So, you’re in college and the academic world looks more like a ball and chain than freedom. Your real passion is actually music and you dream of one day playing on stage to a crowd of thousands. This is not a bad dream if you have the skills and determination it takes to make it all the way.
You might even be so strapped for cash that you have to make your own cables. With so many YouTube wonders, it can be quite difficult to start a successful band nowadays. But with a unique sound, dedicated band members and an unshakable dream, you can become the next big thing.
Bands like U2, Blink 182, Korn and so many others started when they were still in their late teens and early 20s.
The ’Queens’ of Rock
Queen is probably the world’s biggest and most successful band of all time, but they too had small beginnings. If you have seen the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, then you are quite acquainted with their story.
Before there was Queen, there was Smile, the original band that consisted of Brian May and Roger Tailor. Freddie Mercury was the next to join the band with John Deacon being recruited shortly before the release of their first album.
Their early days
When Freddie Mercury joined the band, things started to heat up. It was he who suggested the name Queen because it was so much different than anything that there had been before.
In 1973 they released their self-titled debut album and in 1974 they released Queen II. In the same year, they also released their third studio album, Sheer Heart Attack. However, it was their next album that would propel them into international stardom.
Making it big
A night at the opera featured their hit single, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which is considered by many to be the best rock song of all time. From there, their fame grew exponentially and Queen became a household name across the world.
They recorded many chart-topping songs like “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “We Are the Champions,” to name but a few. During the 80s and very early 90s, they became one of the most successful stadium rock bands.
When tragedy struck
Their performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985 is considered by many as one of the best rock performances of all time. However, it was also a bittersweet affair as it would be one of Mercury’s last big concerts. Due to their fame and acclaim, Mercury began to live a wild and irresponsible lifestyle. He sadly contracted AIDS as a result.
To say that the band was traveling and performing a lot is an understatement. This is part of the reason why Mercury decided to follow a solo career path. However, after releasing two albums, he returned to the band.
Due to Mercury’s medical condition that was deteriorating, he performed his last show in August of 1986. Mercury died five years later, but the band continued to perform and are still doing shows under the name of Queen+.
The rocky road
It sounds as though they had a relatively smooth ride to the top, but it was all but smooth. They received a lot of criticism and had to endure many failures along the way.
However, if there is one thing we can learn from them, it’s that perseverance is key. The group knew they had a sound that was unique and they had a message that they wanted to bring across with their music.
The other thing that ensured that they became successful in the end was that each member of the band was valued and they were equals, despite the spotlight being on Mercury. Within the band, they were always equal and each one played their part to make the band a success.
If music is in your blood and you want to perform in front of crowds, there is nothing that stands in your way, except maybe yourself. Most bands don’t make it because they give up too easily.
They come to the shock realization that it takes a tremendous effort to make it and they stop before reaching their potential. Then there are others where an individual wanted all the fame and only used the band to reach his or her personal goals. If there is one thing you should always remember, a band is like a family. Everybody matters.
Be sure to stop back next month for the fourth part in this five-part series: Imagine Dragons: Inspiring Stories About Famous Musicians and Bands Who Started to Perform in College