Songwriters: Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, Brian May, John Deacon
Original Release: single
Definitive Version: Bootleg from The Freddie Mercury Concert, 1992. This song, like a lot of shows where Led Zeppelin or members thereof played, wasn’t released on the official album because Robert Plant, who did a ripping version otherwise, didn’t like that he messed up the lyrics.
I know I’ll get mocked by any Queen fan for picking the above version as definitive—just take a look at some of the comments on the YouTube video of this, assuming it’s still up there—and I don’t necessarily disagree if you look at it from their perspective. I wouldn’t want Freddie Mercury singing Led Zeppelin and messing up the words in the reverse, so I can see it.
But I’m not really a big Queen fan—I respect the heck of out them, but this is in fact the only of their songs on this list. It’s different from all of the other stuff I’ve heard—mystical and ethereal—which makes sense considering it’s one of the last things Freddie wrote before he passed from our plane of existence. Heck, maybe I love this song despite Plant, but I’ve never heard the original, so there you go.
At about the same time as the Freddie Mercury Concert was occupying my TV and VCR, I was reaching what should be the 10th anniversary of my departure from Upper Arlington High School.
When I left in June 1982, I took the few friends with me that I had and walked away not caring if I ever heard from anyone else ever again. But time changes everything, and by 1992, I decided that I wanted to attend my 10th reunion.
Why now? I was different. The move to sports had agreed with me—I loved what I was doing. And that crew brought me out of the shell I was in during high school. I was feeling a lot more confident about myself, and I had recently noticed that I had gained some vague interest from Jenna, the superhot blonde waitress at the White Horse.
That was really the thing that put me over the edge. I had some scores to settle in my mind. Maybe it was just a teenager’s perception, but I thought my high-school class was overload by hot girls—none of whom I dated, of course, due to my insecurities.
But things were different now, and when you’re 28, you’re still at an age where a bunch still should be single. It was good timing. Now all I needed was an invitation to let me know when the reunion day would be.
Yeah … any day now, it’ll come.
It never did. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I found out years later that a lot of people didn’t get invites. The reason? The guy who was in charge of that department sent them out only to the people he wanted to see—the cool kids—and not everyone in the class, as is normal. I thought that was great: It was nice to see that nothing had changed for some people, and that they hadn’t been able to get past their teenage years.
And that was the end of my brief flirtation with Upper Arlington. When it came time for the 15-year reunion, Mike’s wife, who was on the reunion committee this time, assured me I’d get an invite, but I didn’t care. I was with Debbie and the moment was over. I declined to attend.
I’m coming up on my 30th reunion this year. (Crazy!) I might be inclined to go, because I’ve fallen out of touch with my old Columbus crew. It would be good to have an excuse to see them again since my parents have left (or are on their way out of) Columbus. But I doubt I’ll hear anything.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon a UA alumni website, so like most people, I trolled through it to see who was listed, who was married, etc. It has three parts: One for deceased alums (no one recently it seemed), one where everyone’s information is up to date and a section called Missing, which contains only a name but no information.
I’m not listed at all. What made this particularly amusing was that both Jin and Scott are in there, although their information—at least when I looked last—was out of date. Perhaps that’s because they’re on Facebook, and I'm not.
File me under Forgotten.