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Queen flew to LA, USA for the start of rehearsals for their US leg of ‘The Game’ Tour.

On June 19th, 1980, Queen flew to LA, USA for the start of rehearsals for their US leg of ‘The Game’ Tour.

It was unsurprising that Queen’s success in recent years had made them a more desirable ticket: demand for Queen tours was becoming immense, and it didn’t help that 1980 was a busy year already. Apart from spending the early part of the year finishing ‘The Game,’ the band also had recording commitments for the ‘Flash Gordon’ soundtrack, and plans for a compilation album, but this ended up being rescheduled for the following year. On top of all that, the band had an extensive North American tour scheduled to commence the 30th of June, in Vancouver, lasting nearly three months and covering every major city across the country.

The band took a short break after releasing ‘The Game,’ to recuperate from their exhaustive sessions before flying out to Los Angeles on the 19th of June to begin preparations for their tour.

The basic structure of the set list changed a little from the ‘Crazy’ tour, five songs from the new album were introduced: ‘Play The Game,’ ‘Dragon Attack,’ ‘Another One Bites The Dust,’ Need Your Loving Tonight, and ‘Rock It (Prime Jive)’ (the later two only performed sporadically). They had already been performing ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Save Me’ the previous year.

Astonishingly, Queen’s biggest-ever North American single ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ wouldn’t be performed until the end of August, by which time it had attracted considerable attention. It was actually Michael Jackson who recommended that the band release ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ as a single, at one of the shows in Inglewood, California, which they did. The record label ended up rush-releasing the track. The band didn’t believe it was single material, they were wrong, the song became a huge success.

This tour was a massive success, with the band playing to sold-out venues across the country, including a triumphant three-night stand at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. The lengthy tour consisted of three legs.

In order to top their previous tour’s lighting rig, the band introduced a new system, known as both the ‘Fly Swatters’ and the ‘Bic Razor’ rigs, with seven sets of movable lights being controlled by only one person each.

This tour also marked the debut of Freddie’s mustache. He would often ask the fans if they liked it, does he look like Burt Reynolds, he would be rewarded with much booing and a hail of disposable razors thrown at the stage. Freddie would often pledge to keep it. He did! The fans even went as far as mailing the disposable razors to the Queen Fan Club! (I loved his mustache). It become his trademark for the next seven years.

The constant stateside exposure of ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ during the second leg of the tour was beneficial, the track went on to become Queen’s second US No. 1 single spending three weeks at the top.

It spent a total of 15 weeks in the Billboard top 10 (the longest running top ten song of 1980), including 13 weeks in the top five, and 31 weeks total on the chart (more than any other song in 1980). The song is credited as Queen’s best-selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies

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