Last Monday brought back to me the value of real friends. I was away from home, but with people I love and, while remembering the day, we were also able to smile and celebrate Freddie’s life. I learnt about friendship from Freddie, who truly knew the importance of having people close to you that you can trust and be yourself with. I know I am incredibly lucky to be able to say I have good friends in many countries around the world. Thanks!
Dennis asked a question that has arisen a few times over the years; when was the last time Freddie was filmed.
Contrary to rumours, the last film of Freddie took place during the filming of Days of Our Lives. I have heard, along with quite a few others, that Freddie was filmed at the Duck House after the video was shot. As far as I know this never happened, and if you think logically, why Freddie would rent the Duck House again when he had a perfectly wonderful apartment that he owned. I don’t see Freddie going backwards to re-live the past, when he enjoyed what he had.
Ioana wanted to know what Freddie thought about Marilyn Monroe.
Freddie admired Marilyn as the icon she was, and felt that she was used by the studios who didn’t fully understand everything she had to offer. One of Freddie’s favourite films was Some Like It Hot, where Marilyn is very effective in her role. He was very happy when Diana Moseley turned up with the Marilyn t-shirt for the tour.
Mariana asked about Freddie’s love and respect for his parents.
Freddie went out of his way to keep his family life and work life as separate as possible. His parents were religious and followed their faith which would not tolerate his lifestyle, so Freddie felt no need to make them aware of it, so not giving them a burden to carry during their lives. As for his illness, Freddie wanted as few people as necessary knowing about it, and again didn’t want his parents to face his passing before they had to know, and was able to spend happy times together before they knew the end was coming.
Sylvia wanted to know about Freddie’s cats.
During Freddie’s life that I am aware of he was the father of 10 cats. At the start, while he was living with Mary, there were Tom and Jerry. During his life at Stafford Terrace he acquired Oscar and Mary bought him his only thoroughbred, Tiffany. During his relationship with Jim, Freddie adopted Delilah, Goliath, Miko, Romeo and Lily. Dorothy was with Jim and Freddie during their time in Munich. Mary inherited the 6 cats at Garden Lodge. Oscar left home on his own fairly soon after Freddie passed, and good homes were found for Romeo and Lily. The other three lived out their lives in Garden Lodge.
Stefan asked about my thoughts on Freddie and Barcelona.
I do believe that Freddie was more proud of Barcelona than of any other musical work he did. He was really stretched creating the music and the words, working far outside his comfort zone and without the security of his band mates in the studio. He was also working with what he considered the best voice in the world, and was continually afraid he wouldn’t live up to Montserrat’s expectation. On her side she absolutely loved Freddie and everything he created for her and really gave everything she had to please Freddie.
Sinead wanted to know which grade Freddie achieved in his piano exams.
I believe he reached grade 4 with his lessons at school in India. He was naturally talented in that direction and used the solid base these lessons gave him to create his style of playing and composing. Watching him play on videos on youtube and everywhere I do notice that if he played like he did in front of my teacher he would have got a ruler across his knuckles for having his wrists so low!
Carlo asked about Freddie’s voices.
The plural is intentional as Freddie had 2 distinct vocal phases. You have the earlier, crystal clear, lighter voice with more falsetto, and the voice from some of the later tracks from the Game album onwards, where the voice gets, using Carlo’s words, strong and dirty. I think Freddie’s voice changed for a few reasons, mainly cigarettes and that he wanted to try out new styles. Queen’s music changed over the years and Freddie felt that the voice needed to change along with the music. As a singer he wasn’t scared of tying something different and used quite a lot of falsetto again during Hot Space and also when working on the tracks for Barcelona when Montserrat wasn’t there. Also as mentioned in the original question, Freddie moved away from all the glitter in his costumes from the 70’s and wore more ‘macho’ outfits, so used the more macho voice to go with them.
Diia asked what the hardest aspect of Freddie for me to deal with was.
This is very hard to answer. Freddie’s fame was easy to deal with, he deserved it and I had been around famous people for 5 years before I met Freddie. He was not an ‘angry’ person as such. Unless he had orchestrated a conflict situation, he generally avoided confrontations. I really can’t find anything to say. Once I got to know Freddie, I learnt to anticipate his requests or needs, and it was always nice when he did something unexpected. I suppose his timetable for going out… the same place at the same time every week, got a little tedious, but generally we always had a good time.
Adam asked how Freddie was able to sing the last recorded songs so well.
Basically I think it was his will power. Freddie knew, better than anyone else what his vocal state was for each take of each song. One of Freddie’s favourite sayings was ‘you are only as good as your last show/album/recording’. That is the one the public will remember. By that reasoning he felt he had to give his very best right to the last note, and by the end of his part of Mother Love, all his reseves had run dry.
Marco asked why Queen stopped recording with Mack.
Bands rarely stay with one producer for a long time, and they felt they wanted to go in a different direction after A Kind Of Magic. They had worked together for a number of years and I think they all felt that the time was right to go their separate ways. Freddie still remained friends with Mack afterwards and saw him every now and then.
Wishing you all the best until the next time. Enjoy yourselves!