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Queen Plot Comeback

Rockers "wrestling" with guest vocalists

June 13, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Putting together the DVD version of Queen's 1986 Live at Wembley album rekindled something for guitarist Brian May. "It's been a voyage of rediscovery," he told Rolling Stone last night at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction in New York. "What impresses me most is the spontaneity. You can see us kind of eyeing each other to see what to do next. We were a great partnership."

Those memories might finally push May and drummer Roger Taylor back on the road for a new tour, with guest-star singers replacing the late Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS in 1992. "We're getting closer to the idea," Taylor admitted.

"We wrestle with it daily," May said. "We don't want to go out and replace Freddie. It would be unseemly, and it wouldn't feel right. But if we can go out in some kind of partnership way, and have some special guests, we'd be up for it. We love Robbie Williams, who's quite a loose cannon but quite a phenomenal artist. George Michael, Elton. It would probably be more than one special guest."

May and Taylor warmed up to the idea even more after backing Pavarotti at his charity concert in Modena, Italy, last month. "The whole audience treated us a like it was 1986 and we were still something to scream and shout about," May said.

And last night at their induction into the Songwriters Hall, they played "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" with Wynonna Judd before May took the microphone for "We Will Rock You."

Queen Live at Wembley, featuring those two songs as well as "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Are the Champions," "Under Pressure" and other hits, is due June 17th.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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