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A Kind of Magic – Brian May and Adam Lambert

July 15, 2012

By Annehedonia

I felt hearts swell and tear ducts overflow last night throughout the fandom when “the hug” by tuke18 appeared on Twitter timelines.  Perhaps that feeling echoed through TWO fandoms.  If a modicum of cynicism hides in a dark corner of any soul, this photo surely is the antidote, for here is something authentic, pure, genuine… real.  Yeah, we can joke, as in “I hope Brian didn’t lick the neck!” (not my joke, but I love it.)  If we dare to get close to our true sentiments, however, there’s something profound here.  How you interpret it will have a lot to do with what you yourself bring to the picture as you are emotionally brought into the scene.

Here’s what I saw:

First, I saw two men who’d been brought together by fate, kismet, or karma – two who were perfectly suited to heal in each other some very significant and defining past hurts and disappointments, perhaps even broken places.

Late Thursday night, the night the concert featuring the photo had taken place, I was lying in bed in a state of unwanted wakefulness and for reasons now unknown had decided to research Brian May on my smart phone (what better to do at 2:45 a.m., right?) Under “personal life” there was something unexpected and genuinely distressing.  It seems he had gone through a period of deep depression in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s.  He had chosen to disclose publicly that a series of traumas – a troubled marriage, perceived failure at fatherhood, the death of Freddie and his own father’s death – had pushed him to a level of despondency that resulted in his considering suicide.  I admit to having been stunned.  He’s brilliant, talented and sweetly laid back.  Really?  It’s true: no one is immune, and I felt so sad knowing he’d endured that pain.

Only very casually familiar with the original band, Queen, I don’t pretend to know what it might have been like to share the stage with Freddie.  But whatever the case, I’m sure he was Brian’s friend, artistic collaborator, and a big part of what defined the Queen “brand” and identity.  To suddenly be faced with a void that enormous after having had world-wide acclaim playing to massive crowds of adoring fans had to be devastating.  In the intervening years, the band carried on with various guest front men (or women) – George Michael, Annie Lennox, Seal and Paul Rodgers, among others.  If critics are to be believed, there was a lack of vitality and inspiration, something missing in these incarnations.  No one was Freddie.  But no one was Adam, either.

The casual observer might wonder what the runner-up of a reality singing contest could possibly offer rock royalty.  But we are privileged to know.  Adam had everything it took to fill the void left by Freddie so long ago, but in his own original and authentic way.  And it was perfect.  Along with his superlative talents, personality and beauty, he brought diplomacy, humility, and a desire to serve the music above all.  During Thursday night’s show, a fan tweeted Brian saying “I’m happy to be alive.”

Then, there’s Adam’s side of the coin.  Even though it’s very evident that Adam had tremendous gifts to bring to Queen, they also had gifts and healing to offer him.  In the picture, Brian to me appears to be a kind of wise and compassionate Rock God Papa – someone who is himself unquestioningly accepted as iconic and a giant, a huge talent and a living legend.  Oh, and such a good person.  He has accepted and appreciated Adam, acknowledging to the world that he is a major and unequalled talent, bar none. He believes Adam deserves to be recognized and respected and he treats him that way. But it’s more too – I believe it’s evident there’s a kind of paternal love and gentle protectiveness there too.

All of that is such a tremendous validation, and a breath of fresh air.  It seems Adam has always faced “Yes, he’s hugely talented BUT… (fill in the blank): he’s gay, he’s too theatrical, he has limited appeal, he’s a product of American Idol, his audience is comprised mainly of middle-aged women”, etc. ad nauseum.  Brian and Roger trusted Adam to be the dynamic, enthralling performer and front man that he is – and all of their hopes appear to have been realized by love-crazed audiences comprised of fans from both camps.

Second, what I saw in the picture for myself is a reinforcement of the belief that well-intentioned people (even some of questionable intent), having been through some extreme trials in life, are sometimes lucky to receive the grace of unseen guidance, acceptance, encouragement and camaraderie in seemingly serendipitous ways… unexpected but entirely appropriate ways.  Ways we could never have dreamed of for ourselves.  Ways that are wiser and more creative than anything we could have devised.

There’s a white glow from stage lighting in that picture.  It lends an almost beatific aura to the scene –   appropriate for a photograph depicting the notion that the Universe is indeed a kind and loving place to be.

53 Comments leave one →
  1. Evelyn Ruiz permalink
    July 21, 2012 1:16 am

    Left me crying, especially that it was written by someone so spiritual, who saw, understood, magnified the eloquence of the “hug” between Brian and Adam with a sensitivity in understanding that giving and receiving of such gifts are twice blessed from Heaven. Both the giver and the receiver. (reminded me of Shakespeare’s ..”the quality of mercy..” Merchant of Venice). If still cynicism and hatred among others persist then let them be. Thank you Annehedonia. Thank you Brian, Roger, Freddie. THANK YOU Adam, be as beautiful and humble as you are. And as ABBA said in their song “Thank you for the music!” And all those who replied have touched me with a song in my heart!

  2. July 23, 2012 4:37 pm

    What wonderful thoughts so aptly expressed. This made me cry. I was there for all three shows, and I was privileged to gain a pass to the after party. I had met Adam before, but this time I met his Dad, his brother, and Brian May. As I shook Brian’s hand, I told him the two things that stood out to me about this collaboration, other than the wonderful music, was the obvious respect all parties had for each other, and the vast age range of the concert goers. Adam was constantly referring to Brian and Roger as “rock royalty,” bowing down in front of them, and Brian was always referring to Adam as the “amazing Adam Lambert,” and telling the crowd and the press how this paring had energized him and Roger, and it was all due to Adam. The atmosphere there at the Apollo was magical, and it was a wonderful thing to see peeps from 8 to 80 rockin out to this great, timeless, music. Thanks for this beautiful blog!

    • October 19, 2012 7:05 pm

      Healed past hurts, not just in each other, but in us as well… I am still discovering how this played out for everyone else, it is mind-blowing. Yeah, I noticed the “happy to be alive” thing (I was there, almost didn’t make it with the ticket and everything – but I knew inside that I would, because it was where I had to be). You know, the more I think about it, the more I come to believe that Adam is true royalty too, like Brian and Roger, and Freddie (i.e. not a metaphor or joke). And so very diplomatic. The Universe indeed thought of something amazing with this one – bringing these camps together for what proves to be a true Miracle (as per song, 2012). One of the aspects is that we’re all freely discussing spirituality as a result. I loved how they used lighting in the show, to symbolize this healing – especially during Bohemian Rhapsody (I felt like we were being brought out of quarantine, after suffering alongside Queen – and of course if I look at Adam’s story, they are definitely linked cosmicly. I am amazed, too, at the kind of parallels with my own emotions and now I realize that there are many different types of closets and that this is the Big Coming Out where spirituality is concerned, that we have an inner reality which is more than learned guidelines or concepts). I have followed Queen for a long time but I still don’t understand many things. However, everything I learned in the past brought me to this moment of pure love and I’ll never forget it – it’s part of me now, and I’m so grateful. So much love… and it does come through in the end.

      • glamity58 permalink
        March 20, 2013 12:39 am

        Flori you have articulated so well what we are all feeling deep inside. We can’t explain it but think there was something special or some purpose for all this to happen. I hope everyday that I have a chance in America to see Queen and Adam Lambert in concert. My bucket list will never be fulfilled if this doesn’t happen. what is America waiting for and when will Queen and Adam schedule a tour. Please let this magic happen.

  3. lovingadam1031 permalink
    July 24, 2012 1:34 pm

    Beautifully written and I was moved immensely by the words and sincerity. thanks

  4. March 19, 2013 9:34 pm

    Yes, there are times like this when we heave a sigh and say, “All’s right with the World”… if only for just a few moments.

  5. Amber permalink
    March 19, 2013 9:57 pm

    Beautifully written piece and so introspective and intelligent. I have had the great privilege of seeing Queen live once, and now being a fan of Adam since Idol auditions and loving not only his incredible voice but the spirit and humanity of this man. This is truely a match made in heaven for me. To me it was like a Pheonix rising from the ashes with a new life, a new strenghth, an intriguing special magic that flowed between Brian,Roger and Adam. I hope that they will continue as it keeps the music alive and the joy I percieved on all their faces when they played in concert was so beautiful that it just connected and spread that joy to all who got to see the concerts either live or over stream!

    • glamity58 permalink
      March 20, 2013 12:40 am

      Well said Amber. You are so right.

    • annehedonia permalink
      March 20, 2013 10:44 am

      Thank you for your thoughts, Amber ~ and to all who’ve left new comments. It was nice for me to revisit this after Juneau posted a link last evening. A highlight of being an Adam fan was the opportunity to share this writing last summer with my fellow enthusiasts! While I couldn’t attend the concerts last summer, the experience was one of spirit, and a meaningful one at that.

  6. March 19, 2013 10:14 pm

    It is beautiful that a photograph can make you Feel so much.

    • annehedonia permalink
      March 20, 2013 10:58 am

      jg, I think what happened was that @ Tuke18’s remarkable photograph galvanized feelings that were already floating around the zeit geist of the fandom. Something I hadn’t considered is what Flori said (above) – that his was a healing not just for those artists we love, but for us as well. It’s gratifying to see good things happen for those we believe should have them.

  7. Red permalink
    June 9, 2014 12:21 am

    What a beautifully and insightfully written piece. You are quite talented. Thank you for sharing for sharing your work and opinions with us. 🙂

  8. November 8, 2017 7:27 am

    Reblogged this on and commented:

    We were deeply saddened to learn that our resident poet “Annehedonia” passed away in July. She was a soul sister who deeply understood the “Adam Lambert effect” and expressed the mystery, magic, and incongruity of it all with unparalleled beauty and wit. She will be sorely missed. Her spirit lives on forever here in her immortal words. Today, we re-post her essay about Adam Lambert and Brian May in her honor. With so much love, J.

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