From his personal to his artistic and public life, here are 10 things you most likely never knew about Freddy Mercury:
- Name and nationality
His real name is Farrokh Bulsara and he was born in the British protectorate of Zanzibar from Parsi parents and he spent most of his childhood in India, a fact that he tried to hide from the public view for a very long time. Roger Taylor said that Mercury considered it will not fit his public performer image.
- Love for cats
It seems like Freddy loved his cats so much that he would even call home, while on tours, to speak to them. His former girlfriend Mary Austin was the intermediary throughout the entire process. Not only that, but he also used to paint pictures of his cats and went as far as writing a song for one of them. “Delilah” is the name of his favorite one.
Although he was an admitted bisexual, some critics suggest that he kept his real sexuality hidden and that he was, in fact, an open homosexual. John Marshal from Gay Times magazine wrote in 1992: “He wasn’t afraid to admit who he was, but he didn’t want to analyze neither his lifestyle, nor his sexual preferences. He was basically saying ‘I am what I am. So what?’”
- His microphone trademark
Everybody knows Freddy’s bottomless microphone stand, but not everybody is aware of the fact that what brought it was a pure accident. During a concert his microphone snapped, but Freddy liked it so much that he kept using the same formula in the future.
- Freddy Mercury and Michael Jackson
It is not a secret that the two tried to collaborate for a few songs, but things were not meant to work as planned. What ruined the whole deal was the fact that Michael Jackson was bringing his pet llama to the studio whenever they had to record. Eventually, Mercury called his manager and said he had enough.
- Hard love
Freddy and his boyfriend Bill Reid had a, let’s say, more than active relationship. In fact, they even used to engage in physical fights and biting, and one time they screamed at each other so much that Freddy lost his voice right before a major concert. Lots of efforts were necessary to recover in time and he barely did.
- Princess Diana
The comedian Cleo Rocos said in his autobiography that Freddy Mercury often disguised Princess Diana as a man, so she could join his crew when going for fun nights. “We felt that she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any time. But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it.”
- “It’s a hard life”
In the end of the video for the song, Mercury sits on the stairs with great caution. That’s because not before the filming he had broke his leg in a bar in Munich, while being wasted drunk.
- His sickness
No one knew he had AIDS, not until after he made a public statement saying: “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.” Little over 24 hours later Freddy died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of the disease.
- His burial ground
No one knows where he was buried. Freddy was cremated and only his former girlfriend Mary Austin knew about the location of his ashes. Later, fans discovered a memorial plaque in Kensal Green Cemetery. This too disappeared later.