JAPAN: JAPAN'S ANSWER TO WORLD FAMOUS ROCK BAND "QUEEN" IS ITS RECENT VERY OWN COVERBAND APTLY NAMED "KWEEN"Record ID: 387367
- Title: JAPAN: JAPAN'S ANSWER TO WORLD FAMOUS ROCK BAND "QUEEN" IS ITS RECENT VERY OWN COVERBAND APTLY NAMED "KWEEN"
- Date: 5th January 1997
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) UNIDENTIFIED MAN SAYING, "ACTUALLY I USED TO BE A QUEEN FAN, HE WOULD BE PERFECT, GOOD." (ENGLISH) (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN SAYING, "OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES (COMPARED TO QUEEN) BUT I THINK THEY'RE REALLY DOING A GREAT JOB AND THEY'RE A LOT OF FUN AND I WAS IMPRESSED." VARIOUS OF KWEEN GREETING FANS
- Reuters ID: LVA8I9PV7XZEFPQVXFEHFSZIA0J9
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN/ FILE
- Country: Japan
- Duration: 00:00:39
- Story Text: Yohei Eto looks like any other Japanese business man walking into his high-rise office building in the morning - but underneath the suit lies a very different man...for Eto is more comfortable in a tight pair of satin legings with a microphone in hand.
Eto is in fact the lead singer in Japan's answer to a Queen cover band - Kween.
Eto takes the late Freddie Mercury's position singing lead vocals on stage, with backing from Nobuhisa Kihira on drums, Kenji Wakibuchi on guitar and Toshiaki Furihata on bass guitar.
Eto had been involved with bands since his teenage years, playing cover versions of various songs. But in 1980 he saw Queen perform in Dallas - and it changed his life forever.
"Queen was very unique back then because lots of people were performing in T-shirts, dirty jeans, with their hair it looks like they havn't washed it for days...whereas Queen was a band who went on stage in outrageous costume, with makeup on and that was really different," he said.
Kween first performed at various pubs in the Tokyo area before making several television appearances and toured in 1996. The band released a CD album "Rhapsody from Heaven" in June 1996.
The band is proving very popular with Japanese audiences - packing stadia with thousands of fans ready to rock along to classic songs such as "Radio Gaga", "We Are The Champions" and "I Want To Break Free".
At a recent concert in Tokyo, one Kween fan said Eto made a good Freddie Mercury, while another said despite obvious differences between the two bands, kween were doing a great job and were a lot of fun.
Eto said he was profoundly affected by the death of Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury from AIDS in November 1991.
"My sadness is still here, but you can't drag that sadness for all your life. Why don't I turn that point around and try to celebrate his life? Try to thank him for being on this earth, to bring that magnificent music to us." Eto said he had a vision for his band - that it would follow in the footsteps of Queen, but eventually step away from the cover versions of songs to produce its own music along the lines of the original band.
Freddie Mercury sang the song "Who Wants to Live Forever" - but like it or not, his memory is being perpetuated through bands like Kween, who help keep the rocking world going round.
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- Embargoed:20th January 1997 12:00
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