I can’t believe that I have responded to about 800 questions so far. I know I never dreamed there would be so many, and that still leaves so many unanswered. I’m sorry if many of you are still waiting for a reply, but thank you for your patience, there are still far more than 800 waiting.
Raisa asked if Freddie kept in touch with any other relatives other than his mother, father and Kashmira.
Thinking back over the years, I never saw any other relatives other than those mentioned. Maybe there were some who he met when he visited his mother, but he rarely mentioned anything about the time he spent there. While I was at Garden Lodge, we never had to prepare meals or rooms for any relatives. I remember the time Freddie invited his parents to dinner there; Joe prepared the dinner and had to stay in the kitchen, while Jim and myself had to leave the house for the evening. Freddie did everything he could to keep his family life separate from his private and musical life.
Donna asked about Freddie’s eating habits.
As I have said before, Freddie was a very light eater. Some of us live to eat, but Freddie was one of those people who ate to live. He was the master of moving food around the plate to give the appearance of having eaten a good amount. He did enjoy good food, but really didn’t need to consume very much. He loved entertaining guests at meals in the dining room at Garden Lodge and was able to disguise his non-eating by making sure everyone else was ok during the meal. Don’t get me wrong, Freddie always ate enough to keep him going, but I can’t remember one time when he leant back in the chair saying ‘I’m stuffed!’
Ray wondered if I thought Freddie was attractive.
I’m sure you all know the old saying… beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is beautiful to one person is ugly to another. I was lucky enough to spend 12 years in Freddie’s company, so was able to learn about the person inside the skin. Freddie hated his teeth, he wished he was a few centimetres taller, he would have liked a more defined body, he loathed his double crown, all these things were on the outside. As a friend, Freddie was the warmest, most loving person you could ever wish to meet and I’m sure you could ask anybody who knew him through work or his social life and they would agree with me. I saw the things Freddie listed as his drawbacks, but his personality shone past anything physical, so to answer the question, yes, I think Freddie was beautiful.
Rachel asked for one ‘crazy’ memory of Freddie.
I suppose one of the craziest memories was one night Freddie and I were in New York and went out to meet some friends at a big disco, including our good friend David Hodo, the construction worker from The Village People. At one point there were about four of us drinking at the bar, Freddie, David, another friend and I. Freddie was in a very excitable mood, maybe a little more than usual, but I knew he was safe with them so I excused myself and went to the toilet. When I came back no-one was at the bar where I had left them. I could hear a bit of commotion coming from round the corner, so I turned to go and see what was happening. As I turned, David came to me and said I had better come and see what was going on. On rounding the corner I saw Freddie jumping up and down in a wire cage, used as a big bin for empty beer and drinks cans, shouting ‘ I’m white trash, I’m white trash’ at the top of his voice, with a huge grin plastered over his face. David and I got Freddie out of the bin and got him into a corner to quieten him down a bit and came to the conclusion that someone had spiked his drink while we weren’t paying attention. Luckily Freddie came to no harm.
Jackie wondered about my things at Garden Lodge.
When I left Garden Lodge in February 1992 I left behind a suitcase of belongings in the loft. When I asked for them a while later I was told it wasn’t there and then later Mary said that she hadn’t got as far as looking through the loft. Now, I have come to learn that memories are far more important than physical things. Of course, the things are a great help to bring the memories alive, but it really is the memories that last forever. I was in Garden Lodge for a visit some years ago and I spent some happy hours talking with Mary, re-living the past and talking about the present. I could have asked again at that time, but in the end, I thought… what does it really matter.
Denise asked what Freddie might think about the video created of Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and himself for State of Shock.
In truth, I didn’t even know something like that even existed, so find it hard to comment on it. I would say, I don’t know exactly what Freddie would think, but knowing his need to have his input into what was filmed and how he could best appear, he wouldn’t be too happy having someone else do everything.
Rebecca asked which Freddie’s favourite restaurants in London were.
Over the years Freddie had many favourite restaurants and would spend many happy hours in them with friends. They include; Country Cousins, Septembers, Meridiana, La Famiglia, Shezan’s, Joe Allen’s, Orso, Pontevecchio, La Caprice, Richoux. This is just some of them; the list could go on for ever. My apologies if I have left any out. Freddie’s regular treat at Richoux was their Welsh Rarebit. Freddie did like his cheese on toast done with a touch of luxury. It is a shame most of them don’t exist anymore.
Samantha wanted to know if there were any songs Freddie regretted he never performed live.
I can’t remember ever hearing Freddie saying he was sad he couldn’t perform any particular song. During the course of so many tours, I’m sure if there was any special song he wanted to sing, it could have been worked in somewhere, even as part of a medley. Don’t forget, each of the band members had input as to the set-list for each tour, and the end result was what their combined wishes were.
Michael asked what the secrets of Freddie’s success were.
I think you guys would probably be able to answer this one better than me, but here goes. Personally, I think being in the right place at the right time helps. On top of that, being an incredibly talented musician, with a great spark of individuality and an ability to get his message across helped. He had the strength of will to achieve his dream, an extraordinary imagination that he was able to channel into his artistic endeavours, and the capacity to write some songs that can withstand the passing of time. Freddie wasn’t afraid to take on the world if he believed in something, Barcelona for example. The list goes on……
Viki asked if Freddie was funny or quiet.
Freddie could be both. There were times when he would wander around the garden on his own, or with a couple of his cats, but he could also be the life and soul of the party. Freddie had a wonderful dry humour and there were many evenings/nights in Garden Lodge where the laughter would carry on until 4 or 5 in the morning.
2014 is drawing to a close and there will be 2,300 lucky fans spending the New Year in the company of Brian, Roger, Adam and the rest. We do have the opportunity to watch the celebrations from afar, which is great. What ever all of you will be getting up to, ENJOY yourselves doing what you feel is right for you. Freddie always celebrated the New Year by being thankful for the year he had and looking forward to what the next one would bring. You never know what is around the corner!