Wednesday, June 13, 2012

San Diego sightings

Sorry for the silence, folks. We just got back from 12 days in sunny – but occasionally overcast – San Diego. With a four-year-old in the clan, what better destination to visit than a city which boasts LegoLand, SeaWorld, the Zoo, Safari Park, and the USS Midway? And it’s in close proximity to Tijuana (just kidding).

While I didn’t intend to make this trip a Queen hunt, I did keep my eyes and ears open for whatever Queen sightings San Diego had to offer.

On the first night in our rented condo, there was a television promo for VH1’s Friday Night Rock Block program which featured a Queen segment. (Although I wasn’t going to be around when the actual program aired on VH1, it was nice to see the promo nonetheless.)

On the second night, I stumbled upon Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story which was airing on a channel I can’t remember. Although I have seen this program before, I opted to watch it again as it was more palatable to my wife than the cheesy zombie movie I was intending to watch at that time.

I caught a television commercial for Google+ which featured Under Pressure.

I stumbled upon this t-shirt at one of the Premium Outlet stores near the Mexican border and picked it up as one of the few shopping trophies of the trip:

I was wearing it at the San Diego airport prior to our return flight home and while I was wasting time walking through the maze of people at Gate 22, a TSA agent who was on break asked me if I was old enough to know when that song came out. (At least that was a more benign question than what I got from the TSA agents on the flight down!)

Finally, our second visit to LegoLand took us to those areas of the park that we missed the first time through six days before.

As I was watching our little guy in the playground area, I kept hearing a looped recording of two songs from a spot that was behind some bushes from where I was sitting. The two songs, from what I could tell, were We Will Rock You and Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (presumably because these rocks were located near the exit to the park.)

The two songs were not the originals but were versions specific to the park. And the fact that they were looped continuously, I figured they had to be part of a ride that was just around the corner. I made a point of coming back to that spot before we left the park for the day to make a recording of the songs.

Here it is as best as my point-and-shoot camera could capture it given the ambient noise in the park at that time:

A quick YouTube search yielded a few results for this particular “rock band” at LegoLand in California, like this one:

This one — from LegoLand in Windsor, England — features the Easter Island stone heads doing WWRY:

Frankly, I think the Easter Island idea is more interesting than a nameless collection of stones doing the songs. I wonder why the California park didn’t follow this model? Is the whole Easter Island phenomenon less appealing in North America?

What else did Queen leave behind in San Diego? Well, how about five concerts:

• March 12, 1976 (Sports Arena)
• March 5, 1977 (Sports Arena)
• December 16, 1977 (Sports Arena)
• July 5, 1980 (Sports Arena)
• April 1, 2006 (Queen + Paul Rodgers at the Cox Arena)

Adam Lambert is also San Diego-raised. If he and the boys tour North America maybe we can add a sixth concert to the list.


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