James P. Roberts
Queen And Thin Lizzy Reunite In My Living Room - Poem by James P. Roberts
I turn out the lights. All save for two thick candles
and the blue glow of the television. Soon the blue
fades to black. The faces of my friends are mahogany
in the candlelight, eyes glittering, the shine of beer
and wine and great expectations of ghosts to come.
And they do. In a burst of white bombs Phil Lynott
struts into view beneath a gray Australian sky.
His black Fender bass with silver chrome welded
to his torso in gunfighter pose. Obsidian eyes gauge
the throng of bare-riffed girls. They shift and slide
beneath the wiry Irish afro. Long-haired Scott Gorham,
his thin, supple fingers like a frenzied spider scuttling
up and down the fretboard, pushing strings, letting the cat
wail, bouncing in tandem with Gary Moore: is there any
other band with TWO lead guitars playing the same plethora
of thirty-second notes? It's power-rock, baby! Hard-edged
and deafening. And the crowd in Sydney ate it up, screaming,
mouths open to the falling rain. Thin Lizzy plays 8 songs:
the concert lasts an hour. The perfect support band.
When 'The Boys Are Back In Town' begins, we all jump off
the couch and rage with our air guitars, shaking fists, and
swaggering like there never was a time when we saw 40.
During the interlude the beer flows and the bathroom flushes.
The it's time for Queen. Live at Wembley. One of their
last shows. And there's my man Fred in a yellow jacket,
short hair, mustache, flashing dark eyes. His voice tremoloes
up and down the scale, his body a gyroscope in motion, prancing,
dancing, with that final thrust of hips and shoulders,
whipping the mike-stand like an oversized baton.
Brain May thrums and plucks his self-made guitar, grinning
almost apologetically at the crowd - at us. The music at this late
date is much simpler than those gaudy songs
of the early years. No operatic overdubs here, my friends.
When 'Bohemian Rhapsody' starts, we arrange ourselves
as Queen in the famous video
Candles held below our faces and oh so serious!
I see a little silhouetto of a man
John Deacon plays his bass effortlessly and
Roger Taylor pounds all over the drum kit.
'Radio Ga Ga' finds us synchronizing our hand claps
to the crowd - it is all we hear.
Night has descended, the candles gutter.
It is time for the encore
when Queen once again says that 'We Will Rock You'
and that THEY are still the champions.
A final sight of Freddie - the way we want
to remember him - in royal regalia holding aloft
the king's crown.
The screen goes black.
The ghosts of Phil and Freddie
return to their graves.
The beer and wine and expectations are gone
and the world outside silent.
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