It all started with the Olympic’s closing ceremony when during the musical revue the rock band, Queen, and their lead singer, Freddie Mercury, was showcased which raised a lot of curiosity as to who the heck this Freddie Mercury was. It began a journey into the life and times of a complex, contradicted man who doggedly strove to gain the adulation he craved while searching for someone who could fill his desperate need for love. The ultimate showman on stage, real life found him to be a shy, quiet man who generally spoke softly if not in whispers.
If the sources are to be believed, he, like so many gifted artists, lived a conflicted life. He himself admitted to having only two facets in his personality saying, “I have a soft side and a hard side with not a lot in between.”* But what started out as a quest to find out about Freddie Mercury soon transformed into an awareness of the three other members, John Deacon, Roger Taylor, and Brain May, of the band as well. They were smart, capable individuals who could sing the smoothest harmonies, play their unique brand of music, and just make magic. And, it seems, Queen was a true collaborative effort with the sum of their parts greater than one could expect. They took bits from all history and all genres of music melding them into a rock that never was and may never be again.
You can see precursors of future popular things like Bollywood, the air guitar, and Cirque de Soleil in their videos which seem as current today as they must have been forward in their time. In fact, it took a long time for the band to become popular but they never quit nor did they ever stop working hard to ensure that the product they saw in their heads was reflected by reality. It is uncanny how many riffs of their music is so deeply embedded into our society today. One thing won’t change, I will never hear “We Are The Champions” again without taking a moment to pay homage to Queen and Freddie. Freddie Mercury died in 1991 and another one bites the dust.
* This quote is from Lesley Ann Jones biography, Freddie Mercury, which is currently being updated for re-release.