Queen will no longer rock you — at least not with Paul Rodgers.
With a summer reunion tour with Bad Company looming, the singer tells Billboard.com that the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration is, in effect, over, and without animosity. “At this point we’re gonna sit back from this,” Rodgers says. “My arrangement with (Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor) was similar to my arrangement with Jimmy (Page) in The Firm in that it was never meant to be a permanent arrangement.
“I think we made a huge success of it, actually. We did two world tours and a couple of live recordings, and…made a studio album (2008’s commercially disappointing ‘The Cosmos Rocks’) which was pretty historical for (Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor) because they hadn’t really gone in the studio with anybody and recorded something like that for a very long time. So it was quite an achievement, I think.”
Rodgers does not rule out the possibility of working together again, however. “It’s kind of an open book, really. If they approach me to do something for charity, for instance, or something like that…I’d be very much into doing that, for sure.”
The Queen + Paul Rodgers project in late 2004, when they joined forces for a set at the inaugural U.K. Music Hall of Fame Awards. They subsequently toured Europe and Japan in 2005 — resulting in the first live album and DVD, “Return of the Champions” — and North America in 2006. The group will release another concert album and DVD, “Live in Kharkov,” on June 16, which was recorded at a televised Sept. 12 performance in the Ukraine to support “The Cosmos Rocks.”
Rodgers says he leaves the collaboration with nothing but good memories and the feeling of a job well done.
“There were some fantastic emails we received that almost had me in tears,” he recalls. “There were a lot of younger people who had given up the idea they’d ever see anything like Queen live again, and there it was, full on. When Brian first called up and said, ‘Do you fancy a couple dates, just for fun, in Europe, I said ‘great’ — and it turned into so much more than that.”
Rodgers hits the road with Bad Company for a 10-date run to promote the group’s upcoming DVD “Hard Rock Live,” which arrives at retail on Aug. 8.