There’s only so many ways I can tell you that I’m a fan of showmen. I’m a fan of those types of people that go out in the middle of a crowd and stand apart. The type that the crowds tend to form around instead of the other way around. Almost every single person I’ve listed has distinguished themselves in their field (as far as I’m concerned.)

Why should music be any different?

I don’t remember which one of my siblings owned Queen’s Greatest Hits. At least one of them did. So when the recraze of Queen happened in the early 90s with the rerelease of Bohemian Rhapsody due to the popularity of Wayne’s World, it wasn’t altogether unfamiliar. Shortly thereafter I went and bought my own copy of their Greatest Hits (and ‘Classic’) and knew half the songs already. I went Queen crazy. Within a few years I owned all of the albums, knew their entire discography, and could sing as many B-sides as I could hits.

Freddie Mercury was a showman, if not a touch flamboyant. (Silver jumpsuits, who didn’t know, really?) Add in Bryan May’s frenetic guitar riffs and once again, I was hooked by another set of folks who help define eras. Now, whether or not you agree that Queen was an era defining band or not is actually completely secondary to the fact that they did. (See what I did there?) Distinct guitar, a singer with a voice that ranged from rocking to operatic, and stage presence that even watching on old videos carries with it a certain electricity.

To this day, when I’m in a horrendous mood, even with my ever expanding musical tastes, I can still throw in Stone Cold Crazy and feel awakened, Seven Seas of Rhye and feel empowered, or Who Wants To Live Forever and find myself introspective and reflective. If that can’t qualify as a major influence on my life, what can?

“Listen all you people, come gather round
I gotta get me a game plan, gotta shake you to the ground
Just give me what I know is mine,
People do you hear me, just give me the sign.”