Meet Queen: The Studio Experience in Montreux
Casino Barrière de Montreux
Rue du Théâtre 9, 1820 Montreux
Entrance is free
Montreux is known as a Swiss jazz and rock city. Situated near the end of Lake Geneva among the backdrop of the Swiss and French Alps, this place inspired many famous musicians. It is here that Deep Purple was inspired to write “Smoke on the Water”, which is based on the fire that broke out at the Casino Barrière de Montreux.
From time to time, Mountain Studios in Montreux was a home to several great artists, including The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Duran Duran, Sting, Michael Jackson, B.B. King, David Bowie, and of course, Queen.
So, one of the major attractions of Montreux is Queen: The Studio Experience. Located at the original Mountain Studios, and a part of the Casino Barrière de Montreux, this legendary recording venue was actually owned by Queen between 1979 and 1996. Here, the rock band created the bulk of their tracks for seven of their most popular albums, including the album Made in Heaven.
The exhibition is dedicated to the story of Queen and Freddie Mercury. The Studio Experience recreates the rooms, used by the band’s during their recordings. The exhibition has on display original handwritten lyrics by Queen, Freddie Mercury’s own songs, costumes, posters, and rare studio tape boxes. Several of Freddie Mercury’s stage outfits are on display behind glass. One is a white leather jacket with matching tights and Superman pants. Another suit is a one-piece white, green, and orange harlequin. Visitors also can see Roger Taylor’s shiny steel drum kit, as well as the guitars used by Brian May and John Deacon.
The central part of the exhibition is the original sound studio that was used by Queen during the final months of Freddie Mercury’s life. The control room has not changed since the band last worked there. Even the sound equipment remains unchanged. Here it is possible to mix sounds like the legendary producer/engineer David Richards did when creating Queen’s tracks.
There is also small theater that shows a documentary about Queen. At the artists’ entrance to Mountain Studios, there is a wall covered with graffiti by thousands of fans from all over the world, inscribing their names and tributes to Freddie Mercury.
After Freddie’s death, members of the band and Jim Beach opened the Mercury Phoenix Trust, a charity organization that fights HIV/AIDS worldwide. Since its opening day (December 2, 2013), coincided with World AIDS Day, the permanent exhibition has been curated by Greg Brooks, Queen’s official archivist.