There is no connection between Queen and Basketball Head, you say. Perhaps you whisper it softly, as if a prayer. Please, dear Jesus, keep separate Freddie, who was made of joy and boners, separated from Donald Trump, who is a used band-aid. Some folks ought maintain a chasm betwixt. It’s like the Offspring said, Lord: Ya gotta keep ’em separated. If you won’t listen to me, Lord, then listen to the Offspring.
This is not a yacht. She is a superyacht, and she was originally called the Nabila, which is Arabic for Noble Lady, but she was also called the Flying Saucer when she starred in a James Bond movie. I am unaware of the helicopter’s name, or whether it appeared in any films. (The reason that boats are “she” and helicopters are “it” is because humans were not cooped up in helicopters for months at a time slowly going insane to the point where they began gendering vehicles.) The Nabila has, as you can see, a helipad and an outdoor swimming pool/sexy-time jacuzzi tub. Hidden within are 11 suites, a movie theater, gym, formal dining room, and quarters for the crew of 48. Cost $100 million, and that was in 1980, when $100 million was real money.
(WARNING: Do not start googling “superyachts unless you wanna go Full Commie. Did you know that the latest trend is away from 300-footers and towards ultra-luxury 200-footers paired with smaller support boats that act as floating garages for your tenders/waverunners/landing craft/chopper/etc.? You didn’t know that, did you? How does that fact make you feel? Violently redistributionish? Me too, comrade.)
Anyway, when she was called the Nabila, she was owned by Adnan Khashoggi, who was a social kind of fellow. In the 60’s and 70’s, he was good friends with the Saudi royal family, who wanted desperately to buy as many tanks and planes and bazookas as possible; he was also buddy-buddy with Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman, who wanted just as breathlessly to sell as many tanks and planes and bazookas as possible. The papers called him an arms dealer, but he was just an outgoing guy. The arms sales provided the seed money–about a billion’s worth–for further investment and trinket-collecting. Game reserves, and shopping malls, and far more mansions than necessary, and the Utah Jazz.
The boat got the most attention. So much so that Queen wrote a song about it in 1989.
It is not a major entry in the band’s canon, just a scrap of Brian’s usual Heavy Rock from The Miracle, but it’s still a Queen song. They didn’t write shit about you, did they? No, Queen wrote songs about not liking Jaws or Star Wars, and Beelzebub, and curvaceous bicyclists. And the Nabila. Heady company.
In 1990, Khashoggi sold the boat.
He ruins everything.