COVID-19 Roundup: Brian May on Lessons, Pete Townshend in Studio
Brian May said he hoped people would remember the “great lessons” learned during lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queen guitarist admitted he hasn’t found the transition to staying home easy, and accepted he was probably at risk, given his age.
“I’ve been through some dark times, and I am a depressive, really,” May told the BBC in a new video interview. “I found it very difficult at first, especially the loss of freedom. But I'm kind of getting through it. And I find that there are joys to be found in isolation. There's a lot of stuff. People are getting very creative. And when we come out of this, I think there will be some great lessons we have learned. I hope we remember the lessons that we've learned — that we can work from home, the cars can stop, the planes can stop, the air can get clear. I mean, suddenly we can all breathe again. That's gonna save countless lives.”
He also noted that "there's no animals being knocked down on the roads anymore, and our wildlife rescue is experiencing a tremendous difference. All these things which we think are part of our society and can't be got rid of, all the evils that humanity has brought to the world, they're not inevitable. Maybe we can change. Maybe we need a new direction.”
There are currently 940,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed worldwide, with 47,273 deaths and 195,188 recoveries. Of the 695,480 active cases, 95 percent are said to be mild while 35,772 are serious or critical. In the U.S., the total stands at 215,344 cases, with 5,112 deaths and 8,878 recoveries; there are 201,354 active cases.
Meanwhile, Elton John’s Living Room Concert for America reportedly raised $8 million for the battle against the virus in the U.S. over the weekend. Thanking artists including Dave Grohl for their help, John noted that it was unlikely that any major tours would resume before summer. “People are going to take solace in music," John said. They're going to catch up on a lot of movies at home. They're going to get bored. ... We're playing every day; at 5:30 we play Snakes and Ladders, which in America is called Chutes and Ladders, and it's become a family routine now. … It's fantastic.”
Pete Townshend said the lockdown is like a “gift” to him. “I feel like I’ve been given an answer to a prayer I don’t think I would have had the guts to do, which is to say, ‘Please cancel everything and give me some time in the studio!’” he told Rolling Stone. “The other thing I’ve done is looked at the possibility of starting work early — I was going to do this next year — but starting work early on writing new songs for another Who album, as the last one did so well. So, I’m knocking ideas around.”
Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine explained that he, too, has been using his lockdown positively. “I've been staying indoors, I'm on day 12 right now,” he said in a new video, which you can watch below. “I’ve been washing my hands a lot, and listening to a lot of Megadeth music, putting the final touches on a new book, and working on the new Megadeth album. Looking forward to doing our next tour, once this is all over."
Jethro Tull leader Ian Anderson said he wouldn’t be recording messages from home. “There’s a lot of people in the world of entertainment, pain-in-the-ass people, who come out with really tacky videos saying all the obvious things,” he told Rolling Stone. “I personally think my fans are too intelligent to want to receive a video of me sitting in a bathtub telling them how I’m feeling great and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
However, he added, “I don’t want to play the blame game, but, you know, we should be also learning about the perils of eating stuff that had a face on it. The ridiculous reliance on flesh-eating, which is so prevalent. I am not a strict vegetarian or a vegan, but most of what I eat probably comes under the vegan classification, just because I like that stuff. ... It’s not my business to tell you what to eat, not my business to tell you how many babies to have. But I would like people to try to work it out for themselves. … People have to come to responsible conclusions themselves."