Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor appeared on Japanese TV on New Year’s Eve, taking part in a star-studded song performance.

The pair joined in remotely with a rendition of X Japan’s 1989 song “Endless Rain,” written by band leader Yoshiki, who was also seen on screen. The clip is available below.

“Brian and Roger marked New Year’s Eve joining Sarah Brightman and X Japan’s Yoshiki on the biggest TV show in Japan, Kohaku Uta Gassen,” a statement confirmed. “Because of current COVID restrictions, Roger and Brian joined from their U.K. homes while Yoshiki performed from Los Angeles.”

Taylor – who didn’t play drums but delivered vocals instead – added: “This is such a beautiful project. I'm proud and honored to be a part of it. Respect to Yoshiki! And wishing you all a great New Year.” Yoshiki said: “I feel honored and grateful to be performing with Queen and Sarah Brightman and all those Japanese superstars. I hope that through the music, we can give everyone courage.”

Queen have been big in Japan since their first visit in 1975, with reports suggesting that frontman Freddie Mercury had to appeal for calm during their debut performance – an unusual event in the nation. A celebration day, Queen no Hi, is marked on April 17, the anniversary of their arrival; and while it remains unofficial it’s been noted by the establishment’s Japan Anniversary Association. “All of the band fell in love with Japan,” their archivist Greg Brooks told Atlas Obscura in 2020. “I’ve heard all four band members waxing lyrical about Japan, about its people and culture… Freddie in particular was in awe of it.”

Queen, Yoshiki and Others - ‘Endless Rain’


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