History of these pages

Autumn 1986
I upgrade my Spectrum for an Amstrad PC1512 with a 10MB hard disk, and splash out on a Star NL10 (9 pin NLQ) printer. In order to test my printer, I type in the lyrics to a few Queen songs.

Easter 1987
Having typed in quite a lot of Queen songs, I decide to go the whole hog and type in the lyrics to all of them - Queen and solo songs. Using Turbo Pascal version 3, I write a menu-driven program that displays author and chart information and allows the user to perform free-text searches on the lyrics.

I also type in the track listings from all of the bootleg I have, and extend the pascal program to do analysis of this in various ways (e.g. what songs were played in what years). My "Queen program" becomes a nice little toy that I tinker with over the years.

Summer 1993
I first get access to Usenet news, and discover alt.music.queen (in the days when it was a very small, low volume community). I offer my "Queen program" to newsgroup members and a lot of people seem to enjoy it. I get a lot of feedback like "when is the Windows version coming out", "is there a mac/unix version" and "when are you going to add the lyrics to such-and-such new album". Clearly the increased number of users has created a support problem. I start work on a Windows version, but it never gets released (or finished!)

November 1994
I first get a personal homepage from my employer, and decide that Queen is the ideal use for it. I start with all the lyrics and add a few lists such as a discography and collaboration appearances. I trawl through all my old posts to QMS and unearth some interviews. I also analyse live concerts by date and country, and songs by duration and number of words, and this overload of trivia is the start of my "Queen Page" - one of the earliest (though certainly not the first) Queen pages on the WWW. A total lack of artistic talent means it is certainly the least pretty, though!

March 1995
I add a CGI program to do searches of the Queen and solo lyrics (written originally in SH and AWK and then rewritten in C). This means that the WWW page provides most of the functionality of the original "Queen program" but allows me to easily add the lyrics of new albums. Also, as browsers are available for every type of computer hardware, I don't need to worry about Windows/Mac/Unix versions of my front-end. The World Wide Web, and CGI in particular, has solved my support problems at a stroke!

August 1995
I start up a dedicated Queen news page, which proves to be one of my most popular innovations. These days, of course, people much closer to the Queen hub can provide news much quicker, but in those days it was quite revolutionary.

October 1995
The page acquires a counter, showing the number of people who access it. I am pleasantly surprised to find that 200-300 people a day are downloading the main index page alone (Note: compare this to 8 accesses in the whole of March 2019!).

April 1996
I move employer and lose the homepage, so I rent some commercial WWW space from Demon while I find a permanent home for the pages. The detailed access logs that this provides gives some fascinating insight into which of the pages are most popular.

April 1997
I move the pages onto Demon's free homepages service.

Summer 1997
I unveil my new Queen discography, containing full details of every Queen record I know about. In truth, the discography is probably an overdose of trivia which puts a lot of people off, but it works if you think of it as a reference volume.

Spring 1998
I unveil a vastly upgraded concertography, showing which songs were played at which locations, and a bootleg discography. This means that my WWW page finally contains all the functionality of the original "Queen program".

I guess this summarises what I was doing around this time.

Autumn 1998
A major PERL writing project helps remove many of the internal dependencies between pages and makes sure, where multiple pages have the same information (e.g. chart positions), that the information is consistent. The reader probably won't have noticed any difference, but it's a big change and makes maintenance much easier.

May 2000
After 18 months of relative inactivity, it is clear that I'll never find the time to keep the page as up-to-date as I would like. It's better to burn out than to fade away, but the former doesn't appear to be an acceptable option. Therefore, there will be no further updates, and the page will decay in it's own time. It's been a fun ride, but it's time to get off.

April 2019
Removed a load of dead links (almost all external links) and personal information. Fixed some XSS vulnerabilities and added HTTPS.


Thanks to everyone whose support and contributions have made these pages possible.