Roger Taylor: “George Michael was never going to join Queen”

Roger Taylor George Michael
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Roger Taylor has addressed rumours that Queen were going to enlist George Michael to replace Freddie Mercury in the 1990s.

In a brand new interview in the latest issue of Classic Rock, the drummer denied that he and Brian May planned to recruit the Faith singer following the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.

“I remember hearing the rumours, but it wouldn't have suited us,” says Taylor. “George wasn't really used to working with a live band. When he heard the power he had behind him in rehearsal, he couldn’t believe it. He thought he was on Concorde or something.”

Taylor describes Michael’s performance at the tribute concert as “magnificent” - though he says Axl Rose’s duet with Elton John on Bohemian Rhapsody nearly didn’t happen.

“I do remember being determined that we'd get Elton singing with Axl, which was great, because Axl never turned up for rehearsal,” he says. “It was really flying by the seat of our pants.”

Queen were recently forced to move their planned 2021 UK and European Rhapsody tour into 2022 due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The tour will now commence on May 30, 2022.

The band are the cover stars of the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which is on sale now. It celebrates Queen’s 50th anniversary and features interviews with May and Taylor who look back over their incredible career.

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