Muse(ing) on Queen






If you have had the misfortune to hear the new Muse single ‘Madness’, you will realise that Matt Bellend is trying to position his band as a 21st century Queen – but even more pompous and arrogant than their forebears. The song itself, (a hybrid of ‘I Want To Break Free’ and ‘It’s a Kind Of Magic’) with its repeated phrase of “a kind of magic” (sorry “madness”) and the way in which Bellend’s voice is multitracked to provide the harmonies, couldn’t scream Freddie more blatantly than him suddenly  donning a cape, a crown and a fake moustache. The guitar solo is redolent of Brian May and the whole concept reeks of crass, commercial cash-in following their Olympics appearance in front of a global audience of 750 million.

Former caravan cleaner and painter and decorator, Bellend is clearly not the brightest spark. In the past he has contemplated how 9/11 was perpetrated by Americans: “September 11 is clearly an inside job, there’s massive evidence that suggests that it was either allowed to happen or even worse, deliberately made to happen. There was a document called ‘Project For The New America Century’ which was made by neo-Con writers in the ’90s who supplied most of the agenda that Bush is putting into place now, which clearly says, ‘We need a Pearl Harbor-level of event so we can have an excuse to invade the Middle East’.” Yes of course, Matt, how insightful you are. Perhaps you can tell us something about the nature of humanity as well: ” Humans were genetically engineered as slaves for aliens whose planet enters our solar system every 3600 years.” Wow, you can! How about the English monarchy? “The Queen and most world leaders are related to a master race of shape-shifting reptilians from the Alpha Draconis star system.” Oh that explains so much. Thank you. You have lifted the veil from my eyes though I am slightly surprised you agreed to perform in a stadium where pride of place went to the lizards watching you.

However, I am not surprised at Bellend’s choice of mentor. For all their university degrees, Queen were nearly as stupid as Muse. In 1984, they decided to ignore the United Nations cultural boycott and played gigs in apartheid South Africa. As a result, the UN put them on its list of blacklisted artists (they were only taken off it when apartheid came to an end) and the Musician’s Union in the UK fined them. And what was the song Queen released shortly after their lucrative South African jaunt? ‘One Vision’ where Freddie sings, “No wrong, no right /I want to tell you, there’s no black and no white.” Try telling that to the people in the townships, you thick, arrogant nob. The lyrics to some of their other songs aren’t much better. Eschewing the nonsensical chorus about wanting to ride a bicycle in ‘Bicycle Race’, there are some telling nuggets in the verse itself: “Cartier I say please /Income tax I say Jesus.” Yet another band intent on enriching themselves and giving nothing back. The casual sexism of ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ beggars belief. How about “Left alone with big fat Fanny /She was such a naughty nanny /Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me,” or perhaps, “I seen every blue eyed floozy on the way, hey / But their beauty and their style /Went kind of smooth after a while /Take me to them dirty ladies every time.” Yes, Freddie, and then what would you do to “them dirty ladies?” Talk nail varnish colours and home decor in all likelihood.

In Roger Taylor’s gimlet eyes, you can see the dollar signs as he envisions every Queen reunion tour, plucking unsuitable, wizened old rockers (step forward, Paul Rodgers) or American Idol contestants (“Don’t be shy, little Adam, we have untold riches to tempt you with”) to replace the irreplaceable. Brian May must be the only man in the world to think that having a permed bird’s nest on his head is still fashionable and if I see him once more in that long coat, designed to hide his gut, holding his guitar and gurning whilst the wind delicately blows dry the Wash and Go, I may have to buy a new TV, having smashed the old one.

Clearly the most sensible option is for Taylor to recruit Bellend as Queen’s new singer. That will make it easier for me to kidnap all three and take them to my Wallander like cellar where Bellend will be compelled to shave Brian’s head (or remove the wig) which he will do when I tell him it is a means of checking who is human and who is lizard. Whilst Bellend is engaged with the clippers, Taylor will be masturbating furiously, whilst screaming, “Off with his hair”(I will have promised him cash for this and, as we know, he will do anything for money). Me? I shall be sat in a chair observing, singing quietly to myself, “It’s a kind of magic.”

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