‘It isn’t the same; I’m not Freddie’: Adam Lambert is facing Queen fans’ doubts head on

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Despite having been together off and on for some five years, Queen and Adam Lambert still must deal every night with the specter of Freddie Mercury — both on stage, as they perform the band’s greatest hits, but also among those who think Queen’s late frontman is simply irreplaceable.

Lambert, whose world tour with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor is continuing in Australia, is facing those kind of questions head on.

“Some critics might say, it’s not the same and he’s not Freddie,” Lambert tells Today: Entertainment in Australia. “Those are very true things. It isn’t the same; I’m not Freddie. I’m aware of that, but I think these two amazing musicians still want to get on stage and entertain people. I think that they have that right. And these songs need to be brought to live on stage by the originators.”

This, of course, isn’t the first time that Queen has appeared with another frontman since Mercury’s untimely early-1990s death from AIDS-related illnesses. But it’s becoming their longest-tenured association with another singer. And that’s something May says he and Taylor have taken very seriously.

“In our minds, that was kind of the litmus test the whole time — would Freddie like this?” May says. “And we don’t have any doubt whatsoever that Freddie would love it. He would be a little jealous, I think.”

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  • Mallory2696

    Saw the concert. Lambert is incredible. He brings power, charisma and unbelievable vocals to this iconic music. What more could one want? Freddie I am sure wants the music to live on. He was that type of person, not closed minded like some of his so-called “fans”.

    • Jacki

      Fortunately the people who keep slamming Adam are in a tiny minority and in the context of the thousands of people worldwide actually seeing and loving the concerts a few narrow-minded old grumps hanging around internet forum’s & blogs really don’t count for a whole lot. Adam has a very strong & sensible attitude & is used to being bullied and harassed for all sorts of stupid reasons. Brian & Roger are also old hands at it having been there and done that when Freddie was alive and dealing with constant abuse from the general public (some of whom are probably the ones hating Adam for not being Freddie now LOL). They’re just letting the performance speak for itself and it’s a million times louder than the whingers 😀

      • Trudy

        I’m reading Freddie Mercury’s biography now. Brian and Roger know a thing or two about the business and had to deal with nay-sayers even when the band was at its peak.

  • Trudy

    I suppose this comparison will continue “ad nauseam” . I saw the show. There is not a better LIVE singer in the business today. Queen’s music is big and Adam has the powerful vocals to bring new life to some of the best rock ever written.

  • mercurythebest

    hahaha. Oh Brian, you silly rabbit.

  • Jacki

    I have no problem with the comparison. I think it’s unavoidable. The thing is, Adam Lambert keeps showing audiences that the comparison comes down in his favour. He’s not freddie and he doesn’t want to be or try to be. He’s Adam lambert and that is enough. As Brian said – Freddie would be as impressed as everyone else is and would probably adore Adam every bit as much as Brian & Roger and every audience who’s seen him perform with QUeen do. 😀

  • fromthegreyfort

    The problem with this comparing Adam to Freddie conversation is that it’s getting so old. It really started in November 2011 when Adam fronted Queen for the first time at the European Music Awards. (Yes, that five year time frame at the start of this article stretches the actual history by a couple of years.) It hasn’t changed since then even though every critic, blogger & music journalist who brings it up acts like he/she is the first. Get over it people. There just isn’t anything left to say on the subject. I would like to remind people that when Freddie was in his prime he was deeply criticized – people said his voice was like cats in a blender, that his costumes were ridiculous and his on-stage antics were stupid. Now the same people want Freddie to be viewed as a deity who can never be approached. Thirty years from now there will be another talented entertainer with an incredible voice, fashion sense, charisma and showmanship and people will say “Yeah, he’s good but he’s no Adam Lambert.” The real truth will be that he’s an awesome performer in his own right, just as Freddie was and just as Adam is.

    • 0nehunter69

      Well said…..Thank You

    • Brian Katz

      Very well said.
      In fact there was a recent reviewer who praised Freddie while putting Adam down, yet this very same reviewer had nothing good to say about Freddie Mercury and Queen when he reviewed them back in their day.

  • My2ndnephew .

    **This is a review of Queen in the 1970s. Cracks me up. Some critics are
    always are on the Doubting Thomas side if not the downright
    mean and nasty side**

    1970s REVIEW….

    There’s no Jazz on Queen’s new record, in case fans of either were
    worried about the defilement of an icon. Queen hasn’t the imagination to
    play jazz — Queen hasn’t the imagination, for that matter, to play rock
    & roll. Jazz is just more of the same dull pastiche that’s
    dominated all of this British supergroup’s work: tight guitar/bass/drums
    heavy-metal clichés, light-classical pianistics, four-part harmonies
    that make the Four Freshmen sound funky and Freddie Mercury’s
    throat-scratching lead vocals.

    Anyway, it shouldn’t be surprising that Queen calls its album “jazz.” The guiding principle of these arrogant brats seems to be that anything Freddie & Company want, Freddie & Company get. What’s most disconcerting about their arrogance is that it’s so unfounded: Led Zeppelin may be as ruthless as medieval aristocrats, but at least Jimmy Page has an original electronic
    approach that earns his band some of its elitist notions. The only
    thing Queen does better than anyone else is express contempt.

    Take the LP’s opening song, “Mustapha.” It begins with a parody of a
    muezzin’s shriek and dissolves into an approximation of Arabic music.
    This is part of Queen’s grand design. Freddie Mercury is worldly and
    sophisticated, a man who knows what the muezzin sounds like. More to the
    point, you don’t. What trips the group up, as usual, is the music.
    “Mustapha” is merely a clumsy and pretentious rewrite of “Hernando’s
    Hideaway,” which has about as much to do with Middle Eastern culture as
    street-corner souvlaki.

    But it’s easy to ascribe too much ambition to Queen. “Fat Bottomed Girls” isn’t sexist — it regards women not as sex objects but as objects, period (the way the band regards people in general). When Mercury chants, in “Let Me Entertain You,” about selling his body and his willingness to use any device to thrill an audience, he isn’t talking about a sacrifice for his art. He’s just confessing his shamelessness, mostly because he’s too much of a boor to feel stupid.

    **So, you see, critics are NOT the predictors of the future.