Not a thunderstorm, not a hurricane, not a tornado sending me off to the land of OZ. No, my ears hear cymbals blasting... the cleanest voice calling forth a hero by the name of Flash Gordon.
I can think only of John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Brian May and Freddie Mercury, the combined forces that called themselves simply QUEEN.
A band the defied genres and by defied I also mean defined. Disco before there was disco, new wave before there was new wave. They birthed the opus of rock operas with Bohemian Rhapsody which doesn't mention a thunderclap but a thunderbolt.
If any group of musicians created sounds and worlds that allowed one to branch out... much like a thundering sound bolt followed by a clash of lightning and a torrent of rain drops and wind in all directions it is and was Queen.
The name itself embodies so many movies and television shows. From Iron Eagle to WWF's Saturday Night's Main Event to Wayne's World to Hardcore Henry and even the final episode of BBC's modern retelling of Sherlock. They have become embedded in culture inherently.
Under Pressure, Slightly Mad, Radio Ga-Ga, everyone knows these songs. Your grandma who only listens to Lawrence Welk, your mom who couldn't tell the difference between Megadeth and Metallica, your elementary school principal who acts like he hates Twisted Sister and at night dressed up like Dee Snider while visiting dominatrix clubs. Your dog, your cat, your iguana, hell, even your aborted fetus knows the words to “We Are the Champions” and could even audition for The Voice and win the damn thing with a cover of “We Will Rock You”.
Queen's influence is so far reaching that there's absolutely NO way “There Can Only Be One” would've reached it's pinnacle of understandable conception and meaning without “Who Wants to Live Forever”.
There was even a graphic novel by a long time friend of mine Mike Dawson, which was about his relationship to Queen and how it shaped much of his young life called Freddie & Me.
Of course they were a huge influence on me as well. Any vocalist worth their mettle tries their best to borrow from Freddie. Any front man who realizes he can't get the vocals tries to capture that presence. That being flamboyant, yet macho attitude. Above it all, yet down to Earth. A god among men, a men among Gods.
Then you got John Deacon, the perennial odd man out amongst the parade of cool. Brian May with his long hair and colored button downs, collar up, opened to the chest or track jacket and scarf. Roger Taylor with his blonde locks, just a definition of calm and collected. Deacon was the dude in the full tuxedo with no flair, the sweater vests and the tacky shirts with no irony, yet he still fit in with the odd group.
I will never be Deacon, Taylor, May or Freddie Mercury, but it doesn't matter... because I can still be rocketship on my way to mars on a collision course, a satellite out of control, a sex machine ready to reload like an atom bomb, I'm gotta explode... so don't stop me now, cause I'm having a good time.
And for fun to your ears, eyes, fingers, toes, legs, arms, head, or whatever nerve endings respond to magic, a little personalized Queen playlist a bit in order to the text.
Written for therealljidol Season 10-Topic 16-"Thunderclap"