While Queen drummer Roger Taylor is at the finish line in creating a band-authorized Queen tribute band, he and his bandmates have begun discussions with Adam Lambert to front Queen in concert.
The former "American Idol" star sang with Taylor and guitarist Brian May at the MTV Europe Awards on Nov. 6, performing "The Show Must Go On" and "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions."
"He has grown into a really great performer with an astonishing voice with a range that's great," Taylor told Billboard.biz in Los Angeles while finalizing the band for a Queen Extravaganza tour. " We would like to work with him again. There's nothing signed just yet but we're talking about live dates. It could be very exciting."
On the front-burner for Taylor is "The Queen Extravaganza Tour" that will feature three vocalists and a five-piece band. Taylor is producer and music director, although he will not be performing on the tour. CAA will book the trek, which Taylor estimates will begin in May and go for thee months. He said he expects the band will be booked into venues with between 2,000 and 4,000 seats.
"I don't think any band has done this," he told Billboard.com about his active role in creating a tribute band. "Very few are even endorsed - I can think of Australian Pink Floyd - but there are so many of them I thought we need to have the one [we endorse]."
Musicians sent in audition videos online - more than 700 were received - and 26 finalists were flown to Los Angeles to perform Dec. 5 with other finalists for Taylor. He is scheduled to announce the lineup on Dec. 6.
When the contest was announced, only one spot in the band was guaranteed to an online "Queentestant." Taylor said the whole band could come from the musicians who tried out.
"As it was an experiment," he says. "We didn't know what the process would be or who we would get or while professional musicians we know would we bring in. There are a lot of things to weigh - the personality, can they get along? A couple really showed up having what it takes and a few were great musicians but not right for the job."
Once selected, Taylor says they will "rehearse the hell out of them" while Mark Fisher designs the sets and Ron Sinclair puts together a light show.