Bohemian Rhapsody the film shows the band bickering and bantering. Things get a little uncomfortable when Freddie splits away. Things were much more intense in real life according to May in a major new retrospective: “That’s what breaks bands up.” But what was really going on?
In a powerful and detailed retrospective in MOJO magazine May and Roger Taylor give remarkable insights into the life of the band from the earliest days until Freddie’s last days.
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody touches on the difficulties of having four strong and independently creative talent working in one band.
May has opened up about the reality: “It was a struggle. That’s what breaks bands up. There were lots of arguments about how much input everybody had. We were like four painters with a brush each but one canvas. There was conflict, but we got there.”
The Queen icon also reveals it was more than just the creative side which fuelled the situation.
May added: “We all influenced each other. That was the secret of Queen. We pushed and pulled each other, mercilessly.
“We had a family relationship. It wasn’t always nice, because families aren’t always nice.
“We sometimes said terrible things, but we got the best out of each other.”
The film shows the key moment when the band reunite just before Live Aid and one of the central requirements is that all future songwriting credits and royalties are equally shared. The scene onscreen shows it restoring harmony, but May admits it hasn’t been that simple.
He said: “There were moments when all of us thought we’d given too much away. When it comes up about who wrote, say, I Want It All, I’ll say ‘Yes, that’s me.’ Then I have to remember, ‘Oh, hang on, it says Queen in the credits.’ I’m being honest, there is still a bit of that.”
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