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God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On [Paperback]

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Item description for God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On by Daniel Nester...

A lyrical combination of memoir, poetry, trivia, and rock history provide the follow-up to Daniel Nester's first book on the British band Queen. Nester blends personal anecdotes with Queen's music to form the liner notes to his own psychosexual awakening, including an exquisite tribute to the unforgettable Mercury, who died of AIDS in 1991. Short essays --- or riffs --- are devoted to each Queen track on their last five studio albums, as well as a few solo and live efforts. The book is seven inches square, the same size as a vinyl 45-rpm record.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   121
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 7" Height: 7"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 13, 2004
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1932360514  
ISBN13  9781932360516  

Availability  0 units.

More About Daniel Nester

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! aniel Nester's most recent book, How to Be Inappropriate, described as "a deeply funny new collection of booger-flecked nonfiction" in Time Out New York, was published by Soft Skull Press in 2010. He is editor of The Incredible Sestinas Anthology, due out from Write Bloody Publishing later this year. Nester's first two books, God Save My Queen: A Tribute (Soft Skull, 2003) and God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On (2004), are collections on his obsession with the rock band Queen. His third, The History of My World Tonight (BlazeVOX, 2006), is a collection of poems. As a journalist and es

Daniel Nester currently resides in Brooklyn, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > History & Criticism
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Rock

Reviews - What do customers think about God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On?

God Save Amazon Reviewers!  Dec 29, 2007
Ok. We'll take this slowly, since other reviews suggest that there is an audience for this book that isn't particularly familiar with modern poetry. It's odd and surprising that well into the first decade of the 21st Century there are those who hold on to the idea that one reads a book of poetry to collect information about a particular subject. If you want the story of how a band got together, when and where they recorded albums, the inspiration for songs, etc. a plethora of resources exist (band biographies, archived magazine articles, fan sites).

The goals of contemporary poetry are, by almost anyone's definition, quite different. The point of this book could hardly be made clearer. "I can now explain the end of my obsession," the first sentence of the first piece reads. So, ok, well, we know right off that the book isn't about which effects pedals Brian used or how Freddy mixed the vocals. And, if you still were unsure that this wasn't a rock book, a few sentences later, we're told, "I once rejoiced at double claps, triumphs onscreen from a stadium seat--me here, my heroes there. No glamour whatsoever--my seatmates went for hot dogs, and I stood, transfixed."

Wait a second. This book seems really to be about the author's relationship to Queen rather than about the band itself. Further down the same page from the lines quoted above, there is a thick black line and, beneath it, footnotes. Why would you need footnotes for a poem? Let's see. The first one reads, "Brigitte Helm as Maria or der Maschinen-Mensch (The Robot) in Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). Footage from film used in this video. See also Freddie Mercury's `Love Kills' from Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis soundtrack for its 1984 release." This is a fan's note. It was written by someone who, as we've been told, has been obsessed with the band. It's the type of detail that would be interesting to a true fan of the band. But, at the same time, the note is kind of absurd too. So, maybe, several things are happening at once, as has been know to occur in poetry. Possibly, the writer is filling in lovingly acquired information about the band, clarifying an allusion AND, at the same time, poking fun at a fanboy's obsessions. Is there evidence to support this? Well, there are the titles of the poems. A quick search of this site (or just a look at the jacket copy) reveals that the titles of the poems follow, in track order, the songs on Queen's later albums and the band members' solo projects

Are there other signs that humor might be a part of the project of the book? How about the title, God Save My Queen II. That sounds kind of like the title of an album by a group who criticized Queens' excesses (but who secretly listened to their music, see the first volume of God Save My Queen). Ah, but the writer has changed it up on us. It's not THE Queen that he wants to save, it's "My" Queen. What's he trying to save them from? Of course, there's the unfair criticism of the band by punks (and music critics) looking to prove themselves cooler than the masses. But, more importantly, it's the author's memories of how his obsession with the band shaped his life that he wants to save unclear. Take "It's a Hard Life" a few pages deeper into the book . The author describes being at a high school dance and watching some boys air guitar to Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo in "Beat It". Soon, the narrator has a chance to demonstrate his support for his own guitar hero. The DJ plays Jeffrey Osbourne's "Stay With Me Tonight". The narrator air guitars the song's "Brian Harold May" guitar solo for his "nerd posse friends" who he has "collared onto the dance floor". The effect is not what he had planned. The nerds are embarrassed. "They are left stunned, and stare down into their soda cups."

So, the author's obsession with Queen sustained him as an outcast but also made him more of an outsider. The rest of the poems continue the story of how the author took what for most is a dead-end obsession that leads to nothing more than a hard drive filled with band bootlegs and, instead, made poetry out of it.

To be fair, I'm simplifying a little since, again, it seems that some potential readers/reviews may not be especially familiar with contemporary poetry. The poems in the book are often not as linear or purely autobiographical as I make them sound. But they are always intriguing, often moving, and consistently funny--qualities that are all too rare in the work of the favorites of the poetry world. The author has saved his Queen, himself and, hopefully, a lot of other music-obsessed former outcasts with this book.
Teenage live journal  Nov 17, 2007
I was disappointed. I bought this book because it was interesting for me to read what a New-York poet can tell me about Queen poetry, Queen meaning for the world. But instead it I found a live journal of 12-years old teenager who even cannot tell what he want to say. Today I eat my soup and thought about Brian May. Looking to my picture disk -how are you, Roger? And this kind of thoughts from the beginning to the end. If it's good tribute from American writer -my condolences to modern American literature. Queen didn't deserved so poor tribute. Shame.

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