Incredible Freddie Mercury
Which associations do you have when you hear a word ” Queen”? Not so many, right? But whatever you think about, for sure you can’t miss a legendary rock band ” Queen” the soloist of which was Freddie Mercury. It seems there is nobody who has never heard about this famous band and of course about a person who made it so popular all over the world.
Freddie Mercury was a front man, songwriter and ideological inspirer of the legendary band “Queen”. His talent was enormous and he was not only singer but also an actor who made wonderful shows during his concerts. His life was full with different moments but his biography is still one of the most discussed.
Freddie Mercury (real name Farrukh Balsara) was born on September 5, 1946 in Stone Town – the oldest district of the city of Zanzibar on the island of the same name in the family of Parsi from Gujarat – Bomi and Jer Balsar. At birth, the boy received the name Farrukh, which means “beautiful”, “happy”. In 1947, Freddie Mercury, a one-year-old photograph, received the title of a photograph of the year at a competition in his hometown. His father worked as a cashier at the Supreme Court of England and Wales, so the family was never poor. He had a younger sister Kashmira.
When Farrukh was 5 years old, his parents moved with him and his sister Kashmira to Bombay. The boy was sent to a boarding school 150 km from the largest city in India, where he proved himself as a capable and diligent student, was fond of creativity and sports. At this time, Farrukh became interested in music: Bollywood singer Lata Mengeshkar had a special influence on him, and later the boy began to be interested in rock’n’roll. The future musician began to call himself Freddie Mercury. Officially, the future rock star changed his name in 1970. When people called him Farrukh, Freddie Mercury was furious.
Of all the sports available in school, Freddie Mercury preferred hockey, boxing and sprinting. In addition, he won the table tennis championship in 10 years. The headmaster in school paid attention to the future singer’s interest in music, he organized piano courses for the boy, as a result of which Freddie Mercury received a fourth degree in piano theory and practice. The first rock band Freddie Mercury (along with four school friends) created in 1958. She was called The Hectics (“Fidget”) and performed at school events and anniversaries.
In 1959, the whole family moved to London, where, after graduating from school, in 1965, Farrukh entered the eminent college Ealing. There he studied design, painting, was fond of ballet. The idols of Freddie at that time were Jimi Hendrix and Rudolf Nureyev. At the end of studying, Freddie Mercury met the Liverpool group “Ibex”. 10 days after the first meeting, Freddie Mercury already knew the entire repertoire of musicians, added a few of his own songs , and went to his first concert at the Bolton Blues Festival. Despite the successful performance and subsequent concerts, the group quickly fell apart, as part of the participants returned to their studies.
In 1970, Freddie Mercury, replacing his former classmate, joined the members of the youth rock band “The Smile” – Roger Taylor and Brian May. A year later, bass guitarist John Deacon joined them, and in this lineup began the 20-year-old star story of the legendary band called “Queen”, which was offered by Freddie himself. After the formation of the group, Freddie Mercury created their coat of arms: the emblem of Great Britain laid down and images of the zodiacal signs of members of the musical union were added, namely, two lions, cancer and a maiden.
Freddie Mercury. “Queen”
Freddie Mercury played a leading role in shaping the whole concept of the band, including the musical one: he was the author of the vast majority of compositions, for example, the lyric ballad “Love Of My Life” (1975), the unique “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and the song “We Are The Champions “(1977), which became the anthem of the athletes.
Freddie Mercury himself considered “The Game” the best album of The Queen (1980; includes songs such as “Play the Game” and “Another One Bites the Dust”). The song “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” from the album “The Game” was written by Freddie Mercury in the bathroom, arranged and recorded in the studio for half an hour. This is the only composition in which Freddie Mercury plays the guitar. Freddy Mercury considered “Somebody To Love” as the most successful song. The Queen’s greatest hits collection, released in October 1981, is the best-selling British album in music history (over 25 million copies).
Freddie Mercury was not only an outstanding musician, but also an outstanding actor. Due to this, each concert of the group turned into a real show: its unique, so easily recognizable voice was complemented by a bright temperament, emotionalism, plasticity. The video clips of the group were the result of Mercury’s desire to unite the theater and music, sound and lighting effects – he was the author of most of the script clips.
Freddie Mercury was not limited to work in a group and recorded solo discs. The top ten hits included his single “Love Kills” (1984), as well as the album “Mr. Bad Guy (1985), which he dedicated to his cats. During long journeys on tour, Freddie Mercury could talk to them on the phone for more than one hour, and their portraits were depicted on one of his vests. By the way, Freddie Mercury loved cats, at the same time he sometimes had at least 10 animals. Freddie Mercury loved cats and in his mansion in different years usually lived several furry pets: Oscar, Tiffany, Goliath, Delilah, Miko, Romeo, Lily.
Besides, together with Montserrat Caballe Mercury recorded classical opera arias, released on the disc “Barselona” (1988), and the title single was awarded the honor to become the anthem of the 1992 Olympics. He first saw Montserrat at a London concert. During the performance, Freddie jumped up in his chair, pointed to the stage and was happy, like a 12-year-old boy who first saw the Beatles. Soon Mercury already flew to Barcelona to get acquainted with the opera diva. He let her listen to a tape with two of his songs. Caballe liked them so much that later she performed them at Covent Garden. Freddie was insanely happy. Already in April, they began to work on a joint album. A month later, at the closing of the festival in Ibiza, Mercury and Caballe sang a song that Freddie wrote in honor of the diva and her hometown, Barcelona.
In everyday life, Freddie Mercury was extremely shy. This was one of the reasons why the artist rarely gave an interview. The artist’s favorite color was yellow. A special variety of yellow roses is named after him. He was a passionate philatelist. He had great collections from all over the world. Mercury had an overbite due to 4 extra teeth. When his career was just beginning, he wanted to correct the bite, but he was afraid that it could worsen his vocal abilities.
Personal life of the artist has always aroused the interest of the public. At first there were rumors about the unconventional orientation of the artist, but then these rumors were confirmed. Freddie never talked about his preferences directly. This spawned even more rumors. One of the reporters once asked the singer if he was gay. Mercury replied with his inherent humor: “I am as blue as a yellow daffodil, sweetheart!” But the first relationship was with a woman. In the early 1970s, Freddie had a long relationship with Mary Austin, with whom his group colleague Brian May introduced him. Mary worked as a manager at the Biba store, which was a gathering place for young people at the time. After 7 years, Freddie Mercury confessed to his bisexual orientation, which was the end of their affair, but until the end of his life they remained close friends. Mary was a part of his family for Freddie – it was she who, during the difficult struggle of the singer with the disease, told his parents mourning news. Freddie Mercury himself often said that he had always loved Mary, and under other circumstances she would have become his wife. Most of his 28 million state he bequeathed to her.
In 1985, Freddie Mercury began relationship with barber Jim Hutton, which continued until his death. Hutton was courting Mercury during the last days of his life, and then wrote a book called “Mercury and Me”. Freddie Mercury introduced him to his “inner circle” – gay friends who lived in a small commune in his mansion in Kensington, began to take with him on tour and in the studio. Over time, Freddie and Jim got so close that Freddie Mercury openly called the boyfriend as his husband and wore the wedding ring that was presented to him by Hutton.
But before Freddie Mercury had many other lovers. Before one of the concerts in Britain, Freddie Mercury got into a fight with his then partner, Billy Reid. He bit the musician before the blood by the hand. In another quarrel, Reid and Mercury shouted at each other for several hours in a row, and as a result, the artist lost his voice in the morning of the next day – and this is on the eve of the performance on the television show Saturday “Night Live”. The medical team spent a lot of manpower and resources so that by the evening the singer’s vocal abilities would return to normal.
Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton
While on a tour of the United States, Freddie Mercury learned that his partner, Tony Bastin, was dating another. Freddie Mercury demanded that Bastin flew to him and declared at the meeting that everything was over between them. Immediately after this, the artist sent the wrong boyfriend back to England.
The rest of the Queen’s members always reacted rather calmly, especially since with the sharp deterioration of Freddie’s health in the late 1980s, it was Hutton who gave him the greatest physical and moral support. In 1986, the first rumors about his illness of the immunodeficiency virus aroused. Members of the group stubbornly refuted them, but a day before Mercury’s death, he made an official statement that he had AIDS. Being ill, Mercury continued to perform for five years.
In 1987, Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS, and he almost immediately offered Jim to leave, assuring that he fully understood his decision. In response, Jim said that he loved Freddie and would not go anywhere. At the same time, rumors began to appear that Mercury was sick with the “plague of the twentieth century.” Despite these conversations, the artist was at the peak of his form and visually looked like a young healthy man until the end of 1989. At this time, Queen actively toured around the world, Freddie steadfastly endured flights, exhausting energy and physically tens of thousands of concerts at the stadiums and two-hour singing in the full power of her unique voice. “I do not want to go to heaven after death: hell is much better. Just think about the most interesting people you can meet there, and you also want to be there” said Freddie Mercury.
In February 1991, Freddie Mercury stepped out of the studio to begin work on a video for the song “I’m Going Slightly Mad”. The film crew was shocked: instead of the smoothly shaved and muscular Freddie, a ghost appeared before them – the clothes on Freddie Mercury hung, and the gray face was covered with spots. He still had nine months to live. Everyone was immediately warned that the shooting would take place intermittently, because the singer had problems with his knee – no one wanted to pronounce the word “AIDS.” They put a bed in the make-up room for the singer so that he could rest, and two bodyguards were on duty outside. For filming, Freddie’s face was covered with a thick layer of makeup, and his head was covered with a black wig. To hide his painful thinness, they also resorted to tricks: the singer put on a long-sleeved sweater under his suit.
At the same time in February, the band released their latest album Innuendo – “Red”. The album also included the last song “Show Must Go On”. Brian May wrote this composition especially for Freddie, he was one of the few who knew about Mercury’s disease. On November 23, 1991, Freddie Mercury spoke with the words: “Considering the rumors that have been going on in the press for the last two weeks, I want to confirm: my blood test showed the presence of HIV. I have AIDS. I thought it necessary to keep this information in secret, but it’s time to tell the truth to my friends and fans around the world. I hope everyone joins the fight against this terrible disease. ”
A day later November 24, 1991, at seven in the evening, Freddie Mercury passed away. Before his death, he wrote his own funeral script, he wanted to turn them into a real show – should it continue? They buried Mercury according to the rite of the ancient Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism, which was confessed by his parents. The ceremony lasted only 25 minutes: Freddie’s coffin was covered with a white silk cloth, a red rose was placed on top. One of the versions says that the ashes of an artist are scattered in his homeland in Zanzibar. According to another, it was done at Lake Geneva, near the house of Mercury.
Under the will, he left Mary with 50% of his entire fortune (which, according to approximate data, was estimated at £ 10 million) and 50% of all future income. His parents and sister were to receive 25% each. In addition, the artist bequeathed 500 thousand pounds to Jim Hutton and bought him a plot of land to build a house in his native Ireland. At 500 thousand pounds, he left personal assistant to Peter Freestone and chef Joe Fannelli, and another 100 thousand were destined for Terry Giddings, a chauffeur and a star’s bodyguard.
On November 25, 1996, a monument to Freddie Mercury was opened in Montreux, Switzerland. The opening of another one took place on June 18, 2003 in London near the Dominion Theater, where the “We Will Rock You” musical is regularly held ..In 1992, the former Queen members gave a concert in memory of Freddie at Wembley Stadium, the money raised was donated to the AIDS funds. Freddie Mercury takes 58 place in the list of 100 greatest British. The list is based on a survey conducted in 2002 by the BBC. “Queen” is the first band that started using video screens at concerts, the first of the classic rock bands, whose records were downloaded more than 2 million times in the iTunes online store. Then, in 2002, the Bohemian Rhapsody Mercury song was named the most favorite British pop song in music history. In the autumn of 2018, Brian Singer’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” film is being released, featuring the success story of the band.
After his death, 27 years have passed, but there is no equal to the greatness and level of giftedness of Freddie Mercury. We are left with his songs, 17 albums and several live 80s live shows, all the songs are one better than the other. There is no person like him and will never be!