Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

How it happened

The Story So Far is a detailed account by executive producer; David Young of the making of Queen Guitar Rhapsodies. From the initial contact with Queen’s management, to the recording of the album in Venezuela, through to playing guitar in the Queen musical We Will Rock You.

Under Pressure

Saturday June 30th 2007 Ambrosia Theatre, Barquisimeto Venezuela. 3.45pm

In the North Western Venezuelan province of Lara, on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in June, it occurs to me that I have probably just thrown away more than an entire year’s income.

The Ambrosia Theatre in downtown Barquisimeto is host to world renowned concert classical guitarist Carlos Bonell and the Lara Symphony Orchestra. Due to the peculiarities of recording in Venezuela, I have just been informed that we need to vacate the premises by 4.00pm as the theatre will be opening its doors to local poets booked in to do their monthly recital.

This will conclude the second of three days that we have at the theatre recording Carlos’ new album Queen Guitar Rhapsodies. Fourteen of the album’s seventeen tracks feature the orchestra accompanying Carlos, and at this precise moment we have managed to successfully record three!

“Grabando!” is heard from Hernan Garcia, one of our team of local Venezuelan engineers, and I cross my fingers that this performance of Jealousy will be a keeper. Failure to do so will leave us with the impossible task of recording the vast majority of the album in one remaining seven hour day. Four months of planning, negotiating, arranging and practising by me, Carlos and our orchestral arranger and producer Gary Hind will have been wasted.

At Hernan’s instruction ”Recording!”, the theatre’s noisy air conditioning system is shut down, allowing the orchestra to launch into the opening bars of the Freddie Mercury composition in the rapidly soaring heat.

Three minutes and fifty nine seconds later the air conditioning is fired back up, and despite a new set of mosquito bites, there’s a huge collective sigh of relief as track number four is in the can.

This may just work out after all!

Chapter 1. Dreamers Ball

Carlos Bonell, classical guitar and Queen

Chapter 2. The Miracle

Orchestral Queen and the thought of Venezuela.

Chapter 3. Don't Stop Me Now

Preparation, Arranging and a boost from Dr May.

Chapter 4. Spread Your Wings

Planes, strains and automobiles.