during a one-off version of Jailhouse Rock, adding vocals.

A bit of video from this show exists. The band are seen going through the corridor to the stage to begin the concert, and Michael Jackson is with them (thanks to Julien Cohen for the link).

Currently, recordings commonly labeled as being from one or both of these Los Angeles dates are from one of the umpteen bootlegs of the Fukuoka '82 shows. Genuine audience tapes and even an 8mm film are rumoured to exist (most likely due to the historic nature of this show), but have never been confirmed.

The concert pictures, snapped by Robert Matheu, are from Phil Sutcliffe's excellent book, The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock.

Here are a few more pro pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Reflecting on this tour, Squier had some kind things to say about Freddie Mercury. "He loved to perform. I think all the words about how great a performer he was have been used up. I just used to stand and watch him every night thinking, 'How do you do that? Just how do you get away with it?' It was the onstage Freddie that was most fearless. He believed in what he and the band were doing so much. He never projected the slightest fear or self-doubt and that just swept the audience along with him. He just knew that the show was going to work. He was made for the stage. His sense of theatricality was the key, and it was a key which so very few other rock performers have at their disposal."



About a week after this show, Brian May was interviewed for the January 1983 issue of Guitar Player magazine. Here are some excerpts:

"We used to do the song 'Son and Daughter' on stage, and the solo section in the middle of that became what was in 'Brighton Rock'. After 'Brighton Rock' was recorded, that solo evolved a lot more. One facet of it was the way it is on the live album, but it's changed a lot since then. Sometimes we've dropped it because I felt I got stale. I don't like to do exactly the same thing two nights running. That should be a time when you can do something different. Now we don't do "Brighton Rock" anymore, so it's gone full circle. In the beginning, the solo was there and the song was around it. And now the song's gone and the solo's there.

"It's just a delay machine set on one delay rather than a multiple, so it's not a sort of echo effect. It's one line coming back at you. I have two delay machines, so I can do three-part harmonies with that: I can play alone - maybe two or three notes - and then it comes back and I can play along with it. And then it comes back again and there are three parts. The delays are mostly about one and a half seconds. A lot of things can happen: You can play in synch with what comes back and make the harmonies, or you can play chords and then single notes on top to get a playing-in-rhythm effect. You can also do various kind of counterpoints. Sometimes they work. It all depends on whether I can hear myself well. If it's a good night and I can really hear well, I can do things that demand very close timing. On this tour I've been experimenting with steps which are not exactly on the beat: so when it comes back at you, they are in a different place each time. I found I could do all sorts of strange things with that, just making them mesh in a different way.

"I've thought it was obsolete many times. We've thrown it out. We haven't done it every night on this tour. But somehow it seems to creep back in there. It's weird. I did it for years, and nobody would talk about it. And then when I threw it out, people said, "Hey! How could you do that?" On this tour we did some special things with the lights. We had t hose pods which can fly about, and I used to do a little battle with those. That gave it a new lease on life. People would tend to notice that. As opposed to not saying anything, they would say, "I like the lights in the solo [laughs]." I've found that people seem to appreciate long solos more on this tour than they did before. I think a lot of people thought our material was veering too far away from the heavy side, and they thought the solo stuff redressed the balance to a certain extent.

"I didn't feel that this tour was making me very happy. I've often felt that in the studio, but that's the first time I felt it on tour. I didn't feel happy until the last concert. The last night in L.A. I felt quite cheered up. I was prepared to think, "Well, I don't really want to do this anymore." Somehow when it got to the last one, Freddie was really on form and giving a million precent, and I felt that it was going well. So the end of the tour finished on a good note for me. I felt like I did want to be out there doing it again sometime. But we are going to have a long rest." [Of course, after the six shows in Japan next month.]

Back in 1977 Brian was quoted saying, "We've always thought it was wrong to regard a tour purely as a promotional exercise, because some people have done that, and gone out and slogged away at the hits and the new album, and I don't think that makes for good touring." Maybe that's at least partly the reason why he didn't enjoy himself this time around.




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