I’ve just got back from Montreux, where I had the chance to see the Exhibition for the second time, both times with different fans, and was able to discover something that I didn’t see the first time. It is deceptive, I felt I’d seen everything, then found a couple of things I hadn’t come across the first time. Definitely worth a visit!
Eric asked if Freddie liked Rocky Horror.
Yes, he did. He enjoyed the stage show which he saw very early on during its run in Chelsea. It helped that he knew so many or the performers and also of course, the creator, Richard O’Brien. Tim Curry was also a good friend.
Robert, amongst quite a few of you, asked if Mr. Bad Guy will get the same treatment as Barcelona.
I really don’t have any idea. I have heard nothing about any sort of re-release of Mr. Bad Guy. I think that is something to be asked of the record company.
Ian, again with others, wanted to know if the drug AZT helped or hindered Freddie in his treatment of his HIV/AIDS condition.
I am not a medically trained person, and like most of us, had to accept what Freddie’s doctors prescribed. At the time, AZT was the only medication that had any effect on the disease. Slowly, over the years, different treatments became available, as more and more research was done. I have also seen these various reports on the internet that AZT killed many patients, but I am not convinced about that.
Katarina asked what Freddie would have thought about someone being cast as Freddie in the forth coming film.
I think he would have had great fun at the auditions. In all seriousness, Freddie involved himself from the very beginning in all the video projects of Queen and himself, so why would this be different. He would look further than what was seen on the surface, and try to figure out what the actor was capable of and see if they could get under the skin of the character. Sometimes we can be very pleasantly surprised by what an actor can come up with. As for Freddie accepting friends on facebook; I don’t think that would have happened. He had such a great time with his physical friends, I don’t think he would have found a need to have virtual ones.
Audrey asked about A Winter’s Tale.
Audrey mentions that in Mercury and Me, Jim says that Freddie created this song in 1990. I think what has happened is, like can happen often, a slip up happened between the writing and printing and the date was changed. Freddie worked on the song in early 1991 and, yes, it is accepted as the last song Freddie wrote and composed. The same has happened in my book when the date under a photo originally said 1991, but in print it is 1981.
Peter wanted to know if Freddie liked being filmed or photographed when ‘off duty’.
Again, like many of us, Freddie wasn’t a great fan of random shots, particularly when he was outside Garden Lodge. When he was with friends, there was usually no problem, but I do know he wasn’t very happy when someone was walking around Freddie’s friends during that Christmas time which have surfaced on the internet. Being a performer, he was very particular how he looked, even when friends would come over to visit, so generally there aren’t many photos in existence with Freddie looking dishevelled and untidy.
Another Peter asked what Freddie would have thought about Brian and Roger working on material that was not thought to be good enough for an album at the time.
I think Freddie would think of the hard work ahead of both Brian and Roger and wish them well. Generally they would have stopped work on a track because the ideas ran out or that thoughts went in a different direction after a song was started. Like most musicians, when Queen were in the studio, everything that was performed in the studio was recorded, whether it was for a take or not. There must be miles (kilometres) of tape waiting to be heard with quite a few gems there. There is also an army of Queen fans who would love to hear something new, and the only way for that to happen is for Brian and Roger to go through it and pick out things that have potential.
Shekar asked if Freddie returned to India after he left school.
To my knowledge, Freddie never returned to India, either on a private visit and certainly never on tour. His childhood, while never a banned subject, was never discussed at home in Garden Lodge. All of his friends knew that it was not a topic to be brought into any conversation. It was due to our similar up-bringing, a boarding school in India, that I understood Freddie so well, but again, I knew he didn’t want to talk about that time.
Becky wanted to know why Queen sold the studio in 1993 and not keep it in memory of Freddie.
Like all things in life, Queen felt they had got all they could out of the studio and, while they were not sure of their future, thought it would be better for David Richards to have it and make good use of it. When they got down to creating the album Made In Heaven, they went back there. I think things have now come full circle now with The Studio Experience Exhibition finding a permanent home there. Many fans have said that they can feel Freddie in Montreux and particularly now when they can stand on the very spot Freddie stood while recording his last vocals for the song Mother Love.
Shiran asked quite a few questions, one about what cologne Freddie used.
I’m sure I have talked about this before, but he goes. The most popular colognes in his bathroom were Armani by Giorgio Armani and L’Eau Dynamisante by Clarins. Also there was always a bottle of a ladies perfume; something not made anymore, called L’Interdit, by Givenchy. It was created for Audrey Hepburn and Freddie loved the smell. And, no, Freddie never went round the house singing Queen songs.
I hope you all have a good time until the next one. Have fun!