Queen: Roger Taylor’s unusual ultimatum to Freddie Mercury

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Love can be a subjective thing, and for Roger Taylor, the drummer of Queen, his love was evident through his passion for automobiles.

In addition to being an extraordinary musician, Taylor had a deep fascination for fast cars. In 1975, he expressed this love in a literal sense by composing a song called “I’m In Love With My Car.”

However, Taylor’s subjective perspective on cars prevented him from fully conveying their importance to his fellow Queen band members. There was one car in particular, an Alfa Romeo, that held a special place in his heart. According to Johnathan Harris, a member of the band’s staff, that car was “the love of his life.”

When Taylor attempted to include “I’m In Love With My Car” on ‘A Night At The Opera,’ Queen’s fourth album, his bandmates initially thought he was joking.

“I made a simple demo, and I remember asking Brian, ‘What do you think of it?'” Taylor recalled. “He replied, ‘You’re joking, right? You must be kidding.’ I told him, ‘No, Brian. I’m very serious. You know, the song is about a car and someone who’s in love with it.'”

However, Taylor was determined to have his song featured on the album. He gave Freddie Mercury an ultimatum: not only did he want it on ‘A Night At The Opera,’ but he also insisted that it be considered a “B-side.”

This meant that as the sole songwriter, Taylor would earn the same amount of publishing royalties as Freddie Mercury for the lead single, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’

With his unwavering passion for cars and a little bit of persistence (he even locked himself in a closet until Mercury agreed), Taylor succeeded in getting “I’m In Love With My Car” included as the B-side to ‘A Night At The Opera.’ And to top it off, the song became a favorite among both critics and the public.

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