Brian May Replies To Flash Gordon OST Article, PM Smiles For Eternity

PM's new best friend...
From: brians.soapbox@***********
Subject: Re: Flash Gordon OST article at The Quietus
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 03:11:35 +0100
To: verysmallmonkeys@hotmail.com

 

 

“That’s very nice … and very welcome.  That’s the kind of review you always hope someone will write someday when you do stuff like this … someone who really does ‘get it’.  Thanks … it’s very complimentary, and you seem to understand the parameters very well.  We were all attracted by the ‘Saturday Morning Science Fiction’ aspect of the film first of all, but it was the humour, and Mike Hodges’s conscious camp and irreverent treatment of the dialogue which put the icing on the cake.  I’m VERY proud of our music for the Battle Sequence … it’s all very fresh on my mind … it was totally thrown together in the old-fashioned way … playing TO PICTURE – and there was a moment when, left carrying the can … because Queen was actually busy making another album at the same time) … I got on a roll with the Hawkmen and their rescue attack  … I could still ‘sing’ you that whole sequence … to me it’s totally a song.  I’ll add a couple of interesting (perhaps) facts.  This was the first time that we, as a band, recorded with synthesisers (previously we always had the declaration on our album sleeves “No Synthesisers”).  And I believe that this really is the first time that a proper score, to something other than a story about musicians, was ever applied to a film by a rock band.  It’s very common now, but I remember having a conversation with the amazing producer of this film, Dino de Laurentiis, early on in the relationship … wherein he said … “The score of my movie cannot be rock music .. it has never been done” And I said … ” but it COULD be done”.  I could kinda hear some of it in my head at the time.  Then all four of us made demos of our ideas in the first week of recording … having seen the rushes.  Dino began to be convinced, but he definitely did NOT like “Flash” as a title song.  It was the director Mike Hodges, knowing that the film was going to succeed on a camp level, rather than a serious level, who persuaded him to let us develop the idea further.  In the end, once Mike had cut a demo visual for the title sequence to our rough mix of “Flash”, Dino started to smile.  And he kept on smiling from then on.  
The battle sequence has some classic lines in it – all part of the ‘music’ for me … Mr. Blessed, Hawkman in chief, enjoying every chuckle and overdoing it magnificently, declaims, “Oh Well, Who Wants to Live Forever!” – which must have stuck in my mind, because it leapt into view when I first watched the Highlander rushes, some years later … and was the first seed of a song which became very symbolic of the film …… and … dear old Hawkman Miro, wounded on the wing of Ming’s flagship, hilariously gasps “They just winged me”  !!!  he he.  Love that.”
Brian, PM loves you. You can visit Brian May and read his further thoughts about the article here, at his soapbox. Good one, brianmay.com. You can read the article in two chunks here and here, or at the source, here.
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