Brian May says Queen first thought Live Aid performance was “kind of OK”

"We didn't realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether."

Brian May has revealed how Queen initially thought their Live Aid performance was “kind of ok”, failing to realise that they had delivered one of the most iconic performances of all time.

The 22-minute set at the 1985 charity concert is considered to be one of the greatest live sets ever delivered, and was recreated for the band’s 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Reflecting on the experience of watching the movie being filmed, May revealed how the band had a modest opinion of their performance after coming off stage.


“It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie,” May told TalkRADIO.

“They recreated it so incredibly faithfully, and to be there on that set was really spine chilling; it brought it all back. And at the time, we weren’t aware of what an epoch-making thing it was, really. We came off [thinking], ‘Well, that went kind of OK.’ But we didn’t realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether. … It sort of lives on, doesn’t it?”

Brian May
Brian May (Picture: Getty)

Hailing the talents of the late Freddie Mercury, he added: “He had a great spatial awareness, and that’s something very important.

“If you’re working with people on a stage, you need to have musical contact, but you also need the kind of physical chemistry going on — the awareness of where you are and where you’re aiming your energy. Freddie was wonderful for that, and we just clicked from the very beginning.”

Meanwhile, May recently revealed he feels “grateful to be alive” after a number of health issues including a heart attack and exploding stomach.


Back in May, the Queen guitarist told fans that he had been “very near death” when he was hospitalised after doctors discovered that three arteries in his heart “were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood” to his heart.

In September, he also revealed that the drugs he was on to aid his recovery had caused “a stomach explosion that nearly killed me”.

Along with his catalogue of health issues in 2020 so far, Brian May also recently lauded firefighters back in August after a forest fire broke out near his Surrey home.

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