Champions Shoot (Wardour-036)
New London Theatre Centre, London, England – October 6th, 1977
Bob Harris’ first speech, Bob Harris’ second speech, We Are The Champions, Tie Your Mother Down, Keep Yourself Alive, Somebody To Love, White Man, The Prophet’s Song, Liar, Bohemian Rhapsody, Now I’m Here, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I’ve Been
At least three times in Queen’s history they called upon their fans through the Official International Queen Fan Club to participate in a video shoot. The first was on October 6th, 1977 for “We Are The Champions”, the second for “Radio Ga Ga” on November 23rd & 24th, 1983, and the third for “Friends Will Be Friends” on May 15th, 1986 (itself, both song and video, a sequel of sorts for “We Are The Champions”).
Video shoots are notoriously long and boring because many different takes have to be shot and actions must be repeated over and over. It is bad enough for the actors, but for the extras it can be especially difficult since they are not involved in the principle action.
To reward the fans Queen played an hour-long concert that was thankfully captured by several audience members. The older source had circulated for many years and is poor quality. Champions Shoot on Wardour is the brand new source that has recently surfaced.
It is much better quality than the older source being very close to the stage and capturing the warmth of the performance. Compared to the older source it is much more complete with only the first three takes omitted. Queen mimed to the studio track being played over the PA so there wouldn’t be anything interesting.
There are small cuts after “The Prophet’s Song” and “Jailhouse Rock” but no music is missing. Whispering Bob Harris, the host of “The Old Grey Whistle Test”, mumbles at the beginning to explain the dynamics of the shoot. The audience was encouraged to act enthusiastic and wave banners. Harris then explains the band will play a special show for them.
The third track on this release, “We Are The Champions”, is video shoot number number four and is the studio track being played so the cameras can capture crowd shots and footage for a documentary. Queen play “Tie Your Mother Down” immediately at the song’s conclusion and Freddie thanks everybody for coming as the band begins “Keep Yourself Alive”.
“Somebody To Love” is introduced as “something we did at Earl’s Court, I think”. “What do you want next? We’ve done ‘We Are The Champions’….’Hangman’?…We’ll do a song written by Brian from the A Day At The Races album, it’s called ‘White Man'” and is played as a medley with “The Prophet’s Song”, the arrangement they used on stage at that time.
There is a cut in the tape following this number. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is only the first third of the song which segues seamlessly with “Now I’m Here” after a loud Roger Taylor gong smash. “Jailhouse Rock” with Freddie saying bye bye “just like Shirley Bassey” closes the set and a rare version of “See What A Fool I’ve Been” is played for the encore after the audience chants, “bring out the chicken”.
This is a fascinating, off-the-wall document revealing the band’s close relationship with their fans. This might not be an essential document to own but it certainly is interesting and the reason why bootlegs exist in the first place