How Adam Lambert Discovered Queen Via ‘Wayne’s World’
The Queen machine keeps churning out hits. Following the unprecedented success of their Bohemian Rhapsody biopic, The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story, a documentary that aired on ABC late last month, earned positive reviews and more than 5 million prime-time television viewers.
The doc chronicled Lambert's rise from American Idol contestant to frontman of one of rock's most legendary bands. Among the many stories shared in the film, the singer revealed his first encounter with Queen's music. Long before his performance alongside Brian May and Roger Taylor on the Idol stage, Lambert discovered Queen via the movie Wayne’s World.
"Being just a human on this earth, I encountered Queen. I definitely heard songs of theirs around. But the first time I ever really asked, ‘Who is this band?’ was after seeing Wayne’s World. It was so much fun, that scene,” Lambert said in reference to the film’s famous head-banging car-ride moment, set to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “I left the movie theater with my father and my little brother," he recalled. "I asked my dad, ‘What song was that?” And he said, ‘Oh, that’s Queen.’ And when we got home that night, he showed me some albums that he had of Queen.”
Lambert, who would have been approximately 10 years old when the movie came out, quickly found himself enamored with all things Queen. Leila Lambert, Adam's mother, said he was especially drawn to the band’s enigmatic singer. “Adam would watch Freddie Mercury," she recalled. "He would watch videos, just try to get a feel for how he performed and what he did onstage.”
“I was delighted to see this guy running around on stage in these strange, outlandish outfits," Lambert admitted, noting that his connection with Mercury went far beyond the vocals. "You know, his harlequin suit, or his leather-daddy look, or his little itty-bitty white shorts and no shoes. I was instantly inspired, and I felt like there was some sort of kinship. I was just like, ‘This guy was fearless.’"
Seventeen years after discovering Queen in Wayne’s World, Lambert was onstage with the band’s remaining members performing "We Are the Champions" to a massive worldwide television audience. The Idol performance would ignite a kinship among the musicians, eventually leading to the Queen + Adam Lambert partnership.
Lambert, May and Taylor launched their first tour together in 2012. They’ve since performed all over the globe, with their concerts earning more than $200 million in ticket sales. This summer, the group will hit the road for the Rhapsody tour, a 23-date trek across North America starting in July.