The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Memories As Music …

OK, full disclosure, this is a post about Queen.

It’s also a post about parents, love, death and sentimentality.

So in some ways, it might be ‘peak-Rob blogging’.

But it’s not about me, it’s about a story I read recently that I just thought was beautiful.

OK, so it kind of reminded me of the time my Dad surprised me by buying The Works, Queen’s 1984 album, but most of all it just reminded me how music and memories are so deeply entwined that it has the capacity to act as some sort of temporary time machine.

And that is pretty wonderful.

With that, here’s the story …

For what it’s worth, my dad took me to see Queen at the L.A. Forum in’77.

I was 10.

This band Thin Lizzy opened for them. I remember thinking, “Who is this Lizzy chick?!?”

Then the lights went out, and Jailbreak began. I’ve never been the same …

All this is the introduction to one of the greatest moments of my life.

If ya have a moment, here’s the story …

I was 9 when I saw the full page ad in L.A. Times Calendar.

My parents had just divorced.

The Forum show was on my 10th birthday.

I called Dad …

“Hey Dad, um, Queen is playing on my birthday …”

“Yeah, I know. I tried to get tickets, but they’re sold out.”


So Dad picks me up on March 3rd, and says “Let’s go to Sizzler for your birthday.”

“Okay, Dad, sounds great.” And it did, because I was thrilled to be with him.

So on the way to Sizzler, we ‘happen’ to pass The Forum.

In HUGE flashing lights: QUEEN TONIGHT!!

I thought ‘Oh man, what a dick! How could he torture me like this?!?’

I said nothing about that and we ate.

Afterwards on the way back home, we pass The Forum AGAIN.

Dad says …

“Oh, can you grab something out of the glove compartment for me?”

“Sure Dad,” I reply.

I open it and there – on top of the papers – is an envelope.

“This, Dad?” I ask.

“Yeah. Open it for me, will ya?” he says.

Guess what.


I will NEVER forget the sheer joy of that moment.

I still have the tour program.

Dad passed away, and at his memorial, I jammed all my brothers and nieces and nephews into my van and BLASTED Bohemian Rhapsody.

When it ended, there was complete silence.

It was freakin beautiful.

Thank you for reading.

15 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Best line you never wrote.

This band Thin Lizzy opened for them. I remember thinking, “Who is this Lizzy chick?!?”

Comment by Billy Whizz

It is a great line. I can even imagine the 10 year old version of the guy saying it. It’s brilliant.

Comment by Rob

If Queen made that boys birthday better, then Queen are better than I have given them credit for. Hey, I’m a father too.

Comment by George

Oh yes, you’re soooooooo much a father. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

Up until 1983, Queen were one of the seminal rock bands in music history. Whether you like them or not doesn’t matter, they were … they were audacious with the music they wrote and the concerts they played. Then they became entertainers and it was less good.

But still good.

Then 1986 happened and it was musical blandom but big concert extravaganza.

So there …


Comment by Rob

Excellent comment.

Comment by John

Do you like Queen Robert?

Comment by George


Comment by Bazza

A groupie who just said that his favourite band have been bland for 27 years.

Comment by John

At my age and with my face, beggars can’t be choosers.

The fact I managed to win Jill is basically around the same odds of winning the lottery grand prize. 6 weeks in a row.

Comment by Rob

you make beggars look like kings campbell. i am fucking convinced you win clients because they think theyre donating to charity and can write off the fee as a tax deduction.

Comment by andy@cynic

He sounds like a right card, your Dad. I like his style. My first ever gig was in ’77 too. A band called Queen, at Wembley Arena. They had the big crown above the stage… and Fred in his PVC era.

Comment by John Townshend

Oh this wasn’t my Dad, this was just something I read recently. But yes, my old man was definitely a card. Ha.

Comment by Rob

fucking queen. musical covid.

Comment by andy@cynic

but freddie still wore better fucking fashion than you campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

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