Brian May says he didn't like Queen's hit Don't Stop Me Now at first

‘I found it a bit too flippant:’ Brian May reveals he didn’t like Queen’s hit Don’t Stop Me Now at first as he thought Freddie Mercury’s lyrics played down the dangers of AIDS crisis

Brian May has revealed that he didn’t like Queen’s hit Don’t Stop Me Now at first as he thought Freddie Mercury’s lyrics played down the dangers of AIDS.

The guitarist, 73, admitted he wasn’t ‘comfortable’ with what Mercury was singing as he found it too ‘flippant’ in view of the dangers of the HIV virus.

But May eventually ‘gave in’ and warmed to the song after realising it ‘gave people great joy’.

Difficult: Brian May has revealed that he didn’t like Queen’s hit Don’t Stop Me Now at first as he thought Freddie Mercury’s lyrics played down the dangers of AIDS

Don’t Stop Me Now was originally taken from band’s 1978 album Jazz, but was released as a single a year later. The first cases of AIDS were diagnosed in the early 80s.

May told Guitar Player magazine: ‘I didn’t really take to it in the beginning. I didn’t feel totally comfortable with what Freddie was singing at the time.

‘I found it a little bit too flippant in view of the dangers of AIDS and stuff. But as time went on, I began to realise that it gave people great joy.

‘I had to give in. It’s a great song – there’s no way around it.

Opinion: The guitarist, 73, admitted he wasn’t ‘comfortable’ with what Mercury (pictured in 1985) was singing as he found it too ‘flippant’ in view of the dangers of the HIV virus

‘I think that’s what Freddie had an amazing knack of doing: he could put his button on things that make people feel a bit more alive.’  

On the unforeseen popularity of the hedonistic anthem, May said: ‘It’s a phenomenon, that song.

‘I’ve seen it played at all sorts of functions. It’s become the most requested song at hen parties and stag parties and marriages and weddings and funerals – just because it brings joy.’

Change of heart: May eventually ‘gave in’ and warmed to the song after realising it ‘gave people great joy’

Making music: Queen bandmates John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May in 1976

Father-of-three May added that the song had become a ‘spiritual lift’ which he loves to play live.

May added: ‘I don’t have any quarrel with it now – I enjoy playing it onstage.

‘It’s wonderful that everyone wants to sing it. In singing with us, they express their own joy and their own determination to make the best out of their lives, and to keep on and not get knocked down by things.

‘It’s an amazing kind of spiritual lift – that’s what the song has become.’

Mercury later died in 1991, aged 45, of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. 

Don’t Stop Me Now peaked at number 9 in the UK charts but has been popularised over the years after inclusion in several adverts and films, including 2004 horror-comedy Shaun of the Dead, and has also racked up nearly a billion plays on Spotify.

Sad: Mercury died in 1991, aged 45, of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS

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