Like most Xennials – the microgeneration caught between jaded Gen-Xers and chirpy Millennials – my first exposure to Queen came in the early 1990s, when after being featured in the greatest comedy of all time, Bohemian Rhapsody catapulted to the top of the charts, and even more importantly, KJ-103’s Hot Eight at 8.
Since then, I’ve always been a Queen “Greatest Hits” fan. I can’t name their deep tracks or B-sides, but I could always sing along to Another One Bites the Dust or Bicycle Race or Fat Bottom Girls whenever they were played on KRXO. Hell, I’ve even been known to randomly bust out a perfectly timed and choreographed We Will Rock You chant at an OU football watch party. You had to be there.
Knowing all this, I eagerly watched Bohemian Rhapsody this past weekend when it became available on iTunes. For the most part, it’s your typical musical biopic – a flat, historically inaccurate, two-hour semi-fabricated CliffsNotes reenactment of the band’s highlights and lowlights.
Disappointed with the film, I went on a late-night Internet dive into all things Queen. I guess I wasn’t the only one:
Watched “Bohemian Rhapsody” last night, then found these pics online from Queen’s 1980 performance at the Myriad in OKC (now known as the Cox Center).
— Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) February 19, 2019
Yep, Mayor McSelfie and I have the same Internet tendencies. That’s creepy.
Always a sucker for nostalgia, I went searching for the photos that Holt posted. They were actually from the band’s 1982 “Hot Face – Rock N America” tour stop at the Myriad, featuring strokin’ opening act Billy Squire. I was 4 years old at the time and couldn’t make it.
The website Queen Concerts has a bunch of photos of the show, as well as scans of ticket stubs, backstage passes, etc. Here’s a sampling:
According to the inflation calculator, that $12 ticket would be $31.51 today. That doesn’t include today’s tacked on fees, which would probably bump the price up to $75, which still seems like a bargain.
For giggles, I hopped in The Oklahoman’s archive to see if they had anything about the show. They actually did! I guess ole’ E.K. didn’t know Freddie was bisexual.
Check out this concert review that was written by a guy named Eric Minton, who’s apparently now an expert in all things Bard…
Here’s some maybe-easier-to-read text. Outside of Brian May’s solos, Eric seemed to like the show:
The 1982 concert was Queen’s last stop in Oklahoma City, but not their first. In 1974, they opened for something called Mott The Hoople at the (Steve Lackmeyer will correct me if I’m wrong) now demolished State Fairgrounds Appliance Building:
Queen also played the Myriad in August of 1980. Here are some photos and memorabilia from the show:
Anyway, I guess this concludes this timely and topical dive into OKC music nostalgia. If you want to fall into a Queen wormhole, stop by QueenConcerts.com. They have you covered. If you want to watch Rami Malek perform a two-hour SNL-caliber impersonation of Freddie Mercury, go watch Bohemian Rhapsody.