Backstage Banter: Walt Versen on Queen’s IMAX Extravaganza

When we think about the legends of rock, Queen undoubtedly comes to mind. But behind the iconic performances and theatrical extravaganzas, there are untold stories of the people who worked closely with the band, shaping their tours and experiences. Our latest podcast episode features Walt Versen, a former Northwestern University offensive tackle from Skokie, Illinois, who found his life’s direction in the most unexpected way – by touring with Queen.

In an intimate conversation with our host, Walt takes us back nearly 40 years to a pivotal moment when Freddie Mercury, in a stroke of theatrical genius, asked him to play Darth Vader on stage. Walt’s response, “That’s been done,” led to an iconic stage moment that would forever change the trajectory of his life.

We delve into the complexities of navigating a world of creativity, particularly through the lens of Freddie Mercury’s experiences with his sexuality and the band’s dynamic. Walt opens up about how this period was not just a lesson in creativity but also a life-saving direction at a time when he felt lost.

The episode is not just a retrospective glance at Walt’s days with Queen but also an exploration of the lasting impact the band had on his life. Walt’s journey in the music business, managing tours and artists, all began with what he describes as the “big bang” of spending a year with Queen.

But it’s not all about the past. Walt also shares his thoughts on the recent Queen Rock Montreal film, which he watched in IMAX, and how it brought back memories and feelings of awe. He discusses the evolution of his physical fitness, the nostalgia of seeing himself on stage, and the powerful emotions that come with reliving those moments in a modern format.

Beyond the Mic with Sean Dillon is the conversation series where actors, artists, authors, and more go deeper than a traditional interview. They go “Beyond the Mic”.

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