Freddie Mercury was one of those music stars that could stand on stage, do nothing and still, his audience goes wild. He had already established himself and had a brand together with his band, Queen. Did you know that an asteroid has even been named after him? Other members of the band feel that without him they wouldn’t have made it in their career. This article is going to be about all things Freddie, Queen, and Bohemian Rhapsody (the song and the movie), including all the facts the movie actually got wrong.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Hard Working from a Young Age
Many musicians wait until after school for them to start writing songs or to begin their career. This wasn’t the case with Freddie Mercury as he started practicing music at the tender age of three. His parents, in an interview, said that Freddie could sing any song and play all tunes on the piano. His passion for music is what drove him to start the group which would establish itself as its own brand, Queen. Even in the band, he played a very critical role, and his efforts are what made it what it is today.
Queen Experienced a Midlife Crisis in 1977
Freddie Mercury at the Queen concert at Wembley stadium during the Magic tour on July 11, 1986, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)
Queen is known to many as one of the most famous and most celebrated rock bands in history. People only know about the successful part of his career but what people may not know is that he had a rough start that at one point threatened his career. Once he started writing songs back in 1968, he didn’t automatically become famous. He and his bandmates John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian May experienced a midlife crisis of sorts in 1977 which was the reason they reconvened and started working on their sixth album. And this sixth album only increased their fame.
Relationship Status – “It’s Complicated”
Fame and love didn’t seem to be working for Freddie Mercury even during a successful career. Mary Austin was Freddie’s first love, and both showed full commitment to the relationship for the six years that they were together. Everything went well for the pair until 1976 when he started seeing a male employee who made Mary end their six-year affair. In 1980, he decided to call it quits and began a new relationship with Barbara Valentin who was an Australian actress. A year later, Mercury chose to date another male friend who was working as a hairdresser. Freddie never had a lasting relationship and never married.
His Ex-Girlfriend Inherited Much of his Wealth
Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin, in London, 31st January 1986. Mary Austin is a long time friend and ex-partner of Freddie Mercury. Picture was taken 31st January 1986. (Photo by Tiny Bennett/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
One of his most celebrated songs ‘Love of My Life’ was a special dedication to one of his girlfriends, and he seemed to mean it. It was dedicated to Mary Austin, the girl who was with him for the longest amount of time. Mary was on his side even after the break-up. After he was diagnosed with AIDS, his health started failing, and Mary came to help him in his last days. She acquired much of his wealth including his recording royalties. Mary Austin is a famous actress and a businesswoman.
Freddie Asked to be Buried in an Unknown Location
Singer Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991) of Queen performs a duet with Samantha Fox during a party at Kensington Roof Gardens in London, 12th July 1986. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
The world looked up to Freddie as their role model. But when he realized that he had AIDS, he started looking down at himself, and this affected his self-esteem. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 after his health starting failing. His funeral was open to the public and was first buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, but later his ashes were relocated by Mary Austin to an unknown location as per his wishes.
He Designed the Queen’s Logo
Even before the group released its first album, Freddie had already designed its logo. This must not have been difficult for him considering that he had graduated from Ealing Art College. In the well-crafted logo, he ensured that all the interests of band members were taken into consideration. The group members’ zodiac signs were all featured in the logo. The two lions in the logo are for Leo; the crab is what makes Brian May a legitimate member of the group while the two ferries which are represented in the Virgo were for Mercury.
Motivated by Everything Around Him
Photo of Queen; Freddie Mercury performing live on stage at Groenoordhallen ,Lieden (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
His mates say that Freddie was able to write music from everywhere. He used whatever surrounded him to his advantage and motivated him to write his songs. His assistant was always ready with a paper and a pen whenever needed. There are several songs that he wrote from just a simple conversation with either a friend or a girlfriend. Nothing limited him from writing songs, and according to his team, this is what made him so successful in his career.
The Famous Freddie was an Introvert
Fighter jets pass the statue of Great Britain’s band Queen’s late singer Freddie Mercury on July 16, 2016 in Montreux, during the 50th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival. The Montreux Jazz Festival runs from July 1 to July 16 and will be celebrating its 50th edition. (Photo credit FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This is probably why he made crazy decisions in his life that he came to regret towards the end of his career. One would wonder why the famous musician could not choose whether or not to come out as gay. His dating history can only be understood well by those who knew him to be an introvert. He was vocal on stage and seemed to talk more than the rest of the band, but he was timid at a personal level. He liked to keep his own life to himself as many shy people do. Those who used to see him on stage could not believe that he was the quiet guy.
He Couldn’t Read Music
Astonishingly, despite being one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time, Freddie once admitted that he wasn’t very good at reading sheet music. In a 1981 interview, when asked if he could read music, Freddie replied ‘Very little… I leave that to the others.’ He went on to say that his songwriting process was very sporadic and that he often forgot tunes he’d come up with and had to rewrite them all differently.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
He also said that some songs took him weeks to write while others, like ‘Crazy Little Thing, Called Love’ took less than ten minutes.
He Started a Rock Band as a Kid
Freddie had a lifelong interest in music. In fact, from a very early age, he seemed destined for a career in the industry. He was a great piano player by the time he turned 9, and in the 1950s, when he’d been sent to a boys boarding school, he decided to make his first band with a few of his school friends.
The band was called The Hectics. The other members were Derrick Branche, Bruce Murray, Farang Irani, and Victory Rana. They played covers of famous rock songs at various school events.
Named in His Honor
Several things have been named in honor of Freddie Mercury. A genus of Frog, discovered just recently in India, was given the name ‘Mercurana’ in honor of the singer. A type of South American damselfly found in Brazil was also named after Queen’s frontman, being given the title: Heteragrion freddiemercuryi. More recently, in 2016, on what would have been Mercury’s 70th birthday, an asteroid was given the name 17473 Freddiemercury.
Given the huge global influence of Queen and Mercury, in particular, it’s likely that more things might be named after him in the future.
Films And TV
Mercury has been portrayed on TV and film multiple times over the years, including a 2012 BBC drama called Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story. But the most notable depiction of the singer came with 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
This film, named after one of Queen’s most iconic songs, focuses on the life of Freddie and the formation of the band, with American-Egyptian actor Rami Malek playing the part of Freddie. The film was directed by Bryan Singer, who was later replaced by Dexter Fletcher, and has been a commercial success, as well as receiving a lot of good reviews.
Bohemian Rhapsody is arguably Queen’s most famous song. Others, like ‘We Are The Champions‘ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now‘ are also beloved all around the world, but there was always something very special about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Freddie wrote this song and was often asked what it all meant.
Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Many critics tried to analyze the song and thought it was all about some trauma in Freddie’s life, but he never revealed the truth. In fact, he once told his friend Kenny Everett that it was nothing but ‘random rhyming nonsense’ to match up with the melody.
Love of My Life
“Love of My Life” is a song with very special significance for the members of Queen and fans of the band. Freddie Mercury wrote it in honor of Mary Austin, the woman who had always been there for him.
Freddie Mercury with Mary Austin at an after-party for Queen’s Wembley concerts, 1986. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
However, after Freddie’s death, the song is still played. Brian May will often go on stage alone and dedicate the song to Freddie, allowing the audience to sing the words while he plays the music. This just shows how powerful Queen’s music and Freddie’s writing could be.
A Magical Voice
One of the things that stood out about Freddie Mercury was his distinctive voice. There are plenty of successful singers out there with their vocal signature, but Freddie’s singing style was unique.
Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe perform Barcelona at KU club Ibiza, Spain. Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images
He had an exceptionally large range and very good technique. Even opera singer Montserrat Caballé complimented Freddie’s voice, saying that he had a perfect understanding of tempo, timing, and rhythm. A scientific study of Freddie’s voice was undertaken in 2016 and confirmed that Freddie’s range was at least 3 octaves. Some rumors even suggested his range was 4 octaves in total.
Queen’s music has been used in dozens of films over the years, with classics like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’ appearing in many movies. Queen was also hired to write new songs for the soundtracks of two major films: Flash Gordon and Highlander.
Photo by Universal Studios
The second film is about an immortal man who has to watch the people he loves age and die. Freddie saw the film one day and wrote its most iconic song ‘Who Wants To Live Forever?’ in the car on the way home.
Freddie and Michael
Freddie worked with a lot of other big musical names over the years, including David Bowie for the famous song ‘Under Pressure.’ While recording his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, he linked up with pop icon Michael Jackson. The pair initially planned to do the album together, singing duets on a few songs.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
They only ended up recording one of them, however, due to a complicated working relationship. Michael didn’t like the fact that Freddie used drugs, while Freddie was frustrated by the fact that Michael brought his pet llama into the recording studio.
The Final Song
The last song that Freddie was ever able to work on with his bandmates was ‘Mother Love.’ The song wasn’t released until 1995, several years after Freddie’s death.
Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
He wrote it together with Brian May and recorded the vocals just six months before he died. On that tragic day, Freddie told his bandmates that he wasn’t feeling too good but would come back another time to finish up the song. Sadly, he wouldn’t live long enough to fulfill that obligation, and Brian May eventually stepped up to sing the last verse.
He Felt Insecure About His Teeth
Every part of Freddie’s image is iconic, from his lean, muscular frame to his fabled mustache and, of course, his teeth. He was born with what is technically called a class II malocclusion but is more commonly known as a severe overbite.
Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns
This was because he had four more teeth than the average person, which pushed the others outwards. Freddie had more than enough cash to get his teeth fixed, but he famously refused to do so because he worried about the procedure affecting his singing voice. He was, however, very insecure about the way his teeth looked.
One of the interesting things about Queen is that all members of the group managed to write at least one big hit, but Freddie was by far the most prolific of the band.
Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns
He wrote 10 of the 17 songs that eventually made it onto the ‘Greatest Hits’ album, ensuring that he went down in history as one of the best songwriters of all time. Some of his most famous writing credits include ‘We Are The Champions,’ ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’
He Accepted His Death
Mary Austin, one of Freddie’s closest friends throughout his life, once revealed that in the final days, Freddie decided to look death right in the face and bravely accept his fate. He voluntarily stopped taking lots of his medicine against his disease.
Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns
In the end, all he was taking were painkillers. He knew that this would speed up the whole process and that he would inevitably die sooner than later, but he simply didn’t want to go on getting weaker any longer.
A Tragic Admirer
Another rock legend who died far too soon in tragic circumstances is Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana. Cobain committed suicide but wrote a note before taking his own life, and he mentioned Freddie in the note.
Photo by Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty Images
He wrote that he felt envious of Freddie, who was able to thrive on stage and in the spotlight in a way that he never could. Cobain said that the ‘roar of the crowd’ was something that Freddie loved but that it sadly didn’t have the same positive impact on himself.
Many people like to collect things, with stamp collecting being an old-fashioned but popular hobby even in the modern day.
Freddie Mercury’s stamp album on display next to John Lennon’s stamp album. Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images for The Postal Museum
Freddie was a stamp collector, also known as a philatelist. His collection was preserved and has been shown at various exhibitions all around the world. He would have loved to have lived until 1999 when the British Royal Mail made a special stamp with his image on it to celebrate the Millennium. Freddie’s stamp collection was especially large and impressive, but few people knew about his little hobby.
Freddie was more of a cat than a dog person. When he recorded his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, he included a little note inside saying that the whole album was dedicated to his cats: Tom, Jerry, Oscar, and Tiffany.
He also dedicated the album to ‘all the cat lovers across the universe.’ He had many other cats over the years, with names like Romeo and Delilah. Delilah even got her song, written by Freddie and featured on Queen’s Innuendo album. The song has lyrics like “You take over my house and home” and “Meow, meow, meow.”
Queen’s first manager was a man named Norman Sheffield. He was the boss of Trident Studios and helped to launch Queen into the public eye, but the band wasn’t happy with how he handled their success.
Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
They had no money at one point despite releasing some very successful albums. In retaliation, Freddie wrote the song ‘Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)’ about Sheffield. The song involved lyrics like ‘You suck my blood like a leech’ and ‘You’ve taken all my money.’ When Sheffield heard the song, he sued the band, but Freddie had made his point.
A Fateful Announcement
Freddie famously kept his health problems a secret until it the very last moment. It was on November 22 of 1991 that he decided to call up the band manager, Jim Breach, to write up a statement to share with the world.
Grieving fans leave flowers outside the London home of Freddie Mercury. Photo by PA Images via Getty Images
The statement was released on November 23, and Freddie tragically passed away on November 24. In the statement, Freddie confirmed that he was suffering from AIDS and said that he’d always preferred to maintain a level of privacy around his private life, hence his lack of interviews. He also called on fans and everyone around the world to help in the battle against what he called ‘this terrible disease.’
He Worked as a Baggage Handler
Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s interesting to look back at the lives of the rich and famous before they became rich and famous. Many celebrities once had regular jobs just like the rest of us. In Freddie’s case, he initially worked as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport in London.
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images
In 2018, on the anniversary of Freddie’s birth, fans of the singer visited Heathrow dressed up in imitations of his yellow jacket and started dancing along to various Queen songs. Before his job at the airport, Freddie also worked as a market trader, selling clothes at Kensington Market.
The Show Must Go On
‘The Show Must Go On‘ is one of the songs on Queen’s 1991 album, Innuendo. It was mostly written by Brian May, rather than Freddie, but was written all about Freddie himself.
Photo by Independent News and Media/Getty Images
May and the other members of Queen had seen how much Freddie was suffering and weren’t even sure if he’d been physically capable of recording the song. When speaking about that moment, May said that he approached Freddie and voiced his doubts about the whole thing. In response, Freddie swigged from a bottle of vodka and said he’d be able to do it.
The last time the world got to see Freddie Mercury on a stage was in 1990. It was at the Brit Awards, where Queen was collecting a special trophy for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music.’
Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May at the 1990 Brit Awards. Photo by John Rodgers/Redferns
The event was held at the Dominion Theatre in London on February 18. When the band stepped out onto the stage, it was clear to see that Freddie wasn’t his former self. He looked very weak and pale, leading to a lot of rumors about his health. His last appearance with Queen would come a year later in the music video for ‘These Are The Days of Our Lives.’
Science and music aren’t often associated, but various teams of scientists have undertaken studies on Freddie Mercury and Queen over the years. One of those studies determined that ‘We Are The Champions’ is the catchiest song ever written due to its tone and rhythm.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
This is especially interesting because the song never made it to number 1 anywhere in the world. Freddie wrote the song himself for the 1977 album ‘News of the World’. It has since been picked up by sports fans around the world and sung in many stadiums.
A Modest Multi-Instrumentalist
During his childhood, Freddie took piano lessons. This gave him a skill that would become a big part of his later career, but when he came to England and saw how all of his favorite bands and artists were using guitars, he knew he had to learn that instrument as well. So that’s what he did.
Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Despite being able to play piano, guitar, and various other variations of these instruments like the harpsichord, Freddie was never confident in his instrumental abilities. He played piano on the recordings of some of Queen’s biggest songs but often hired other musicians to help out.
Freddie and the Princess
In the 1980s, it is believed that Freddie Mercury became close friends with Princess Diana. Allegedly, Freddie came up with an original idea to spend a night out on the town with the princess.
Princess Diana And Prince Charles At Heathrow Airport. Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images
Since she was so recognizable, he suggested that she dress up as a man and pose as a male model for the pair to spend an evening at a gay bar in London. There, Freddie, Diana, and Kenny Everett allegedly spent several nights having fun and talking about everything and anything. Some people believe that in doing this, Freddie helped to shape Diana’s view of the world.
Everyone knows Queen’s lead singer under his iconic, star-studded name of Freddie Mercury, but that wasn’t his real name. Born on 5 September of 1946, Freddie Mercury was originally called Farrokh Bulsara.
Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
His parents were named Bomi and Jer Bulsara and originally came from India. It was around the time that Queen formed that Freddie decided to change his name to something a little flashier and fancier. Many other singers and actors have had to change their names over the years to fit in with the celebrity lifestyle, and Freddie Mercury is one of the most famous examples.
The Meaning of the Band Name
Many people tend to think that the band was named due to the LGBT connotations with the word ‘Queen.’ However, Freddie once revealed that he was aware of the connotations, but that they were only a small part of why the name was chosen.
Photo by RB/Redferns
He said that the main thought behind naming the band ‘Queen’ was that he’d wanted to choose a name that sounded ‘strong’ and ‘regal.’ He was more interested in a recognizable name that would stand out and be remembered all around the world than making some statement.
Freddie was known for wearing a lot of iconic outfits over the years, but one of them stands out above all the rest.
Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
The iconic yellow jacket, featuring several buckles and a military-style finish, was worn by Freddie during the band’s ‘Magic’ tour of Europe in the mid-80s. The jacket was sold for over $33,000 at auction in 2004. There’s a waxwork of Freddie wearing an imitation of this jacket at the Madame Tussauds location in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and many fans and imitators of the singer have tried buying or making their versions of the jacket.
When Freddie was 17, he and his family had to evacuate their home in Zanzibar. At the time, the Zanzibar Revolution was breaking out, leading to the killing of many thousands of people.
April 1964. Following the recent revolution, Zanzibar’s new army recruits are being trained to defend the newly formed state. Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images
It was a horrible moment of history, but Freddie and his family got away unharmed. They chose England as their home and found a little house in the London Borough town of Feltham. If Freddie had never made that move to England, he would never have met his bandmates, and the magic of Queen would never have happened.
Mercury’s death came at a time when AIDS was still a majorly taboo subject. People weren’t talking about it, but seeing a beloved star die from the disease shed a whole new light on the epidemic.
A lookalike in the crowd at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness. Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
Various celebrities started to speak out to raise more awareness of the disease and Freddie’s surviving bandmates decided to form ‘The Mercury Phoenix Trust,’ a charity organization to battle HIV and AIDS all over the world. They also held a special tribute concert in April of 1992 to honor Freddie and raise funds to help in the fight against the disease.
He Had a Piano in Bed
Freddie had an unusual songwriting process. He said that he was perfectly capable of simply sitting down and waiting for inspiration to come, but that he could also get ideas at the strangest times of day or night and would quickly forget them.
Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns
So, in the same way, that some people leave little notepads by the bed, Freddie had a piano installed on his headboard. That way, he never even had to get out of bed if he wanted to try out an idea.
Freddie in Theater
In 1997, a theatrical depiction of Mercury’s life launched in New York City. It was entitled Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God and was both written and directed by American playwright, Charles Messina. The theater show charted the life and death of Mercury, framed by showing Mercury just after his death looking back on his life.
Photo by Brian McLaughlin/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
The first showing of the play was at 6:48 pm on November 24th, which was the exact anniversary of Freddie’s death. An American-Portuguese actor named Khalid Goncalves played the part of Freddie, and the play received positive reviews from many major critics and publications.
We’ve seen that Freddie Mercury left most of his wealth to his former girlfriend, Mary Austin. A lot of his cash was also given to his mother, father, and sister, but a few extra people were also given very large sums of money. Freddie’s driver, for example, Terry Giddings, received the sum of £100,000.
Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
His assistant, Peter Freestone, got half a million pounds, and the same sum was also given to his chef, Joe Fanelli, and his partner, Jim Hutton. Mercury wrote in his will that he preferred to give most of his fortune to Mary since she’d done so much for him and would have accepted to be his wife.
He Followed Zoroastrianism
Freddie and his family followed a religion called Zoroastrianism. Also known as Mazdayasna, Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Many people haven’t heard of it due to its age. Followers of this Middle-Eastern religion believe in one god known as Ahura Mazda.
Ancient Zoroastrian writing dated 3500-3000 BCE. Pergamon Museum. Artist Unknown. Photo by CM Dixon/Heritage-Images/Getty Images
The religion has a lot in common with faiths like Christianity and Islam. Zoroastrianism involves a big focus on the balance of good and evil in the world, with the belief that good will eventually triumph over evil. Freddie followed the faith all through his life, and his funeral service was held in the traditions of Zoroastrianism too.
The Greatest Show
If there’s one Freddie Mercury performance that is generally agreed as the greatest of all time, it was at Live Aid.
Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images
Held on July 13, 1985, this dual-concert event was held at both Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Several other countries joined in with the effort, which was all for charity, but Freddie and Queen stole the show. Queen played for 21 minutes in total, and their small show has been voted the best live rock performance of all time in several polls and music critic lists. Freddie was unstoppable, firing the crowd up and getting everyone involved.
Freddie Mercury has made his way onto many major polls over the years. Whether it’s ‘Best British Person,’ ‘Greatest Singer,’ or ‘Most Influential Member of the LGBT Community,’ Mercury has always been given pride of place. In a BBC poll of the ‘100 Greatest Britons’, he came in at 58th.
Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns
He was also included on a list of ‘Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present’ and came 18th on Rolling Stone’s list of the ‘Top 100 Singers Of All Time’. Many other polls over the years have ranked Mercury as one of the finest rock singers and most charismatic frontmen in the history of music.
As well as his work with Queen, Freddie Mercury also pursued a solo career. He lent his voice to several songs, even using the pseudonym ‘Larry Lurex’ at one point, before releasing two full solo albums in the 1980s entitled Mr. Bad Guy and Barcelona. Mr. Bad Guy blended elements from various genres including rock, pop, and disco music.
Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images
The album made it to the number 6 spot in the UK charts. The second album, Barcelona, was recorded in conjunction with Montserrat Caballé, a Spanish opera singer. This album wasn’t as much of a success and only made it to the 25th spot in the charts.
Tributes to the Legend
Many tributes have been made all around the world to Freddie Mercury. One of the most notable is a statue, which stands in the city of Montreux, Switzerland, and shows Freddie in an iconic performance pose. The statue was sculpted by Czech artist Irena Sedlecka and was revealed in 1996.
Photo credit FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Brian May and Roger Taylor, two of Freddie’s Queen bandmates, attended the unveiling. The remaining members of Queen also wrote a song called “No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)” in honor of Freddie. Even Google paid homage to Freddie in 2011, making a ‘Google Doodle’ based on him.
Many other rock bands and artists adored Queen and cited them as influences, but not everyone was a fan. The Sex Pistols, for example, openly disliked Queen. The band’s bassist, Sid Vicious, was especially critical.
The Sex Pistols performing at Baton Rouge’s Kingfisher Club, Louisiana. Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
One day, when Queen was working on some music, a drunk Vicious allegedly walked in and made a derogatory comment. Freddie simply stood up, said ‘Aren’t you Stanley Ferocious or something?’ And pushed Vicious out of the room. There was a real war between many punk bands and rock bands, but this incident showed that Freddie wasn’t scared of anyone.
A Happy Accident
Sometimes, ‘happy little accidents’ turn out okay in the end, and that’s one happened in one story involving Freddie Mercury. During one of Queen’s early shows, Mercury was singing when the microphone stand broke off from the base. This incident could have shaken a less-confident singer, but Mercury simply acted as nothing had even happened and carried on performing.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
In subsequent shows, he started performing with a ‘broken’ mic, and it became a highly recognizable part of his image as a performer. This just shows how Freddie was always able to make the best of a bad situation.
One of Freddie’s famous closest friends was Kenny Everett, a British comedian, and radio DJ. The pair met in 1974 on Everett’s Capital London radio show and quickly realized they had a lot in common, helping them to forge the beginnings of a special friendship.
Freddie Mercury with comedian Billy Connolly and Kenny Everett. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Everett even helped Queen to become so successful, insisting that his radio station play ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ even though executives were worried about how long the song was. As time went by, Everett and Mercury became closer and closer. In the 80s, they fell out for a few years but eventually made up.
The Movie Got Some Things Wrong
In the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, the song “Fat Bottomed Girls” was performed on an American tour set prior to 1975. But this isn’t factually correct. The song was released in 1978, on the Jazz album, after the release/recording of the song “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
In another scene in the movie, the band is shown recording “We Will Rock You” which is set in the year 1980. In reality, this song was recorded and released on the News of the World LP in 1977, three years before.
Did They Do Their Research?
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody seemed to make more than just a few mistakes in terms of keeping details factual. Another example is in one scene set at some point in the 80s, it’s stated that the members of Queen “haven’t recorded together in years.”
This isn’t true, though. In the years that the film covers, the band put out two albums in 1980, 1982, and 1984. They wouldn’t have been apart more than a year or so at any given time. So the movie didn’t really get that part right.
What’s in a Name?
The title “Bohemian Rhapsody” is epic on its own and quite fitting for the song and the fame it received. As it turns out, the band members didn’t actually think Freddie Mercury was serious when he told them what the title would be.
But like with most long names and the trend of today, many people like to shorten names. And if you’re a fan of Queen, then you probably already know that admirers like to refer to the song as “Bo Rhap.”
He Wrote it at Home
Freddy Mercury wrote “Bohemian Rhapsody” in his home in London, which was different from the other songs that were written in the studio. He actually wrote the whole song on telephone books and scraps of paper.
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns
According to Chris Smith (a keyboard player in Smile), Mercury first started developing “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1968. He used to play parts of songs he was writing at the piano. He came up with an opening line “Mama, just killed a man” but didn’t yet have a melody. He originally referred to his work in progress as “The Cowboy Song.”
A Little Taste of It
Producer Roy Thomas Baker spoke about how Mercury once played the opening ballad section on the piano for him, before going out to dinner. He nonchalantly played the piece perhaps not realizing that this one piece of music will eventually be a major hit in the history of music.
He said: “He played the beginning on the piano, then stopped and said, ‘And this is where the opera section comes in!’ Then we went out to eat dinner.” Maybe Baker had an idea that it would be something in the future.
Joining the Band Smile
The film Bohemian Rhapsody made a few mistakes as we mentioned before. Another mistake was how the film makes it seem like Freddie came from nowhere when he joined the band Smile, as if it was a secret that he could sing. But the truth is that he had been in bands since he was in high school.
Photo by Brad Elterman/FilmMagic
In 1969, Freddie joined the Liverpool-based band Ibex, which was later renamed Wreckage. But that band didn’t really take off, so he then joined a second band called Sour Milk Sea. But, as no surprise, by 1970 that group broke up too.
The Song Was His Baby
Apparently, the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” was there in Freddie’s mind before they even started. Brian May (the band’s guitarist) said “He knew exactly what he was doing… We just helped him bring it to life. It was really Freddie’s baby from the beginning.”
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
“He came in and knew exactly what he wanted. The backing track was done with just piano, bass, and drums, with a few spaces for other things to go in … Freddie sang a guide vocal at the time, but he had all his harmonies written out, and it was really just a question of doing it.”
Full of Melodies
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is full of melodies, both beautiful and haunting. Roger Taylor said he was sold right away just by its melody. Although the song was Mercury’s baby, the band still had lots of input, and not just in the actual recording.
The guitar solo was by Brian May and he said he wanted it to be a counterpoint – a separate tune to rest of the song. Brian May said the “magnifico” part was their “favorite trick.” The “trick” was a method that in the 1930s was referred to as the “bells effect.” It’s when one person starts a harmony, and the rest follow, one after the other, with the first voice still going.
Brown Eyes, Hairy Chest
Freddie Mercury had deep brown eyes. But the actor Rami Malek who plays him in the film has blue/green eyes and they didn’t even make an effort to correct them during the film including close ups of his face. It’s a wonder why they didn’t give him brown contacts as many other actors have done in films.
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Freddie Mercury also had a hairy chest. This also wasn’t correctly portrayed by Rami Malek, who played Freddie with little to no chest hair. The only times the look was authentic was when Freddie is wearing a “wife beater” undershirt.
The Meaning Behind the Song
The meaning behind Bohemian Rhapsody is debated up until this day. As much as people yearned for meaning to the epic song, Mercury never succumbed to the pressure. He stated,
“It’s one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them… “Bohemian Rhapsody” didn’t just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera. Why not?”
Mercury also said: “I’m going to shatter some illusions, it was just one of those pieces I wrote for the album: just writing my batch of songs. In its early stages I almost rejected it, but then it grew.” The entire band always had a strong belief in letting their listeners interpret their songs in a personal way to them, rather than impose their own meaning on songs.
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The lack of explanation on the meaning of the song created an air of mystery. The only thing Mercury agreed to say was that the song is “about relationships.” Mercury also claimed that the lyrics were nothing more than “Random rhyming nonsense.” And Roger Taylor said the song is “fairly self-explanatory with just a bit of nonsense in the middle.”
Reconciling with the Band
In the film, when Freddie reconciles with the rest of the band before performing at Live Aid in 1985, John Deacon states that from that point on, all future credit for the songwriting will go to the band collectively instead of just one member.
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But in reality, Queen’s 1986 album A Kind of Magic still had individual songwriting credits and only in the 1989 album The Miracle and 1991’s Innuendo that all songs were credited to the band as a whole. Another discrepancy in the film was how Paul Prenter wasn’t fired as Freddie’s manager until after the Live Aid concert, not like how it was shown as before in the film.
Jim Hutton and Mary Austin
The film makes it look like Jim Hutton and Mary Austin were friendly after Freddie introduced them. And then whatever their relationship was during Freddie’s lifetime, it went sour drastically. Freddie and Jim lived at 1 Logan Place, Kensington.
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But in reality, Freddie didn’t leave the house to Jim, he actually left it to Mary. And when Freddie died, Mary kicked Jim out of the house and denied him access to Freddie’s ashes. This was confirmed in interviews with Brian May, Roger Taylor, and Freddie’s sister Kashmira.
How They Really Met
Freddie didn’t meet Brian May & Roger Taylor in a parking lot and sing for them as depicted in the movie. Freddie was a friend of Smile’s lead singer Tim Staffell and was a fan of the band. So that’s how they really met.
Another discrepancy between the film and reality is when the movie shows the band moving to Rockfield Farm to record A Night at the Opera in 1975. But Queen first used Rockfield Studios to record Sheer Heart Attack in 1974.
He Minimized Everything
Freddy tended to minimize the meaning of his song lyrics. Brian May and the other band members knew, however, that he did actually put meaning into his lyrics. The band said that if he were alive today to see the fame of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, he would probably just shrug it off and say thanks.
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Brian May agrees with the popular opinion that the song refers to Mercury’s struggles in his personal life. He said, “Freddie was a very complex person: flippant and funny on the surface, but he concealed insecurities and problems in squaring up his life with his childhood. He never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot of himself into that song.”
A Private Issue
Brian May also said that the band really did believe that the meaning of a lyric was a private issue for the composer. So the meaning would be up for debate and left for speculation among listeners. Many people figured that Mercury’s lyrics must reflect upon his personal life.
Sheila Whiteley (a music scholar) analyzed Freddie’s lyrics and believed that he reached a turning point in his personal life when he wrote “Bohemian Rhapsody.” With everything that happened between him and Mary and then starting his first love affair with a man.
Whiteley also suggested that “Bohemian Rhapsody” gives us a look into Mercury’s emotional state during the time. The lyrics ‘Mamma’ could mean Mother Mary and the lyrics “Mamma Mia let me go” could refer to his wishing to break away.
Some people thought that the song was about Mercury’s ‘coming out.’ Considering his death to the disease AIDS, rumors began about his homosexuality. People assumed it was his way of confessing that he was gay. After Mercury’s death, on November 24, 1991, Lesley-Ann Jones who wrote the biography Mercury spoke with Jim Hutton who told her that the song indeed was Mercury’s confession that he was gay, according to him.
The movie illustrates how Freddie went solo and thus breaking up the band and shows his time in Munich as though he were isolated from the others. But in reality, all the band members were working on solo projects between 1982 and 1985, even while recording and touring together.
Roger Taylor was recording his album “Strange Frontier” at the same Munich studio and even at the same time Freddie was working on “Mr. Bad Guy.” And Mercury, along with May and Deacon, played on Taylor’s album.
When Freddie Met Jim
The film shows Freddie Mercury meeting Jim Hutton (his future lover at the time) when Hutton worked as waiter at his house in 1980. But Hutton himself stated that he and Mercury met in a London nightclub a couple of years after this.
In a scene from the movie when Freddie is looking through the London phone book for Jim Hutton’s number, it shows the phone numbers as starting with ’01 7946 xxxx’. But back in the 70s and 80s, the format would’ve been 01 xxx xxxx (before it became 071/081 and then 0171/0181 before finally becoming 020 7/8).
John Didn’t Sing
Queen band member John Deacon opted out of the singing part of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. He actually never sang in any of Queen’s songs. John apparently suffered from depression, especially after Mercury’s death. Since then, he only performed three times. The first was at the 1992 tribute concert for Mercury.
A year later, he and Taylor played to raise funds for King Edward VII Hospital. In 1997, the surviving members of the band partnered with Elton John to perform “The Show Must Go On” at the opening of the Bejart Ballet in Paris. That same year, Deacon recorded “No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young),” and then he officially retired. He wasn’t present when the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Another One Bites the Dust
In the movie, there’s a scene when John Deacon plays the bass line for “Another One Bites the Dust” for the first time, he is seen playing a Sting Ray bass. This one is for guitar-heads: Deacon did really play this model at the time, but the movie shows a Sting Ray bass with a truss rod-adjustment wheel at the heel of the neck.
And this isn’t factually correct. In fact, the truss rod-adjustment wheel was introduced in 1990, which came all of ten years after the scene was supposed to be shot. So you can add that bit to the pile of factual mistakes the film made.
The Release of Bohemian Rhapsody
In the movie scene when the band was talking about a possible release of “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single, one of them points at a gold disc of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album. The disc shown has a logo of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), making it a gold disc for sales in the US.
But during the 1970s, Pink Floyd’s American releases were actually issued by Columbia Records. So even if it was correct to show a gold disc for UK sales, it wouldn’t have been the correct one, as Dark Side of the Moon was issued on the Harvest label, which was a subsidiary of EMI Records at the time.
Another Movie Spoof
After the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” was being recorded in the film, it shows one of the first live performances of the show with text listed as Edinburgh 1976. There are two things wrong with this scene. First off, the overall setting of the performance is incorrect since the band was seen in the era when News of the World from ‘1977’ was released, which is confirmed by the outfits that match that specific era.
The second error has to do with how Edinburgh 1976 was a real concert during the Summer Gigs Tour from 1976. It occurred a few months after the “A Night at the Opera” tour had finished in Australia and a full year before the News Of The World ever happened.
Too Long of a Song
Did you know that the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” was considered too long at the time? After the song was completed and ready for the world, there was immediate scrutiny. The single was considered too long, and it created a real problem.
EMI Records executives said since the song is 5:55 long, that it would never be a hit and no radio stations would play it. But the band was urged to shorten the track in order to appear on the radio. Queen stuck to their guns, though, and didn’t agree to cut the song. They had an all or nothing approach.
Thanks to DJ Kenny
The fact that the song made it to the radio was largely due to British DJ Kenny Everett, who was friends with Freddie. He had a popular morning radio show on Capital Radio. Against his orders not to play the song, he played it anyway.
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He played the full song on his show 14 times in just two days. And on the following Monday, everyone wanted to buy the single, but they couldn’t because the single hadn’t been released yet in record stores. Everett went on to say “Forget my words, this song could last for half an hour – and still would have been wonderful. It should be a masterpiece for the ages!”
In one scene of the film, Freddie coughs into his right elbow while walking. But if you want to get technical, this “vampire cough” (also referred to as the “vampire sneeze” or “Dracula sneeze”) technique where you cover your mouth with your elbow didn’t come into common knowledge and use until the early 2000s.
In the early 2000s, it was publicized by the Centers for Disease Control and Britain’s National Health Service during the Influenza A (H1N1) flu outbreak in an attempt to protect others from germ transmission while keeping your hands clean.
There are several moments in the movie where the characters like to reiterate their point of whatever it is they’re saying by ending their sentence with the word “period!” Although it works and makes their point heard, the truth of the matter is that saying “period!” at the end of a sentence is actually an Americanism.
In Britain, instead of saying “period”, people say “full stop”. So what British people say is “I’m not doing it, full stop”. In addition, people refers to drinks as a beverages! That’s another Americanism that doesn’t exist in England. And shows you who wrote the screenplay for the movie – an American.
An American Reception
Speaking of Americanism, when Bohemian Rhapsody (the song) was released, Americans weren’t as fond of the hit single as those in the UK. In the United States, the single was a success, but not as much as it was in the UK. The song reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America with one million copies sold.
Anthony DeCurtis from Rolling Stone explained why he thinks the song wasn’t as well received in the US charts. He said it’s “the quintessential example of the kind of thing that doesn’t exactly go over well in America.”
The Promotional Video
The single was supplemented with a promotional video, which ended up becoming one of the most famous music videos of all time. And even scholars consider the video ground-breaking. The clip was actually made for the intention of marketing – it was a promotional tool.
It was actually one of the first promotional videos ever recorded. After “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released as a single, the band was faced with a dilemma. In England at that time, it was common for bands to appear on shows like Top of the Pops to promote their latest songs. But Queen was scheduled to begin a tour soon.
A Pop Promo
Queen also admitted that they would feel self-conscious lip-syncing to the operatic section of the song. So they decided to shoot a promotional video, or “pop promo” which was the industry term. It would be shown on UK music shows and on other shows around the world, such as American Bandstand.
Though some artists did video clips, it was only after the success of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that it became popular practice for record companies to produce pop promos for single releases. The video was later voted the 4th greatest music video of all time by the British public for The 100 Greatest Pop Videos in 2005.
Only Four Hours
Amazingly, the video was recorded in only four hours at the cost of £4,500. It was directed by Bruce Gowers, who had directed a video of the band’s 1974 performance at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
While most videos add special effects after the fact, this video incorporated all of the special effects during the recording, rather than editing. The video was edited within five hours because it was due to be broadcast the same week in which it was taped.
Top of the Pops
The video was released to BBC as soon as it was completed and aired for the first time on Top of the Pops in November 1975. After sitting a few weeks at number one, the video was then edited. The most obvious difference between the two videos is the flames which were seen in the introduction as well as several alternate camera angles.
The video has been affirmed as launching the MTV age. Rolling Stone stated that the video’s influence “could not be overstated, practically inventing the music video seven years before MTV went on air.”
Wayne’s World Brought it Back to Life
Remember the famous scene in Wayne’s World where they were headbanging to the song in their car? In 1992, when the movie came out, the song’s popularity was renewed. The film’s director, Penelope Spheeris, was hesitant to use the song because it didn’t really fit with the lead characters.
But Mike Myers, who played Wayne, insisted that the song fit the scene for personal reasons. Mike Meyers grew up listening to Queen, and he would sing with his brother in their car, headbanging to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
They Wanted Guns n’ Roses
The producers of Wayne’s World actually wanted to use a Guns n’ Roses song instead, but Meyers said it’s not what he grew up on and insisted on Queen. He wanted it to be original and authentic. He ended up winning the battle, and they used the song in the infamous car scene.
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Funnily enough, Mike Meyers went full circle with his small role in the new film. He plays an EMI executive. He even has a line where he says the song would never be a one that people will love and bang their heads to in a car. A Very clever choice of casting and writing for those who are fans of Wayne’s World.
Did You Know?
Did you know that Brian May is an accomplished scholar? He studied astronomy and physics at the Imperial College in London. And another thing about Brian May: his guitar was called the Red Special and his father, who was an engineer, helped make it while Brian was still in high school.
The body of the guitar was made from an old mantelpiece that a friend of their family threw out while renovating his house. The whammy bar was made from parts of an old bicycle kickstand. Yes, it’s an interesting mix of materials that gave his guitar its tone and made it impossible to duplicate. His guitar’s sound became his signature, and it allowed him to create sound effects found on many of Queen’s songs, such as “Get Down, Make Love.”
Some Queen Trivia
Here are some fun facts: all 4 members of the group wrote at least one of their hits. Since they all wrote, it gave the band a very diverse sound. Another fact: Queen first toured the US as the opening band for Mott The Hoople in 1974. And in 1981, they did the soundtrack for the movie Flash Gordon, which was a huge flop.
All of the Queen members are very intelligent. In addition to Brian May’s degree in astronomy, Taylor has a degree in biology, Freddie had a degree in illustration, and Deacon had a degree in electronics. Brian May was named Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University in 2007. There’s also a statue in honor of Mercury at the University of London. He’s the first rock star to be honored in England with a statue.
A Record-Breaking Fan Club
The Official International Queen Fan Club was set up in 1973 after the band’s first album was released. At its peak, there were more than 20,000 members. It is certified by Guinness World Records as the longest running Rock group fan club.
Speaking of Guinness Book of World Records, if you want to know the history of the Irish stout becoming the authority on world records, check out our article here. And if you want to see which celebrities have world records, you can check out this article too. PUT LINKS HERE
Keeping the Legacy
As the band went from four to three and then to two, the remaining May and Taylor have kept the legacy. The two chose to continue representing Queen and still play together at various events. Deacon is no longer an active member of the group but he’s said to have given them his blessing and wish them all the success.
In 2005, May and Taylor took Queen on the road again with Paul Rodgers, who is best known for his work with Bad Company and Free.
Freddie’s voice is considered one of the greatest vocalists in popular music history, having a very distinct voice. Although his speaking voice was in the baritone range, his singing voice was that of a tenor. His recorded vocal range spanned nearly 4 octaves (falsetto included), with his lowest recorded note being the F below the bass clef.His highest note ever recorded was the D that lies nearly 4 octaves above.
Mercury also delivered technically difficult songs in a quite a powerful way. However, due to his vocal nodules (which he declined surgery for), he would often lower the highest notes in their concerts. Apparently, Freddie never even had any formal vocal training.
Hall of Fame
In 2004, a popular Japanese TV drama called Pride, featuring SMAP’s Kimura Takuya, about an Ice Hockey player, featured a soundtrack of mostly Queen songs. This brought the Queen Greatest Hits album to a record-breaking #1.
Queen was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2001. In 2003, they were the first band inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. They entered the UK Music Hall Of Fame in 2004, and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
More than The Beatles
Believe it or not, Queen has sold more albums than The Beatles from 1955-2005 in the UK. Queen’s Greatest Hits (5,407,587) has sold about 500,000 more copies than The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (4,811,996). They also sold almost 2 million more than Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (3,781,993).
The results are based on sales only and not fan voting or expert analysis. So if John Lennon once suggested, The Beatles were “More popular than Jesus,” what does that mean for Queen? We’ll let you be the judge.
In 1984, Queen performed in South Africa during the time of the Apartheid, which created a stir of controversy as most artists were boycotting the country because of the policy. But Queen’s concert did wonders and erased and ill-will that was felt and their performance at Live Aid a year later, where their set was one of their highlights.
Some other facts: when Mercury moved to England in 1959, he lived less than a football field distance from Brian May, but the two future band members and friends never met until 1970. Here’s another tid bit of trivia: Queen proudly declared that they never used synthesizers in their music until 1980.
A Study Was Done
Researchers from Austria, Czech Republic, and Sweden conducted a study and released in 2016 their conclusions, which said that Freddie Mercury had a rare and unique singing voice. The study stated that Mercury likely used subharmonics, in which the ventricular folds vibrate along with the vocal folds.
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To give you some perspective, most human vocal patterns never use the ventricular folds. Freddie’s vocal cords moved faster than other people’s. While a typical vibrato voice will fluctuate between 5.4 Hz and 6.9 Hz, Freddie’s was 7.04 Hz.
Another One Bites the Dust
“Another One Bites the Dust” is Queen’s second most famous song, and it’s one of the hardest of their songs to understand. The opening line reads, “Steve walks warily down the street, his brim pulled way down low. Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet, machine gun ready to go…”
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Bass player John Deacon wrote the song. All four members of Queen wrote songs, and each wrote at least one hit. Deacon also wrote their hit song “You’re My Best Friend.” Deacon played most of the instruments on the track as well: lead and rhythm guitars, bass, reversed piano and additional percussion.
Deacon’s writing of the song was influenced by the Chic song “Good Times,” and people started thinking that Chic stole Queen’s song. Chic bass player Bernard Edwards said: “Well, that Queen record came about because that bass player spent some time hanging out with us at our studio. But that’s OK. What isn’t OK is that the press started saying that we had ripped them off!”
“Can you believe that? ‘Good Times’ came out more than a year before, but it was inconceivable to these people that black musicians could possibly be innovative like that. It was just these dumb disco guys ripping off this rock ‘n’ roll song.”
Michael Jackson Talked Them into It
A roadie of Brian May’s suggested that “Another One Bites the Dust” be released as single. The band didn’t really want to but were finally talked into doing it when Michael Jackson, after a concert, suggested the same thing.
John Deacon claimed that Roger Taylor didn’t want the song’s drum beat. Taylor hated having tape put on his drums to deaden the sound. But he denied this, saying “I’d already had an ineffectual pop at that kind of music with ‘Fun It,’ on the Jazz album. I was never against ‘Another One Bites The Dust,’ but I was against releasing it as a single.”
Freddy Loved It
Freddie Mercury actually really loved the track. Brian May recalled: “Freddie sung until his throat bled on “Another One Bites The Dust.” He was so into it. He wanted to make that song something special.”
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In 1998, this was used in a commercial for AIWA sound systems. In the ad, a guy drives around with this blaring from his car stereo. At the end of the commercial, we realize he is driving a hearse. And after Michael Jackson suggested they make the song a single, they developed a friendship. It lead to a number of collaborations between the two but their songs were never released.
Making it in America
“Another One Bites the Dust” really made the band a bit hit in America, and it gained a huge following among the American disco audiences. Many fans and journalists were convinced that it was a black man singing.
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Roger Taylor jokes about the American misconception of the band in the documentary Days of our Lives about having fans shouting “you guys are bad!” in the street. So Taylor would say “does that mean good or what?”
“Killer Queen” was the third most famous and successful song of Queen’s. Freddie said about the meaning of the song: “It’s about a high-class call girl. I’m trying to say that classy people can be whores as well. That’s what the song is about, though I’d prefer people to put their interpretation upon it – to read into it what they like.”
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One line of the song is “Let them eat cake’ she says, just like Marie Antoinette” and it’s a historical reference. Marie Antoinette (the Queen of France) said “Let them eat cake” after hearing how peasants of the land had no bread to eat.
One of His Greatest
Brian May said in 2008 that “This is a perfect pop record and one of Freddie’s greatest songs. It’s beautifully constructed and it’s also got one of the solos I’m most proud of.” He went further on the Days of our Lives documentary.
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He went on to reiterate his point, by saying “Every slice of that record is pure pop perfection. Little things that visit once and come again, like the little bell in the second verse.” The song was covered by Sum 41 for the 2005 Queen tribute album Killer Queen.
A Fragrance Named After it
Katy Perry must have been a fan of the hit single as well and even named one of her fragrances after the killer tune. She said that the song’s lyrics really spoke to her when she was a teenager. “Killer Queen has been in my vocabulary since I was 15,” she said.
“Freddie Mercury painted the lyrics of this woman who I wanted to be. She seemed very powerful, and she captivated a room when she walked in.” And thus her perfume Killer Queen commemorates the song and what it meant to her.
That’s All Folks
Thanks for sticking around to the end. As you may guess, we are clearly fans of Freddie Mercury as well as Queen. Although it’s a tragedy that Mercury passed away too soon, their legend lives on and will live forever due to the sheer amount of fame and love the band receives around the world.
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As Freddie was quoted saying, “When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as a musician of some worth and substance.” And that is exactly how he is and will be remembered – as a musician of worth and substance.