We were disliked by the press in the early days because they couldn’t put their finger on us, and that was the case with Zeppelin as well.
People have a propensity to gravitate to the known. The familiar.
When that common ground is disrupted, it is exactly that. Disruptive.
In the world of art, there have been countless examples of how the world evolves through the vision of an artist who refused to accept the norm as their boundaries.
Almost all art was painted in 2 dimensions, until Leonardo, using chiaroscuro and sfumato, created the illusions of the 3rd dimension. Picasso, at the height of his success, entered his blue period, etc.
In most cases, when any artist with cache and following opts to try something new, the fan base is disrupted. I have been part of that fan base in many instances, where I have listened to something that one of my favorite artists tried and shaken my head and asked myself, “why don’t they keep making more of the great stuff?” Roger Waters, after years of writing some the most successful rock music of all time, wrote an opera that sounded like he wanted to be Puccini, called Ca’ Ira. I have tried to listen to it a few times, and finally shelved it for good.
Even as a loyal fan, we are equally well served to hope our favorite artists do not get stuck in a rut, and are able to explore new territory. It may not always land where expected, nor deliver exactly the same buzz that our most treasured works that they have produced, generates, but deep down, the beauty of art is that is is not fixed in stone. *Unless it is a statue, in which case… well, ya know.
The film Bohemian Rhapsody gave us a much clearer view of what life was like for Freddie Mercury. It allowed us to watch a misfit, whose overwhelming talent refused to be suppressed by society, by a genre of music or even by his flamboyant sexuality. It showed us that an artist who had a deep passion for his craft, was going to find his place on the stage with the greatest of them all.
The critics may have had a tough time calculating who Queen was. I know at the time they hit the scene, they were not top on my play list. But as I began to hear their music and understand their vibe, they quickly became one of my all time favorites.
With the band nearing the end of their run, and tensions between them at an all time high, they agreed to appear at Live Aid on July 13, 1985 and literally stole the show from almost all of the greatest performing acts of that era.
Their brilliance is unmistakeable in this performance. I hope this leaves you singing this morning!