Cameron Carpenter: The ABC‘s Of Rock’n’Roll – God Save The Queens

CamForgetting to plug your instruments in at the Superbowl half time show? The JUNO Award nominations? The weather? My Facebook movie? The loss of a great actor? Sorry, I have bigger problems to deal with. We are once again at the letter Q and I need to find a coherent theme. Paul McCartney’s performance of “Queenie Eye” at the Grammy Awards got me thinking of songs that have Queen in their title. I quickly checked the iPod and voila, there are enough for a column. Let’s have a look and listen.

“Queenie Eye” – Paul McCartney

This is the song that Paul played on The Grammy Awards, and relegated Ringo to second drummer status. That left me a little cold. It’s an OK song at best and doesn’t make me want to rush out and buy his “NEW” album. The official video features cameos from Meryl Streep, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Jeremy Irons (can we please have a Borgias movie to give some closure to the brilliant series?), Tom Ford and Sean Penn.  With all that star power the shot that sticks in my mind is Paul playing the piano wearing sandals. Never really needed to see that.

“Queens Of Noise” – The Runaways

The first all-girl rocker group that moved me. They were the same age, had the same influences and they rocked. This is the title track for their second album. The Floria Sigismondi movie is well worth a look at Kristen Stewart nails Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning does a decent Cherie Currie. “Neon Angel – The Cherie Currie Story” is also a decent read but probably more so for those of us who had our Runaways Circus Magazine posters hanging on our walls and saw them play at The El Mocambo.

“Queen Of Hearts” – Dave Edmunds

The song was written for Dave Edmunds by Hank DeVito but became a hit a few years later when it was covered by Juice Newton. The Welsh rocker included the song on his fantastic 1979 album “Repeat When Necessary”. For a great overview of Edmund’s long and illustrious career see if you can get your hands on the double CD “The Anthology 1968-1990”. You might be surprised by how many of his songs you know.

“God Save The Queen” – Sex Pistols

Although “Anarchy In The U.K.” was their debut single it was “God Save The Queen” that started the media outrage. Perhaps it was the iconic Jamie Reid artwork or the fact the song was released during the Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth or, simply, it is a great rock’n’roll single, that caused such a commotion. “No Future” never sounded so good.

“The Acid Queen” – The Who

Tina Turner had the hit with it but I have always preferred the original Pete Townshend sung version from the original recording of “Tommy”.  It was the movie that rejuvenated Tina’s career, for the first time, and “The Acid Queen” would be the last song of hers that Ike Turner ever produced.

“Queen Bitch” – David Bowie

From the 1971 “Hunky Dory” album and Bowie’s tribute song to The Velvet Underground. All of the cool girls in high school were totally in to “Hunky Dory” well before the boys who finally came to the party with the much heavier “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” album. “Hunky Dory” was merely the table setting for what would become full-course glam.

“Killer Queen” – Queen

This is the song that caught the general public’s attention and became their first hit single. Early adaptors were well versed in Queen with their two previous releases and were somewhat shocked to hear the change in direction that “Sheer Heart Attack” had to offer.  This song opened the door to their international superstar status and they never looked back.

“Rock & Roll Queen” – The Subways

This was one of those songs that stopped me dead in my tracks back in 2005. The first time I heard it I loved the slurry vocals and chunky guitar (straight out of “Now I’m Here” from Queen). Haven’t heard much else from the three-piece British band but I would put this track on my jukebox any day.

“Rock And Roll Queen” – Mott The Hoople

Not the same song as The Subways (note the subtle spelling difference). Although this was on the self-titled debut album from Mott in 1969 I didn’t hear it until the early seventies when I found a cut-out version of “Rock and Roll Queen” (a compilation of earlier tracks) at the back of the Music World store on Yonge Street for the princely sum of $1.99. I loved the cover and was too dumb to release this was not a new release but was happy for the purchase for this song alone.

“Beauty Queen” – Roxy Music

After side one opened with the hit single “Do The Strand” Roxy Music slid effortlessly into “Beauty Queen”. Not one of their better known songs it does however feature the classic early Roxy style and Bryan Ferry’s bleating vocals.  The band is remembered for their classic album covers and this one, featuring Amanda Lear, is one of my faves. My pal John Punter engineered this, and most, Roxy  Music albums.

“Country Queen”/“Little Queenie” – The Wackers

Bob Segarini and The Wackers had two different “Queen” songs. “Country Queen” appeared on 1971’s “Wackering Heights” and “Little Queenie” appeared on “Wack’n’Roll” in 1973 and then again on the Bullseye (Jaimie Vernon’s label) 2011 re-issue of the album. I will leave it up to Bob to come up with a couple of clips for this pair.

“Vanilla Queen” – Golden Earring

Although their “Moontan” album is best remembered for the greatest driving song of all-time “Radar Love” it was the epic nine minute “Vanilla Queen” that was the hidden star on the five song album. This may be the first song ever written about “cougars” and yes, that is the voice of Marilyn Monroe that you hear. Interestingly enough “Candle In The Wind” was released the same year.


Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

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The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and The Bovine. There are heaters on the Bovine patio and great bands downstairs at the legendary rock bar. Fill up next store at The Rock Lobster and then get your rocks off at The Bovine. 

DBAWIS_ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener, The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

2 Responses to “Cameron Carpenter: The ABC‘s Of Rock’n’Roll – God Save The Queens”

  1. greg simpson Says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Queen of My Heart by Double as well.

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