Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise

Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise

Bohemian Rhapsody produced by Fox came out around the same time as A Star is Born. Chip and I went to the theater to see ASIB and it was playing later than we thought. So we bought tickets to Bohemian Rhapsody. Then changed them back to a ASIB. When I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Netflix, I fell in love. I would actually go as far as say obsessed. I have been reading everything I can on Freddie Mercury and Queen. If it was somewhere playing on a big screen, I would go immediately. And, I’m still regretting changing tickets … huge mistake.

Why it is So Great?

Bohemian Rhapsody’s theme wasn’t about decadence (even thought there was a lot). It was about living by three moral codes.

  1. Good thoughts; Good words, Good deeds.
  2. The expansive definition of family.
  3. Everything isn’t how it appears.

The Movie Premise

The movie starts and ends with the Live Aid concert from 1986. It takes you through a journey of Freddie Mercury and the whole band … Queen. The story took the band members from kids to men with largest focus on Freddie Mercury. But this really isn’t about the movie.

Freddie Mercury Back Story

Who’d have thought the flamboyant and exotic Mercury would have come from a traditional Tanzanian, loving family with a focus on doing the right thing? And, he was incredibly quiet and shy. He let few people into his true life. The mantra from his father was simple … good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Throughout the movie you see this ideal come to light whenever Freddie was faced with a situation where the high-road was the best road.

And, he could sing like no other.

The Rest of the Band

The members of Queen aren’t a bunch of kids trying to make it in the world. They are a team of intellects … an astrophysicist, a dentist and an electrical engineer. Not just by eduation, but their day jobs before Queen became a viable band. They all were also traditional in their ways. Family first.

Queen Dynamic

It was a true collaborative group, who were different but bonded. They appreciated each ones special value to the whole. No one could produce their quality and creativity of music without having their idea challenged and added to. They considered themselves family.

But Why Freddie Was Freddie

There were three points in Bohemian Rhapsody that made me become extremely respectful of Freddie Mercury. First when you could see he had to change his name to transform to the needed persona of lead signer of Queen. Again, when you see him lonely in his home with no one to share his accomplishment and joy. Finally, the conflict of his love for Mary Austin (his ex fiancé) and his love partners.

Creativity galore
Kind man amazing talent

In fact, the last point is the one that won my heart. Since seeing the movie, I have seen some candid shots of Freddie Mercury within the non-public portion of his life. He comes across, gentle, kind and vulnerable. In the traditional part of his heart, he was bonded and married to Mary.

The other part that demonstrated his loyalty and kindness is seen in how he distributed his estate. Every person in his life is remembered in very different ways. His bequeaths, working solely from memory (can’t find the article I got this from), The majority of his wealth was split between his family and Mary Austin. One quarter of his royalties are split between the remaining members of Queen. His three primary lovers were each given a home and $500K. His manager was made the executor of his estate and control over all his money and given a substantial pay for doing this.

And, just a FYI … the success of Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to generate about an extra $150 million for his family and Mary Austin.

How Can an Introvert Become Such a Vivid Performer

This is something I had to research some. From what I read, there are a couple reasons. The one I have applied to Freddie Mercury is that his introversion and vulnerability made it easy for people to relate to him. Another I read noted that because these performer are shy, the only way they can have a voice and be authentic is through their music. The other is that they have unusual lives or life-histories and performing creates a way to escape and become someone that can be liked and accepted.

After getting this sense of his introversion and privacy, there are parts of his life that really get to you. There are times when he is pressed by the media to discuss his possible illness and partner preferences. In addition, he had to watch a confidant betray him in a public venue. Any person would be overwhelmed at such personal intrusions.

HIV/AIDS

This is a tough part to write about because it shifts the emphasis from the person to something different. I will suffice it to write …

From an interview with Brian May (Queen lead guitarist) , he reports that in Freddie’s last days he was more concerned with others comfort with his weakened condition; and he even apologized for his appearance. Many sources say that he wanted to make music until the very end; which is exactly what he did.

And, most sadly, just months after his passing, the medical community found ways to control those with HIV/AIDS to preserve and prolong their lives.

Things to Watch and Read

Queen Live Aid Performance I watch or listen to this almost everyday now.

BBC Documentary

According to the Tampa Bay Times in October 2018, here are a handful of Queen documentaries to watch.

  1. Becoming Queen (2004): Amazon Prime features a host of free Queen documentaries offering broad looks at the band, a la any generic, hourlong TV special
  2. Becoming Queen (2004): Amazon Prime features a host of free Queen documentaries offering broad looks at the band, a la any generic, hourlong TV special
  3. Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender (2012): A sequel of sorts to Days of Our Lives, this Emmy-winning doc
  4. Inside the Rhapsody (2015): The song Bohemian Rhapsody is practically a movie in and of itself, so why shouldn’t it get its own documentary?
  5. Queen: Rock the World (2017):

Facts That I Kinda Loved

  • In Bohemian Rhapsody, they give a list of many of the bands on the Live Aid playbill. The list is actually a list of all Freddie Mercury’s friends in the music industry.
  • During Live Aid, Freddie had a throat condition and doctors advised he not perform, but he did. Thank goodness. I remember watching that performance.
  • After one bad MTV video, Queen lost it’s US audience willing to accept new material, but they had numerous charted songs around the world for years after 1986. Who knew?
  • Queen music is everywhere. It’s in commercials, background to radio shows (even NPR), on video games, in elevators, etc. How could I have missed it before?
  • Freddie Mercury wrote over 70 songs
  • As I was writing this, I got a text from Chip of something trending on twitter about Freddie Mercury … what the f*** facts

Let us know if you liked Bohemian Rhapsody and if it renewed your interest in Queen. watch the movie. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching YouTube again.

2 Replies to “Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise”

  1. Nice job… I couldn’t agree more. When I saw the movie I was touched by what a kind a classy individual he was. (And I smiled when I learned that Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton are madly in love with each other.)

    1. Thanks Tom! I didn’t know that about Rami and Lucy! Still learning more everyday and dedicated to minimum one Live Aid view per day. Did you see movie on big screen?

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