When I watched Pitch Perfect last year, it brought back memories of university. Good memories. I was never in collegiate a cappella (if we even had it at my school — I doubt it) and I never was in choir and I didn’t have the weird dorm roommate. But the general feel I could relate to. It made me happy, watching it and remembering, 20 years on.
One of my distinct memories from university is sitting with my friend in her dorm room while she told me about her devastation when Freddie Mercury died. By then, it was late 1993, and Freddie had been gone a couple of years. But she remembered hearing Queen on the radio, one morning before school, and when the song was over, the D.J.s saying, “We’ll miss you, Freddie.” She described that moment as if her world had fallen. Then, I couldn’t relate to her feelings. Now I understand. Now I get it.
(This is the same friend who, coincidentally, let me in on the correct lyrics to Ziggy Stardust. Remember, we didn’t have the internet then. We had to rely on our hearing, which sometimes failed us. She thought my mistake was pretty funny, and yeah, in retrospect it was. As a side note — when was the last time you heard about two girls sitting around in a dorm room listening to old rock music? Instead of two guys? Gender — never fails us, it’s always present.)
This video of Under Pressure was compiled by a YouTube user, and s/he did a fantastic job. It’s Freddie — at Live Aid, I think — and Bowie when he did the song with Annie Lennox at the Mercury tribute concert in 1992. According to Wikipedia, Queen and Bowie never actually performed this song live together. When Bowie did it at his later shows, it was always with the wonderful bassist Gail Ann Dorsey doing Freddie’s part.