Queen to launch official tribute band

Do stop him now
Do stop him now (Image credit: Stephen Hird/Reuters/Corbis)

Do not adjust your sets. Queen drummer Roger Taylor has announced plans to recruit "shit hot vocalists and musicians" in a North American talent search designed to find stars for a 2012 Queen Extravaganza Live Tour.

"The Queen Extravaganza will not be a traditional tribute show," says Taylor. "It's a brand-new show specially designed to enable fans to celebrate the music of Queen in a heart-stopping event. It's going to be spectacular. It's going to be very visual, there are going to be some shocks and some tremendous surprises. It will be a rock celebration in the royal tradition."

According to the official blurb, "Beginning 19 September 19, Taylor will launch a North American talent search via www.queenextravaganza.com to find players for a five-piece band and three vocalists who will carry the tour. Taylor is fully hands-on in the creation of The Extravaganza, taking the role of producer and music director.

"The audition process involves two video audition rounds to be judged by both a panel of appointed judges and the public. Taylor will be present to judge the final audition round, which will be held live in Los Angeles in early December. In addition, VEVO, the world's leading music video and entertainment platform, will unveil exclusive content from each audition round as well as and The Queen Extravaganza finals."

The Queen Extravaganza audition launch goes live on 19 September at www.queenextravaganza.com.

Although it's clearly a very shrewd move from a financial standpoint, we can't help wondering if it's a bridge too far for Queen fans whose loyalty has already been tested by the Paul Rodgers debacle. And three vocalists? Freddie managed to front the band just fine all by himself...

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.