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Queen Unseen: My Life with the Greatest Rock Band of the 20th Century

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An intimate and affectionate insider's story of his years spent alongside Queen, with exclusive personal photos   For more than a decade, Peter Hince worked alongside one of the greatest bands in the history of rock, touring the world and heading up their road crew as they performed at some of the best and biggest music venues in the world. Here he recalls the highlights of  An intimate and affectionate insider's story of his years spent alongside Queen, with exclusive personal photos   For more than a decade, Peter Hince worked alongside one of the greatest bands in the history of rock, touring the world and heading up their road crew as they performed at some of the best and biggest music venues in the world. Here he recalls the highlights of those years with the band. He was with Freddie Mercury when he composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love;" he was responsible for making sure that Freddie's stage performances went without a hitch; and he was often there to witness Freddie's famed tantrums. He was also party to the sex, drugs, and rock and roll which are invariably part of life on the road with a rock band. Many books have been written about Queen and Freddie Mercury, but this is the first real insider's story. Packed with the author's own exclusive photos, including never-before-seen shots of Freddie, his female lover Mary, and other band members, this warm and witty book will entertain and inform as a must-read for any music fan.


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An intimate and affectionate insider's story of his years spent alongside Queen, with exclusive personal photos   For more than a decade, Peter Hince worked alongside one of the greatest bands in the history of rock, touring the world and heading up their road crew as they performed at some of the best and biggest music venues in the world. Here he recalls the highlights of  An intimate and affectionate insider's story of his years spent alongside Queen, with exclusive personal photos   For more than a decade, Peter Hince worked alongside one of the greatest bands in the history of rock, touring the world and heading up their road crew as they performed at some of the best and biggest music venues in the world. Here he recalls the highlights of those years with the band. He was with Freddie Mercury when he composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love;" he was responsible for making sure that Freddie's stage performances went without a hitch; and he was often there to witness Freddie's famed tantrums. He was also party to the sex, drugs, and rock and roll which are invariably part of life on the road with a rock band. Many books have been written about Queen and Freddie Mercury, but this is the first real insider's story. Packed with the author's own exclusive photos, including never-before-seen shots of Freddie, his female lover Mary, and other band members, this warm and witty book will entertain and inform as a must-read for any music fan.

30 review for Queen Unseen: My Life with the Greatest Rock Band of the 20th Century

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    So many red flags in this book. The first thing I noticed was that in the acknowledgment section, the author thanks an incredible number of people, some of which are famous musicians, but none of which are members of Queen. The second thing was that the author pretty much set a tone from the very beginning. Freddie is a hot headed, far-to-often-drinking, attention whore and drama Queen, while the author is level headed and has the job of trying to make things go smoothly to avoid Tantrum-throwin So many red flags in this book. The first thing I noticed was that in the acknowledgment section, the author thanks an incredible number of people, some of which are famous musicians, but none of which are members of Queen. The second thing was that the author pretty much set a tone from the very beginning. Freddie is a hot headed, far-to-often-drinking, attention whore and drama Queen, while the author is level headed and has the job of trying to make things go smoothly to avoid Tantrum-throwing Freddie's wrath. As I read on, it became clear the real star of Queen was not Freddie, Brian (who was hands down my favorite musician of all time since the age of 9 years old), John, or Roger. The star is... you guessed it, this author. I have no problem with people writing about their experiences with famous people. Indeed, this is why I read the book. I saw that it was written by a legit source close to the band. What I don't enjoy is when people write about their experiences with famous people to explicitly gain notoriety because of their proximity to the famous person. I would have better enjoyed a tone that was reflective (both self reflective and deeply reflective of the experiences with members of the band), intuitive, and informative. I am happy to hear about Freddie's tantrums. In fact, the idea of flamboyantly dressed Freddie throwing some tantrums about his music sounds fascinating to learn about. It was the way this author went about it that seemed less than fair. Freddie isn't even alive to speak for himself. Luckily though, people like Brian May and others, who really knew Freddie are alive to give a more balanced and thoughtful account. I have seen Brian talk about Freddie. His goal has never been to expose him in some way. While I think Brian tries to protect and honor Freddie's memory, and could probably be more forthcoming with the tantrum -throwing side of Freddie (I hear that side of Freddie is not in the movie but have yet to see it for myself), I think trying to out Freddie, the way this author does, isn't really giving the reader a lens into the lives of any of the band members in any meaningful way. It would be one thing if the author decided to do a tell all, in which he told all equally. However, he magnified negative traits of Freddie and minimized, explained away, or completely normalized his own negative traits, traits that become glaring obvious page after page. The words on those pages make it painfully clear that he is a misogynist. The 70s and 80s were a different time. It would be almost understandable if he made statements then about women, and realized now how inappropriate they really are. He seems fully capable of calling out Freddie's bad behavior but when he talks about himself, he just reveals himself to be a self-absorbed, arrogant, shallow person. In order to get any nugget of interesting info about the band, you have to sit through his incessant goings on. At one point, after reading 3/4 of the book, I felt certain the members of Queen could not possibly tolerate this guy and was compelled to investigate online. Brian May called him a, "disgruntled ex-roadie who had a warped view of the band." Indeed! As if the book itself were not bad enough, if you listen to it in audio version, as I did, you will find that they chose a narrator who made the unfortunate choice to use extremely negative stereotyping for his voices of black people. I am on the prowl for a much more definitive book on Queen.

  2. 4 out of 5

    laurenpie

    Rather free with the judgmental stereotyping Well! This perhaps won't have bothered many of you, but... I must run with a more polite crowd, because it isn't often that I hear this amount of bald-faced judgmental stereotyping, let alone unabashed objectification of women. Wow! I found the writing downright crass. Not to mention repetitive, non-linear, and chock-full of British idioms that I couldn't interpret. This book could have been greatly improved with a good editor. Now, to be fair to Mr. Hen Rather free with the judgmental stereotyping Well! This perhaps won't have bothered many of you, but... I must run with a more polite crowd, because it isn't often that I hear this amount of bald-faced judgmental stereotyping, let alone unabashed objectification of women. Wow! I found the writing downright crass. Not to mention repetitive, non-linear, and chock-full of British idioms that I couldn't interpret. This book could have been greatly improved with a good editor. Now, to be fair to Mr. Hence, I do agree he was respectful to the band members, and that he nicely avoided an overdone tabloid-tell-all scenario. The bait and switch was disappointing, Look at that cover photo, look at the title, I think I deserve a little more of Freddie inside!

  3. 4 out of 5

    James Hartley

    Written by a Queen roadie nicknamed Ratty, this is a close-up, with-the-band view of Queen in their early-to-mid eighties pomp. Unapologetically of its time, this boorish, hilarious, sexist, revealing, bitty autobiography gets you up close and personal with the members of Queen´s group and crew. My version of the book did not include any photos - but they were praised in the blurb and quotes on the opening pages. I guess the photos are in the hardback edition.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Annija Tesloviča

    Somehow after finishing it I feel like I needed more.... it was not excatly what I was waiting for... I guess I needed more Queen...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ravi

    Like many other reviews on the internet state, this isn't the book for you if you're looking for sensationalised scandal and tabloid tales. At the same time, this also isn't the book for you if you're looking for details of Freddie Mercury's later years and his ailing health. Queen's roadie, Peter Hince, in this book, describes the intense work and mentality behind Queen's incredible stage-show, fronted by the ever-flamboyant Freddie, brainy Brian, raucous Roger, and the demure Mr Deacon. Not onl Like many other reviews on the internet state, this isn't the book for you if you're looking for sensationalised scandal and tabloid tales. At the same time, this also isn't the book for you if you're looking for details of Freddie Mercury's later years and his ailing health. Queen's roadie, Peter Hince, in this book, describes the intense work and mentality behind Queen's incredible stage-show, fronted by the ever-flamboyant Freddie, brainy Brian, raucous Roger, and the demure Mr Deacon. Not only does Peter 'Ratty' Hince exhibit the immense work-ethic shown by every member of the Queen crew, but he describes venues, cities, and goings-on with incredible detail, worthy of a Bill Bryson book. Through Queen Unseen, the reader gets an access-all-areas pass, and sees Freddie Mercury's jovial pre-show chatter and hi-jinx, as he arm-wrestles crew members and yells [somewhat ironically] about the ailing state of his voice. Of course, along with rock'n'roll comes sex and drugs, and many women from many different locations are recalled vividly by Hince, as well as the many substances that crew and band members encountered as their tours wandered around the world. Of course, one could critique the fact that some tales end rather abruptly, and that not everything follows in chronological order. But it seems to me that this is the perfect metaphor for tour life: you show up in a far-flung venue, play a show, get up to some mischief, and then roll on to the next town, leaving the events and items of the previous night to blur and fester in the back of your mind, whilst trying to remember the bits that were never crystal clear to start with. Since retiring as a roadie, Peter Hince has developed a penchant for photography. Judging by this offering, he could also make a fantastic travel or non-fiction author, recalling events with expert detail, and not shying away from the use of biting sarcasm.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juana

    This books delivers exactly what it promises. It is not a book on the Queen nor on its legendary frontman. It’s the autobiography of one of their “roadies”, one of the guys who at times spent more time with the band than the band’s own partners. It is a life on the road, of hard work, little sleep, lots of alcohol, sex and drugs to keep them going. Amidst the ever fully booked agenda there were moments when roadies and stars could get together and have a chat or just chill out together. That’s wh This books delivers exactly what it promises. It is not a book on the Queen nor on its legendary frontman. It’s the autobiography of one of their “roadies”, one of the guys who at times spent more time with the band than the band’s own partners. It is a life on the road, of hard work, little sleep, lots of alcohol, sex and drugs to keep them going. Amidst the ever fully booked agenda there were moments when roadies and stars could get together and have a chat or just chill out together. That’s what this book is about: the life of people waiting behind the drawn curtains of the stage for Queen’s show to be over, dismantle all the magic piece by piece, put it all back in the boxes, load it in the containers and ship it all to the next gig location. I found this book an enjoyable, light read, Hince’s sense of humour and style giving it an extra kick.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abitin

    Well, this was a waste of time actually. No interesting facts about the band, only boring childish stories from someone who clearly thinks he is much funnier than he is. Definitely not a book for intelligent Queen fans! If you're looking for insight, wit, charm and good writing.....then save your money! Well, this was a waste of time actually. No interesting facts about the band, only boring childish stories from someone who clearly thinks he is much funnier than he is. Definitely not a book for intelligent Queen fans! If you're looking for insight, wit, charm and good writing.....then save your money!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liberty

    Juicy rock star tidbits, and behind-the-scenes life, from Freddie and John Deacon's long time roadie, Peter Hince. Scratched that dirty band bio itch I've always got! 💜 If you plan to pick this up, just be aware that it's written about life in a different era, the mid-70s thru the late 80s. This is the non-revisionist, non-PC, honest account of things, so it includes vocabulary we find offensive today. There are derogatory terms for every type of person in this book, so if you're easily triggered Juicy rock star tidbits, and behind-the-scenes life, from Freddie and John Deacon's long time roadie, Peter Hince. Scratched that dirty band bio itch I've always got! 💜 If you plan to pick this up, just be aware that it's written about life in a different era, the mid-70s thru the late 80s. This is the non-revisionist, non-PC, honest account of things, so it includes vocabulary we find offensive today. There are derogatory terms for every type of person in this book, so if you're easily triggered, don't read it. Pretend that world just didn't exist...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This book started out really good, about the roadie, Peter Hince, who toured with queen. At the beginning of the book, he detailed a lot of things that he went through as a normal part of the tour and how he kept things running smoothly. And there are some amazing pictures that he took in the book. Unfortunately, the book started to go downhill shortly after. Aside from working with Queen, Hince doesn't sound like a very interesting person. Or a very nice person. When he gradually stopped talking This book started out really good, about the roadie, Peter Hince, who toured with queen. At the beginning of the book, he detailed a lot of things that he went through as a normal part of the tour and how he kept things running smoothly. And there are some amazing pictures that he took in the book. Unfortunately, the book started to go downhill shortly after. Aside from working with Queen, Hince doesn't sound like a very interesting person. Or a very nice person. When he gradually stopped talking about things he did for the band (aside from traveling alone with the equipment, signing forms, purchasing random things for the band members, etc), I didn't like what remained. He started a lot of random stories, only to ignore the punchline, or what happened. Like when they damaged the floor or doors trying to get a piano into place. I got curious about how things would get smoothed over. But...the subject moved on. Another time, he talks about an accident he got into where he lost a hubcap and went with John to go find it. They did, then put it in the trunk. The paragraph ends with him saying that the hubcap probably is at the bottom of a river. What? Why? One last thing I had to mark, was he talked about a football game his crew was going to play against some Brazilians. And...Who knows? He never finished the damn story! There aren't really chapters. Just sections. Which led to time jumps and rambling. He jumps all over the place. I was curious if he would go into a little more detail when Live Aid came around. But he had fallen out of love with his job by that point and I have no idea if he even did anything important for the event. So, basically, if you start disliking this book, it doesn't get any better. Just look at the pictures, then put the book down.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steelwhisper

    Brilliant. Fabulous. Humane. This was a wonderfully written, warm and deeply interesting look at the author's time with Queen. I can see where people expecting to learn salacious, sarky tidbits and scandals would be disappointed with this book. Completely unlike what they expected, Peter Hince gives us here a genuinely respectful view of tour life - as one of the band, with the band. Yes, there are a couple of interesting bits included, but more so from the perspective of someone like me, who als Brilliant. Fabulous. Humane. This was a wonderfully written, warm and deeply interesting look at the author's time with Queen. I can see where people expecting to learn salacious, sarky tidbits and scandals would be disappointed with this book. Completely unlike what they expected, Peter Hince gives us here a genuinely respectful view of tour life - as one of the band, with the band. Yes, there are a couple of interesting bits included, but more so from the perspective of someone like me, who also used to tour with a band, than for someone reading the yellow press. I recognised a lot of what he described, and in a way it proves the veracity and overall benevolence making it from the pages. I laughed quite a few times, out loud enough so I was stared at pointedly, and I nodded at a lot of things. The relationships between the crew and the band, Hince's respect of them and his loyalty to both Mercury and Deacon, especially his admiration for Deacon, came through time and again. And yes, this is indeed well-written and very readable. Lovely photos Hince shot himself at the end. One which foreshadows Deacon's reaction to Fred's death. This will be re-read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deia Skitalica

    A really enjoyable read, Hince is humorous and there's a decent flow to the book. I wouldn't call this a story about the band per se, but about their roadie (which the addendum "my life with the greatest rock band.." substantiates), and that's just fine! It was good to read about the 'Queen machine' from that perspective.. this is your all-access Queen backstage pass! More than once, however, I got the sense that Hince is resentful, and, at the same time, it was sad to read that, apparently, the A really enjoyable read, Hince is humorous and there's a decent flow to the book. I wouldn't call this a story about the band per se, but about their roadie (which the addendum "my life with the greatest rock band.." substantiates), and that's just fine! It was good to read about the 'Queen machine' from that perspective.. this is your all-access Queen backstage pass! More than once, however, I got the sense that Hince is resentful, and, at the same time, it was sad to read that, apparently, the crew did not receive as much appreciation as hoped for, or compensation, for that matter. True, Ratty was Freddie's roadie, and that's a great b&w cover image of Freddie there, but, since the book is called Queen Unseen, would have loved to see a photo of the entire band, or even a behind-the-scenes with the crew. Finally, what a life all of them lived! Fascinating!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ritchie

    Entertaining stories of what life was like as Freddie Mercury's main roadie from someone who was actually there. No scandalous tabloid shite here, just fond (and some not-so-fond) remembrances. Recommended. Entertaining stories of what life was like as Freddie Mercury's main roadie from someone who was actually there. No scandalous tabloid shite here, just fond (and some not-so-fond) remembrances. Recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fayrooz

    I've kept in mind that this is a book made by a very hardworking human, who for many years worked very hard behind the scenes, saw and experienced much. It's his book, about his life, in his tone, about his feelings. So I'm not surprised. You cannot expect a human to have the greatest memories about his job and his boss all the time. I cannot expect him to worship Freddie like I myself do, or expect him to serve only the clean truths, that would be boring and untrue, Freddie was no saint. And wor I've kept in mind that this is a book made by a very hardworking human, who for many years worked very hard behind the scenes, saw and experienced much. It's his book, about his life, in his tone, about his feelings. So I'm not surprised. You cannot expect a human to have the greatest memories about his job and his boss all the time. I cannot expect him to worship Freddie like I myself do, or expect him to serve only the clean truths, that would be boring and untrue, Freddie was no saint. And working with him and Queen sure was tiring, but nonetheless, great. (Although, this book makes you appreciate John Deacon more and more) It was a magnificent journey listening to details about the countries they went and performed in, the hotels, the girls and the hangovers, all the things that went wrong and all the glorious moments. And oh the details about some of the songs I love, you recall the song Bohemian Rhapsody? Wasn't a big deal in the start, remember it's video? Oh it was such an inconvenience. That cracked me for days XD That being said, I absolutely had the time of my life listening to this book. I'm amazed by all the details Peter was keeping up with, such hero behind the scenes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nashwa S

    Let’s just say I will always enjoy reading about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Initially, I was kind of annoyed with the author, I felt that he was trying way too hard to be funny and claiming to be more important than he was but as I kept reading, I overcame that feeling. It was an interesting insight into the work that went behind the Queen shows, how the equipment was managed and how the crew handled the pressures of supporting the band while they were on tour. It also was interesting to see how Let’s just say I will always enjoy reading about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Initially, I was kind of annoyed with the author, I felt that he was trying way too hard to be funny and claiming to be more important than he was but as I kept reading, I overcame that feeling. It was an interesting insight into the work that went behind the Queen shows, how the equipment was managed and how the crew handled the pressures of supporting the band while they were on tour. It also was interesting to see how the shows were managed in different countries and how the crowd behaviour varied from place to place. The writer’s sass was annoying to be honest and it seemed like he harboured some resentment towards Freddie Mercury. I didn’t enjoy reading about the adventures of Peter Hince per say, but I liked it because of the band.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judie

    I loved this book. Let me say right from the beginning that this book doesn’t promise to be a biography of Freddie Mercury... so if that’s what you’re looking for, you should look elsewhere. This was a fun and very informative retelling of the adventures of being a roadie on tour with Queen. I have to say that at times I felt like I was on tour with them! Mr. Hince has a great sense of humor, and I found myself laughing heartily at some of his stories. Yes, they were crude.... he was young man i I loved this book. Let me say right from the beginning that this book doesn’t promise to be a biography of Freddie Mercury... so if that’s what you’re looking for, you should look elsewhere. This was a fun and very informative retelling of the adventures of being a roadie on tour with Queen. I have to say that at times I felt like I was on tour with them! Mr. Hince has a great sense of humor, and I found myself laughing heartily at some of his stories. Yes, they were crude.... he was young man in his 20’s during the 1970’s! He did give some anecdotes of Freddie’s tantrums that made me feel bad... especially the one about Freddie hitting him with his mic “ wand” in a fit of rage. I hated to think Freddie could do such a thing, but I do believe it. I’ve read in several other sources about Freddie’s legendary temper, fits of rage, and tantrums. I love Freddie and think the world of him, but I think our collective desire to turn him into a saint, or a god onstage and a frightened little boy offstage is completely missing the mark. He was human, with faults, and he was a grown man who very often insisted on getting his own way. If I had one complaint about this book, it’s that it’s not in any kind of chronological order. It’s still fun, but I would have preferred following along in order, as others have already said. Other than that, a quick and fun romp on tour with Queen! Whoo hoo! 🥰

  16. 5 out of 5

    CloudyEm

    Thoroughly enjoyed the audio book. Laughed so hard at times. Timeline jumps around a bit which if I was reading it may have annoyed me but because I was listening to it I felt like the author and I were just having a good old chat about his days as a roadie. I really really enjoyed it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Templeton

    Definitely a different perspective on the Queen craze. The story written by this Queen roadie was more about life as a roadie than it was the life of Queen as seen out of the public eye.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Muneeza

    This book is very informative if you want to know what happens behind-the-scenes of a rock concert. It's written by a crew member so I got to know how challenging moving around tons of rock equipment is especially if you're crossing borders. It's also full of Queen trivia which was fun to read. However, I want to punch the author in the face for being such an a**hole and making disgusting jokes about women, the LGBT, and minorities in general. Maybe that attitude was acceptable in the 70's or 80 This book is very informative if you want to know what happens behind-the-scenes of a rock concert. It's written by a crew member so I got to know how challenging moving around tons of rock equipment is especially if you're crossing borders. It's also full of Queen trivia which was fun to read. However, I want to punch the author in the face for being such an a**hole and making disgusting jokes about women, the LGBT, and minorities in general. Maybe that attitude was acceptable in the 70's or 80's but he revised the book in 2015 and there was not a single disclaimer! I also feel for Freddie because even though people around him "respected" him they never completely accepted him. Me to the author: That's why he was always distant, you idiot!!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff J.

    Memoir from the former tour manager for the band Queen. While the title implies some sort of expose and it is actually about the life of a roadie. No big revelations here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    I enjoyed this book - it held my attention and actually had me laughing out loud in places. I generally prefer memoirs that are more chronological in nature; oddly enough, the non-linear style of the book didn't bother me as much as I expected and I got used to the narrative bouncing from one story into another. While there are some anecdotes about band members, this book isn't about Queen - it's a collection of personal stories related to Hince's experiences as a roadie in the '70s and '80s. Th I enjoyed this book - it held my attention and actually had me laughing out loud in places. I generally prefer memoirs that are more chronological in nature; oddly enough, the non-linear style of the book didn't bother me as much as I expected and I got used to the narrative bouncing from one story into another. While there are some anecdotes about band members, this book isn't about Queen - it's a collection of personal stories related to Hince's experiences as a roadie in the '70s and '80s. The fact that he often gives a bit of historical perspective gave some depth to his frustratingly brief narrative and helped keep my interest. Topics are wide ranging, from the difficulties of hauling and shipping equipment to dealing with foreign politics and customs to accommodating personality quirks in an effort to keep the shows running smoothly. Hince doesn't shy away from sex and drugs; he tells enough to get his point across but does so without naming names or resorting to tabloid-style drama. There are many places where I wish Hince would have expanded on the story - especially when describing his career transition from roadie to photographer. The small sections of photographs consist mainly of candid images that hint at his long interest in photography but often lack a direct connection to his narrative. If you want to know more about the behind-the-scenes efforts required to keep a successful band on the road (and the mis/adventures of a mostly-dedicated crew), you may enjoy this book, too. If you're looking for substantial stories or insider information about the band members, you'll be disappointed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lance Lumley

    This book tells the story of Peter Hince, who started to work with the rock band Queen from the 1970s- 1986. The book is a different rock autobiography because it tells the day in and out of the road crew for a band. Yes, there are a few wild stories in the book, but most of it is told on his duties and his friendship he encountered with the band. There are several great stories that was knowledgeable to me; like lead singer Freddy Mercury loved playing the game Scrabble and almost every day wor This book tells the story of Peter Hince, who started to work with the rock band Queen from the 1970s- 1986. The book is a different rock autobiography because it tells the day in and out of the road crew for a band. Yes, there are a few wild stories in the book, but most of it is told on his duties and his friendship he encountered with the band. There are several great stories that was knowledgeable to me; like lead singer Freddy Mercury loved playing the game Scrabble and almost every day working the daily paper crossword puzzles, how the band was fans of TV Shows like Benny Hill and Faulty Towers, and the time Freddy asked Hince to grab Murcury's guitar while he was taking a bath and ended up strumming the chords that became "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Hince talks about meeting Bruce Springsteen and his experience working the Live Aid concert was. He takes the reader through some of the filming of the bands videos and recording albums. If you are looking for a book that shows you what the road crew does in the business, this is a good book. This is not a tell-all slander book about the band or gossipy. I got this at the local library to read, and read it withing a few days. This was a good Rock Music book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I found this a fairly enjoyable read, but lacking. Peter Hince's writing style is a bit jumbled, he begins stories and often seems to leave them slightly unresolved as he begins a new tale. The stories all come thick and fast, often only a few paragraphs in length. This means there is quite a lot of entertainment to be found in the book, but unfortunately it never quite told me the things I was hoping for. Many of the stories do not involve the band, and those that do are quick and fleeting, not I found this a fairly enjoyable read, but lacking. Peter Hince's writing style is a bit jumbled, he begins stories and often seems to leave them slightly unresolved as he begins a new tale. The stories all come thick and fast, often only a few paragraphs in length. This means there is quite a lot of entertainment to be found in the book, but unfortunately it never quite told me the things I was hoping for. Many of the stories do not involve the band, and those that do are quick and fleeting, not really giving an insight into the personalities of my favourite musicians. It also painted a picture of life with Queen that, in some cases, I did not really want to hear. There is a lot of drug taking, sex and drinking going on - as you would realistically expect from any rock band - but it's all presented so casually. Overall, thought, it's quite an entertaining read. Only a few of the stories are genuinely funny, and most of them involve the band members. If the book had been presented in a more organised manner, it probably would have helped.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason Leroux

    Interesting read about one of my favorite bands... The flow of the "prose" is quite frankly awful, but there's enough tidbits about life on the road with Queen to keep you interested. The best parts are the descriptions of the interactions of the band and the crew while on-stage at legendary concerts (Wembley and Live-Aid are recalled by "Ratty" Hince), and the photos that Hince took of the band. Although the juvenile antics and debauchery are somewhat appreciated by my inner-20-yr-old, I really w Interesting read about one of my favorite bands... The flow of the "prose" is quite frankly awful, but there's enough tidbits about life on the road with Queen to keep you interested. The best parts are the descriptions of the interactions of the band and the crew while on-stage at legendary concerts (Wembley and Live-Aid are recalled by "Ratty" Hince), and the photos that Hince took of the band. Although the juvenile antics and debauchery are somewhat appreciated by my inner-20-yr-old, I really was left wondering about the antics of the famous members of the band - I could have done without the vague descriptions of conquests of the roadies.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Disappointed ! Don't waste your money. The worse Freddie Mercury book I have ever read!!. Basically this. Book is all about the Author, Peter Hince How he loved The USA .Don't waste your money and your Time. Disappointed ! Don't waste your money. The worse Freddie Mercury book I have ever read!!. Basically this. Book is all about the Author, Peter Hince How he loved The USA .Don't waste your money and your Time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kurtbg

    Stories and perspectives from a rock and roll roadie during the 70's and 80's for the band Queen. i picked this up to gain a wider understandng of the band from an insider. Stories and perspectives from a rock and roll roadie during the 70's and 80's for the band Queen. i picked this up to gain a wider understandng of the band from an insider.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had a lukewarm experience with 'Queen Unseen.’ Peter Hince used to be a roadie for Queen during the 1970's up until the mid 1980's, while taking on freelance tour jobs with the band until their final tour in 1986. He is also a photographer who took many images of Queen and Freddie Mercury. While I personally don’t have anything against Peter Hince, I feel that his story/stories were a bit all over the place while also coming off as very repetitive as well as “stirring the pot.” Below, you will f I had a lukewarm experience with 'Queen Unseen.’ Peter Hince used to be a roadie for Queen during the 1970's up until the mid 1980's, while taking on freelance tour jobs with the band until their final tour in 1986. He is also a photographer who took many images of Queen and Freddie Mercury. While I personally don’t have anything against Peter Hince, I feel that his story/stories were a bit all over the place while also coming off as very repetitive as well as “stirring the pot.” Below, you will find the pros and cons that I found with the book. Pros: Getting to understand the occupation is what allowed me to give this book two stars instead of one. Being a roadie isn't easy work, which Peter lays out in his stories throughout the book. You learn a lot about the job and the hard work that comes with it, as well as the lack of sleep and demanding schedule. It’s also interesting to hear about some of what Peter had to do for the band. It seemed as if Peter rarely had a day off, even when he was home, but that comes with the job. As I said above, Peter is a photographer and he talks about when he first started taking his camera out on tour and in the studio with the group. Many of his photos are in the book and they are incredible (the cover art for the single ‘Play The Game’ was taken by Peter). The stories behind his photography are also great and I do like the conclusion he made to leave Queen behind in order to start his own business. The jokes between the roadies as well as both the roadies and the band were hilarious. It paints a picture of a fun family, but that also leads me to my cons list. Cons: The feel throughout the book is very inconsistent. One moment, Peter is complaining about the way the band is treating him and how he doesn’t feel appreciated. The next minute? He’s talking about how close he was with both Freddie and John and how they made him feel a part of the gang, so to say. Another minute, he paints the band in a very negative light. Overall, it seems that 50% of the time the band (except for John Deacon, who he kindly nicknames 'Big John' due to his large genitalia - thanks, Peter!) are egotistical temper tantrum throwing toddlers and the other 50%, he’s grateful for them. Their attitudes also seem inconsistent with what others who were once close to the band have said, especially with Freddie who was often considered the mediator when arguments between other members erupted. Throughout the book, from beginning until the end, there are different stories throughout the chapters instead of one chapter being solely dedicated to a specific tour. A chapter can go from talking about the Sheer Heart Attack tour to talking about The Works tour to talking about the Crazy Tour to talking about the Hot Space Tour. It feels very all over the place. The constant talk about Peter Hince's sex life on the road started off being hilarious and interesting to being repetitive and nauseating. While I understand that random hookups were/are a part of the "rock & roll lifestyle," I don't think it's necessary to hear about almost each and every encounter on nearly each page. Overall, as your average reader, I felt this book was all over the place and most often repetitive. My impression is that Peter Hince wrote this to give fans good stories to read but it just wasn’t for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nena

    A well written, engaging and fascinating look behind the scenes of the legendary rock group, Queen, through the eyes of a member of the road crew (a nice way of saying the clean-up crew), a jovial fellow nicknamed "Ratty". Narrator Rupert Holliday Evans does a fabulous job in his reading of this memoir of Peter Hince, who began his once in a lifetime experience when the band first came together in England. I was captivated from the get-go with these personal anecdotes, some humorous and some eye A well written, engaging and fascinating look behind the scenes of the legendary rock group, Queen, through the eyes of a member of the road crew (a nice way of saying the clean-up crew), a jovial fellow nicknamed "Ratty". Narrator Rupert Holliday Evans does a fabulous job in his reading of this memoir of Peter Hince, who began his once in a lifetime experience when the band first came together in England. I was captivated from the get-go with these personal anecdotes, some humorous and some eye-popping. I was disappointed with finding out what these celebrity clean-up people do with the items thrown on stage when the performance is over. Makes you think twice about spending good money on trinkets for their idols. I was awe struck at their first American tour experience, particularly the Madison Square Garden show, laughed about what happened to them in Hollywood and horrified at their culinary experiences in Japan. With all they put up with, the crummy hotels they have to stay in while the main band members enjoy 5 star luxury, the conditions while touring via a bus, the long absences away from home and loved ones, and at times the shoddy way they are treated, blamed when things go wrong, ignored when things go perfectly, expected to be mind-readers and catching hell when you didn't, you have to wonder why anyone would want a job like that. And heaven forbid an instrument is out of tune, a light goes out or a string breaks while they are on stage. This is not a book about Freddie Mercury or Queen, but rather a memoir about this man's days on the road with a major rock band and how tremendously hard yet tremendously rewarding it is. Simply a totally awesome, enlightening experience which will make you realize that without the backstage hands and clean-up crew, the show you paid tickets to see would stink!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    In terms of reviews, I think Roger (Taylor, of Queen) did it best in a little blurb at the very beginning of the book - buried, of course, beneath some of the more congratulatory sound bites: "Of course, it's written from his perspective and it has compromises, but it's the closest to reality - and it is quite amusing." Queen Unseen certainly is from Peter Hince's perspective, certainly has its compromises - there are a few too many anecdotes that put him right at the center of iconic moments to In terms of reviews, I think Roger (Taylor, of Queen) did it best in a little blurb at the very beginning of the book - buried, of course, beneath some of the more congratulatory sound bites: "Of course, it's written from his perspective and it has compromises, but it's the closest to reality - and it is quite amusing." Queen Unseen certainly is from Peter Hince's perspective, certainly has its compromises - there are a few too many anecdotes that put him right at the center of iconic moments to be truly believable - and it is quite amusing. (And given how far off the mark most things are when it comes to Queen and Freddie, to say this is the "closest to reality" isn't necessarily saying very much.) Ratty's ode to the hedonist life of a rock roadie in the 70's is a wild ride that spans most of the band's touring career. Despite the implications that this is a dirty dish on Queen, it's more about the exploits and endeavors of the crew behind the scenes. As the daughter of a roadie, when it comes to fireworks in the hotel and the endless pursuit of drugs: I'm inclined to believe more than I'm not. Three stars for a fun read to put you in the shoes of an interesting lifestyle. One star lost because Roger and Brian claim it was Brian who played "lacquers" for 168 points in Death Scrabble. Who're you gonna believe? *squints* And the other star because thanking the members of the band in the post script and then immediately saying "no doubt they would like to thank me, too" is bad form, Ratty. Bad form.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan Yoder

    Such an interesting look into the life of Queen roadie and how a tour is put together. There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes than the artist you see on stage. I found it interesting that as an artist, so many things are planned for you and people whose entire job it is to serve you (as the artist). This book was an interesting glimpse into the lives of famous rock n' roll stars and the amount of work, dedication, stress, sleepless nights, highlights, and valleys it takes to not on Such an interesting look into the life of Queen roadie and how a tour is put together. There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes than the artist you see on stage. I found it interesting that as an artist, so many things are planned for you and people whose entire job it is to serve you (as the artist). This book was an interesting glimpse into the lives of famous rock n' roll stars and the amount of work, dedication, stress, sleepless nights, highlights, and valleys it takes to not only live the lifestyle but also work for a famous band. Getting new monitors, locating new mics, running all over the city to find certain things that band members wanted, long recording sessions, driving the band, missing important family events, etc. I found it interesting that Hince had finally come to the conclusion, towards the end of the book, that it was important to him to find out what he wanted out of life, instead of living through someone else's dreams. While he enjoyed traveling the world and working for Queen, he also wanted a life of his own. I am a huge Queen fan, and the band has always had this mystery and aura for me. This book pulled back the curtain and showed us that band were just four normal guys, navigating the rock music industry. The book described the highest moments (e.g. American tours, Live Aid), but also the lowest points of the facade of fame and how it isn't as glamourous as it seems.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Collin

    I LOVED this book. It took me right back . . . I should explain. I first saw an excerpt from this book online and was immediately drawn in and thrilled that Pete (who I met 'back in the day') had written it. After my initial introduction I went off to Virgin and bought myself a copy. It was on my reading pile and I have no idea why it took me so long to read it. Once I did, I couldn't put it down. I met Pete before he went to work with Queen and I remember how kind he was when I was a bit of an i I LOVED this book. It took me right back . . . I should explain. I first saw an excerpt from this book online and was immediately drawn in and thrilled that Pete (who I met 'back in the day') had written it. After my initial introduction I went off to Virgin and bought myself a copy. It was on my reading pile and I have no idea why it took me so long to read it. Once I did, I couldn't put it down. I met Pete before he went to work with Queen and I remember how kind he was when I was a bit of an innocent abroad and got very drunk at a party. He took care of me when many might not have paid so much attention to a teenager who was very excited and clearly couldn't keep up with the grown ups ;-) We kept in touch and I remember him inviting me to see Queen in Birmingham for the Bohemian Rhapsody tour. Wowsa!!! That was an amazing experience - can you imagine? Walking to the front of huge queues and saying 'I'm on the guest list'. I'll never forget that. He got me backstage to meet them and I remember Pete giving me money for a taxi home after the gig. It was so good to hear all the backstage stories and the shenanigans. I remembered the postcards from their tours of Japan. Thanks for sharing a behind the scenes glimpse Pete - it was a real treat and made for a good, quick and easy read. What amazing, heady days. Freddie and the boys were amazing and the crew made it all happen too!

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