Udo Dirkschneider’s Brilliantly Poignant “We Will Rock You” Cover May Be More Emotional Than the Original

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Nobody wants to grow old.

As hard as the growing pains of childhood and the murky navigation of awkward adolescence can be, for most people, they are preferable to life over 65. We romanticize youth and fear the great signifier of cellular breakdown and inevitable death that comes with the aging process. To live is to die, and the older we get the more our existence is based in reflection.

We wish we were younger. We wish we did things differently. We wish we could savor certain experiences that we took for granted. It’s a cliché that we’re all familiar with.

Udo Dirkschneider is the definition of lifer. He’s as stalwart a champion of metal as it gets, from his tenure as frontman of German rock gods Accept to his time at the helm of his own project U.D.O, Dirkschneider is a reliable constant and a true believer. While going as hard as ever at the age of 70, he has nonetheless entered a period of deep contemplation. The landscape of metal is different than it used to be. Most of his peers have either moved on or passed away. His life goes on.

This period of reflection and longing has seldom been articulated with such poignancy as in the video for Dirkschneider’s cover of the Queen classic “We Will Rock You.” As the video begins, Udo is a custodian of an extravagant building. Headphones connected to a small iPod, he mops the halls, casually lip syncing and playing air guitar to the song he’s hearing. The custodian makes his way into the main room, and the building is revealed to be a club.

Here, he’s encountered by multiple versions of himself: He’s a bartender. He’s a patron. He’s a DJ. He’s a heavy metal star. They all sing along. The video concludes with the custodian snapping out of his fantasy. He goes back to his duties and continues to casually sing along.

“We Will Rock You” is as self-aware and poignant as any video I’ve ever seen. The song is pretty amazing, too! Queen’s Brian May has gone as far as saying that Dirkschneider’s version is one of the strongest queen cover versions he has ever heard.

Check out the video below:


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