When Alan Morphew first picked up the guitar, Freddie Mercury and the band Queen were uppermost in his mind. It only makes sense, then, that Morphew and Rock a la Carte will perform a tribute to the legendary rock band Wednesday night at the Sami Center in Spirit Lake starting at 6:30.
An Estherville High School graduate and partner in Morphew Studios with his wife, Sarah, Morphew's music career was influenced by music teachers such as Ben Haigh, Dorothy Green, Paul Clague and Don Brown. It was a sixth-grade music teacher, though, Rick Gonnitzke, who first played Queen records for him - even before Bohemian Rhapsody came out. "He was kind of ahead of the curve," Morphew said of Gonnitzke.
And then there's the influence of Queen itself.
"They influenced a lot of musicians because of their style of their performance. Their studio recordings were so over the top," Morphew said. Morphew even has photos of himself as a kid, dressed like Freddie Mercury.
Wednesday night Morphew and Rock a la Carte will play all the standard Queen hits - a two-hour performance. Morphew promised it will be "pretty much nonstop stuff you've heard before."
There were 500 watching the Queen tribute last year, and since he was asked to join in at the last minute, Morphew was only able to do about six songs. This year, he'll be part of the entire performance.
Morphew Queen Tribute at Sami Center Wednesday
SPIRIT LAKE - Alan Morphew and Rock a la Carte will perform A Night at the Sami - Tribute to Queen this Wednesday, July 17 at the Sami Bedell Center for Performing Arts in Spirit Lake, starting at 6:30 p.m. The concert will include many hits from the band, Queen, such as We Are the Champions, We Will Rock You, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Bohemian Rhapsody.
The band features Alan Morphew of Estherville, Gary Lambert of Okoboji, David Boone and Jennifer Heller of Spirit Lake and Peter Dotson and Wendy Lambert of Minneapolis with guest performances by Dave Rowley and Dawn's Dance Connection.
This will be the second year in a row for this Tribute to Queen production at the Sami Center after a very successful concert there last year.
Tickets are available in advance for $10 at Hy-Vee (Spirit Lake and Estherville), online at www.samicenter.tix.com or from a band member directly. Tickets are $15 at the door. Contact a band member about purchasing a 10-pack of tickets to have your name or business name listed as a sponsor in the official concert program. Support local arts.
For more information and to watch videos from last years event, visit www.alanmorphew.com/queentrib.
"It's one of the feel-good moments for me when the audience is into it as much as me," Morphew said.