As Queen enters the final weeks of preparation for its initial American tour alongside Adam Lambert, band co-founder Roger Taylor wants to make clear that they are not trying to replace Freddie Mercury. Having spent so long working with the late singer, Taylor isn’t sure that’s even possible.
Still, Queen has stayed busy in the years since Mercury’s passing from AIDS-related complications more than two decades ago.
Taylor, who has continued Queen with guitarist Brian May after the death of Mercury and the retirement of bassist John Deacon, returns to the U.S. for a series of shows beginning on June 19, 2014 in Chicago. Queen and Lambert made their long-awaited American concert debut, after appearing several times together in Europe since 2009, during last September’s iHeart Radio music event in Las Vegas. Taylor and May earlier appeared with Paul Rodgers, George Michael and others since Mercury’s passing.
“When Brian and I give concerts as a Queen, we don’t want anyone to imitate Freddie — because no one can replace him for us,” Taylor tells the German site Bluewin. “That would be the wrong message. Adam Lambert is an independent artist. It fits us perfectly, because he is so theatrical, a true diva. Freddie would love him!”
Mercury, it seems, is never far from their thoughts. Taylor says he thinks of him “every day, at least once. It is, for Brian and me, part of our lives and our infrastructure. We stood together so closely for so many years.”