Friday 6 April 2012

Robert Wilkinson: (A Drunken) Bohemian Rhapsody

In November 2011, 29 year old Robert Wilkinson of Edson, Alberta, Canada, gets arrested by the RCMP for being under the influence while driving. A camera in the squad car recorded Mr. Wilkinson as he is being transported back to the police station. At one point, our budding troubadour breaks into a complete and faithful rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. The video was part of an evidence disclosure package given to Wilkinson when he decided to defend himself in court. Subsequently, at the behest of some friends, Wilkinson uploaded the video on YouTube. Not much happened apparently until the video was reposted by "sheissexychick" where it went viral. As of this writing, the YouTube entry is showing over seven million views.

Uploaded by Ahmad al-As'ad on Sep 6, 2015
Arrested Drunk Guy Sings Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody!

While we speak of fame and fortune, Robert Wilkinson's heady viral climb to the stratosphere of YouTube views with millions of hits has not been followed by millions of dollars. In fact, his drunken fifteen minutes of fame has not panned out to much of anything at all. Hmmm, am I going to pay money to watch what I can do myself for the price of an evening down at my local pub? Besides, in talking about Andy Warhol's much ballyhooed quote, I said that I hoped when I got my 15 minutes, it would be for something notable, something good, not for something which, at second look, would embarrass any of us. (see my blog: My 15 Minutes)

While Mr. Wilkinson will disappear into obscurity, his glowing moment in the spotlight did make me chuckle. Yes, he may have been too drunk to drive but he wasn't so drunk that he messed up the lyrics of the song. Heck, that unto itself is quite amazing. At the moment I don't know all the words to the song by heart drunk or sober!


The Globe and Mail - Apr 6/2012
Drunken Bohemian Rhapsody rendition may offer fame, but no fortune by Omar el Akkad
At around the same time that Robert Wilkinson was becoming an Internet celebrity, a computer algorithm was busy analyzing his singing voice – making sure he wasn’t belting out a tune that somebody else owned.
Content ID essentially automates the process of hunting down copyrighted content, using algorithms to scan newly uploaded videos – 60 hours of which hit YouTube every minute of every day – and to cross-reference them against a database of about 500,000 hours’ worth of copyrighted material.

Uploaded by queenofficial on Aug 1, 2008
Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo - (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning - very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro - magnifico

But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go - will you let me go
Bismillah! No - we will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let me go
Will not let you go - let me go (never)
Never let you go - let me go
Never let me go - ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no -
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
for me
for me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby - can't do this to me baby
Just gotta get out - just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters - nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows...

Wikipedia: Bohemian Rhapsody
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. The song has no chorus, instead consisting of three main parts: a ballad segment ending with a guitar solo, an operatic passage, and a hard rock section. At the time, it was the most expensive single ever made and remains one of the most elaborate recordings in popular music history.

Wikipedia: List of Bohemian Rhapsody cover versions
The song "Bohemian Rhapsody", written by Freddie Mercury and originally recorded by rock band Queen for their album A Night at the Opera, has been subsequently covered by many different artists. (partial list)

1993: Yankovic, "Weird Al": a polka cover named "Bohemian Polka" on his album, Alapalooza.
2009: Pink: Funhouse Tour, and subsequent DVD release
2011: William Shatner: From the album Seeking Major Tom

The Muppets
The song was performed by The Muppets characters in 2009. The cover is perhaps best known for its music video, which was originally posted on YouTube on November 23, 2009 before the release of the track. The video features multiple Muppets characters singing partially modified lyrics of the original song and garnered over seven million hits within its first week of release. The video and song is an official production of The Muppets Studio. The success of the video caused Walt Disney Records to release the cover as a single on December 13, 2009, where it peaked at #32 on the UK Singles Chart.

Uploaded by MuppetsStudio on Nov 23, 2009
The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

my blog: My 15 Minutes
As I have perused the paper and channel surfed over the past couple of years, looking at the various people and the circumstances which have warranted the attention of the public, I have wondered just what my 15 minutes will be. I think of examples of wonderful moments: person saves cat from tree; Good Samaritan stops to aid injured person; somebody does something to raise money for charity; these are the type of things one would be proud of. There are also examples of bad moments: drunk driver mows down pedestrian; person sets building on fire; police capture abusive husband who has battered his wife and kids. These are the life altering events you want to stay away from as far as possible.

my blog: My 15 Minutes of Fat
These past Christmas holidays saw some articles in various papers about one Donna Simpson, a New Jersey housewife who has given herself the personal and very dubious goal of becoming the world's fattest woman. The connection with the holidays seems to have been reporting on what she ate for the usual Christmas feast. This seems to have consisted of a 30,000 calorie Christmas dinner.


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