Stories that prove that Freddie Mercury was not only a great artist, but also a great person...
A magnificent man in every way, Freddie Mercury is known for his impeccably delivered voice, incredible vocal range, incredible theatrical costumes and the amazing energy of his stage presence... And let's not forget the amazing songs that the Queen frontman has written! But in fact, he was much more than just a bright artist ... There are hundreds of touching stories about Freddie Mercury that we intend to remember today!
He helped Princess Diana have some fun!
Yes Yes! Freddie Mercury helped Princess Diana relax in one of the infamous Royal Vauxhall Tavern nightclubs! According to the story told by the British comedian Cleo Rokos, that evening they drank champagne in the company of several other people, and Freddie saw how much Diana did not want to return to the palace ... Then he suggested that everyone go to a nightclub together! He also took care of the princess's reputation by dressing her up...
This story describes Freddie as a caring and sensitive friend, which, according to the stories of relatives, he really was.
Freddie loved his cats! He even dedicated an album to one of them ...
Many great artists love cats, and Mercury was no exception. According to reports, he had about 10 felines at the same time! They were even painted on the vest he wore. His adoration for cats was also often reflected in his music. Namely, on his album Mr. Bad Guy, which was dedicated to one of his furry pets and "to all cat lovers throughout the universe"!
He sang on the shoulders of Darth Vader in support of Star Wars!
Despite this bizarre lyric about not liking Star Wars in Bike Race, Mercury loved the film enough to back it up by singing while sitting on the shoulders of Darth Vader (or rather a roadie dressed as Vader!) in 1980. Just in time for the release of The Empire Strikes Back, photographer Tom Cullins snapped a shot of Mercury and the Sith Lord during the encore of "We Will Rock You."
“It was so unusual!” Cullins recalled many years later. “Everyone just thought it was so funny, such a funny Freddie. But it played an important role in the promotion of the film…”
He used the piano as a headboard in case a song came to him in the dead of night...
Freddie was a very, very creative person... And when it came to inspiration, he didn't like to take risks. He was so afraid of losing the songs and tunes that he set up a piano as a headboard and was known to use it to record the tunes that came to him in the middle of the night. Mercury was also very flexible, so he would just reach out and play the riffs backwards.
Bohemian Rhapsody is said to have been originally conceived this way, although Mercury obviously hated playing the song live because he considered himself a mediocre pianist (for some reason).
He vowed to sing while he was alive...
He had a hard time dealing with declining health, but he was determined not to let his weak body detract from his creativity or passion for life!
According to Brian May, lead guitarist and backing vocalist for Queen, Mercury's last days were full of joy, oddly enough... Freddie suffered... but inside the studio there was something like a blanket, and he could be happy and enjoy what he likes to do the most! From the music... Sometimes it only lasted a couple of hours a day, because he was very tired. But during these two hours he devoted a lot to creativity ...
Even when he was particularly ill and exhausted, Mercury (like his friend and collaborator David Bowie after him) kept going through sheer will and creative commitment. May recalls that "when he couldn't get up, he used to lean on the table and drink some hard liquor, saying, 'I'll sing until I bleed...'"
This is real rock and roll...
He had a strong bond with his family
Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Africa. He grew up in a cramped, loving home where his artistic inclinations were encouraged: his parents, his sister, and his community alike celebrated his beautiful voice. Freddie's father passed away in 2003 and his mother died in November 2016. But a few years before her death, the woman gave a detailed interview about her "dear boy":
“No matter what he did or wore, I always saw in him the same child that I always knew. He told us a lot of anecdotes and I could always get in touch with him... It reassures me that he is still loved by people all over the world. But of course, none of them love him as much as his mother…”
As a deeply religious person, she claimed to have mostly come to terms with her son's death, but she also had moments of sadness. One day she was watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics when Freddie's face suddenly appeared on the screen, and she "shouted:
"Oh my dear boy, where are you?" I miss him so much… They also showed John Lennon, but my Freddie got much more applause…”
He left almost all of his fortune to Mary Austin...
Mercury always said that the only and truly beloved woman in his life was Mary Austin. Freddie met Mary when he was still unknown. They lived together for seven years, supporting each other on the path to Freddie's glory. Although their physical relationship allegedly ended after he realized the true nature of his sexuality, they remained lifelong best friends...
When Mercury died, he left Austen most of his fortune, including his mansion in London. As Mercury put it during his lifetime:
“Our romance ended in bitter tears, but a deep connection grew out of it, and no one can take that away from us. It's unattainable. No one can ever replace Mary for me. It's just not possible..."
His childhood friends adored him despite calling him Bucky.
According to his classmates, Mercury was just as charismatic in his youth as he was in adulthood, and left his friends with a treasure trove of inspiration and fond memories... Young Freddie, known as "Bucky" because of his famous malocclusion, was once "just a shy 12-year-old prodigy who started his musical career at the small hill station of Panchgani in Maharashtra."
His childhood friends describe him as an artistic introvert who opened up in the presence of those he knew well. Socially, however, he was also far ahead of his time. In the words of one friend:
“He was a child prodigy. He could play anything! He had the unique ability to listen to a song on the radio just once and play it perfectly the first time... His voice hasn't changed over the years. If you listen to Freddie Mercury's CD, it sounds the same as young Freddie sounded then ... "
The same friend also recalled that in school plays, Mercury often played female roles ... "He had a habit of calling boys cute, which then shocked others a little ..."
His bandmates set up a fund for AIDS research
Although Mercury did not officially announce to the public that he had AIDS, just a day before his death, he made sure to let his loved ones know that he wanted the fight against the disease to continue on his behalf! Shortly after Mercury's death, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Jim Beach founded the Mercury Phoenix Trust to fund AIDS charities around the world.
The organization has also helped launch numerous medical research projects and vaccine research! But all this could not have happened without the generous Mercury ...