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(Credit: Carol Lee / Alamy)


Queen have unearthed a "lost tape" of one of their earliest gigs


Whether it be Black Sabbath discovering dusty old cassettes or alternative soundtracks to blockbusters bursting onto the scene for the very first time, it has no doubt been a week of some interesting ‘unearthing’s’. Now, Brian May of Queen may well have hit the mother load.

First-time footage is of interest not only to mega fans but also those just curious to see where it all began. Queen have risen to such globe-conquering heights that a rediscovered tape of one of the fledgeling band’s first-ever gigs at London’s Imperial College represents a historic artefact.

The date of the show is as yet unspecified, but may well be from their very first gig in London which was at Imperial College on July 18th, 1970.

“We’re always looking at finding stuff that is historically important,” says May while speaking to Classic Rock. “And this one tape that cropped up very recently which I am excited about, which is one of the first gigs we played in a lecture theatre at Imperial College. I didn’t even know I had the cassette.”

“We were very unformed [on the tape],” May continues. “Hearing Freddie at that point in his development is fascinating. He had all the will and charisma and passion, but he didn’t have the opportunity to harness that voice yet. Which makes me hesitate a little bit, because I’m not sure Freddie would be that happy hearing himself at this stage. But strangely, if he were alive and sitting here at this moment, he’d probably be the same as me: ‘Oh darling, we were kids.’

The legendary guitarist, unfortunately, did not go on to reveal any plans for the unearthed footage, so whether or not eager fans get to see it remains uncertain. “We’re debating what to do with it,” he added. “A few years ago we’d have felt very protective and thought, ‘Nobody should hear this, because we’re very rough.’ But now, in the position that we are in our lives, we feel forgiving. We’re not ashamed of where we were at that time. It was us against the world.”

With the band quite literally as big as ever, still placing strongly amidst the end of year charts, then there’s hope that footage will be released so we can all witness one of the worlds biggest and best rock bands before they earned their stripes.

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