When Tony Hadley performed 'Jailhouse Rock' with Freddie Mercury and Queen: "We partied hard"

27 January 2022, 10:33

By Tom Eames

Tony Hadley has recalled the incredible moment he was brought up on stage to perform live with Queen and Freddie Mercury back in the '80s.

Speaking on Smooth's Famous Firsts podcast with Jenni Falconer, Tony spoke of the time he sang 'Jailhouse Rock' with the legendary band Queen in Auckland in 1985.

But they didn't sing Spandau Ballet's 'True' or a Queen classic like 'Don't Stop Me Now'. Instead, they tackled a "pub version" of 'Jailhouse Rock' by Elvis Presley.

"Both of us, we partied quite heavily!", Tony said. "So I mean, it was more of a pub style version."

Sadly, there's no footage of the performance. Only a couple of photos.

Freddie Mercury and Tony Hadley. Picture: Getty
Freddie Mercury and Tony Hadley. Picture: Getty

"But the unfortunate thing is, there’s only one picture that’s come to light, and that’s only recently, of myself and the Queen boys on stage. Because in those days, nobody had mobile phones or anything, and you weren’t allowed to film stuff either.

"If you were caught filming stuff at a concert, you’d have your camera taken away, or the video camera taken away. So there’s no video footage of mine and Freddie’s performance. Just the picture.

"But it was a moment. It really was a fantastic moment."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Tony also opened up about the chances of reuniting with his Spandau Ballet bandmates, after quitting the group a few years ago due to some kind of fall out.

"There would be a lot of people really happy about [the band reuniting]. Unfortunately, it went a little bit too far.

"They’ve been a little bit disingenuous with the truth, when I’ve seen them on TV and stuff. They know why I left, and maybe one day, as I say, they might be honest about it as well. But it’s not for me to say. I think it’s really sad.

"You know, I think it’s a shame for the fans as well. If things had gone the other way, then we would probably be celebrating a 40th anniversary tour ourselves. But there you go. That’s life. It’s full of ups and downs. You take it on the chin, and you move forward.

"That’s the most important thing, I think – it’s to always move forward. I mean, I don’t go back and listen to all of my old songs, whether they’re solo songs or Spandau songs, or watch videos. I can’t think of anything worse. I hate watching myself on TV. So I’m always moving forward, and trying to do new things."

In Famous Firsts, Jenni Falconer chats to pop music legends to hear the stories behind their firsts: first gigs, first record deals, first TV appearances and much more.

Previous episodes have featured the likes Ed Sheeran, Michael Bolton, Leona Lewis, Richard Marx, and Marti Pellow.