We finally had a very light dusting of snow last night. I’m getting a bit worried as to what nature has in store for us here, as by now generally there is about ½ a metre settled in the garden that would stay till March/April. I hope it won’t make up for it later and we have winter through till June!
Marco asked if people could tell Freddie was ill at the 1990 Brit Awards.
I think that everyone must have thought something about Freddie’s health at that point. There were no photos from that event where Freddie looked anything like his former healthy self. The rumour mill really started about this time and many in the press assumed that Freddie was infected with HIV/AIDS, even though there was no confirmation of that fact. It almost became an accusation rather than a fact, where the press could have another go at Freddie.
Mickey, amongst many of you, wanted to know when Freddie last put down vocals on Mother Love.
On the studio records it states that the last time Freddie recorded anything was in May/June 1991. It is also a fact that he went into the studio a couple of times more during his stays in Montreux up until November 1991. Whether he did any vocals or just sat and talked with David Richards, I don’t know, as I was in London for the duration of Freddie’s last visit there.
Allikka asked about the arguments within the band.
Just like marriages or top management in companies, nothing is perfectly smooth running non-stop for 20 years! Even the best of friends argue sometimes. I think it was because they were so secure in their friendship and working relationships that they were able to put forward their own thoughts and be prepared to stand by them, no matter what the others may think. Freddie would, on occasion, come home from the studio saying he couldn’t believe what had just happened in the studio, when one of the others couldn’t get to grips with what he wanted. Often he would say, never again, but like all of us, never again lasted until the next day when he went fresh into the studio again to work things out.
Anna asked how Freddie started his day.
The one thing that was essential was his cup of tea. Whether we were at home or on tour that was an absolute must every morning. As most of you know, Freddie’s favourite was Earl Grey tea with a little milk and two sugars. On the odd occasion Earl Grey might not be available at a hotel, so normal Breakfast blend was drunk. At home a cup of tea was at his bedside at 9 am each day no matter what time he went to bed. He would then come downstairs for a light breakfast, normally a couple of slices of toast with home-made strawberry jam or marmalade. Again, sometimes he might want some of his mother’s recipe scrambled egg and bacon, but not very often.
Kiril wanted to know how Freddie prepared for the Wembley shows in July 1986.
For Freddie, these shows were not particularly different to any others on the tour. Yes, it was two nights at Wembley Stadium, which was something that was very special and he respected, but they were shows where he would do the best he was able to do for the fans that would be there, like all the shows he did. He made no special preparations for them; in fact, he spent most of the days entertaining his friends from New York who he had flown over to attend the shows. Of course they were Queen history in the making, but for Freddie, his performance was for the fans as much as it was for himself.
Destiny asked if Freddie had moved to New York or Germany or anywhere else permanently, would I have gone with him.
I think the easy answer to that one is YES. Not only was it a job, it was also looking after a friend. We had got to know each other and had built up a great deal of trust and I also knew the more vulnerable side of Freddie and wanted to be there to protect him. He was the biggest part of my life for the 12 years I worked for him. I had friends outside of Queen, but Freddie was the greatest of them.
Ian asked about the piece of the song New York New York used in the film Highlander.
As far as I know there is not much more of the song recorded than what you hear on the soundtrack of the film. I agree it would be great to hear a Queen version of this classic, but I’m afraid we won’t be hearing it any time.
Georgia asked what Freddie’s favourite thing to do when he wasn’t with the band was.
Freddie loved spending time with his friends, whether it was going to the theatre, out to dinner or going to bars. Freddie also loved going round his favourite shops looking for crystal or antique furniture and browsing through the auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
Felipe wanted to know why Queen still included songs like Tutti Frutti and Big Spender in their set list until their show in Knebworth.
I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was really a reference to the shows they had done early on in their performing career. These were songs that some of the fans who were present in the early years would remember and could still enjoy in 1986.
Candice asked what happened to Freddie’s yellow jacket from the Wembley shows.
Jim Hutton had it for a number of years and then he put it into an auction a few years ago where it was sold to a fan. It has been seen a few times at various displays when the fan has lent it out for others to see it up close.
I have a few meetings coming up over the next week or so, could be some good news soon. Have a great time till the next one!
29 Jan 2014 by Phoebe Freestone