It was then that I heard Innuendo for the first time, a song which resonated with me due to the spectacular video and the wonderment it created in my mind of the words and the song.
That was the first time I consciously remember hearing a Queen song and they fast became my favourite band, even if their time was short as an active band due to Freddie Mercury’s ill health and death in November that year.
31 years later, I’m going to see Queen for the very first time as they come to the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday for the first of two nights as part of the Rhapsody tour and, if we are being honest, I’m as excited as a 40-year-old man as I was as that nine-year-old hearing Innuendo for the first time.
What makes this work is that while it will never be the Queen I first heard and devoured the entire back catalogue of music of, it is a wonderful tribute to the spirit of that band, with Brian May still a guitar wizard and Roger Taylor playing those drums like someone half his age.
Complimenting this is the wonderfully gifted Adam Lambert, who doesn’t pretend to be Freddie Mercury, but carries the same range and has the same on-stage presence to bring these classics to life.
Combine the youthful exuberance of Adam Lambert, a supporting cast of musicians on percussion, piano and bass and the experience of the members of Queen and you have a night of the biggest and best hits of one of the greatest rock bands.
Starting out with an orchestral version of Innuendo and a powerful opener of Now I’m Here, the sold-out crowd are treated to a night of hits, complemented by a stunning light show and video display on the stage.
The two-and-a-half hour show packed in a set of hits spanning 16 years, from I’m In Love With My Car to Days Of Our Lives, with lesser-known songs such as Lap of the Gods being added alongside hits like A Kind Of Magic, Radio Gaga, I Want It All (one of my favourites) and Who Wants To Live Forever.
The show also paid tribute to Freddie Mercury through videos and holograms. He may be more than 30 years dead, but his memory lives on and people still answer his Aye-oh calls. Believe me, I’m one of them.
Taking it down with some acoustic classics such as Love Of My Life and '39 and a raucous version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love, the band gave thanks to the fans for coming out and singing along all night, with Somebody To Love a particular highlight.
Brian May took the stage to play out one of his well-known guitar solos alongside a stunning video of meteorites and planets, while Roger Taylor combined his drumming duties with vocal fireworks to match that of his younger colleague.
Speaking of Adam Lambert, he put on a tremendous show with a range of costume changes and freely admitted to the audience that he was as much a fan as they were and would have been stood in the front row a decade ago.
The lights and effects made just as much for the show, from the changes on the screen from a theatre to a wasteland, to the disco ball effects during I want to break free and the vivid laser show during Who wants to live forever.
Bohemian Rhapsody provided a chance for everyone to sing along to the band’s biggest hit and brought an end to the main part of the show, before an encore of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
A wonderful night and a wonderful show. Queen still rock and I can now tick off a part of my bucket list, 31 years later.