I hope everyone has had a good week. Grass is getting greener, always a good sign that spring is thinking about springing.
Michael is one of many who have asked what Freddie would have thought about Brian and Roger touring with other singers.
When it gets down to it, I know that Freddie didn’t want the others to stop and finish the band when he died. If he had wanted that he never would have done all the work he did for the Made in Heaven album. He had no idea that John would retire, but he knew that Queen was a performing band and would have been touring if his health had not stopped him. It is surely up to the band if they want to tour and to choose someone they can work with and who can sing the songs. Personally I am happy that I can see and hear Brian and Roger on stage on the occasions that they perform.
Alfredo and quite a few others asked about the Michael Jackson duets and Freddie’s relationship with Michael.
Freddie and Michael worked on three tracks at Michael’s studio in his house in Encino. The 3 tracks were – State of Shock, which Michael had basically completed and Freddie added some vocals, There Must Be More To Life Than This, which Freddie had started work on and a brand new track, Victory, which they worked on for some hours. There was a 5 minute bass drum track, which I proudly produced by slamming a toilet door for the required five minutes, and some vocals. These are now in the hands of Queen Productions and you have heard that Roger is doing some work with them. When they will surface as completed tracks, I cannot tell you. Their relationship was really as professional friends. They were never really close, but both had great admiration of the other. The tracks were never completed because neither of them had free time to spend on the music at the same time, and it really needed both of them together to complete everything. There was no big acrimonious split because of drugs or for any other reason.
Mark asked about Freddie’s waistcoat in the video for Days of Our Lives.
This was made for Freddie as a Christmas present in 1990. Donald Mackenzie, Joe Fanelli’s partner at the time, was also a good friend of Freddie’s, organized a series of photographs of all of Freddie’s cats in the house at the time and had someone make up the waistcoat with hand painted pictures of the cats on it. As you can imagine Freddie was over the moon with this gift. Donald was also the recipient of one of Freddie’s last purchases from Phillip’s, the auction house in Knightsbridge. Freddie and I were there looking at items in a crystal sale that Freddie was interested in. He found a piece amongst all the others and I remember him telling me… I don’t care if you don’t? manage to get the other things, but you must get this! I did get it, and the first time Freddie saw Donald, he gave him his gift.
Tammy wanted to know a few things about the Living On My Own video.
You are correct, the bulk of the video was filmed at the Black and White Birthday Party in Munich at the Mrs. Henderson Bar. The rest was filmed the following day after the place had been cleaned up from the party. No, it wasn’t Mick Rock in the video and yes, I was there, dressed in a costume. I have seen some footage and photos of me; thankfully they weren’t used in the official video.
Robert asked if Freddie ever went anywhere on his own.
Not in the time I knew Freddie. We once tried an experiment. Freddie was to walk on his own from Garden Lodge to Mary’s flat which was a ten minute walk away. Terry, his security/driver would follow discreetly some metres behind. Freddie couldn’t even get to the end of Logan Place before somebody approached him. Freddie hated being alone unless he specifically wanted time to think on his own, so always had friends with him wherever he went, whether it was shopping, to the theatre or a restaurant. Really the only place he was alone was in the bathroom, and not always there, as seen in one of the videos on youtube, and by the carp pond in the Garden at Garden Lodge.
Tania asked about Freddie’s name change.
The first official document about Freddie, his birth certificate names him as Faurokh Bulsara and it was during his school days in India he adopted the name Freddie. After Queen had come into being, Freddie wanted to change his surname into something worthy of a rock star and took the name Mercury. I assumed he had his name changed by deed poll, but recently I have heard that there are actually no official records to substantiate this. However you can adopt any mane you want and use it legally in the UK without making it through official channels. I do know the name in his passport was Frederick Mercury and the name on his death certificate was the same.
Fernando wanted to know what the source of Freddie’s power was over audiences.
I really can’t answer that one. A few people have it, most people don’t. There was just something almost magical about Freddie that came from him when he was on a stage. The adrenalin would be pumping and he would respond to the audience. It didn’t matter if he was tired; when he heard the roar of the crowd he would truly come alive. If the audience gave him an ovation he would then multiply what he had to give back to them.
Carmen asked if Freddie ever returned to Zanzibar.
As far as I know Freddie never returned to Zanzibar after the whole family left at the start of the revolution there. The same goes for India; he never mentioned to me that he had returned. As I have said before, he very rarely talked about his childhood; I’m not saying he didn’t like it, but as far as he was concerned it had nothing to do with the musician he was and the life he was living in the 80s.
Christina wanted to know about Freddie’s ‘Hawaiian’ shirts.
I believe Freddie did visit Hawaii before I joined him in 1979. As to whether his liking of Hawaiian style shirts followed from then, I am not sure. What I do know is that Freddie loved the bright colours that are to be found on these shirts, and that is the main reason he used to wear them through to the end of his life.
Maira asked if Freddie had any tattoos.
No, he never had any of his own, but he was fascinated by some on other people. He didn’t like the small basic ones, but was intrigued by the artwork involved in the more complicated ones.
Quite a few of you have asked if there is something I find annoying about fans. The answer is not much. Maybe one thing….. when someone claims to the biggest fan in the world of FREDDY Mercury. If you are such a big fan; please spell his name the way he wanted it spelt. Have a great week :)