Farewell to Freddie Mercury. How it was?
Freddie Mercury died of AIDS-related complications in 1991 at the age of 45. However, the details of his illness still remain a mystery. Rock legend Farrukh Bulsara was born in 1946 to Parsi parents. Freddie rarely gave interviews to journalists and was known to be a very private person.
Mercury kept his health problems under wraps despite being constantly under close scrutiny from journalists, especially when rumors of his illness (HIV/AIDS) began in 1986. The news of his failing health led Queen to abruptly end the 1987 Magic Tour, one of the band's biggest tours.
Freddie's deteriorating health...
The photographs that the British media placed in the newspapers showed Freddie frail, thin and fragile. The musician denied everything. Freddie's last video, recorded with Queen in May 1991 - "These are the days of our lives" showed how terrible Freddie felt, it was clear how he was fighting with every cell of his body with an illness.
Speaking to The Telegraph in 2013, guitarist Brian May said:
“We all knew that there was not much time left. Freddie wanted his life to be as normal as possible. There was a lot of pain and discomfort. The recording studio for him was an oasis, a place where life was the same as always. He loved making music, he lived for it."
Freddie had only one desire at the end of his life - all he wanted was peace.
“He was pursued by the press and curious people,” Brian said in an interview. "He just wanted some peace and quiet so he could continue what he had done."
Brian May: "He just kept saying, 'Write me more. Write me things. I just want to sing it and do it, and when I'm gone, you can finish it." He really wasn't afraid."
Freddie Mercury and media statement
In early November 1991, May recalled how Mercury returned to London and told him and his bandmates: “I don’t feel very well, I think that this day has come. I'll finish when I get back, next time." But he never came back to finish..
On November 23rd, Freddie made a statement to The Guardian, confirming publicly for the first time that he had tested positive for AIDS.
On November 24, paparazzi and fans gathered outside Freddie's house in Kensington, on that day the musician refused the AZT drug. Everyone yearned to see the star, even in their dying state. Everyone wanted a piece of Freddie Mercury, even at the hour of his death.
After the tragic news was confirmed and made official that day, Freddie's devoted fans created a temple dedicated to him, not far from the residence. They decorated the outside wall of the house with messages in the form of graffiti.
“We all wondered if it was an illusion, did it really happen?” May told The Telegraph, saying he couldn’t believe his ears when he heard the news. “You can't take things like that right. Then we got a phone call… It was unreal. Even though we prepared for so long, it still seemed impossible.”
It wasn't until the news aired that the guitarist was struck by the reality of it all.
“We all got together, talked, drank and saw that it was announced on TV,” he said. “Oddly enough, it was then that it first seemed real. We thought, 'Oh my God, he's really gone and now everyone knows. It can't be brought back."
May later revealed in an interview with The Sunday Times magazine last year that Freddie had lost almost his entire leg due to the disease.
“The problem was actually in his leg – and, unfortunately, there is almost nothing left of it,” May said. “One day he showed it to us at dinner. And he said, "Oh, Brian, I'm sorry I upset you by showing you this." And I said, "I'm not upset, Freddie, except that you have to put up with such terrible pain."
Farewell friends with Freddie Mercury
Guitarist Brian, 72, lamented that his friend was never able to benefit from these revolutionary antiretroviral drugs, which were introduced just a couple of months after Freddie's death.
"He only missed a few months," May grimaced. "If it had been a little later, he would still be with us, I'm sure."