With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday (September 8), I was curious as to how many rock versions there were of England’s national anthem, “God Save The Queen (King),” depending on who currently reigns.
The version that immediately pops into my mind is the one I heard when I first listened to Queen’s amazing 1975 album, A Night At The Opera. Here is their version:
The band used to perform that song, or play a recording of it, at the end of each of their concerts. They would take their bows at this time, and sometimes, Freddie Mercury would appear dressed in royal garb and a crown.
In 2002, at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, guitarist Brian May of Queen played a guitar solo of the song on the roof of Buckingham Palace! Quite an honor and a pretty amazing tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. Here is how it aired on British television on the BBC:
There have been other rock stars who have performed the song live, including a famous version by Jimi Hendrix in 1970 when he performed at the Isle of Wight Concert.
The 1970s punk rock band, Sex Pistols, wrote and recorded a song titled “God Save The Queen.” This was NOT a version of the national anthem. In fact, it was not complimentary to the British monarchy at all. But, what would you expect from a punk rock band? The British rock band Motorhead also covered the Sex Pistols song.
Our condolences to the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom. May Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.