SIOUX CITY, Ia. — Brylie Ruden didn’t figure on getting a pop-culture history lesson from a presidential candidate Monday when she wore a T-shirt bearing the logo of one of her favorite rock bands. She just loves Queen.
But Sen. Cory Booker's face lit up when he saw the 15-year-old’s T-shirt as she waited to get a selfie photo with him after his campaign appearance. Booker asked Ruden for her cellphone, then googled a video of the rock stars Axl Rose and Elton John singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" at a benefit concert with the surviving members of Queen.
Rose and John had been arguing backstage, Booker told Ruden, as reporters and campaign staffers gathered around to watch. It wasn’t clear if the singers would actually perform the song together, as planned.
“I’m telling you, this is one of my favorite scenes ever,” he told Ruden, who is from Hinton, Iowa. Then Booker called over two of Ruden’s high school friends to watch with them. “This is seriously about one of the best scenes from a concert you have ever seen.”
Booker tapped his foot, then he and Ruden sang along with the Queen anthem. “Thunderbolts and lightning very, very frightening,” they sang, then broke into a falsetto for: “Galileo! Galileo!” On the video, Rose joined John on stage and belted out his part of the song.
“If these guys can come together, there’s hope for the world,” Booker told the teens.
Ruden was startled by the attention, but she came away a fan of the candidate and the video. “This is now my favorite video ever,” she told the senator.