Freddie Mercury

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I like people to go away from a Queen show feeling fully entertained, having had a good time.

Freddie Mercury (5 September 194624 November 1991), born Farrokh Bulsara, was a British musician, most famous as the lead singer of the rock band Queen. He died of bronchopneumonia induced by HIV (AIDS), only a day after going public with an announcement of his illness.

See also: Queen

Sourced[edit]

I think Queen songs are pure escapism, like going to see a good film.
I'm possessed by love — but isn't everybody?
You can have everything in the world and still be the loneliest man.
  • It all began with the three wise men, followed a star took them to Bethelehem, and made it heard throughout the land - born was the leader of man. All going down to see the Lord Jesus.
    • Written by Freddie Mercury in 1973.
  • We’re confident people will take to us, because although the camp image has already been established by people like Bowie and Bolan we are taking it to another level. The concept of Queen is to be regal and majestic. Glamour is part of us and we want to be dandy. We want to shock and be outrageous instantly.
  • I hate pockets in trousers … By the way, I do not wear a hose. My hose is my own. No coke bottle, nothing stuffed down there.
  • Liza, in terms of sheer talent, just oozes with it. She has sheer energy and stamina, which she gets across the stage, and the way she delivers herself to the public is a good influence. There is a lot to learn from her
    • As quoted in "Queen's Freddie Mercury Shopping For An Image In London" by Scott Cohen in Circus Magazine (April 1975)
  • Led Zeppelin is the greatest. Robert Plant is one of the most original vocalists of our time. As a rock band they deserve the kind of success they're getting.
    • As quoted in "Queen's Freddie Mercury Shopping For An Image In London" by Scott Cohen in Circus Magazine (April 1975)
  • I just like having fun. It's a very good release, rock music, but you know you say that I am a different person on stage and that same thing could be said of anyone going out to do his job. It's my work, and I'm very serious about it, getting it right - when we began, we approached it the way we did because we were not prepared to be out-of-work musicians, ever. We said either take it on as a serious commodity or don't do it at all.
  • I like people to go away from a Queen show feeling fully entertained, having had a good time. I think Queen songs are pure escapism, like going to see a good film - after that, they can go away and say that was great, and go back to their problems. I don't want to change the world with our music. There are no hidden messages in our songs, except for some of Brian's.
    • "The Man Who Would Be Queen" in Melody Maker (2 May 1981)
  • Listen, if you guys wanna move around and shift your asses a little... It's okay by us. You can take all your clothes off if you like, too. It doesn't matter... Fuck off! [laughs]
    • During a concert in Montreal, Canada, (24 or 25 November 1981), first released as videotape We Will Rock You (1984), and later on DVD as Queen Rock Montreal (2007)
  • Hello everybody! Hey hey hey! Okay! You know it's not very often we do shows in the daytime and I fucking wish we'd done before, I can see you all now. And we've got some beauties here tonight, I can tell you!
  • I'm possessed by love — but isn't everybody? Most of my songs are love ballads and things to do with sadness and torture and pain.
    In terms of love, you're not in control and I hate that feeling. I seem to write a lot of sad songs because I'm a very tragic person. But there's always an element of humour at the end.
  • Montserrat Caballé is sensational. She has that same kind of emotion as Aretha Franklin. The way she delivers a song is so very natural. It's a very different gift.
    • "I am the Champion" by Nick Ferrari in The Sun (19 July 1985)
  • You can have everything in the world and still be the loneliest man. And that is the most bitter type of loneliness, success has brought me world idolisation and millions of pounds. But it's prevented me from having the one thing we all need: A loving, ongoing relationship.
  • Can you imagine how terrible it is when you've got everything and you're still desperately lonely? That is awful beyond words.
    I'm so powerful on stage that I seem to have created a monster. When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man.
    • As quoted in "Rock On Freddie" (1985)
  • I can’t win. Love is Russian roulette for me. No one loves the real me inside. they're all in love with my fame, my stardom.
    I fall in love far too quickly and end up getting hurt all the time. I've got scars all over. But I can't help myself because basically I'm a softie I have this hard, macho shell — which I project on stage but there's a much softer side. too, which melts like butter.
    • "Rock On Freddie" (1985)
  • Our love affair ended in tears but a deep bond grew out of it, and that's something nobody can take away from us. It's unreachable … All my lovers ask me why they can't replace her, but it's simply impossible.
    I don't feel jealous of her lovers because. of course, she has a life to lead, and so do I. Basically, I try to make sure she's happy with whoever she's with and she tries to do the same for me.
    We look after each other and that's a wonderful form of love. I might have all the problems in the world, but I have Mary and that gets me through.
    • On his relationship with Mary Austin, as quoted in "Rock On Freddie" (1985)
  • You know something? There's been a lot of rumors lately about a certain band called Queen. The rumors are that we're gonna split up. What do you think? [audience replies "No!"] [Pointing to his posterior] They're talking from here! My apologies, but I get to say what I want. So you can forget these rumors. We’re gonna stay together until we fucking well die, I’m sure of it. I keep—I must tell you—I keep wanting to leave, but they won’t let me. We’re not bad for four aging queens, really, are we? What do you think?
  • Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue.
    • Statement to the press (23 November 1991), the day before his death, as quoted at The Biography Channel

Quotes about Mercury[edit]

He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and, God, that's an art. And he was brilliant at it. ~ Roger Daltrey
  • The difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice.
  • I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things. For example, when we're backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins, it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddy [sic] Mercury who seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd, which is something I totally admire and envy.
  • When we lost Freddie, we not only lost a great personality, a man with a great sense of humour, a true showman, but we lost probably the best. The best virtuoso rock 'n' roll singer of all time. He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and, God, that's an art. And he was brilliant at it.
  • My tribute really was "The Show Must Go On." There's a lot in there. I remember writing this line — "my soul is painted like the wings of butterflies" — and I brought it to him one morning, a little worried about what he would think of it. I said, "Do you think that's okay? Can you sing that?" And he went, "Darling, I can sing that and I will give it my all." Because he knew what it was all about and it didn't need to be said.
    • Brian May, as quoted in "Queen Is Alive, Long Live The Queen" by Corey Levitan, in Circus Magazine (30 September 1992)
  • If I didn't have Freddie Mercury's lyrics to hold on to as a kid, I don't know where I would be. It taught me about all forms of music. It would open my mind. I never really had a bigger teacher in my whole life.
    • Axl Rose, as quoted in "Queen Is Alive, Long Live The Queen" by Corey Levitan, in Circus Magazine (30 September 1992)
  • We were very close friends, he was a very special person to me. Freddie was probably the most creative individual I ever met, and he was really fun. He had a great zest for life. He was also very unselfish and very caring. He put himself out to work with me and it was a phenomenal experience.
    • Billy Squier, as quoted in "Queen Is Alive, Long Live The Queen" by Corey Levitan, in Circus Magazine (30 September 1992)
  • I adored Freddie Mercury and Queen had a hit called Radio Gaga. That's why I love the name. Freddie was unique - one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music. He was not only a singer but also a fantastic performer, a man of the theatre and someone who constantly transformed himself. In short: a genius.
    • Lady Gaga, as quoted in "My new album is all about the dark side of celebrity, says Lady Gaga" by John Dingwall, in Dailyrecord.co.uk (27 November 2009)
  • Freddie Mercury was - and remains - my biggest influence. The combination of his sarcastic approach to writing lyrics and his 'I don't give a fuck' attitude really inspired my music.”
    • Katy Perry, as quoted in "Freddie Mercury inspired Katy Perry to 'Kiss A Girl", in NME.com (26 September 2008)
  • I’m a Freddie Mercury fan. (In response to an interviewer backstage at a Queen concert at the LA Forum, who asked: Can I tell my viewers that Michael Jackson is a Queen fan?)
    • Michael Jackson, as quoted in "Michael Jackson: Life in the Magical Kingdom", in Rolling Stone (17 February 1983)
  • Every band should study Queen at Live Aid. If you really feel like that barrier is gone, you become Freddie Mercury. I consider him the greatest frontman of all time. Like, it's funny? you'd imagine that Freddie was more than human, but … You know how he controlled Wembley Stadium at Live Aid in 1985? He stood up there and did his vocal warm ups with the audience. Something that intimate, where they realize, 'Oh yeah, he's just a f***ing dude.
    • Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, as quoted in "Dave Grohl: How To Make An Arena Feel Like A Punk Club in NPR (2011)
  • What I dug about him so much is he was completely uninhibited as a performer. He just didn't care. He would just go out and wear what he wanted — nothing mattered. He wasn't afraid. As a young performer, that's what you aspire to:to be able to not care. The more you restrict yourself within the confines of an established art form like jazz, when you become successful at it, it becomes more and more difficult to be uninhibited, because you like the success, you like what's happening to you.
  • Freddie Mercury was one of those guys who didn't care. That's extremely rare, I think, When you couple that with his musical abilities, well, I wouldn't say he was the greatest piano player in the world, but he was certainly intensely musical. And his vocals; there's a guy I wouldn't want to have a cutting contest with as a singer. He had just silly ability. When you listen to his vibrato, it's erratic. That's just talent, straight-up talent and creativity. That's ridiculous. Imagine what he would have been able to do if he had been trained. It wouldn't have affected his spontaneity or creativity. I think that's a big myth, this idea that when you become educated, it takes away from the soulful part. That's just once-in-a-century talent.
    • Harry Connick, Jr, as quoted in "PBS lights the way for Harry Connick Jr. by Alex Strachan, in Calgary Herald (3, March 2011)
  • Of all the more theatrical rock performers, Freddie took it further than the rest... he took it over the edge. And of course, I always admired a man who wears tights. I only saw him in concert once and as they say, he was definitely a man who could hold an audience in the palm of his hand.
    • David Bowie, as quoted in "Queen singer is rock's first major AIDS casualty" by Jeffry Ressner in Rolling Stone Magazine (9 January 1992)
  • My lifetime role model and hero is Freddie Mercury of Queen. His songwriting skills, I cannot even approach, but his showmanship, I learned it from videos. I’m No. 1 in the U.K. right now, so if I have any chance to go there, I want to meet Queen and to tell them how much I got inspired by their music.
    • Psy, as quoted in "His Style Is Gangnam, and Viral Too" by Melena Ryzik, in New York Times (14 October 2012)

External links[edit]

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