Queen reunite for tour with Bad Company singer. Paul Rodgers will fill in for the late Freddie Mercury for the band's first tour since 1986

By Gary Susman
Updated December 15, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Time to start banging your head again, Wayne’s World-style, to ”Bohemian Rhapsody.” Queen will reunite for its first tour in nearly 20 years. Taking the place of late frontman Freddie Mercury will be another British classic-rock vet, Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers. The tour will take place in early 2005, Queen guitarist Brian May announced on his website.

Queen’s last tour was in 1986, before Mercury’s health deteriorated from AIDS, to which he succumbed in 1991. Since then, Queen have reunited only a handful of times, for events like the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

May wrote that he was inspired to take the band out of mothballs after he performed in September with Rodgers at an event promoting Fender instruments, where he backed the singer’s rendition of ”All Right Now” (by Rodgers’ pre-Bad Company band, Free). Rodgers returned the favor last month and sang with May and Queen drummer Roger Taylor at Queen’s induction into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. Inspired by the chemistry, May wrote, ”we decided almost then and there that we would look at a tour together.” May expects the tour to launch in April, and the shows will include music from both Rodgers’ and Queen’s catalogs. The guitarist wrote that he’s excited and scared, now that the ball is rolling. ”Suddenly the Queen phoenix is rising again from the ashes and will take precedence over everything in our lives.”