The Story of Freddie Mercury Booting Sid Vicious Out from His Recording Studio
via Classic Rock And Country Music Facts And Trivia / YouTube
In the colorful tapestry of rock history, 1977 witnessed a collision of two very different branches of the genre when Queen, the reigning rock royalty, crossed paths with the notorious Sex Pistols, the punk provocateurs of the time. These two bands found themselves in the same studio, and what transpired was a brief but memorable clash of musical worlds.
During this era, Queen had already established their supremacy in the rock world.
With multi-platinum album sales and chart-topping hits like “Killer Queen,” “Somebody to Love,” and the iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” they were a force to be reckoned with. On the flip side, the Sex Pistols were the unruly newcomers, embodying the punk movement that was sweeping through rock music.
The stage for their encounter was set when Queen withdrew from a television appearance on the London magazine show “Tonight” in December 1976. The Sex Pistols filled the void, resulting in one of the most infamous interviews in television history.
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It seemed like fate had intertwined the destinies of these two very different acts.
In the late summer of ’77, both bands found themselves working at Wessex Sound Studios, each in their separate realms. However, the physical separation couldn’t prevent sparks from flying when Freddie Mercury and Sid Vicious crossed paths.
The initial unexpected visitor to Queen’s studio was not Sid Vicious but John Lydon, famously known as Johnny Rotten. According to Queen’s roadie, Peter Hince, Johnny Rotten made a memorable entrance. He “crawled on all fours across our studio up to the side of the piano, said, ‘Hello Freddie,’ and left on all fours.”
Bill Price, the engineer working with the Sex Pistols on their debut album at the time, recognized that this might not have been the wisest move. Johnny Rotten, upon his return, revealed:
“I’ve been to see Freddie,” to which Queen’s producer responded with concern, “Freddie was playing piano. One of the band members just crawled on all fours across our studio up to the side of the piano, said, ‘Hello Freddie,’ and left on all fours. Could you make sure he doesn’t do it again?“
Surprisingly, despite the unconventional behavior, Johnny Rotten had displayed a degree of politeness when interacting with Queen. Brian May later recalled that the Sex Pistols singer “was always very respectful” in their encounters. However, Sid Vicious would prove to be a different story.
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Sid Vicious, who was clearly not in the best state of mind, made an unexpected entrance into Queen’s control room one day.
In a somewhat inebriated state, he questioned:
“Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?“
This quip was a reference to a recent NME interview in which Freddie Mercury had expressed his admiration for ballet.
Freddie Mercury, known for his quick wit and no-nonsense attitude, was unamused by Sid Vicious’s remark. While the clash may have been brief, it added another layer to the rich tapestry of rock history.