When Queen drummer Roger Taylor wrote “Radio Ga Ga” in 1983, he never could have suspected that 25 years later the song would serve as the namesake for one of the world’s biggest pop stars – or that the pop star in question might one day serve as his band’s lead singer.
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In an interview with the Daily Express, Queen guitarist Brian May mused about one crazy solution to the “singer problem” the band’s had since Freddie Mercury died 20 years ago – hiring one of the band’s biggest fans, Lady Gaga. Crazy? Yes. Crazy enough to work? That remains to be seen.
“We get a lot of offers to work with other people,” May said. “I worked with Lady Gaga and she’s very creative and is someone we’ve talked about singing, fronting the band with. She’s not just a singer, she writes her own material.”
Look, life as a Queen fan over the past two decades has been no bed of roses. It’s been no pleasure cruise. And the idea of Lady Gaga vamping around the stage singing “We Are the Champions” is as unsettling to me as it is to you. But there are certainly worse ideas out there, probably, maybe.
For one thing, we know Gaga genuinely loves Queen and their music. Not only did she name herself after one of their songs, but she can’t even get through an interview question about the band without sobbing.
And we already know she gets along with the band members on a personal level, as evidenced by Brian May’s cameo on her single “You and I” and his performance alongside Gaga (or more accurately, her drag counterpart Jo Calderone) at this year’s VMAs.
Still not convinced? Before you plummet into the slough of despond, it’s worth noting that May had other singers on his short list, as well, and was considering using their talents in a number of ways.
“We have talked about doing duets with other people, and in a strange way I almost pressed the yes button. We were debating the idea of a TV show where we have all these guest stars. We didn’t press it today, but we are still looking at it,” he said. “Lady Gaga has said she would like to do something with us.”
Is a Gaga/Queen pairing likely to happen? For a one-off performance or a handful of studio recordings, perhaps. As a long-term solution or for a large-scale tour, no way. Gaga has invested too much in the creation of her own global brand, and would never abandon her Little Monsters like that. So while it’s fun to think about, this is one supergroup that will never “rock you.”