Peter Freestone Interview: What Really Happened to Freddie Mercury in Munich…
Freddie Mercury, the legendary vocalist of the no less legendary band Queen, lived in Munich for some time: as you know, it was there that some of the best days of his life passed ... There he recorded his album Mr. bad guy. There, he celebrated his 39th birthday with a cult party, animated stories about which do not cease to this day! As Freddie himself said, “this was the very place where he could properly relax with friends, play table tennis, enjoy German holidays and life in general ...” We can say that it was in this city that the artist found new inspiration! But why did he even move there? And what really happened to him during this period? All this is told by Peter Freestone, the then assistant to Mercury ...
Reasons for moving...
Mercury's first trip to Munich took place with Queen at the end of the 70s... Later the artist will return there to stay in this amazing city for several years... To the question "Why did Freddie go to Munich" Peter Freestone, known as "Phoebe", answered :
“Freddie loved to feel free… It seems to me that he didn’t succeed in London. Munich was for him something more attractive, bright ... In addition, at that time, Freddie was repairing his Garden Lodge mansion: he bought a house in 1980, but he was fully ready for life only five years later, no less ... He I regularly received reports on the restoration, which I was pleased with ... "
How was the adaptation?
Freddie was one of those people who instantly become "their own" wherever they are! Once in Germany, he quickly adapted to the friendly, social way of life in Munich. During the time spent there, the artist fell in love with the festivities at the Munich Carnival in Fasching, as well as several beer bars, where he often went with his musical engineer Reinhold Mack! According to Freestone, his parties could start on a Thursday evening and end only by the following Tuesday morning ... That's really a rock and roll lifestyle!
“He got great pleasure from life ... Each such trip to the bar became an extra reason for him to chat with interesting people! Later, the whole of Munich almost celebrated this weekend with Freddie! Then, as a rule, he and his company went to the Old Market: he loved delicious street food. She made him happy, even though he didn't sleep all night! At the same time, he did not like the local cuisine ... In fact, there was a lot of food that he categorically did not like! I just couldn't stand it! So, for example, he did not eat pork and roast duck. He called such heavy dishes "hellish mixture"! He considered dumplings to be a soccer ball, not food. He just looked at them with contempt, and said that "I could never eat such a big ball of lard" ... "
The most interesting thing is that although Mercury lived in Germany for several years, he never learned German! According to Freestone, the artist knew only a few of the most common greetings in this language ... Freddie himself once joked in an interview, saying that he knows "only obscene expressions that are unlikely to be of interest to you ..."
An unfortunate night...
According to Peter, Mercury always walked in the company of friends. However, even this did not save him from an accident in a night bar ... A word to Freestone:
“It happened in 1984, in a bar. Freddie often liked to pick people up, showing everyone that he was not the weakling that many held him for: he was not tall or well built ... And once again it turned into a tragedy: he lifted someone, but such a fuss began around ... In general, one person collided with him, and with all his strength kicked him on the knee ... Freddie fell with a man in his arms and tore his ligaments ... Then he was put in a plaster cast from ankle to thigh ... "
According to Reinhold Mack, Freddie spent more than a month in a cast! And to scratch his leg underneath, the musician borrowed knitting needles from Mack's wife, Ingrid! Freestone added that during this period, Mercury never used crutches: he lay in the back seat of the car while he was being taken somewhere ... So, one night, the injured Mercury and his assistant went to ... Elton John's concert in the Munich Olympiahall! It's no secret that John and Freddie were great friends!
“They practically did not have the opportunity to meet because of different and very busy schedules ... But since they both ended up in Munich by the will of fate, it was decided to go to this performance at all costs! We were then given seats on the side of the stage ... John called Freddie "Melena", and he in turn called him "Sharon"! And so, Elton announces from the stage: “I dedicate “I'm Still Standing” to poor Queen Melena!” Freddie whispered to me: “I will kill her!”
Sense of humor and love for games...
No matter how strange it may sound now, but according to Freestone, Freddie had obvious problems with a sense of humor ... “It was classic English humor - rather dry ...” - says Peter. According to an assistant, Freddie didn't like long anecdotes or jokes that climaxed at the end. However, he loved to laugh!
“In public, Freddie always covered his face with his palm when he laughed ... But in the circle of loved ones, he had no need to worry about his teeth! At home, he was himself, a real Freddie ... He threw back his head and just laughed heartily ... His laughter was very contagious!
Freestone also revealed that Mercury was a fan of Scrabble, a board game he often played with his Munich friends! And at Musicland Studios, where he recorded his album Mr. Bad Guy, Freddie set up table tennis! “His passion for gambling was endless!” Peter said. What could not be said about politics or religion ... The Queen vocalist often avoided talking about these topics. Mercury firmly believed that politics and religion are very personal topics for each person. He also disapproved of other celebrities who tried to influence people's opinions with their loud statements...
Probably one of the most famous moments in Munich was Freddie's 39th birthday! A memorable party was held within the walls of the Old Mrs Henderson cabaret. The main condition was clothing: all guests had to come in black and white outfits ... Let's listen to Peter Freestone:
“The invitation said that everyone should also change into clothes of the opposite sex! Freddie himself was dressed like a man - he was in his beautiful outfit from Fashion Aid!
What happened that night was captured on film: later the material served as an excellent basis for the video for the song "Living On My Own"! Judging by the footage, it really was the craziest party in the world! A huge variety of drinks, snacks ... What's there - there was a whole fountain of champagne at the party! As Freestone recalled, that evening Freddie said: “I’m still insanely young, baby ...” Freestone also said that all his life Freddie admired art in all its manifestations:
“He adored his Garden Lodge in London, and he loved to collect art there – be it paintings or antique furniture…”
How was Mr. bad guy?
Of course, Munich turned out to be a place for Mercury that had too many temptations ... So, according to Freestone - on the recording of Mr. Bad Guy took about two years to become "the longest session he's ever watched..."!
“As a rule, Freddie did not appear at the studio until noon! Actually, up to this point it didn’t make sense to call the singer to the studio: in the morning the voice had not yet warmed up ... It often happened that one of Freddie’s friends could call him at any moment and say: “Oh, Freddie, I’m so bored and sad , come and save me…” And at such moments the work stopped abruptly: we went and rescued this person… When Queen recorded with the full line-up, the responsibility for the work lay with all members of the group! But when it was Freddie alone, he neglected this responsibility ... He did what he wanted. But the album really worked!