Thursday 11 February 2010

Icon #41 Freddie Mercury

I thought this would be a no brainer for me.  I was very wrong.  There have been more than a couple of suggestions today that have made me change my mind at least twice.  At twelve today, on lunch at work, I was convinced I would write about Freddie Mercury but I changed my mind to Morrissey for about an hour tonight.  But the bottom line for me was, who would I rather have seen live at their pomp?  And that's Mercury, no question.

The man could hold a crowd in the palm of his hand like no one else.  He came alive on a stage more than any other artist.  Forget for a moment about whether you liked the music, that's pretty irrelevant here, and think about Live Aid.  Queen stole the day with a performance that was just magical.

I remember it so vividly.  Dad wanted to watch Queen, they were, despite the obvious rampant campness, a Dad type band.  I was sort of just starting to form my own opinions on music and that day in 1985 I became a Queen fan.  A year later when we lost Dad, I became a huge Queen fan.  Along with Liverpool Football Club they became this crutch to get me through life at 13 without my father.

So I couldn't really have written about anyone else tonight.  Sorry Smiths, Stones, U2, Blondie, Doors, Clash and Cramps fans.

But it isn't just because Queen were one of those big bands in my 'life soundtrack' that I've chosen Freddie Mercury I genuinely believe that he was a complete one off.  He had a voice that just brought those songs to life and a stage presence that many would kill for.  And it just always looked so easy.  He clearly loved performing, although these days it does seem odd that he ended up as the lead singer of a rock band and not a cabaret act somewhere.  These days he'd probably have been Mika.  (Which would have been bloody awful.)

I was in Australia when he died.  The furore leading up to his death passed us by out there, we'd heard nothing.  I knew he was ill, the video for 'I'm Going Slightly Mad' was just painful to watch and there'd been some speculation in the press that he had AID's before we left for Sydney, but there'd just been silence from the band.

I later found out of course that the day before, or a few days before he passed away it was announced that he was dying.

I turned on the radio on November the 25th 1991 to Triple M and heard three Queen songs in a row.  I don't really remember what they were, but I remember the announcement afterwards that the songs were dedicated to Freddie Mercury who had died the day before.  I was utterly devastated.  And I guess that's probably an indication of how much I'd invested in the band after we lost Dad.

They were the first band I fell in love with and although I rarely listen to them now that moment when Freddie Mercury held not just Wembley, but the world in the palm of his hand, as Queen played 'We Will Rock You' at Live Aid will live with me until die.
via YouTube.

'I won't be rockstar, I will be a legend.' - Freddie Mercury

Tonight's post is dedicated to @flashmclash81, @3Stars_left, @lmlc, @innerpenguin, @fionakyle, @emmabunce, @KyeLani and @comedyfish.

Thanks for a great theme Toby.  If you best that next week your gonna have to join twitter.

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