On This Day: Topless Girls Bicycle On Stage During Queen Concert

Get on your bikes and ride!

November 16, 2018

On this day in 1978, Queen hit the stage at Madison Square Garden and put on an epic performance that would go down in history.

I'm not talking 'Live Aid' epic, no. I'm talking epic as in controversial, risqué and, well, just plain sexy. The group hired some beautiful women to get on stage and ride bikes topless during their performance of 'Fat Bottomed Girls.' And, yes, before you ask... there are pictures. Read first, view later. We'll link at the bottom, we promise.

The spectacle was inspired by the image used on the sleeve of the 7" single and the Jazz LP mail-order poster. Jazz, the album containing both 'Fat Bottomed Girls' and 'Bicycle Race,' was released in the US just days earlier.

In a review by Pop Artist Critic Jim DeRogatis, he stated, "Given that I was an easily excitable lad of 14 in November 1978, when Queen released its seventh album, the full-color, fold-out poster that came with 'Jazz' was no small part of its appeal, since it depicted 50 naked female bicyclists cued up at the starting line in a raunchy, distaff version of the Tour de France."

Related: The Daily Cut: Queen "Fat Bottomed Girls"

Prior to Queen's show at Madison Square Garden on 11/16/78, the guys were given the task, which doesn't seem like a bad one at all, to scout a local strip club to hire the women who'd join the band on stage. It's been reported that, during soundcheck at MSG, security guards came in to sneak a peek. Would you expect anything less?

That evening's setlist, which can be found here, shows that 'Fat Bottomed Girls' was played towards the end of the show, just a few songs prior to the start of their encore.

According to Queenlive.ca, during the song, Freddie Mercury excitedly shouted the lyric, "Get on your bikes and ride!" It was then that the topless girls made their way to the stage to ride their bicycles around the band. The same source states that Mercury also yelled out questions like, "You like 'em pretty?" and "You like what you see?"

It's assumed that the majority of the audience was pleased by this visual, but, of course there is always going to be a hater. Read a review from a local paper here.

Crazy to think that these types of performances took place just 40 years ago. Could you imagine if a major band pulled a stunt like that today? YIKES!

See the pictures from this epic performance here.

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