Find out why Queen fan James has 24 million reasons to celebrate

South Tyneside guitar tutor James Rundle has become a global YouTube phenomenon - thanks to interest rising in Freddie Mercury and Queen.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 5:00 am
Guitar teacher James Rundle
Guitar teacher James Rundle

His most recent posts, describing fun facts about his favourite band and its charismatic singer, have been viewed over 24 million times since November.

That is an eight-fold increase on the success he enjoyed with his expert guitar tutorials of the group’s songs in the previous five years.

A scene from Bohemian Rhapsody

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Rundle, 46, of Gillside Court, Simonside, South Shields, has seen views of his online channel rocket in the wake of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody’s release late last year.

Interest was spurred after he posted videos detailing information about the film watchers may have missed, and other band biography.

It grew so much he even considered recruiting his daughter, Alysha, 20, to manage the site to help him reply to the dozens of daily posts he was receiving.

He says he is thrilled his knowledge of Queen has taken centre stage over his playing skills on social media.

The married dad-of-three said: “It’s great that there’s been so much interest in my favourite band, I’m helping a new generation of people find out about them.

“I really didn’t expect views of my channel to go to over 27 million from around three million, it’s really skyrocketed, the figures have zoomed, it’s gone nuts.

“My top video hit two million views and even had someone from ABC news ask if they could use the video in a news article.

“I think people are coming to me for this information because they can see that I know all about Queen’s songs and can play them all.

“The great thing is that many more people have also been watching my guitar tutorials as well.

“I’ll keep on posting my information videos because there’s so many aspects of the band that can be explored, there loads still worth covering.”

Mr Rundle, who is married to housewife Lesley, and has sons Alfie, 15, and Charlie, 13, began playing guitar at the age of 14 in 1986.

Around the same time a live Queen performance he caught on television fired his interest in the band.

He knows by heart its vast back catalogue on guitar, and has been asked by musicians in other countries for help in transcribing tablature.

The millions of views he has racked up are for over 1,000 videos he has posted since around 2013.

But some of his most recent – including a top 10 points that Bohemian Rhapsody moviegoers may have missed – have raked up over 250,000 each.

His list includes the link between Queen and famed Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich, and how David Bowie is seen in the film but with his face hidden.

It also details how U2 are the band portrayed as being seen walking past Freddie Mercury behind-the-scenes at Live Aid in 1985.

Around the time of the film’s release, Mr Rundle was also getting around 1,000 new YouTube subscribers a day.

Mr Rundle’s channel is at www.youtube.com/user/jamesrundle72

His guitar tutorial website is at www.rock-licks.com