‘It’s because people want it’: Brian May on why Queen has moved forward with Adam Lambert

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Brian May addresses his willingness to continue Queen past the death of Freddie Mercury and the retirement of John Deacon, saying it’s not for the filthy lucre. He and Roger Taylor do, he says, for the fans.

“We don’t need the money and we don’t need the fame — so why would we do it?” May rhetorically asks the Times of Malta. “If the Queen legacy is going on and on, it’s not because of us. It’s because people want it. And now and again, it’s nice to give people what they want.”

Mercury, the group’s unforgettable frontman, has been gone since 1991. Bassist Deacon, who co-wrote several of Queen’s most iconic hits, left the stage not long after. Since, May and Taylor have paired with a series of guest singers, including George Michael, Paul Rodgers and — most recently — Adam Lambert. There has also been a long-running Queen-themed musical, and a travelling Queen Extravaganza featuring up and coming talent. Queen + Lambert kick off their first-ever stateside tour together this summer.

“I like it,” adds May, a credentialled scientist who has developed into a passionate animal-rights activist, as well. “I don’t have to it, and I certainly don’t want to do it all the time. After all, we did it for twenty years. I like to have the freedom to do [duo shows with Kerry Ellis], to do astronomy, to try to change the world with regards to animals.”

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  • Random Medley

    Thank you Brian. I am one of your fans that want it. I can’t wait to see you, Roger, Rufus and Adam Lambert.

  • RMEnders

    The Queen musical “We Will Rock You”? Queen Extravaganza? The Freddie Mercury biopic? And now they want to tour? Brian and Roger have been milking Freddie’s legacy for the last 20 years. Sure, they don’t want the money. Except they do.

    • netmeg99

      You act like Freddie was the only member of Queen…Brian and Roger were there too.. it’s their music as much as it was Freddie’s they have every right to make money off of the music. They have poured their whole lives into Queen. Have a little respect for them…geeez

  • DwDunphy

    Did someone change the meaning of the word “No!” and not tell me?

  • netmeg99

    I wish Dr Brian May didn’t have to keep explaining why…that just seems ridiculous me. I love Queen and I love Adam and to me it’s just right. It’s a perfect match. Brian and Roger shouldn’t have to keep explaining themselves they aren’t retired or passed on “Let them Play Their Music” Rock On Queen????

  • SweetfourGlambert

    Thank you Brian I am so happy that I am going to the Toronto show !!!! Can’t wait !!!

  • Lauriellen

    I’ve been predicting a Queen with Adam Lambert tour since they appeared on the American Idol season 8 finale. I just didn’t think it would take five years.

    Brian and Roger don’t need to answer to anyone. They are artists and musicians who have been reborn since meeting Adam. They are doing this tour because they can and they want to. And YES people want to see it. Most of the venues sold out in a few days.

    ROCK ON gentlemen! And I’ll see you in LA, Detroit and Maryland.

  • fineline

    Queen is a collaboration of 4 artists, music written and created by all 4 . The music is so ubiquitous. The legacy was created to and belongs to all 4. To say otherwise is just plain stupid and so disrespectful. It goes beyond money but some people will always project their own negative thoughts and opinions onto another and then think it is right when in fact they have really just defined themselves. Rock on Queen and Adam, they are the champions, they don’t have time for losers, so the losers can just go bite the dust!

  • ibernard

    @Brian May: “We don’t need the money…” Really? Then why are you CONTINUALLY RELEASING REMASTERED versions of REMASTERED versions of REMASTERED versions of REMASTERED versions of your CDs (in different packaging formats) and the same with the DVDs. There is NOTHING out from the 70s. Your “official” Karaoke is only available to those who know how to source is legally, the Houston 1977 concert is out there (bootleg), and you CERTAINLY have enough of LIVE VIDEO MATERIAL from the 70s (how about releasing THE MAGIC YEARS on DVD? I have it on LaserDisc, as well as other material ON LaserDisc) you have more than enough material to put together a collection as GRAND as FREDDIE MERCURY’S “The Solo Collection.” Mick Rock has photos, you’ve got material. Please. YOU BORE ME with your repeated “because the fans want it.” Well, I was 17 when I was in New Haven CT for the LEGENDARY “We Will Rock You” show at the (now-demolished) New Haven Coliseum show. I was FRONT AND CENTER and my life changed forever, seeing Freddie (1977) and hearing your music.


    And there’s no denying it, Dr. May.

    Just answer this question: how much audio and video do you have from the 70s which you could remaster and repackage and come out with something to put Elton John’s 40th Anniversary SUPER DELUXE BOX and LEMON YELLOW VINYL of GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD? I bought ALL OF IT…and I bought SO MUCH MORE to give as gifts. It’s my “go-to” for birthday presents now.

    Shame on you. Shame.

    And yes, this is my real name.

    Bernard M Lynch Jr
    Waterbury (The Palace Theatre) CT

    • Yvette

      Bernard..you sound so Ridiculous, Silly and you contradict yourself. Nothing you say is True. Move on! You are Not a fan or appreciate the Legacy of this Legendary Band..Queen..who have 2 Phenomenal vital members left to carry on the Extraordinary music. To many Classic Legendary bands tour today. .year after year with half their members and continue to sell out venues. Why should Queen not have the same Respect to tour. Because You say so??? Bernard, YOU are Ridiculous! !!
      QUEEN found their “Gift from God” with Adam Lambert and I along with the Hundreds of thousands selling out North America are beyond Grateful for Brian and Roger taking time out of their life for US…to tour again and choose Adam…the most Phenomenal Voice on the planet!
      Bernard…keep your ridiculous Negative Disrespectful Rants to yourself and far away from the concert tour!

      • ibernard


        You’re the goofball.

        I saw Queen (all four original members) LIVE seven times between 1977 and 1980.

        Queen, fronted by the inimitable Freddie Mercury, and backed up by John Deacon.

        I have all their CDs, and then some.

        And take another look at your letter. Your grammar, spelling and punctuation and capitalization really need work. What? Are you in junior high? Child, please.

        Queen died with Freddie. END OF STORY.

        All the “classic groups” touring are filling their retirement coffers.

        Meanwhile, try T*E*X*A*S, Grace Jones, Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, Scissor Sisters, Erasure, Annie Lennox and Elton John (w. his songwriter Bernie Taupin).

        You certainly have a lot to learn.

        Child. Please.

        By the way, my friends and I had a good laugh out of your poorly written “rant.”

        I spent my money on Queen in the 70s. When they earned it. Freddie, as well.

      • ibernard

        Two words: Freddie Mercury.

  • David Eckels

    I think Mika would be better vocally, or maybe Martel- but I guess Martel’s in the other Queen production.
    Still not feeling Queen, though, without at least having John Deacon involved.

  • Salty12383

    Adam Lambert is an embarrassing replacement to Freddie Mercury.