Excellent article today – here’s a taster:
23 August 2017 By Jeff Perlah
It’s a project that was “in the back of my mind for a while because I had all these 3-D pictures that I’d taken over the years,” Queen guitarist Brian May tells me in a posh Manhattan hotel suite. He grabs a strawberry from the coffee table and continues. “I was thinking, Does it constitute some kind of history, or is it just snaps?”
The former is certainly the case in his new book, Queen in 3-D, [AMAZON] which captures the thrilling history of his band with over 300 previously unseen stereoscopic photographs. (Stereoscopic, or 3-D, photography re-creates the illusion of depth by utilizing the binocularity of our vision.) The impressive book includes his own reflective narrative (May didn’t need a ghostwriter), and comes with an OWL 3-D viewer, which brings out the full effect of these images.
The cover photo, and many of the images within, focuses on Queen’s iconic lead singer, Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 after battling AIDS. Mercury’s vocals—sometimes operatic (Queen’s mix of rock and opera is groundbreaking), other times roaring with rock fury—and his theatrical stage persona made him one of music’s most beloved frontmen.
How did the idea for Queen in 3-D come about?
BRIAN: It was in the back of my mind for a while because I had all these 3-D pictures that I’d taken over the years…. What happened was, my team kind of caught hold of the idea and they said, ‘Look, you should take this seriously’ And I have an archive—this sounds very swank, doesn’t it—and an amazing guy looks after my stereoscopic collection [of photography], curates it and researches it. He said, “Look, if you just let me go through your house and we’ll see what we have.”
So he ransacked the entire place and found all kinds of stuff that I had no idea I still had, including some bits of film that were processed but not mounted. And in one of those rolls we found this portrait of Freddy [Mercury], which is on page—I can’t remember. This lovely one of him. And we gradually found more and more stuff. Then we thought, Not only is there enough for a book, there’s probably too much, so we’re going to have to get really selective.
What came up for you while putting it all together?
BRIAN: Seeing these pictures—the essence of the 3-D picture is it’s much more than a snap, it’s almost like a tableau that you could walk into and see the things that you were seeing at the time—and all sorts of memories came out.
How did the process of creating the book go?
You get to the hard part where you really have to shape the book, and I started scratching my head about which dates were which and what came in what order. And there’s a great joyful process of discovery in writing a book. You have all this stuff and it’s like nearly a book, and then there’s this very hard piece where it’s the journey from nearly a book to a book…. Then I thought, Ah, I’m done now. But actually no, because you’ve got to sell the thing.
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