Queen's Brian May is grateful to his bandmates

Queen guitarist Brian May is not taking for granted how lucky he is that the band has been given a new lease on life after all these years following the death of a singer who no one will argue is impossible to replace -- Freddie Mercury.

Less than a week into their Rhapsody Tour, May writes on his website: "Me and my Bro’ [drummer Roger Taylor] might disagree about anything you care to name, but we have learned mutual respect over the years, and somehow when we play together, some kind of magic still happens. All hail Rog!!! We are proud of what we are ... we have worked for nearly 50 years to create and constantly update."

And as for singer Adam Lambert, May says he is "the Modern Marvel without whom, for sure, Queen would not be out here delivering at the top level. ADAM LAMBERT is only now beginning to be recognized by the greater public as the true phenomenon that he is. Gifted with a voice in a billion, for himself he is a passionate and unyielding perfectionist. Gifted to us, he is the reason that we are still alive as a functioning rock band. And still able to take on new challenges. Plus ... he’s nice. That’s a big deal when you’re a touring family. Freddie would approve, big time."

The one thing that upsets May is Queen being called a tribute band, which is what a San Francisco-area critic wrote after the band played in nearby San Jose Sunday night.

May says, "Being called a ‘tribute band’ by some half-assed critic in the local paper is an insult I will not quickly forget. We don’t need your condescension, Sonny Jim. That’s my life’s work you’re dismissing there. I guess you’re the only one who didn’t really ’get it’ in that wonderful rockin’ crowd in the good ol’ SAP Center. I can still hear your roar, folks, ringing in my ears."

Up next, Queen + Adam Lambert are in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

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