[Update: The Sacha Baron Cohen part of this story is wrong. Brian May has since confirmed that Beach was joking about that part, Baron Cohen left the Freddie Mercury biopic project two years ago. The rest of the speech is correct though, we think.]
Queen manager Jim Beach offered up some sage advice to the music industry at last night’s Artist and Manager Awards.
Honoured with the Peter Grant award for outstanding achievement, Beach said he was initially reluctant about accepting, usually preferring to stay behind the scenes.
“I do feel very strongly that management is a service industry, and managers have tremendous power in this business. But they always must remember that power comes from their artist and not from themselves.
“Because once a manager begins to feel like he’s as big a star as the artist he’s managing, he’s completely fucked,” he said.
The exec also used his acceptance speech to make “a couple of exclusive announcements” about the future of Queen, “just to show that we have every intention of staying around and not packing it in”.
A Freddie Mercury biopic, that’s been under development in Hollywood for around seven years, has now secured its leading star. Sacha Baron Cohen, known for his Ali G persona, will write, produce, direct and star in the film.
Meanwhile, the writer of Queen-themed musical We Will Rock You, Ben Elton, has already written its sequel, We Will Rock You II.
Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May paid tribute to their long-serving manager at the ceremony, for “being the glue that’s held the band together for 40 years”.