Music: Hail to Queen

Smoke machines flood the stage with a primordial haze. Colored lights flash, and chain-mail costumes shine in the gloom. A guitar swoops through a sonic blizzard that might have been whipped up by Led Zeppelin. Whirling at the center of this musical maelstrom is a lanky, dark-haired lout. He shouts in a girlish tenor, drops his kimono, strips to hot pants and tosses roses to adoring teenyboppers.

Could it be The Who? David Bowie, perhaps? Or a Ken Russellized version of Liberace? None of the above. "We're just Queen," says Freddie Mercury, 29, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!