Freddie Mercury – circa 1974

 “I’ve taken my bow, my curtain calls / You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it / I thank you all” – ‘We Are The Champions’ (Freddie Mercury)

Four faces peer out of the shadows.  The portrait multiplies into a honeycomb of duplicates.  A close-up of the singer’s face turns into a blue image of the features and trails off to the right of the screen.  These are just a few images from the video clip for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by British rock band Queen.  Released in 1975, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and its video changes the way rock music is marketed.  Short promotional videos for rock singles exist from the mid-1960s, but blossom in the 1970s thanks to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and its ilk.  The format reaches a peak with the launch of MTV on 1 August 1981.  MTV (Music Television) is a U.S. cable television network devoted entirely to rock music, twenty-four hours a day.  “Video…is a very good way of showcasing yourself,” acknowledges Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead vocalist.

The man who will come to be known as Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) is born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Zanzibar (the latter is an island off Tanzania on the east coast of Africa).  Freddie’s father is Bomi Bulsara and his mother is Jer Bulsara.  Freddie has a sister, Kashmira.  The family is of the Zoroastrian faith.

From 1955 to 1963 Farrokh Bulsara attends St Peter’s Boarding School in Bombay, India.  It is here that he picks up the nickname Freddie, which even his family quickly embraces.  It is also at this school that the lad receives his first musical training, gaining a Grade IV in practical piano and theory.

Following a revolution in Zanzibar, the Bulsara family immigrates to England in 1964.  Freddie attends the Isleworth Polytechnic up to 1966, then moves on to the Ealing College of Art.  “I spent about four years at [the] Ealing College of Art, Ealing College [graduating in 1969],” he acknowledges.  “I got my diploma in graphics and illustration which I did nothing with…I was trained to be a sort of illustrator.”

From 1969 to 1970 Freddie Mercury has a relationship with Rosemary Pearson.  Freddie Mercury is bisexual; he has both male and female lovers.  Though in 1974 he will proclaim, “I am as gay as a daffodil, my dear,” he continues to have intimate relations with members of both genders.  Despite announcing, “I’m a flamboyant personality,” he is also rather guarded about his time out of the public eye.  “I hate talking to people about my personal life…I don’t want everyone to know about my real inner feelings because that’s my private life.”

Meantime, a group called Smile plays a series of gigs.  This is a short-lived band put together by three college students: Tim Staffell (vocals, bass), Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums).  Smile exists from 1968 to 1970.  During that time they record only one single, ‘Earth’ backed with ‘Step On Me’.  This is not released in their native Britain, but only in the U.S. on (ironically) Mercury Records.  Tim Staffell decides to resign from the ‘hard-rock psychedelic group’ Smile, but, in parting, suggests his flatmate replace him.  Tim Staffell’s flatmate is Freddie Mercury.

For all his artistic qualifications, Freddie Mercury has found his calling in another direction.  “I think music was exactly what I wanted to do,” he says.  Mercury has been acting as lead singer for a group called Wreckage.  He is persuaded to join Brian May and Roger Taylor in a new venture.  In February 1971 their line-up is completed with the addition of bassist John Deacon.

Brian Harold May (born 19 July 1947) is from Hampton, Middlesex, England.  Leaving Hampton Grammar School, he goes on to undertake a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics at Imperial College, London.  He graduates in 1971.  From 1970 to 1974, May works on the study of astrophysics, but his work is left incomplete due to his musical commitments.  He begins dating his future wife, Chrissie Mullen, in 1969.

Roger Meddows Taylor (born 26 July 1949) is from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England.  He is the son of Michael Meddows Taylor and his wife, Winifred (nee Hickman).  They also have a daughter, Clare.  Michael Taylor is a potato inspector, but he has higher aspirations for his son.  After finishing at Truro Cathedral School in 1967, Roger Taylor completes tertiary studies in dentistry at the London Hospital Medical School.  A handsome lad, Taylor has already chalked up three relationships: Eileen Wright (1965, his first girlfriend), Jill Johnson (1967) and Josephine Morris (1968).

John Richard Deacon (born 19 August 1951) is the son of Arthur and Lillian Deacon of Leicester, England.  His educational path takes him from Gartree High School to Beauchamp Grammar School and then to an electronic engineering degree at Chelsea College, University of London.

The line-up of Freddie Mercury (vocals, occasional keyboards), Brian May (guitar, backing vocals), John Deacon (bass) and Roger Taylor (drums, backing vocals) is dubbed Queen in 1972.  “I thought up the name Queen,” Freddie Mercury claims.  “It’s very regal obviously and it sounds splendid…I was certainly aware of the gay connotations but that was just one facet of it.”

Queen spend almost two years just rehearsing and playing the occasional gig.  This can be partly attributed to the academic ambitions of the individual members.  They are finishing their university courses at the same time as they are readying the group.  A recording contract is obtained with EMI Records.

About a month before the first Queen recording is released, Freddie Mercury issues a solo single, a cover version of ‘I Can Hear Music’, a song made famous by The Beach Boys in 1969.  Freddie is credited under the pseudonym Larry Lurex.

Defining Queen’s style of music is difficult because it is prone to change.  Freddie Mercury explains that, “We started off on a sort of heavy metal footing in the days of Led Zeppelin.”  Indeed, Led Zeppelin – the definitive heavy metal band – is the most common touchstone in early attempts to describe Queen.  Yet Queen ignore certain common trappings of heavy metal (e.g. the supernatural or fantasy lyrical themes).  Queen also have a foot in the glam rock camp.  Glam uses the same over-amplified guitars and thundering drums as metal, but is more pop-oriented, favouring a catchy melody over brutish aggression.  Additionally, glam (short for glamour) sees boys donning make-up and gaudy ‘satin and silk’ costumes.  “We were trying to put across theatre,” Mercury advises.  “Glam rock…was kind of a backlash to what was happening before,” he continues, citing the blues music and blue jeans of acts like guitarist Eric Clapton.  So, initially, Queen set up shop at the intersection of heavy metal and glam rock…but such descriptions will be too limiting in the long term for such a chimerical outfit.

All four members of Queen contribute songs to their catalogue.  Roger Taylor notes, “There were three of us writing…John [Deacon] came in sort of later…but Freddie [Mercury] was probably the most prolific, and Brian [May] was close behind.  I’d usually write one or two [songs per album] and that was it.”  As with their shape-shifting music, Queen’s lyrical themes are equally difficult to pin down.  “If you hear it, darling, then it’s there,” Mercury offers nonchalantly.  “I don’t like to explain what I was thinking when I wrote a song.”  He adds, “I think I’m totally original.”  Brian May offers, “I would say all of Freddie’s lyrical content is quite hard to figure [out].”  May quotes his colleague’s contention that, “My art’s a fish and chip paper, darling, it’s gone tomorrow.”

Queen as a group act as producers or co-producers of almost all of their recording session.  “The bigger, the better in everything,” is Freddie Mercury’s maxim.  “We were trying to push forward the boundaries, trying to do things that had not been done,” suggests Brian May.

Queen’s first single, the Brian May composition ‘Keep Yourself Alive’, is released on 6 July 1973.  It is included on the debut album, ‘Queen’ (1973) (UK no. 24, US no. 83, AUS no. 77), which follows a week later.  This album is coproduced by Queen, John Anthony and Roy Thomas Baker.  The last-named co-produces the first four albums by Queen.

‘Queen II’ (1974) (UK no. 5, US no. 49, AUS no. 79) is released in March.  Robin Geoffrey Cable shares a production credit with Queen and Roy Thomas Baker on this set.  The album is divided into a ‘black side’ and a ‘white side’.  To symbolise this, the cover shows the four faces of the band members under strong white light thrust out of a black background.  This image is repeated in 1975 in the film clip for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.  The best known track from ‘Queen II’ is Freddie Mercury’s ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’ (UK no. 10).  In an abbreviated, instrumental form the same piece closed their debut album.  In the galloping metal of the revised version, Mercury cries, “I stand before you naked to the eye,” before the song closes, quoting the English music hall ditty ‘I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside’.

Brian May marries Chrissie Mullen in 1974.  The couple go on to have three children: Jimmy (born 15 June 1978), Louisa (born 22 May 1981) and Emily (born 17 February 1987).

Freddie Mercury begins a relationship with Mary Austin in 1978 that lasts until 1980.  Although Freddie finds outlets for his bisexual tendencies during this time, he also states, “The only friend I’ve got is Mary and I don’t want anybody else.  To me, she is my common-law wife.”

The recently wed Brian May is not entirely faithful either, conducting an extra-marital relationship with Deborah Vidacovich from 1974 to 1978.

‘Sheer Heart Attack’ (1974) (UK no. 2, US no. 12, AUS no. 19), Queen’s third album, is released in November, only eight months after ‘Queen II’‘Sheer Heart Attack’ is recorded while guitarist Brian May is laid up with a bout of hepatitis.  The album’s highlight is Freddie Mercury’s ‘Killer Queen’ (UK no. 2, US no. 12, AUS no. 24).  In this arch ballad married to heavy metal guitar, the titular sovereign is described as “Dynamite with a laser beam / Guaranteed to blow your mind.”  The tense guitar of Brian May’s ‘Now I’m Here’ (UK no. 11) is also on this album.  Queen’s third album earns plaudits for its ‘aggressive rock and ingenious arrangements’ and raises their profile in the U.S. market as well.

On 18 January 1975 John Deacon marries Veronica Tetzlaff.  They will have six children: Robert (born 1975), Michael (born 1978), Laura (born 1979), Joshua (born 1983), Luke (born 1992) and Cameron (born 1993).

During the recording sessions for Queen’s fourth album, Freddie Mercury ‘comes up with the idea for a ten-second operatic interlude.’  By the time the song is finished, it runs for five minutes and fifty-two seconds, involves three days of recording in three different studios and requires one hundred and eighty vocal overdubs.  Brian May recalls that, “Freddie came along and he said, ‘And I’m going to call it “Bohemian Rhapsody”’.  You never knew quite whether Freddie was joking or not.”  Although the words are not used in the lyrics, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (UK no. 1, US no. 9, AUS no. 1) is an apt title since bohemian means unconventional and a rhapsody is a wild, irregular composition in a free style.  The song consists of multiple sections: opera, ballad and heavy metal.  “All the elements were in Freddie’s mind,” observes Roger Taylor.  Brian May concurs, “It’s all Freddie’s idea [even] the famous head-banging riff.”  May notes that his first reaction was, “B***** hell, that’s pretty unusual.”  The storyline seems to involve the protagonist admitting, “Momma, just killed a man,” and then, realising the consequences, sorrowfully howling, “Life had just begun / But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.”  Brian May cautions, “I don’t think we’ll ever know [what it’s about]…Freddie was wrestling with many things in his personal life and he may have chosen to put them into that…I think it’s nice to leave a question mark on the end.”  The operatic section uses a pair of Arabic terms.  ‘Bismillah’ means ‘in the name of God’ while ‘Beelzebub’ is, literally, ‘the lord of the flies’, a satanic figure.  ‘Galileo’ [Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), the great Italian scientific thinker] and ‘Figaro’ [from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (1786) composed by Mozart] are also thrown in but for no other apparent purpose beyond them rhyming.  Together with its revolutionary film clip, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has a great impact and is Queen’s best song.  “What’s the best Queen song ever?” Brian May muses.  “I don’t know…’Bohemian Rhapsody’ is certainly a damn good one.”

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is included on ‘A Night At The Opera’ (1975) (UK no. 1, US no. 4, AUS no. 1) in November, the high-water mark in Queen’s album catalogue.  “Queen was very much a band on the rise at that time,” points out Roger Taylor.  “It was either gonna be massive or it was gonna be nothing.”  As well as the heavy metal of Brian May’s ‘Sweet Lady’, this set is home to the relatively straight-forward pop of ‘You’re My Best Friend’ (UK no. 7, US no. 16, AUS no. 40).  In this John Deacon composition, Freddie Mercury exults, “I’ve been with you such a long time / You’re my sunshine.”  It also boasts some great drum fills from Roger Taylor.  The album cover shows Queen’s crest designed by Freddie Mercury.  It features symbols from the astrological signs of the band members: two lions (for Roger and John who are both Leos), a crab (for Brian, born under the sign of Cancer) and two fairies (for Freddie, the Virgo).  ‘A Night At The Opera’ takes its name from the comedy film ‘A Night at the Opera’ (1935) starring the Marx Brothers.

Queen’s early sound, the meeting of heavy metal and glam rock, is pushed into the background by the pop of ‘You’re My Best Friend’ and, particularly, the multiple disciplines of its biggest hit.  ‘Everything pales next to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the highlight of the album and the song that marks the band’s true arrival.’

In 1976 Roger Taylor meets Dominique Beyrand who works for the entrepreneur Richard Branson.  Taylor and Beyrand marry and have two children, a son named Felix (born 1980) and a daughter named Rory (born 1986).

‘A Day At The Races’ (1976) (UK no. 1, US no. 5, AUS no. 8) in December is produced by Queen.  Again, the title is taken from a Marx Brothers film, ‘A Day at the Races’ (1937).  While Brian May’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ (UK no. 31, US no. 49, AUS no. 47) maintains Queen’s heavy metal credentials, Freddie Mercury’s more pop-oriented ‘Somebody To Love’ (UK no. 2, US no. 13, AUS no. 15) is more successful.  Over a prancing keyboard motif, Freddie insists, “I work hard (he works hard) everyday of my life.”

Another track from ‘A Day At The Races’, Freddie Mercury’s ultra-camp ‘(Good Old Fashioned) Lover Boy’ (UK no. 17) spearheads ‘Queen’s First EP’ (UK no. 17) in May 1977.  The other tracks on this disc are ‘Death On Two Legs’, ‘Tenement Funster’ and ‘White Queen (As It Began)’.

‘News Of The World’ (1977) (UK no. 4, US no. 3, AUS no. 8) in October is co-produced by Queen and Mike Stone.  It features the double A side single ‘We Are The Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ (UK no. 2, US no. 4, AUS no. 8).  The valedictory ‘We Are The Champions’ finds the song’s composer, Freddie Mercury, proclaiming, “I consider it a challenge before the whole human race / And I ain’t gonna lose.”  It becomes an anthem co-opted by sporting clubs everywhere.  Sometimes derided for being effeminate, Mercury appreciates the irony: “It’s lovely to hear that ‘We Are The Champions’ is a song that’s been taken up by…football fans.”  Brian May’s ‘We Will Rock You’ is unusual because, aside from his guitar solo at the end, it has no traditional instruments.  Instead, the story of Buddy – who goes from being a boy to a young man to an old man in the three verses – is accompanied by stomping, clapping and chanting.  Actually, it sounds rather like a mob of football fans!  Also present is Roger Taylor’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’, a song begun at the time of Queen’s 1974 album of the same name, but not finished until now.

‘Jazz’ (1978) (UK no. 2, US no. 6, AUS no. 15) reunites Queen with co-producer Roy Thomas Baker.  The title is something of a misnomer because, if there is any influence from jazz music present, it’s not immediately obvious.  What is present is the double A side single ‘Bicycle Race’ and ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ (UK no. 11, US no. 24, AUS no. 25).  The former is an eccentric Freddie Mercury number that name drops references to the movies ‘Jaws’ (1975) and ‘Star Wars’ (1977) as well as the fictional characters Peter Pan, Frankenstein and Superman while asserting that, “I want to ride my bicycle”.  The song is given a somewhat dubious publicity boost by the staging of a bicycle race whose contestants are semi-naked women.  Brian May’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ is throbbing metal as Mercury bawls, “Left alone with big, fat Fanny / She was such a naughty nanny / Heap big woman, you made a bad boy out of me.”  The two songs are linked by complementary lyrical references.  ‘Bicycle Race’ announces, “Fat bottomed girls will be riding today”, while ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ carries the exhortation, “Get on your bikes and ride!”  Freddie Mercury’s piano-based ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ (UK no. 9, US no. 86) is also on this disc.

‘The Game’ (1980) (UK no. 1, US no. 1, AUS no. 11), released in June, begins Queen’s five album association with co-producer Mack (German-born Reinhold Mack).  This is perhaps ‘their most diverse’ album and all the stronger for its successful appropriation of other styles of music.  Freddie Mercury’s ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ (UK no. 2, US no. 1, AUS no. 1) is a hilarious rockabilly pastiche in which he tells himself, “I gotta be cool, relax” and decides to “take a long ride on my motorbike”.  Freddie wrote the song while in his bathtub.  John Deacon’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ (UK no. 7, US no. 1, AUS no. 5) is a wholly convincing stab at strutting funk and is built on Deacon’s implacable bass line.  Brian May’s ‘Save Me’ (UK no. 11, AUS no. 76) alternates delicate verses and a thundering chorus.  Mercury’s ‘Play The Game’ (UK no. 14, US no. 42, AUS no. 85), the probable source of the album’s title, is a big chocolate box of sound.

‘Flash’ (1980) (UK no. 10, US no. 13, AUS no. 24) is the soundtrack to the movie ‘Flash Gordon’ (1980).  The gaudy science-fiction spectacle is well matched by Queen’s ornate music.  Brian May’s title piece, ‘Flash’ (UK no. 10, US no. 42, AUS no. 16), praises the hero as the “king of the impossible” while lightning strikes of guitar crash over the underpinning synthesiser.

In 1981 Queen score a hit with ‘Under Pressure’ (UK no. 1, US no. 29, AUS no. 6), a duet with fellow former titan of glam rock, David Bowie.

Also in 1981 Joseph Fannelli has a short-lived romantic relationship with Freddie Mercury.

After ‘Under Pressure’, Queen’s ‘popularity begins to wane, disappearing entirely and permanently in the United States.’

‘Hot Space’ (1982) (UK no. 4, US no. 22, AUS no. 15) includes ‘Under Pressure’.  Arif Mardin provides some production assistance on this album.  Perhaps the best known tracks – aside from ‘Under Pressure’ – are Brian May’s ‘Las Palabras de Amor (The Words Of Love)’ (UK no. 17) and Freddie Mercury’s ‘Body Language’ (UK no. 25, US no. 11, AUS no. 23).

Austrian actress Barbara Valentin is Freddie Mercury’s lover from 1983 to 1985.  In 1983 he also begins a relationship with Jim Hutton, an Irish barber, which will be his longest running romantic attachment.

‘The Works’ (1984) (UK no. 2, US no. 23, AUS no. 12) is host to a pair of pop hits: Roger Taylor’s ‘Radio Gaga’ (UK no. 2, US no. 16, AUS no. 2) and John Deacon’s ‘I Want To Break Free’ (UK no. 3, US no. 45, AUS no. 8).  Speaking of the latter, Freddie Mercury says, “I think that’s one of our best videos…It makes me chuckle every time I see it…[It wasn’t my idea,] the others came up with the idea [of dressing in drag] and I said, ‘Fine, I’ll do it.’”  On another occasion, Freddie points out, “’I Want To Break Free’ was written by John Deacon [a married heterosexual]…It’s got nothing to do with gay people at all.”  Brian May’s ‘Hammer To Fall’ (UK no. 13, AUS no. 69) is a reminder that Queen still know how to do heavy metal.

At the end of 1984 Queen release the seasonal single ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’ (UK no. 21).

Losing popularity in the U.K. and, especially, America, Queen ‘begin touring foreign markets, cultivating a large, dedicated fan base in Latin America, Asia and Africa, continents that most rock groups ignore.’  Queen’s set at the all-star charity concert Live Aid on 13 July 1985 helps restore their popularity, at least in their native Britain.

‘A Kind Of Magic’ (1986) (UK no. 1, US no. 46, AUS no. 12) shares production duties between Queen, Mack, and David Richards.  The last-named co-produces Queen’s next two albums with the band.  Roger Taylor contributes the title track, ‘A Kind Of Magic’ (UK no. 3, US no. 42, AUS no. 25).  Freddie Mercury’s ‘Princes Of The Universe’ (AUS no. 32) is from the movie ‘Highlander’ (1986) and owes some debt to Queen’s earlier work on ‘Flash Gordon’.

In spring 1987 Freddie Mercury is diagnosed as H.I.V. positive.  In 1987 or 1988 he tells the rest of Queen he has A.I.D.S. ‘and only a few years to live.’  However he ‘refuses to talk about it anymore’, declining to disclose it to the public because he is ‘afraid that people could buy their records out of pity.’

In 1987 Roger Taylor begins a relationship with ex-model Deborah Leng.  This leads to his divorce from Dominique Beyrand on 3 January 1988.  Roger and Debbie have three children: Rufus (born March 1991), Tiger Lilly (born 1994) and Lola (born 2001).

Brian May’s marriage to his wife, Chrissie, ends in 1988.  The same year he has an affair with actress Anita Dobson from the British television series ‘Eastenders’.

‘The Miracle’ (1989) (UK no. 1, US no. 24, AUS no. 4) is home to Brian May’s ‘I Want It All’ (UK no. 3, US no. 50, AUS no. 10), a thundering ode to ambition, and Roger Taylor’s ‘The Invisible Man’ (UK no. 12).  This is followed by ‘Innuendo’ (1991) (UK no. 1, US no. 30, AUS no. 6).

By this time, Queen has not appeared on stage since 1986 and this gives rise to rumours about Freddie Mercury’s health.  Indeed, Freddie is very ill.  His long-time companion, Mary Austin, is helping to care for him as ‘he continues to work as best he can, completing vocal tracks for future use.’  On 22 November 1991, Freddie Mercury finally issues a press statement saying, “I wish to confirm that I have tested H.I.V. positive and have A.I.D.S.”  Two days later he dies.  It is important to remember that, although historically it is known that Mercury was bisexual, at the time, while ‘it was pretty obvious that he enjoyed the company of men, Mercury had always stopped short of declaring his sexual preferences to the public.’  After his death, some gay rights organisations express disappointment at his refusal to acknowledge his sexuality and thereby publicise the dangers of A.I.D.S. at an earlier time.  Freddie’s lover, Jim Hutton, remains with him to the end.  His other long-term companion, Mary Austin, is left some of the late singer’s estate.  Despite having seldom practiced the Zoroastrian faith of his parents, Freddie Mercury is buried in accordance with those customs.

The vocal tracks Freddie Mercury recorded during his dying days are put to use on Queen’s final album, ‘Made In Heaven’ (1995) (UK no. 1, US no. 58, AUS no. 3) with production credited to Queen.

In 1999 Brian May takes his personal assistant, Julie Glover, as his mistress.  In 2007 May goes on to complete his PhD in astrophysics.

Roger Taylor breaks up with Debbie Leng late in 2002.  After a brief liaison with Catrina Davies in 2002, Taylor marries Sarina Potgieter in 2004.

John Deacon retires from the rock music scene, but Brian May and Roger Taylor play some shows and re-record some of Queen’s hits with additional musicians and a succession of guest vocalist.  Those singers associated with ‘Queen +’ include: Luciano Pavarotti (1998), Wyclef Jean (1999), Robbie Williams (2001), Paul Rodgers (2004-2009) and Adam Lambert (from 2013).

The film clip for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ helped set the stage for the growth of the rock music video as an art-form.  While that is an important point, it is only part of Queen’s story.  The success of the song as a single (it spent nine weeks at the top of the U.K. singles chart) is, arguably, even more significant.  Yet that too is only part of Queen’s career that spans roughly twenty years and many other successful singles and albums.  Their best period is from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.  The tragic death of Freddie Mercury casts a shadow over their achievements.  “When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as a musician of some worth and substance,” he said.  While this has happened, Freddie Mercury perhaps put it better on another occasion: “The most important thing, darling, is to live a fabulous life.  As long as it’s fabulous, I don’t care how long it is.”  Both Freddie Mercury and Queen were ‘fabulous’.  ‘Queen’s music was a bizarre yet highly accessible fusion of the macho and the fey.’  ‘Queen gave it a shot in literally every genre you can think of, including glam, barbershop quartet, nightclub torch balladry, blues, country, vaudeville, piano dirges, disco, funk, rockabilly, and so on, and they were able to pull it off every time, to one hundred per cent convincing effect.’


  1. ‘The Rolling Stone Illustrated History Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’, ‘Rock Festivals’ by John Morthland, ‘MTV: The Revolution Will Be Televised’ by Jim Farber (Plexus Publishing, 1992), p. 477, 641
  2. Freddie Mercury interview conducted by David Fuller (U.K. Radio 1) (1985)
  3. Notable names database – nndb.com – as at 30 September 2013
  4. Internet movie database imdb.com as at 2 December 2013
  5. whosdatedwho.com as at 30 September 2013
  6. wikipedia.org as at 30 September 2013
  7. ‘The Illustrated Rock Handbook’ edited by Roxanne Streeter, Ray Bonds (Salamander Books, 1983) p. 172, 173
  8. allmusic.com, ‘Queen’ by Stephen Thomas Erlewine as at 13 June 2002
  9. astro.ic.ac.uk/bmay as at 29 January 2013
  10. ‘Queen – Greatest Video Hits 1’ – Produced by Simon Lupton and Rhys Thomas – interview with Brian May and Roger Taylor (EMI Records Ltd / Queen Productions Ltd, 2002)
  11. ‘Rolling Stone Rock Almanac’ by the Editors of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine (Papermac, 1984) p. 216
  12. ‘Friday On My Mind’ by Ed Nimmervoll (Five Mile Press, 2004) p. 100, 109, 173
  13. ‘Queen – Greatest Hits’ – Anonymous sleeve notes (Parlophone / EMI Records Ltd, 1994) p. 2
  14. ‘The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal’ by Daniel Bukszpan (Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. 2003) p. 101, 102, 104
  15. ‘The Australian Contemporary Dictionary’ edited by J.B. Foreman, M.A. (Collins Books, 1969) p. 63, 415

Song lyrics copyright Queen Music Ltd / EMI Music Publishing Ltd, with the exceptions of ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (all three B. Feldman & Co. Ltd) and ‘Flash’ (Queen Music Ltd. / Wide Music Inc. / EMI Publishing Ltd).

Last revised 4 January 2014


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