I’m quite happy that a few events coming up in my diary will give me the chance to talk about HIV/AIDS awareness. I will definitely be at the Dresden HOPE Gala next month and there are a few meetings happening over the next weeks in CZ.
Mark asked if Freddie and Montserrat were in close contact after 1988.
They were in contact occasionally, but not like calling once a month regularly. Freddie was very spontaneous and would often surprise us in Garden Lodge when he asked us to ring someone we hadn’t heard from in a while. There were quite a few friends round the world that he did keep in touch with. For Freddie, once you were a friend, you were always in his mind, whether there were constant calls or not, and these friends realised that.
Izac wanted to know if Freddie disliked dogs.
Freddie didn’t particularly like or dislike dogs. He wouldn’t go out of his way to avoid them and he had many friends who had dogs at home. He would play with them and stroke them if they came to him when he was visiting. He just loved cats. He felt that cats were much more independent than dogs and he was very happy that his felines had chosen him to be their master.
Dominique asked who cut Freddie’s shirt before a show.
It wasn’t Freddie who did this. Generally, on the last tour Freddie’s shirts would have been cut by Joe Fanelli who was looking after him at that particular time.
Neda asked about Freddie’s diagnosis with HIV/AIDS.
Freddie received confirmation of the diagnosis after a biopsy was taken from a dark blue/purple lesion on the back of his hand. This was diagnosed as Kaposi’s sarcoma which was, and still is, closely associated with AIDS. Once that was found they tested his blood and found the HIV virus.
Liz asked what were Freddie’s thoughts regarding stage costumes.
There were an assortment of costumes ready for each show. Freddie would just say which ones he wanted during sound check so that they could be finished off and be ready for the show. The basic rule of thumb was; the bigger the venue – the lighter the colour of the costume. Freddie loved the big stages as he then would spend a lot of time wearing white. These clothes caught the light and made him visible to most of the audience. Usually, if it was a smaller venue, he would opt for black. I will include Jake’s answer here too, I don’t know where he got the Betty Boop t shirt from, and I have no idea where it is now, sorry.
Brandon wanted to know what happened to Freddie’s cats after he died.
I know I have answered this before, but many people have written in, concerned about what happened. Shortly after Freddie died Oscar felt he needed more space and found a new home close by. I think Oscar had had enough of newcomers, he was the oldest cat and others kept arriving onto his territory. I believe Delilah and Goliath stayed along with Miko at Garden Lodge and Romeo and Lily were found new homes. I did see Delilah on my last visit to Garden Lodge nearly 10 years ago. She was very old and frail then, so I would be very surprised if any were still alive.
Matt asked about Freddie’s reaction to completing a song.
Many times it was like a weight dropping from his shoulders. Freddie found composing the music came to him fairly easily. He would usually play around with chord progressions and start writing a tune from there. Writing the lyrics was where he found he had to work much harder, and often would struggle over just a few words. There were times, like the finishing of the Barcelona track, where he would cheer and shake his fists in the air.
Daniele asked if Freddie ever holidayed in Italy.
No, Freddie only went to Italy to do the shows in Milan and to San Remo. He didn’t dislike Italy, it was just that he had so many other things to do, with touring, recording and making videos. There were other countries he would have liked to visit but never could make the time.
Matthew wanted to know what Freddie would have thought of twitter and facebook.
I don’t think he would have been too impressed with them and I certainly don’t think he would have actually used them personally. When Freddie died the computer age existed, but was very much in its infancy, so there was no thought of social networking sites. I think he would be horrified at the fact that he could be out shopping, someone could take a photo with a mobile phone and the photo would be available round the world within seconds for everybody to look at.
Marco asked if Freddie ever spoke with Mary’s husband.
No, Freddie never met the man Mary married. He was on very good terms with Mary’s partners while he was alive and got on well with the father of her children. Mary got married after Freddie had left us.
I would like to thank Christopher and all the others who have written in thanking me for this blog and for all the support I have received from so many of you. Make sure you have a good time and enjoy yourselves till the next blog.
23 Sep 2014 by Phoebe Freestone