Saturday, 26 June 2010

Karen Silverlock


Karen contacted the Queen in Cornwall blog a couple of weeks ago. She lives in Truro now and it was lovely meeting her today.

In '73 she was a Bowie fan, but bought the first Queen album from a shop in St Austell after a friend had recommended it. She was entranced, and leapt at the opportunity to watch them play when they came to the South West early in '74, seeing them both in Plymouth and in Penzance (see earlier post below re John Adams).

In Penzance Karen and her friend took lots of photos of both the performance and of the band backstage. She remembers Brian in particular being very kind and patient, and later that year he responded to a letter she wrote to him.

She was one of the first members of the fan club, having joined in 1974. Her membership number was 479, and as a member she received newsletters for several years which she has kept.

In these photos the stage at the Garden in Penzance looks like it's really small - but there was room for a grand piano in one corner. Karen remembers standing within touching distance of the band, who were lit by one or maybe two spotlights only.

These photos are the only known photos of Queen performing in Cornwall. When they played in Cornwall in 1970 and 1971 they were unknowns and perhaps that is why there are apparently no photographs from that time. But by March 1974 they'd had one top ten hit (Seven Seas of Rhye) and had a burgeoning teen fan-base.

Late in 1975 Queen had their monster hit: Bohemian Rhapsody which in the UK was number one for 9 weeks, and top ten or number one in many other countries. As a result Queen quickly went global. So, after a long and close association with Cornwall, which had started 10 years previously when first Roger moved to Truro, this gig in Penzance turned out to be the last they played here.


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