A brief glimpse into a day in the life of the Man from Manhattan…
It was a spring day in early April 1976. I left the Chrysalis writers studio near Bond street and walked up Oxford Street towards the music stores in Denmark Street, Soho, aka Tin Pan Alley, in search of a Spanish nylon string guitar.
The sun was out, the sky was blue and the traffic was heavy on Oxford Street that day. Car windows were wide open, hoods were down and music was floating through the air from car radios as I walked the half mile or so towards Soho, feeling pretty chuffed as I heard my newly released single Man From Manhattan playing through the open car windows. That was a nice feeling! The record was rapidly gaining media interest and getting some heavy rotation on the airwaves. Obviously, having Freddie Mercury and Brian May on the track gave it a head start, but it soon began to gain its own traction and looked set to chart.
Even now as I write this, it still seems somewhat surreal to relate that only a few days later, the record would receive a blanket ban across all media. Virtually overnight the Man from Manhattan disappeared from the airwaves in the UK. Freddie and everyone involved in the making of the record was dumbfounded by the news, but nothing could be done. Despite top level meetings between the MU and Warner Bros, the Union refused to lift the ban..
… to be continued