PRS for Music honours Queen with a Heritage Award
21 February 2013: PRS for Music today announced that one of the greatest bands of all time will be honoured with a music Heritage Award. On Tuesday, 5th March, Brian May and Roger Taylor will accept the plaque at Imperial College to commemorate where Queen performed their first concert in London on 18 July 1970.
One of the world’s most prolific groups, Queen released 16 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and achieved over 300 million record sales. One of their most loved hits, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ stayed at the top of the charts for nine weeks and their performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985 is widely regarded as a seminal moment in rock history.
Brian May said: “The first proper gig we did was at Imperial College in the Union Hall. I remember it very distinctly because I’d seen all sorts of people playing in there. I’d been part of the Entertainment Committee and we booked a group every Saturday night in those days. People like Spooky Tooth and Steamhammer! We booked Jimi Hendrix too. So for us it was a dream come true to actually play on that stage. It used to get packed in there so it was a major stepping stone for us.”
Roger Taylor continued: “Imperial College was effectively our positional and spiritual base and so means a lot to Queen. Many good memories, without it…who knows?”
Guy Fletcher OBE, PRS Chair said: “Loved by millions the world over, they were often thought of as the People’s Band. Queen’s songwriting originality combined musicianship with real life emotion sustaining generations of dedicated fans. It will be an enormous honour to present Brian and Roger with the PRS for Music Heritage award at such a fine institution.”
Paul Beaumont, President of the Students’ Union at Imperial College London commented: “We’re very proud of Imperial College Union’s musical past, including the small role we played in the Queen story. It’s a privilege to host a plaque commemorating the band’s first London performance here and to welcome them back here today.”
PRS for Music established the Heritage Award scheme in 2009 to recognise important live music venues where iconic bands and songwriters performed. Previous awardees include Blur, Elton John, Soul II Soul, UB40, Snow Patrol, Faithless, James, Jethro Tull, Dire Straits and Supergrass.