Saturday, March 01, 2008


On their first meeting at the Ritz Hotel in Barcelona Montserrat Caballé asked Freddy Mercury to write a song about her home town. The result realised Freddie's dream of recording with the famous Spanish opera star who he considered to have the most beautiful female voice in the world. A hit single in 1987, it reached no. 8 in the UK, but had a second lease of life five years later when it reached no. 2, after being adopted for the 1992 Olympic Games. Montserrat Caballé performed the song again in the Barcelona Olympic Stadium immediately before Manchester United's 1999 triumph in the UEFA Champions League - a true European anthem - Queen Greatest Hits, EMI Records Ltd, 2000.

A non-kayaking intermezzo: a mental support front for Janine. My partner Janine is a passionated long-distance-runner (and fan of the music of Queen). Tomorrow she is one of the 9122 athletes running the epic distance of 42,195 km through the streets of Barcelona. Good luck Janine!


Douglas Wilcox said...

Hans, I hope Janine had a good run!

Talking of Freddy Mercury, I was invited by the students to give a talk in the student union last week. It was in the debating chamber and it took me right back to 1972 when I went to see Queen there in their Seven Seas of Rye days. I was standing upon the very boards that Freddy had graced with his presence.

The seventies were a good time for music. Thanks to Radio North Sea International I developed a taste for Dutch bands like Focus, Golden Earring, Earth and Fire, Trace, Ekseption... those were the days but it seems just like yesterday!


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