A fan remembers he Pittsburg Show February 20, 1976.
I experienced a true rock-shock when my friend Tony Vigliotti walked into sixth period French class and presented me with a souvenir concert program from the Queen show he’d seen the night before at Pittsburgh’s Stanley Theater. This was the concert I’d been dying to see. Or rather, this was The Freddie I’d been dying to see. Frontman Freddie Mercury had become my style icon — my Killer Queen, so to speak, with his shaggy long-cut black pageboy and his fairy-inspired frocks. I didn’t want to sleep with him, mind you. I wanted to BE him. Or at least go shopping with him.
Queen was in town to promote their fourth studio LP, “A Night at the Opera,” which featured their opera-palooza “Bohemian Rhapsody.” .
I was 16, lived 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, couldn’t drive, and had never been to a rock concert. Surely my parents would trust Tony to take me! He was a year older and was held in high regard by my mom, who had known his family her entire life. Tony’s grandmother was my mom’s beloved comare – her godmother – a relationship of special importance in Italian families. .
But while my mom had no doubts about Tony’s superior character, she just wasn’t convinced that this Queen concert was a good idea. It was in the city, in a big stadium that was no doubt full of people on drugs. And, because it was February, there might be weather.
I accepted her decision, as I always did, without argument. But as much as I desired to see Queen in that career-defining zeitgeist, as much as I longed to see Freddie command the stage in the sartorial style I tried so hard to emulate, I quickly got over it. .
But talk about a friend! Here was my Beatle-lovin’ brother…the guy I most enjoyed talking to in high school…the person who planted the seeds of my never-ending rock-n-roll education…the mate who understood, like no one else, how much I longed to see that Queen concert…the friend who thought enough to bring me a souvenir that I’ll prize forever.
I finally got to see Queen a few years later at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. And you know what? Receiving that program from 1976 is a much sweeter memory.
Thank you, “Tony”