Freddie Mercury: 70th Birthday for the Groovy Legend

Queen - Freddie Mercury
That’s a good logo.

The 5th September (a handful of days off, you know) would have marked the 70th birthday for one Freddie Mercury. The charismatic frontman of Queen has remained enduringly popular since his death in 1991, which is brilliant and all that as the man was clearly such an awesome dude in general.

During Queen’s heyday, Mercury was renowned for his energetic and flamboyant on stage performances (which were sometimes fueled by drugs, but it was generally just the man enjoying himself on stage) and remarkable vocal range. Plus, there’s a big batch of uplifting and often landmark songs in the old catalogue there as well. What’s not to love?

Mr. Mercury, I Presume?

It was recently the 30th anniversary for Queen’s famous gig in London in early July 1986. That’s the clip above, in case you’re stupid. It’s a perfect demonstration of a band in sync and an adoring crowd of fans, who really do go apeshit for A Kind of Magic (the band’s new release at that point).

Asides from the music, we’ve taken a keen interest in Mercury’s personality. Despite the band’s immense popularity, he was extremely shy and retiring off stage, refusing to give interviews and placing his privacy as a top priority (even fending off the relentless advances of the odious Sun tabloid newspaper in the process).

With close friends, however, he was a notorious party animal and staged some of the most wildly excessive parties in the 1980s. With mountains of cocaine available to anyone and everyone, one party met with a bill for 230 broken glasses for the band’s manager to fix.

All those who knew him seemingly only have wonderful things to say – one described him as: “The most beautiful person I’ve ever met in my life. So entertaining and generous.” It’s always to our regret we realise such an awesome bloke is no longer with us. There is that legacy which is left behind, though, and that will bloody well burn for a 1,000 years to come!

The Film

Queen is actually still touring with the founding members guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, although bassist John Deacon retired from music in 1997 and hasn’t been heard of since.

Apparently there’s a film about Mercury in production with May and Taylor overseeing production. Sasha Baron Cohen was attached, but a dispute erupted and this has fallen through. May denied Cohen’s accusations that the band wanted self-indulgent story about the band post-Mercury, instead labeling Cohen an “arse” for twisting the truth. Whatever, we’re not going there as for now it’s all clearly on hold.

The end result will no doubt turn up sooner or later, and it’ll hopefully be a fitting reminder of an inspirational man who really was one in a million. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie.

2 comments

  1. I never got into proper/popular music until my mid-late teens, as my collection of novelty ’80s 7-inches will attest. Queen were the first band that I listened to repeatedly and obsessively. Mostly Greatest Hits II on cassette, plus anything I could convince friends to copy off for me or find going cheap in Boots. It felt odd to me how many songs I seemed to already know by cultural osmosis. Freddie himself was definitely one of a kind, someone still missed by me and my mates whenever the band come up.

    On the subject of the odious Sun/News Of The World, I remember clearing out some then-old newspapers from my Gran’s room after Freddie’s death. One had a front page picture of him looking gaunt with the headline “You alright, Freddie?”. It didn’t remotely read like it came from a place of concern. Vile.

    • Likewise, I obsessively listened to Queen when I was in my teens. A lot of it still holds up, too. Take Innuendo (the song, rather than the album) which is one almighty piece of work. Full respect to the dudes.

      The Sun hounded him for years trying to get him to admit he had HIV, but he just ignored them. The paper was relentless about it – one of things I truly hate about tabloid journalism. At least the News of the World is finished now. The whole Max Moseley incident triggered that off!

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