Queen Archive Uncovers Freddie Mercury’s Audience Manipulation Technique

In the most recent installment of Queen’s YouTube series “The Greatest Live,” Freddie Mercury discussed stage performances in an old interview. The late vocalist made some observations about the Punk movement’s strategy for playing to large crowds in his remarks about his band’s live performances. Mercury began by introducing himself to the crowd by saying: “I have to persuade them. Otherwise, the gig is a failure. It’s my responsibility to charm them and give them the impression that they enjoyed themselves. I play a part in that. That is a responsibility I have to fulfill. I just feel like the faster I accomplish it, the better because then I feel like I can manipulate them or whatever, but it’s all about me feeling in control so that I know it’s all going well. This sort of cliché statement that, “You have them eating from the palm of your hand,” The late Queen frontman engaged his audience directly at several performances by using techniques like “Ay-Oh!” to get their attention, and he even persuaded 80,000 people to perform with him during Live Aid in 1985.

Mercury claimed he preferred such a performance to “sitting on a stool,” but he also rejected punk bands’ desire for smaller crowds: “I believe that everyone who aspires to and achieves success will not say, “I know there was a fashion, there was a trend before, a few years back, with the punk movement or whatever. Because we’re being intimate and all that, they claimed, “We want to play to the small audiences.” “What a bunch of crap!” The performer continued by outlining his preference for larger crowds: “I’m not scared to say that everyone who aspires to be a star wants to play the biggest audience inside them. Everyone aspires to perform before the largest audiences ever. As many people as I can should hear it, in my opinion. You know, the more the merrier. I want everyone to listen to my music because it is not directed into any certain area. I don’t just make music for the Germans or the Japanese. It applies to everyone.

Music has no bounds. He continued, saying he wished for more people to hear his music: And I’m not elitist or anything like that. They claim, “I only want to have a certain quota of intelligent people hear my songs.” Because music is for everyone, I simply want everyone. That’s because it’s an international language. So as far as I’m concerned, I want everyone to hear my music. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and watch and listen to me perform. The interview with Freddie Mercury is available in the video down below.

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