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My Music Timeline

 

Over the Years

 

This is my music timeline, simply an outline of how music and the band Queen have played a part in my life showing my major music milestones and musical performances. I have also outlined how some of these have influenced the formation of my Queen site and also my musical enjoyment of the Queen Back Catalogue.

I will add to my music timeline in 2023 as I have a lot of upcoming bookings and tour dates which will be announced as soon as I can do so.

2022 was probably the most amazing year for me when it comes to music and performing. There is probably even more excitement in the music areas in the coming 12 months.

Please bookmark this page and come back soon.

 

 

 

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1974

Born …at a very young age!

Born in 1974 in Waterford, Ireland, where I lived until 1992 before moving to Naas. I’m now back in Waterford where I have lived now since 2005.

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1981

First Piece of Music I ever recall

The first piece of music I recall hearing is ‘Nights in White Satin’ by the Moody Blues. It blew me away and it is a piece of music which I still love hearing to this day.

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1984

First Keyboard

In 1984 I got my first music keyboard. It was a 4 Octave Casio Keyboard, silver – The Casio CT-310 which had 49 keys, 12 preset tones and a polophony of 8 Notes (so no Jazz chords please). I had 2 more keyboards after that, until I got the Roland JV-35 in the 90s.

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1984

First Heard Radio Ga Ga

In 1984 I got my first computer, a 48Kb Oric-1, and I remember hearing Radio Ga Ga for the first time around this part of 1984. The two are linked in my memory, and Radio Ga Ga was probably the first Queen song I heard, or remember hearing. Later in 1984 my coisin played Fat Bottomed Girls and Bohemian Rhapsody for me. I didn’t grasp the music at this stage … it took another 8 years before I started really listening to Queen.

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1990

First Heard Queen Greatest Hits 1

At a house party someone put on Queen Greatest Hits 1 and he proceeded to talk us through each track. I remember the guys enjoyment of the staccato guitar at the start of Now I’m Here and it was at this point I realised that Queen’s music had a lot of energy which I could relate to. The music of Queen had started to percolate in my mind…

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1992

Got the Queen II album

I got Queen II in December 1992, and the second I heard that bass drum and intro of Procession – I was hooked on Queen. That same year I purchased Queen I and Greatest Hits 1 and 2. My journey learning the music of Queen had started for real.

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1993

Purchased Synth & Queen Music

It was in this year I purchased a proper synth, a really excellent Roland JV-35 which is actually still going and I use it for gigs. I also purchased Queen Greatest Hits 1 and 2 ‘Off-the-record’ sheet music books and it was from here I started learning the Queen Back-Catalogue.

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1993-2000

Transcribed Queen Back-Catalogue

Although I had the Greatest Hits sheet music, there was very little else out there so I started transcribing the Chords of Queen Songs for the other songs such as ‘Millionaires Waltz’ and ‘Teo Toriatte‘ etc. on paper. These chords and notes which were on paper were placed on-line when the website was set-up and this formed the backbone to Shane’s Queen Site.

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2000

Purchased Kawai MP9000

The Roland JV-35 was ok for general playing but the piano sounds were ‘tinny’ at best , not really stong piano sounds, and the keys were not weighted; so I purchased a KAWAI MP9000 from Pianos Plus (when they were on the quays in Dublin) for about €2,100. This 33kg beast is a great piano, which Coldplay actually uses a lot, but is not the easiest to cart around to gigs.

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2001

Founded Shane’s Queen Site

The website was setup on the old Eircom (TiNet) servers but it was very soon moved to a proper server on the original address of queen.shanemcdonald.org. All the pages were coded in php & html by hand as there was no WordPress back then.

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2007

Performed with Harlem Gospel Choir

I’m kinda cheating with the title as it was only for 2 songs in the Encore. I was on keyboards with the CYC Choir in the Forum, Waterford and we supported the Harlem Gospel Choir. At their Encore we were asked to join them and we dd 2 numbers at that point. (It still counts).

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2011

Peter Hince asks me to Review his new Book

I wanted a documentary on BBC4 about Queen on one Tuesday evening, and 2 days later I got an email from Peter ‘Ratty’ Hince, who I had seen interviewed in the documentary, asking me to review his book, ‘Queen Unseen‘. At first I thought it was somebody having a joke … but it was Peter and his book is excellent if you haven’t already read it. We had a nice discussion on email about Freddie – nice guy!

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2015

Played at Glastonbury 2015

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to play 2 official stages at the 2015 Glastonbury Festival, the Greenpeace Stage and the Lost Horizons private stage. Unfortunately the set I was asked to play didn’t include any Queen songs, but hey!…. got to knock something off my bucketlist!

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2016

Rock of Ages Stage Show

In April 2016 I was asked to fill-in at short notice, only 5 days notice, for the Rock of Ages stage show/musical in Garter Lane Theatre, Waterford. Getting through the 264 pages of the stage-score and learning it in time was a challenge but thankfully one which I took on and thoroughly enjoyed.

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2016

Moved Shane’s Queen Site

After nearly 15 years at the .org address, I decided to move the Queen Site servers to shanemcdonald.ie as the old site was not mobile friendly, and the .org address was not reflective of the site as it was.

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2019

Joined a Classic Rock Cover Band

In March 2019 I was invited to join a Classic Rock Covers band called ‘Custom 160‘ based in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.

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2020

New Keys Perhaps?

As of June 2020 I am researching a new synth workstation to replace the JV-35 and to end the risk of a hernia from my current 33kg Kawai MP9000.   I’m looking at the 73-key Korg Kronos 2 … still havent made up my mind but my research is at 90% and I hope to make the call in July or August… If so, I will post a video of the unboxing on my YouTube channel. (please subscribe if you have not already done so)

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2020

Purchased Korg Kronos
September 2020

I eventually settled on the 61 Key Korg Kronos, which arrived in mid October. The Korg Kronos is the same synth workstation as used by Spike Edney who is keyboardist with Queen. So I’m currently in the midst of creating new custom patches, combos and sequences to add to any Queen Setlist.

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2020

Joined Queen Tribute Band
Celebrating Queen

Bit of a Dream-Come-True moment, as I have joined a US based Queen Tribute band called Celebrating Queen. More to come on this in the coming weeks and months ….

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2021

Queen Tribute Band Profile on
Celebrating Queen

My musician profile on the Tribute band website has been uploaded, as I am the Celebrating Queen keyboardist and Musical Director.

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December 2021

Performed with Irish Queen Tribute ‘QWEEN”
Dolan’s Limerick

I got a very quick call-up to fill in as a dep with Irish Queen Tribute band Qween. I did 2 nights at Dolan’s in Limerick with them, 2 wondeerful nights.

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March 2022

Performed at The Cox Center for the Performing Arts, St. George, Utah (Attendance 930)

On Thursday March 21st I played with Celebrating Queen at the Cox Center in St. George Utah in  front of a near capactity audience. An amazing evening which was the start of the Celebrating Queen 2022 US Tour. 

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June 10 2022

Liberty Performing Arts Theatre, Liberty, Missouri

We had a wonderful gig here at the Liberty Performing Arts Centre, during which I experienced 2 tornado warnings, sheltering in the hotel basement … interesting times. The next gigs will be in Texas and Florida in September and October respectifully.

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September 24, 2022

Headlined at The Murphy Maize Days Festival, Dallas, Texas



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October 16, 2022

Headlined at The Greynolds Park ‘Love-In’, Miami, FL

Our band Celebrating Queen headlined at the Murphy Maize Days Festival in Dallas, Texas. Attendance, approx 5,000

 

 

Celebrating Queen headlined at the Greynolds Park ‘Love-In’ in Miami, Florida in of 2,500 

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January 2023

Performed at Hard Rock Café, Tampa

A new show which I wrote called “Freddie: Songs of a Legend” which is a chronological story of Freddie with the hits being performed, was premiered at the Seminole Hard Rock Café in Tampa.

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March 2023

Performed at Chateau at Deer Valley, Utah

I performed in the “Freddie: Songs of a Legend” show at a private event at the Chateau at Deer Valley in Utah which is a Ski Resort near Park City. The amazing luxurious location was wonderful to experience.

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August 2023

Played my first ever Las Vegas gig

What a bucket-list dream, to play in Las Vegas at a Casino. I was privileged to play at the Silverton Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and it was a showcase gig with some wonderful agents and VIPs in the audience. 

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September 2023

Performed in Bristol, CT but an electrical storm showed us who was boss

We had a show at the Rockwell Theatre in Bristol, CT, only 40 mins from Hartford. The show was progressing really well when in the middle of Tie Your Mother Down, all our instruments and the house lights/sound just went off. An electrical storm wiped out the electricity to 14,000 houses including our theater. We did play 3 more songs because we had a grand piano and the audience sung along with the full ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

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October 2023

Performed in Florida for Two Shows

I performed with Celebrating Queen as we Headlined a Biker Festival, at the Cotee River Biker Fest on October 14th.
On 17th October we brought the 3-man Freddie Tribute show to Punta Gorda, Florida for the “Freddie: Songs of a Legend” Show.

Follow my On-Tour Adventures on @shanesqueensite on Instagram or my personal profile @shanemcdonald.ie ➡️

Hope you enjoyed my Music Timeline, I will update this as time goes by. If you have any music queries regarding music firsts, please drop me a message.

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