Last days of Queen singer Freddie Mercury reconstructed in podcast

November 24, 2021 will mark the 30th anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death. The last days of the singer of the legendary group Queen are reconstructed in the NPO Radio 5/AVROTROS podcast The last days of….

The Life of Freddie Mercury

In The last days of… The last days of famous pop icons are mapped out. The makers already do that in season 1 with former Beatle John Lennon and in season 2 it is all about Freddie Mercury. Based on the well-known stories and the knowledge of experts, it is not only reconstructed what his last days were like, but there is also room for stories about his flamboyant personality, his wild life and about his role in the band Queen. The first episodes of this 6-part series are now online.

From Zanzibar to London

Freddie Mercury was born in 1946 in Zanzibar, an autonomous part of the African country of Tanzania. After trips to India, the family left for the United Kingdom in 1964. In that year a revolution takes place in Zanzibar, making it not safe to stay there any longer. They settle in a London suburb. It soon becomes clear that Freddie (Farrokh Bulsara is his birth name) has a lot of creative talent and in the late 1960s he graduates as a graphic designer.

Smile to Queen

Freddie is also very musical. He can sing very well and has a wide vocal range. The world first becomes acquainted with this when he joins the band Smile, which already includes later Queen members Brain May and Roger Taylor. Their lead singer has resigned and Mercury is taking his place. Not much later, the band is renamed Queen.

See also  Baby SURPRISE for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel: the couple welcome their second child

Road to success

In the first few years it was quite okay. Although Smile has already had some success, the money is not exactly splashing against the plinths and Queen has no record contract yet. Sometimes there is not even money for new guitar strings or drumsticks, which are essential goods for anyone who plays in a band.

Also read: Queen, one of the greatest rock bands of all time performs for the first time

On Bohemian Rhapsody

Their first album, an untitled 1973 album, does not immediately change that. It doesn’t sell very well and it doesn’t really bring the band much international fame. It wasn’t until 1975 that things really got going with the band around Mercury. On their 4th studio album Night At The Opera is the number Bohemian Rhapsody, which will be their first big hit. The song is initially wiped off the table by the record company. Much too long and complicated, they think. However, the band stands firm and the rest is history.

After this things go quickly with Queen. The band members work very hard, they are invited to all important parties and the potential new friends are just waiting for the door. That is not only fun, but also difficult at times. Mercury is quite shy by nature, but on stage and at parties he takes center stage; perhaps against will and thanks. And then there’s the relentless flow of questions about his orientation. Questions that he himself never really answered.

The 80’s

The early 80’s was a difficult time for Mercury and the rest of the band. Mercury wants to go more electronically, while Taylor and May especially want to stick to the familiar Queen sound. This musical difference of opinion not only creates tensions professionally, but also in personal life. Who the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody knows that Mercury’s assistant Paul Prenter reportedly spoiled the atmosphere. Of course, the story in the film is not completely told, but Prenter does have a really bad influence on the singer. Mercury eventually sees this himself, after which Prenter makes all kinds of statements in the media about Mercury’s private life. For example, he tells that the singer is indeed gay and that 2 of his former bed partners have died of AIDS.

See also  The Pokémon community complains about the Pokédex and propose changes to it - Nintenderos

Last years

After Mercury puts Prenter aside, Queen finds her way back to success. In fact, the band became one of the hottest acts of the 1980s after performing at the legendary Live Aid charity concert in 1985.
Unfortunately, the newfound success is not for eternity. Mercury discovers in the second half of the eighties that he carries the HIV virus, the cause of AIDS. He died of the consequences of this last illness on November 24, 1991, only 45 years old. With his death, Queen also comes to an end, although May and Taylor have been performing under this name again in recent years.

Although AIDS is almost equivalent to a death sentence at the time it is diagnosed with Mercury, the singer has no intention of letting it go. For example, he only tells a select number of people and even the members of Queen and for a while do not know that he is so ill. His fans only find out 1 day before his death, when he announces it via a newspaper report. Queen still makes a lot of new work in the late 80s, and even in his death year they still come up with a new record: Innuendo. Also on this album is the song The Show Must Go On. This has undoubtedly also been the life motto of Mercury himself.

(Bron: The Mirror, The Sun, NME, NPO Radio 5)