While writing about Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ entering the U.S. charts again this week based on movie exposure, my thoughts naturally went to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ which shot back up the charts in 1992 after featuring in a now-legendary scene in Wayne’s World.
While reading an oral history of the scene compiled by Rolling Stone in 2015, an interesting tidbit came to light.
Lee Tergesen, who played ‘Terry’, one of Wayne’s layabout mates (you may also know him as Beecher from Oz), read the script and immediately recognised how amazing the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scene was. Only thing was, he wasn’t in it. He walked up to Mike Myers after the read through and basically hustled his way into the scene.
“When we had the first read-through there were just four guys in the car: Dana [Carvey], Mike, Sean and Michael DeLuise. But I went up to Mike after the read through and said, ‘If there’s any way I can be in the back of that car, this was my childhood. I grew up in Connecticut, rocking out in cars.’ And literally, the next draft came out two days later and I was in the fucking back seat. It blew my mind.”
It worked in Tergesen’s favour that Myers was forced to defend the song’s use in the scene, at one point threatening to quit if any other song was used ( a Guns N’ Roses tune was bandied about as a possible replacement).
“Movies are the most expensive entertainment device created by man,” Myers explains, “and [Lorne Michaels, producer] wanted to make sure that we were doing everything that was the most entertaining. But sometimes it’s just a little voice that tells you that if ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was big in my house, it was probably big in other people’s houses too. And it was authentic to my life.”
Well hustled, Lee.