“Stormtroopers in Stilettos: Queen, The Early Years,” is a major retrospective exhibition celebrating the formation, and first five albums, of one of the most exciting, glamorous and influential bands in global musical history.
The BBC reports Queen stars Roger Taylor and Brian May were on hand for the opening, which kicks off the band's 40th anniversary celebrations.
"There are things I have forgotten," said Taylor at the launch. "It's quite shocking for us to suddenly bring back what happened, all those years ago, in such vivid detail”
Themed rooms in the exhibition space - documenting Queen's journey to fame - are dedicated to the band's first albums and feature artwork, costumes made by British designer Zandra Rhodes, and the band's instruments, plus a recreation of the studio in which "Bohemian Rhapsody" was recorded. The exhibition also features video footage, interviews and photographs.
Brian May hopes it will be an inspiration to visitors, especially if they are musicians starting out as Queen once did. "Once you come into this exhibition, you realize that we were just boys and we got together with a dream. We worked night and day for many years and we were very lucky," said the veteran guitarist.
The 40th anniversary of the band is also marked this weekend with the release of a two-track single, also entitled “Stormtroopers In Stilettos.“
It features previously unreleased versions of early Queen tracks "Keep Yourself Alive" (Long Lost Retake) and "Stone Cold Crazy" (2011 Remaster).
"These are tracks recorded before we even had a recording deal, just the four of us and an engineer at De Lane Lea studios," said May. "A lot of people are already saying they sound better than the first album because they're more organic, more natural and have a better feel. People will have a real chance to hear us for the first time before we signed the first deal."
“Stormtroopers in Stilettos” is FREE and runs until March 12 at the Old Truman Brewery in east London.
Queen – Keep Yourself Alive
Hammersmith Odeon – London, UK – December 24, 1975
Major Queen exhibition opens this weekend in London
Queen: Deep Cuts Vol. 1 (1973-76) due next month
Queen: first 5 albums to be reissued in March
Queen to celebrate 40th Anniversary in 2011