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"I don't care what journalists say. What do they know? Tuck them if they just don't get it!"

In terms of the press, I'm a very hated person. But I hate the press as well, so that goes both ways.

I think I've learned to live with it after all these years. I'd be a liar to say I in not hurt by criticism because everybody is. Of course I want everybody to say I'm wonderful and that they like my songs, and I don't mind genuine '' I'll thought out criticism, but of course you're going to get people who ' i view our albums without even listening to them, and things like that. That's i lie way of the world. I used to get really mad and start tearing my hair out, but I don't have sleepless nights any more. I learned to live with it. It needs a strong-willed person to survive in this industry. You have to be astute and strong. You have to be a hard-faced bitch.

I've never let the press worry me. In the early days you think about it, you i out and buy the papers and make sure you're in it, but now it's a completely different set-up because it's just your music you worry about. Basically what you worry about is the people that buy your products - that's who keeps us going.

I don't give a damn about critics, to be honest. The backing of the press is important only at the beginning of a career as a rock musician. When success arrives, itís the fans who decide on whether it's to be, or not to be. They can write what they want. You'd be surprised how much of it is exaggerated and blown up by the press just to make good copy. I would give them a bit of spice, and they would add all the trimmings. I wish I didn't talk so much to people because the more I find out, the more I realise how cruel it can be. My lifestyle and this very precocious nature was blown out of all proportion. But the media created a lot more than I could give. I was prepared to live with it, and it was up to me to make sure I had one foot firmly on the ground. I feel I have. What's more important to me is the public. Critics don't buy my records, they don't give me the money, so until the public stop buying my records I don't have to think about it.

Anybody that's successful for long has to take a little bit of flak. It makes them better. You can't be a goody-two-shoes forever. I can't bear the fact there are a few musicians who think they are so wonderful. I think that's terrible. We all have our ups and downs, we all have our limitations, and we all know there are certain things you can't do. But I don't want some arsehole critic telling me that. I would rather have a man-to-man talk with a real musician, who can tell me I'm doing certain things wrong.

I think it would be a very stupid person who is in this position to think that nothing derogatory is ever going to come out about them. That would be very silly. I always knew there were going to be exposes. It just depends how horrible they are, of course. I think most of us know that is always on the sideline. You always know. It's something we live with.

It's dreadful. I think what I'm saying is that I knew there were going to be people who would suddenly do me wrong - those who say, "I'm going to dish the dirt on him!" I always knew there was going to be somebody in the camp to do it one day. Actually, I was amazed it didn't happen sooner. I won't name names, but I've been terribly betrayed in the past. It's something you have 10 live with and then in the end if you're clever enough it just makeĽ you stronger.

I think it's an element of human nature, too, so I put it down to that. Itís a trait, a characteristic that most of us have. It"s a human thing.

There are lots of stories where people take exposes to the media about successful people, because nobody wants to read about ordinary Mary Potts, and her depressing life, poor girl! It doesn't make for very good reading. But somebody of status, any kind of celebrity, they know it sells papers.

I'm the first to accept fair criticism, and I think it would be wrong if all we got were good reviews, but it's when you get unfair, dishonest reviews, where people haven't done their homework, that I get annoyed. I just tear reviews like that up.

To be frank I'm not that keen on the British music press, as they've been pretty unfair to us. I get annoyed when up-and-coming journalists put themselves above the artists. They've certainly been under a misconception about us. We've been called a 'supermarket hype'. But if you see us up on a stage, that's what we're all about. We are basically a rock band. All the lights and paraphernalia are only there to enhance what we do. I think we're good writers, and we want to play good music, no matter how much of a slagging we get. The music is the most important factor.

We did our first headline tour and the buzz got around, without any support from the media. I suppose they like to find their own bands, and we were too quick for them.

1 don't take much notice, to be honest. They can say what they like. It's Rot constructive at all. The American press do their homework and the kind of questions they ask you makes much better copy anyway. They ask more relevant things, I feel. You can tell that they've done their homework because they ask you very penetrating questions - which I don't mind - because then you know they have some substance - what they write about has much more buying. But over here, in England, it's all, "Why have you stopped wearing bluck fingernails Freddie Mercury?" Then it's the review of the album, and they haven't a clue anyway.

In this country, to gain any sort of respect over a given period seems very difficult, to lay the least. The papers like to feel they have you in their grasp. Well, we slipped out of their grasp.

The Americans don't have the same kind of prejudices. If they can do it, why can't people over here? They're too narrow-minded here. They are arrogant sods that just don't want to learn. They don't want to be told anything. They feel that they know it all before it's even happened.

We're not just an average rock group. We did things that people least expected, not for the sake of just doing them, but because it was the phase we were going through. Some people used to think that all we used to do was copy rock and that we could only do one sort of style. I felt sorry for certain journalists who were very narrow-minded and thought that way, because all they had to do was delve a bit deeper and do a bit more of their homework to have found out what the band was really all about.

It could be that we got people's backs up because it seemed that we broke through so fast. We gained popularity quicker than most bands and we were talked about more than most other bands, so it was inevitable. One minute nobody had heard of us, next minute we were top of the bill. But it didn't happen like that, of course. We kind of crept up on the press boys. Really, they like to take the credit for discovering new bands in advance of public interest, but in our case we were there before they latched on.

From the very beginning, as far as the music press is concerned, they like to put up and coming bands into a particular bag, to what they think you should be. We were disliked by them in the early days because they couldn't put their finger on us. That was the case with Zeppelin as well. We just rebelled and wanted to do what we thought was right, and not go along with what they were saying. Since the early stages there's been this fracas. Now it's the standard thing - it's just the norm. It doesn't worry me at all. It was more frustrating in the early days when the press were not very favourable towards us. I got very depressed as far as Britain was concerned, but now I think we've learned to live with it. We've been living with that kind of thing for years.

My private life is private, and okay little bits of it sneak out, and I cm cornĽ up with outrageous quotes, and that's as far as I go. There are always going to be people in the press after you - all out to get you.

Recently I was completely misquoted in a newspaper article again. From the beginning the press have always written whatever they wanted about Queen, and they can get away with it. The woman who wrote that last story wanted a total scoop from me but didn't get anything. I said, "What do you want to hear... that I deal cocaine?" But for God's sake, if I want to make big confessions about my sex life, or to make a fucking crash-landing, like a tidal wave, a big splash after all these years, would I go to The Sun, of all papers, to do it? It wouldn't be to some rag like that. There's no fucking way I'd do that. I'm too intelligent.

It's strategy. One has to use it to one's best advantage. Darlings, if everything you read in the press about me was true, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you today. I would be so worried about my ego. Actually, if it was all accurate, I would have burnt myself out by now, I really would have.

The media were trying to break us up almost from when we started, when we became successful. That's what the press love. I think they'd love to split Queen up. I think it's one of those done things, where you know after so many years that they are going to try. So many of them decided we needed a good slagging, just because we had the nerve to get to the top before they had given us the say-so. We'd always had confidence in what we were doing, so the press didn't really get us down. If we break up, we break up, and the ū„Śss will want to be the first ones to know.

I'm getting a bit sober in my old age. Honestly, I don't think about it. I'm

really not that conscious about it, not now. I don't give two shits if people hinder me or talk about me. I used to get very paranoid about what people did in the early days, and I wanted to be put across in the way I felt, but now it's growing out of all proportion and you can't keep track of all that.

These days I get a bit annoyed if I'm not quoted in teasers or misquoted in dun, I look forward to those days. A lot of misguided opinions can hurt because you feel that the guy hasn't got it right or done it properly, but yet people are going to read it and take it in and feel that it's accurate. That's the thing that hurts a bit. But what on you do? Sometimes you can do an interview and say certain things and then it comes out totally wrong. I feel that the bloody British press are good at that. You do an hour-long interview and then you just get a paragraph where they only take the juicy lines, and you think, "Oh dear, oh dear!" Sometimes you do an interview and then the article is published and you think, "Was I actually there for that?" because it's nothing like what you originally said. That's happened to me so many times but it's something that one has to learn to live with. I never take it that seriously. There was a time, like I said before, when I thought it was affecting me, but you must never let it get on top of you. You must just put it aside and look upon it more generally. That's the way I look at it. It's only an article!

I believe in personalities, not papers. I'm not interested in us versus the New Musical Express. People think that because I don't do interviews any more, I've got this thing against the press. It's not true. I don't like doing interviews because if you plonk a tape recorder in front of me I just clam up.

I think to an extent we are a sitting target in the press, because we became popular so quickly. But we spent two years putting our act together. It destroys the soul to hear that you're all 'hype', that you have no talent, and that your whole career has been contrived. I was never too keen on the British music press. They used to suggest that we didn't write our own songs... when the whole point of Queen was to be original. I don't care what the journalists say, we have achieved our own identity. What do they know? Fuck them if they just don't get it!



Chapter eighteen

Date: 2015-02-03; view: 1202

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