This is one of a series of DVDs starring Liam Dale in which he rides his motorcycle throughout England tracing the path of various musicians. In this one, he follows the path of the band Queen.
The short of it is that the DVD is horrible. Dale is a horrible narrator, quite obviously reading from a script and seemingly more impressed with his own voice than with anything else. There is no Queen music whatsoever in the “rockumentary” nor does it feature any interviews or commentary from people who knew the band. It doesn’t even have the usual assortment of fringe elements from rock & roll who seem to be featured in documentaries like this.
Need to know a little more? Dale starts with the background of frontman Freddie Mercury, tracing his early years through photographs. Most of it is superficial or what information he has gleaned that would make a good story, rather than what was pivotal to what would come later on. Dale spends an inordinate amount of time discussing Mercury’s teeth.
When he gets to the rather mundane middle-class upbringing of guitarist Brian May, it gets a little more interesting with photographs and film at locations where he grew up and where he first began playing guitar live with a band. Roger Taylor grew up more privileged than either Brian or Freddie and was the first of those who would be the line-up of Queen to join up with Brian.
As he’s telling the story of Queen, Dale seems to take any chance he gets to crack a joke. The story of the formation of Queen is something that anyone who’s followed the band through the years already knows. There’s not much new here. The photographs of the locations are interesting, but unfortunately, there is too much time where the locations aren’t shown but instead sketches and stock footage of clubs and the like. When the band is shown, for the most part, it’s using low-quality simplistic black and white sketches.
I wish I could think of something good to say about Queen: On The Rock Trail. I tried to think of something, I really did. But this is just a poor-quality documentary that isn’t really the least bit interesting.