They are “perfectionists, both in their precisely worked out pieces as well as in interpretation and stage presentation”. Their music: “Art Deco Rock” presented “in black and white”. Her lyrics: Complicated, with “hidden, ambiguous symbolism”. And her singer: Be “costumed like a black angel of death”.
In December 1974, Ingeborg Schober used these words in her concert review to describe a British band that was still little known in Germany and that performed in the theater on Brienner Strasse in Munich. And the pop reporter predicted that after this “impressive performance” the musicians will soon be known everywhere in this country too. And she was right. Then queen are legendary today. They are part of music history. And their charismatic singer Freddie Mercury is still unforgettable today, 31 years after his untimely death.
You can read Ingeborg Schober’s criticism in the exhibition “Queen. A Bohemian Rhapsody” in the Pasing factory. And it’s nice that the important Munich music journalist, who died in 2010, has her appearance in it. There is another text by her in the exhibition catalogue, in which she tells of her last encounter with Mercury in London shortly before he died of AIDS. And about the “devil’s pact” she made with him.
This would set the first important cornerstones. Because this is about Queen, but even more about Freddie Mercury. And especially around the years 1979 to 1985, when the city of Munich played an important role in his life. Here he recorded albums like “The Game” (1980) and “The Works” (1984) with Queen. He’s partied in clubs and gay bars. He had friends here and was in love with Winnie Kirchberger, the mustachioed innkeeper at Sebastianseck, for years.
You can see latex pants that Freddie Mercury wore on a European tour
These are stories that can also be found in Nicola Bardola’s book “Mercury in Munich – His Best Years”, which was published last year. Bardola curated the exhibition together with Herbert Hauke, director of the Munich Rock Museum. Together they have compiled photos, posters, texts, records and videos.
There are also “relics” such as latex stage pants worn by Mercury on the 1978 European tour, or a “Red Special” guitar signed by Queen guitarist Brian May. And if you need more: Since April 5, Mercury’s old Mercedes 420 SEL has been on display in the Mercedes showroom at Arnulfstraße 61. After stopping in Scotland, it now belongs to a collector from Stuttgart.
There are guided tours and films as an accompanying programme. On May 17th, Nicola Bardola will read from his book “Mercury in Munich”, and on June 1st the tribute band will perform The Magic of Queen in the carriage hall. Photos of Queen and Deep Purple, taken by the Munich photographer Didi Zill, can also be seen in the atrium. And in the additional special exhibition “50 Years ‘Smoke on the Water'” there are more pictures by Zill, which were taken in 1972 during the recording of the Deep Purple album in Montreux.
The exhibition continues online
Also: The Queen exhibition is going under queen.legacy.page further on the internet. There are also pictures, videos and texts there, and anyone who wants can upload their own “Queen Story” via audio or video. Lots of stuff for fans. And Herbert Hauke can also be seen as such, who, after the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the past two years, is now honoring another big band with an exhibition: Queen.
Michael Jackson will continue next year, and Hauke admits: He had concerns about the allegations of abuse. But because FBI investigations did not bring any clear evidence, he has now decided to do so. The location for this will again be the Pasing factory. Because the Rock Museum had to leave its headquarters in the Olympic Tower in 2021 after 17 years. Which is why it currently only exists virtually. And as an app that you click on munichcityofmusic.de finds. A portal that Hauke created with friends and where they present Munich’s music history and current events.
In January, together with Nicola Bardola and Dietmar Holzapfel, he also submitted an application to the city of Munich for a Freddie Mercury memorial. And in the summer he wants to do “music tours” through the Olympic Park. “I escaped from the small rock museum and expanded,” says Hauke about the forced restart. And he actually looks happy about it.
queen A Bohemian Rhapsody, until June 30th, Pasing factoryAugust-Exter-Str.1