Monday, 5 September 2011
Sunday, 4 September 2011
Farrokh Bulsara was born on thursday the 5th of september 1946, better known as Freddie Mercury. He was born on a small island called Zanzibar, his parents from Persian background were Borri and Jer BUlsara. His dad worked for the British Goverment. When Farrokh was 5 years old he visited the Missionary school and was tought by Anglican nons. He already showed a talent for drawing, and painting. In 1952 his sister was born named Kashmira. When Farrokh was 8 years old he was sent to the St. Peters school in Panchani, 80 km from Bombay. Farrokh stayed with relatives. Normaly kids from rich parents would go to schools in India because schools in Zanzibar were not so good. At that school the kids started to call him Freddie and his family started to call him like that to. It was a British school and hat British sports, he loved hockey, sprinting and boxing. When he was 10 years old he became champion at tabletennis. Not only was he good in sports, he was very artistic. he loved art and made lots of drawings for friends and family. When he was 12 years he became Best Junior Student. He also hat a passion for music and played records on a old recordplayer all day long. He used to listen to Indian music, but when ever he got the change he would listen to Western music, he also loved singing along with the both types of music. The director from the school hat noticed Freddies talent for music and asked his parents for extra money so he could take piano lessons, his parents aproved of it. Next to the piano lessons Freddie was a member of the school singinggroup and was active within the theatregroup. He praticed very hard for his piano lessons and not without result he passed his examens very eassie. As a result of this he became in 1958 the paino player of his first rockband, called “The Hectics”.Together with four other bandmembers, Derrick Branche, Buce Murray, Farang Irani and Victory Rana, he would perform on schoolparty’s. In 1962 Freddie finished school and went back to Zanzibar. There he would spent lots of time hanging out on markets and going to the beach with friends. In 1964 it became difficult for the family to stay in Zanzibar, because of poitical stress. Lots of Indian and British family’s were not save at Zanzibar anymore and is was better for them to leave the country. The Bulsara’s moved to England and lived with family untill his parents were able to get their own house. Freddie was 17 at the time and decided to go to the Art academy. But to be able to so he needed a higher profession education. He wrote himself in for the school in 1964. During holiday’s he had several jobs, like serving in a restaurant at Heathrow airport, or working in a wharehouse. At school he worked really hard and passed his exams. With this diploma he was permitted to go to the Ealling school of art, and started with grafical illustration classes. In 1967 Freddie moves from Feldham to Kensington, he moved in with his friend Chris Smith who hat an appartment there. Freddie put drawings he made himself of Jimi Hendrix on the walls, from whom he was a big fan. Another student were he became friends with was Tim Staffel. He took Freddie to rehursels from the band Tim was playing in “Smile”. Members of this band were gitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Freddie could get along very well with Brain and Roger, and he liked the music they were playing. And he admired en resepted Brian May’s gitarplay very much. Inspired by Smile Freddie started to experiment with music. He hat a great voice and his piano play was like a mozart style, he hat a great sence for melody’s. Chris and Freddie started to write music and put them togheter later on. So Bohemian Rhapsody kind of music was created. But none of the songs was finished. In 1969 Freddie leaves school with a diploma for grafic art and design in his pocket.
He moves in with Roger Taylor and during summertime they have a stand on Kensinton market. First they sell Freddies work to other students, later on the sell second hand clothing. towards the end of summer Freddie is introduced to a band from Liverpool named Ibex. Ibex members were gitarist Mike Bersin, bassist John Taylor and drummer Mick Smith. Ten days after Freddie met with Ibex he knew the complete reportoire and added some to it. In august Freddie traveld to Bolton for a concert with Ibex at Boltons Queen park called Bluesology-pop-in. It was in the Boltons evening news, next to it a photo of Freddie. Freddie wants to change the name of the band in Wreckage, but nobody seems to be enthousiast about it, so Freddie calls Mike and tells him the other bandmembers agreed with the new name and Mike gives his ok, to find out later Freddie did this with all the members. When they changed the name the band chandged also, Mike left the band and was replaced by Richard Thompson, but it would not matter anymore, at the end of the 60s Wreckage stopped because there were not so many performances. Mike Bersin left the band to go to college in Liverpool. Freddie started looking for another band and he read an add in Melody maker that a singer was asked for a band called Sour Milk Sea.
He was hired because of his great voice. Not only did he have a great voice he was a showman, it was his charisma, his gift, which was in perfect harmony with his voice. The other bandmembers were Chris Chesney, Paul Milan, Jeremy Gallop and Rob Tyrell. Sour Milk Sea made a few recordings and gave some perfomances in Oxford. Freddie was good friends with Chris, so good that Chris moved in with the other bandmembers of Smile, what Sour Cream Sea members did not like that much, they were a bit jealous over this friendship, Freddie and Chris started to worrie about the existence of the band. To months later, Jeremy, who hat all the music in his posation, left the band, so also this band fell apart.
The beginning of Queen
In 1970 Tim Staffel left Smile. Roger and Brian were looking for a singer. It was clear who this was gonna be. Later on Freddie wanted to change the name of the band to Queen, Brain and Roger did not agree with it they hat there doubts because it did not fit in with there tough appearence. But it did seem right because of Freddies behaviour, Brian and Roger saw the humor of it and the name Queen was born. Freddie also changed his last name into Mercury. When Jimi Hendrix died, Freddie hat a hard time to go on, and did not want to wotk anymore, later he realised that he should start were Jimi ended. In 1971 the band was finaly complete when john Deacon joint Queen to be there bassist. Compered to Roger, Brian and Freddie he was a very quite person. Freddie made a Logo for the band, based on astrology. The letter Q with a crown and de starsigns of the bandmembers, a fairy for Freddie, tow lions for John and Roger, and a lobster for for Brian. John and Brian still hat there studies, but Roger and Freddie could put all there time into Queen. They needed to do lost of concerts, and Roger stopped with his markedstand what did not go with his carreer as a musican.
Freddie found a new partner, he fel in love with Mary Austin, this as a surprise to everybody else, altough Freddie never said he was gay but lots of people knew he was. Within two year that Queen was togheter they did not reallie break through, and they even talked about splitting up. But this did not happen. Looking for a recordcompany was there first small succes . Queen was bussy looking for a record company in the years 1971 till 1973, but not one seen interrested. When they finanly found a company that offert them a lot of money, they did not take it, because they knew Queen was worth a lot of money. They took that offer as a bate, anyway Freddie was waiting for Trident studio’s. He went about it in a very clever way, he would walk in the afternoons on Kensington hoping he would bump in with the producer, and it reallie happend this way, With all his charmes Freddie made an appointment. Trident was very enthousiastic about Queen and signed them within a few months. The contract did not bring them lots of money and they soon realised that despide being so careful this was not the right studio for them. But it was not until 1975 that Queen broke up with Trident, the managment was taken over by John Reid, de manager from Elton John. Queen kept performing just to get a reputation. In the begining this did not go so wel, they hat only a few concerts. In 1973 Queen also signed a contract with EMI records. In july of that year their first single came out “Keep yourself alive” and their first album “Queen”.
The single was no hit. Queen is asked to be the openingact for the concert of Mott and Hoople. This was their first Tour. In the second Tour Queen was the mainact.This happens also because they released their second album Queen II and the single “Seven Seas of Rhye”. Queen gets more famous and gets their first fanclub. Beacuse their record company’s do not know what to do with all the fanmail, Freddie asks two friends to run the fanclub and stays very involved with it himself to because he knows how important fans are. In 1974 Queens third album comes out, “Sheer Heart Attack” with on it their first hit “Killer Queen”.
Now it is that Queen is seen like a band you can expect somthing from and is not yust a one day band. Freddie is seen by many people as unique. He manifests himself on stage as a real star. Queen was always on time en did not get starallures. The uniquenice of Freddie you can find in Bohemian Rhapsody, nobody knew what it ment, it were different songs mixed together, but it made a number one postion in England and everybodie thought is was great. The succes of Bohemian Raphsody was also because of its videoclip, that was one of a kind. The album that came along with it “A Night at the Opera” was a big mark in pop historie. People who knew Freddie said he did not change, he hat only more money to spent and could afford more luxuary. In those days Freddie discoverd New York, his second home, were he felt at home, not only for the gayscene. Freddie loved the charme of the city. Later on Freddie said he was addicted to the night live of New York. He also admitted to be crazy about cocaïne, but he was never addicted of it, because he stopped using it from on day to another. Freddie acted like a real rockstar, with sexs, drugs and rock & roll, what became fatale for him after 15 years.
In 1981 Freddie left New York for München. The city were he would live. In 1984 he got a relation with pornstar Barbara Valentin. When he met Barbara he was already in a relationship with Winnie Kichberger, a Austrian with an apierence like a unwashed truckdriver. Barbara hat the best intesions with Freddie, while Winnie would only put him down, but in a strange way this was atrackting to Freddie. But it was clear that Freddie and Barbara were in love, but they did not sleep togheter. She also had a good relation with Mary Austin. In 1985 Freddie met Jim Hutton, a hairdresser from England. Freddie used Jim to get Winnie jealous, he would let Jim come over from England to sent him away again after just a few hours. But Jim was loyal to Freddie until his death. Finaly Freddie broke with Winnie and his relationship with Jim became better. His relation with Barbara came to end at the end of 1985 when Freddie decides to go back to England, he left Barbara with no reason, perhaps because he found out he had aids and was afraid to tell her. When he found out he had aids he stopped with his nightlive and stayed home al the time in his dreamhouse Gardon Lodge.
Here he lived untill his death togehter with Jim and Peter Freestone, Freddies personal assistant. Mary lived in the neighbourhood. Freddie had never been able to get Mary out of his live, it was said that they had a brother and sister relationship. He left Mary al his belongings after his death.
The end of a Legend
Freddie dies 24th of november 1991 at 19.00 hour, 24 hours after he told the world he hat aids. The funeral was arragent by Peter Freestone, because he knew Freddie very well. Freddie did not have any special wishes as long as it would be quick so that everybodie could go on with their lives. He was cremated what his parents did not like but they have Freddies ashes. On the 20th of april 1992 a big concert was held in honour of Freddie Mercury, were the bandmembers performed with many superstars. Later that year the Mercury Phoenix Trust was set up. A foundation to rase money for aidsvictoms. The money from the tribute went into this Trust and also the money they made from releasing Bohemian Rhapsody again. Still the foundation raises lots of money.
|Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on Thursday September 5th 1946 on the small spice island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, were both Parsee (Persian). His father, Bomi, was a civil servant, working as a High Court cashier for the British Government. Freddie's sister, Kashmira, was born in 1952. In 1954, at the age of eight, Freddie was shipped to St Peter's English boarding school in Panchgani, about fifty miles outside Bombay. It was there his friends began to call him Freddie, a name the family also adopted.|
As St Peter's was an English school, the sports played there were typically English. Freddie loathed cricket and long-distance running, but he liked hockey, sprint and boxing. At the age of 10 he became a school champion in table tennis. Freddie was not only a good sportsman, his artistic skills were incomparable. At the age of twelve he was awarded the school trophy as Junior All-rounder. He loved art, and was always sketching for friends or relatives.
He was also music mad and played records on the family's old record player, stacking the singles to play constantly. The music he was able to get was mostly Indian, but some Western music was available. He would sing along to either and preferred music to school work.
The principal headmaster of St Peter's had noticed Freddie's musical talent, and wrote to his parents suggesting that they might wish to pay a little extra on Freddie's school fees to enable him to study music properly. They agreed, and Freddie began to learn to play the piano. He also became a member of the school choir and took part regularly in school theatrical productions. He loved his piano lessons and applied himself to them with determination and skill, finally achieving Grade IV both in practical and theory.
In 1958, five friends at St Peter's - Freddie Bulsara, Derrick Branche, Bruce Murray, Farang Irani and Victory Rana - formed the school's rock'n roll band, the Hectics, where Freddie was the piano player. They would play at school parties, at annual fetes and school dances, but little else is known about them.
In 1962, Freddie finished school, returned to Zanzibar and spent his time with friends in and around the markets, parks and beaches. In 1964, many of the British and Indians, due to political unrest in Zanzibar, left their country, although not under forcible pressure, and among those driven out were the Bulsaras who migrated to England.
Initially they lived with relatives in Feltham, Middlesex, until they were able to find their own small, terraced house in the area. Freddie was seventeen, and had derided he wanted to go to art college, but needed at least one A level to ensure he could get in. In September 1964 he enrolled at the nearby Isleworth Polytechnic
During vacations he took a variety of jobs to earn some money; one was in the catering department at Heathrow Airport, a stone's throw from home, and the other was on the Feltham trading estate, where he had a job in a warehouse lifting and stacking heavy crates and boxes. His fellow workers commented on his 'delicate' hands, certainly not suited for such work, and asked him what he did. He told them he was a musician just 'filling in time', and such was his charm that those co-workers were soon doing the lion's share of his work.
He studied hard, although he preferred the aesthetic side of school life to the more mundane academic side, and easily achieved his Art A level, leaving Isleworth in the spring of 1966. His grade A pass and his natural skill ensured that he was readily accepted by Ealing College of Art and, in September 1966, Freddie began a graphic illustrating course at that college.
After Jimi Hendrix exploded onto the scene in 1967, and Freddie became an ardent fan, he spent time sketching and drawing his hero; drawings he would frame and use to decorate the walls of his flat in Kensington, rented by his friend Chris Smith, where Freddie had moved from the family home in Feltham. At that time Kensington was an important place to be for the art crowd - it was the base of the famous Biba boutique and the home of Kensington Market, frequented by the then 'in' crowd.
A fellow student at Ealing College was bass player Tim Staffell, with whom Freddie became good friends. As Tim's and Freddie's friendship became closer, Tim took him along to rehearsals of his band called Smile, with Brian May on the guitar and Roger Taylor on the drums. Freddie got on famously with Brian and Roger and loved the sound that Smile had achieved; he also had immense admiration and respect for Brian's guitar-playing. Inspired by Smile, Freddie began to experiment with music for the first time since leaving India.
He initially began to practice with Tim, another art student Nigel Foster, and with Chris Smith. "The first time I heard Freddie sing I was amazed," recounts Chris. "He had a huge voice. Although his piano style was very affected, very Mozart, he had a great touch. From a piano player's point of view, his approach was unique."
"Freddie and I eventually got to write little bits of songs which we linked together," adds Chris. "It makes sense when you consider Bohemian Rhapsody. It was an interesting way getting from one piece in a different key signature to another. But I don't think we actually finished anything. Freddie certainly taught me a lot at those sessions. He had great, natural sense of melody. I picked that up straight away. For me it was the most interesting aspect of what he was doing."
Freddie left Ealing College in June 1969, with a diploma in graphic art and design, and a few commissions for adverts in local newspapers. He moved into Roger Taylor's flat, and that summer opened a stall with Roger at Kensington Market, initially selling artwork by himself and fellow Ealing students, and later Victorian or whatever clothes, new and secondhand, he could lay his hands on.
In the summer of 1969 Freddie was introduced to a Liverpool band called Ibex, who had come to London to try to make a name for themselves. Ibex were a three-piece, with guitarist Mike Bersin, John 'Tupp' Taylor on bass and Mick 'Miffer' Smith on drums. They also brought with them their apprentice manager, roadie and general dogsbody Ken Testi; part-time bass player Geoff Higgins used to travel down for occasional gigs. Geoff would play bass when Tupp, a great Jethro Tull fan, wanted to play flute.
Freddie first met Ibex on 13th August 1969. Such was his enthusiasm, that just ten days later, he'd learned the band's set, brought in a few new songs, and had traveled to Bolton, Lancashire, for a gig with them - his debut public performance. The first date was 23rd August, and the occasion was one of Bolton's regular afternoon 'Bluesology' sessions, held at the town's Octagon Theatre. On the 25th August, Ibex appeared in the first 'Bluesology pop-in', an open-air event on the bandstand in Bolton's Queen Park, and the proceedings were covered in Bolton's 'Evening News'. This even featured an uncredited photograph of Freddie.
While Freddie's trip to Bolton with Ibex was photographed, Ibex's appearance at the Sink was recorded. This recording was made by Geoff Higgins; as he says, tape is chronic quality, but it demonstrates Ibex's love of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, as well as Freddie's favourite of the day, Led Zeppelin.
Somewhere between 9th September and the end of October 1969 Ibex underwent a mini upheaval - at Freddie's instigation. "I recall him canvassing the idea of calling the band Wreckage, but nobody was very enthusiastic," reveals Mike Bersin. "Then he phoned me one night and said, 'The others don't mind. How do you feel?' I said, 'If they agree, then fine'. When I spoke to the others about it, Freddie had phoned them all up and had the same conversation."
The name-change went hand-in-hand with the departure of drummer Mike 'Miffer' Smith. He was replaced by Richard Thompson, the former drummer in Brian May's 1984. Despite flashes of true potential, the end of the 1960s also marked the end of Wreckage. Gigs were few and far between, and while John Taylor, Richard Thompson and Freddie remained in London, Mike Bersin was committed to his college course in Liverpool, as he promised to his parents. Inevitably, the band petered out.
Freddie started to search for another band for himself. He found Sour Milk Sea after seeing a "Vocalist Wanted" advert in the 'Melody Maker'. The pomp and ceremony were impressive, and the band he was auditioning for knew he was the right man, especially when he got around to singing. Freddie had a great voice, with terrific range. But there was not only his voice that made his performances so attractive to people. "He knew how to front a show," - Ken Testi recalls. "It was his way of expressing that side of his personality. Everything he did on stage later in Queen, he was doing with Ibex at his first gig." It wasn't anything that could be developed. It was his charisma, his pure natural gift that was in perfect harmony with his voice, his appearance, his delicate taste and his musicianship in the wide sense of the word. The fact that he realized it himself made him absolutely fascinating!
They offered him the job, and in late 1969 Freddie became the lead singer with Sour Milk Sea. The other members of the band were Chris Chesney on vocals and guitar, bass player Paul Milan, Jeremy 'Rubber' Gallop on rhythm guitar and Rob Tyrell on drums. They did a few rehearsals, and then a few gigs in Oxford (Chris's home town).
Freddie and Chris, who was about seventeen at the time, became close friends and Chris moved into the house that Freddie shared with Smile in Ferry Road, Barnes. The other members of Sour Milk Sea were more than a little peeved Chris and Freddie spent so much time together, and felt rather insecure about the future of the band. After just two months Jeremy, who owned nearly all the equipment, derided to take it back and break up the band.
In April 1970 Tim Staffell decided to leave Smile, and Freddie join them as lead singer. Freddie decided to change the name of the band to Queen, he also changed his last name to Mercury.
The further biography of Freddie Mercury is to considerable degree a story of Queen.
In 1970 Freddie met Mary Austin. They lived together for seven years and remained good friends until his death.
In 1971 John Deacon joined the band and Queen were complete. Freddie designed the band's logo using their birth signs: two fairies for him (Virgo), two lions for Roger and John (Leo) and a crab for Brian (Cancer). Freddie was the author of the first Queen song that entered the British charts (Seven Seas Of Rhye), the first big hit (Killer Queen) and the most famous Queen song that was on the top of charts for 9 weeks (Bohemian Rhapsody). Freddie has always been considered the front-man of the band.
In 1975 Queen toured Japan. A crowd of screaming fans followed them everywhere. They were taken by surprise at the strength of their reception. Freddie fell in love with Japan and soon became a fanatical collector of Japanese art and antiquities.
On October 7th, 1979 Freddie performed with the Royal Ballet. He had never done any ballet before, but it was something he had always wanted to try. The songs he had chosen to perform to were Bohemian Rhapsody and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Songs were played by the orchestra with Freddie doing live vocals. Freddie's first dance was Bohemian Rhapsody, and he performed with skill in front of a packed house of enthusiastic balletomanes, who loved him, and he received a standing ovation for both his cameo performances.
In 1980 Freddie changed his image. He cut his hair and grew a moustache. His fans began to send him gifts of nail polish and razor blades.
At the end of 1982 Queen all agreed they wanted to take break from each other. They announced they wouldn't be touring throughout 1983. Freddie had been thinking of making a solo album for some time, and at last he had time to do something about it. He booked studio time at Musicland in Munich and began work in early 1983. During that time he was introduced to Georgio Moroder, who was working on a re-release of the 1926 Fritz Lang silent science fiction film Metropolis. He wanted to put a contemporary musical score to the film. He asked Freddie to consider collaborating on a track for the film to which Freddie agreed. He had never before co-written with anyone outside Queen, and had not recorded anyone else's compositions, apart from Larry Lurex. The result of this co-operation was the song Love Kills.
In 1983 Freddie attended a performance of Verdi's Un Ballo In Maschera at the Royal Opera House sometime in May. It was the first time when he saw Spanish opera diva Montserrat Caballé, and the sheer power and beauty of her voice mesmerized him.
On September 10, 1984 Freddie's first solo single was released. It was the track he had co-written with Georgio Moroder for Metropolis, Love Kills.
The first single from his forthcoming solo album was I Was Born To Love You. It was released on April 9, 1985. Three weeks later Freddie's first solo album Mr. Bad Guy was released on CBS Records.
July 13, 1985 was a special day for Queen and Freddie. It was the day of their memorable performance at Live Aid, a tremendous show at Wembley Stadium in front of 72,000 people. Live Aid was also broadcast to over one billion people worldwide. Queen secured their place in history, as every media person, journalist, fan and critic unanimously agreed: Queen stole the show.
The early part of 1987 was very quiet for Queen, so Freddie took the opportunity to go into Townhouse Studios to do some solo work. It resulted in a remake of the classic Platters' song The Great Pretender. The single was released on February 23rd.
In March 1987 Freddie flew to Barcelona to meet Montserrat Caballé. He gave her a cassette with two or four songs. The Spanish opera diva liked these songs and even performed one of them at London's Covent Garden. Freddie was delighted. In early April, Freddie began work on the album he agreed to record with Montserrat Caballé.
At the end of May the island of Ibiza staged a huge festival at the outrageous Ku Club. Freddie agreed to be a guest of honour and closed the event with Montserrat Caballé singing the song he had written for her and her home city, Barcelona.
On October 8th, 1988 Freddie and Montserrat appeared at the huge open air La Nit festival in Barcelona. They performed three tracks from their forthcoming album - How Can I Go On, The Golden Boy and Barcelona, accompanied by Mike Moran on piano. The long-awaited album,Barcelona, finally come out on October 10th.
October 8th was the last time Freddie Mercury performed on stage. At the time, he was terribly ill with AIDS, although he didn't want people to know about it. He announced that fact the day before he died. Being ill he continued to compose and record songs and even took part in making videos. In my opinion, I'm Going Slightly Mad video is his masterpiece.
On November 24th, 1991 Freddie died peacefully at his home in London of AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia.
On April 20th, 1992 a tribute concert in Freddie's memory was held at Wembley Stadium, and many famous rock stars took part in it. But the best tribute to Freddie was the album Made In Heaven, released on November 6th, 1995 by the three remaining members of Queen. We can hear the last songs that Freddie composed and recorded.
Thank you Freddie. We love you.
Jacky Gunn & Jim Jenkins. As It Began.
Record Collector #199
On the anniversary of the Queen singer's death in 1991 Clash presents 10 things you never knew about Freddie Mercury.
As the flamboyant front man of Queen, Freddie Mercury toyed with hedonism amidst making timeless songs, which leaves plenty ammunition for these little tidbits...
1. Even his official passport read ‘Frederick Mercury’, despite the fact that his birth name was Farrokh Bulsara. Calling him anything but Freddie would not be well received, however - he started using the name ‘Freddie’ prior to ever arriving in England, and ‘Mercury’ when Queen first started.
2. Mercury didn’t consider himself a particularly great pianist. As a result, he always dreaded performing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in concert because he worried he would mess up on the piano in the process. In future years, he started using the piano less on albums so he would be free to dance and run wildly during concerts.
3. In the final scene of Queen’s ‘It’s A Hard Life’ video, when Freddie sits down on the steps, he does so very gingerly, favouring one side over the other. At the time of filming, he had only just had a plaster cast removed, a souvenir after drunken horseplay went awry one night in the New York bar in Munich.
4. Mercury was always in his best form at concerts after emotional conflict. Before a show at the Milton Keynes Bowl, Mercury got into a massive argument with his current beau, Bill Reid, that culminated with Reid biting Mercury’s hand so hard that it left teeth marks and bled profusely. Another fight left their hotel room with a layer of broken glass and plaster on the carpet.
5. In another incident with Reid, the two of them yelled at each other for so many hours that Mercury woke up completely hoarse on the day that Queen was scheduled to perform live on Saturday Night Live, a hugely popular variety show in the USA. The entire day was spent trying remedies to get his voice back, which he was only barely able to do in time.
6. After boarding a flight to New York from Tokyo one day, Mercury discovered the plane was a DC10, a model that had had some problems in the past. “DC death more like!” Mercury remarked, before immediately gathering his things, exiting the plane, and taking the only available seat on the next flight fourteen hours later - economy class, as opposed to his First Class seat on the DC10.
7. When Mercury was on tour in the United States, he found out the man he was seeing, Tony Bastin, had been seen out with someone else. For revenge, Mercury paid for Bastin to fly out to see him in the US under the pretense of visiting. Mercury met him immediately after his arrival, told him it was over and then put him on the next plane back to London that day. Mercury also kept Bastin’s cat, Oscar.
8. Mercury loved his cats, so much so that while on tour, Mercury would periodically call home to talk to them. His one-time girlfriend and long-time close friend Mary Austin would hold the cats up to the phone so they could listen to him speak. He also had portraits painted of them.
9. Mercury’s assistants were required to have a pen and paper on them at all times in case inspiration hit unexpectedly. Lyrics for ‘Life Is Real’ were started suddenly while flying over the Atlantic from New York, with what is now the classic line “guilt stains on my pillow” originally taken down as “cunt stains on my pillow”.
10. A recreation of the statue created to honour Mercury, found on Lake Geneva in Montreaux, Switzerland, stands on top of the Dominion Theatre, just down Oxford Street from Clash HQ.
Words by Kay Patke
One of the most iconic frontmen in rock music, Freddie Mercury was a walking contradiction. A homosexual Asian musician working in a field which exalted all things hetro and Caucasian, the Queen singer nonetheless battled his way to the top.
More details of a unique celebration of Freddie Mercury including a celebrity auction have been unveiled.
Sadly passing away in 1992, a one off event this September will celebrate his life. 300 friends and well wishers are set to descend on the Savoy Hotel in London, all intending to 'be Freddie for a day'.
Part of a fan led campaign, the celebrities will dress as Freddie Mercuryfor occasion. A lavish auction has been arranged, with the full list of items being unveiled for the September 5th bash.
Amongst the items on offer are:
- A strictly one off edition fully Freddie customised Lotus Evora “S” class fashioned in the yellow and white colours of Freddie’s 1986 Wembley concert costume
* A money can’t buy prize of a Top Gear driving lap with the Stig
* A unique Raymond Weil watch engraved with Freddie’s signature and issue date
* A chance to appear on stage as a Bohemian in the London hit musical ‘We Will Rock You’ at the Dominion Theatre
* A unique Raymond Weil watch engraved with Freddie’s signature and issue date
* A chance to appear on stage as a Bohemian in the London hit musical ‘We Will Rock You’ at the Dominion Theatre
- An acoustic guitar from the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert signed by among others David Bowie, George Michael, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Cindy Crawford given by Brian May
* A Brian May Burns Red Special guitar donated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. It was signed at the second 46664 concert to be held at Fancourt, George, SA in March 2005, hosted by Will Smith with Nelson Mandela in attendance and signed by among others Nelson Mandela (N. Mandela), Brian May, Roger Taylor and Annie Lennox
Can't make the event? Don't worry! Fans can bid online via absentee status. To place your bid simply click HERE.
All funds raised by the auction will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust (an aids charity set up by Queen after Freddie's death)
Meanwhile, Keane's Tom Chaplin has paid tribute to Queen's music for a new Absolute Radio documentary. Set to be broadcast on August 22nd - 23rd, the two part 'Killer Queen' programme charts the history of the group.
Speaking to Absolute Radio, the singer reflected on a recent charity show in which he was allowed to perform with the remaining members of Queen. “Assuming the role of someone who has had such an impact on my life was very emotional" he said.
"I was a nervous wreck and I thought it was gonna go completely wrong but you know I hit every note pretty much right in the middle and absolutely loved playing with them - it was brilliant.”