Thursday, December 2, 2010

2011 Anniversaries

While it's not quite as big a year of anniversaries as 2010 was, 2011 nevertheless marks at least three major commemorations.

The first definitely falls into the 'welcome' category! It will be 40-years since the formation of royal rockers, Queen! Being old enough to remember their beginnings, I can recall that critics generally didn't think much of them at the time. I'd lay odds that not too may people actually bought the debut 'Queen' when it first came out. Their longevity has confounded the critics, that's for sure. Of course, the tragedy is that Freddie didn't live as long as the band, and in truth, there'll be some who say 'it's not really Queen' without Freddie.

Whit is remarkable is the number of new younger fans the classic band are winning. The success of the 'We Will Rock You' show is both the cause and the mark of this continued popularity. One event sticks out in my mind from this last year's tours; I was guiding a party of 40 French students on a morning tour. Visiting Freddie's Logan Place home was a highlight for them, but for me it was 40 young voices beating out 'We Will, we will rock you, rock you' on the coach seats!

Two other anniversaries fall into the 'not-so-welcome' category. July 1971 saw the death of Jim Morrison in Paris. May 1981 saw the death of Bob Marley in Miami. Two great losses to rock'n'roll. Whose death had the greatest impact, I wonder? Marley's legacy is probably the stronger, and his influence felt over a much wider global audience than Morrison’s. But Morrison continues to inspire and the Doors music remains uniquely iconic.

London was important in the history of both Queen and Bob Marley, and the city has myriad sites and locations that tell their particular stories of the bands. The Doors only played London once, at the Roundhouse. It's Paris that is particularly associated with Morrison thanks to his death and burial there.

We'll be running special commemorative Queen and Bob Marley tours in London throughout the year, and we'll have a 'one-off' weekend in Paris to honour and commemorate Jim Morrison.

If there are any other significant anniversaries we've missed, please let us know. Otherwise, it's counting down to 2012 and two of the biggest anniversaries; the 50th birthdays of both the Beatles and Rolling Stones!

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