Are you a fan of the band, Queen? Well, if you are, here are some lesser known facts about the band you might enjoy adding to your chest of knowledge about them.
The Band with the Most Creative and Intelligent Members
During the peak of their career, Queen wasn’t only among the greatest rock bands in the world, they were also one of the most creative and intelligent. Among their members were Brian May, who studied astrophysics at Ealing College in London, John Deacon, an electronics engineer who built some of the group’s equipment, including the Deacy Amp, and Roger Taylor, who was gearing up for a career in dentistry.
Freddie Mercury was the Last Member to Complete the Original Band
Before the group was formed, Brian and Roger had been playing for the band called “Smile”, along with the bassist Tim Steffal. And then, they were introduced to Farookh Bulsara, who studied piano in a boarding school in Bombay. Farookh then left his band, the Hectics, to join forces with Smile. He even convinced them to change their name to Queen. Later on, he changed his stage name to Freddie Mercury.
Since then, the group has released a number of albums with 18 of them landing on the number one spot on the charts. Each group member has, in fact, written at least one chart-topping single. All in all, they have sold over 150 million records all over the world.
The Death of Freddie Mercury and the Person Replaced Him
On November 24, 1991, at the age of 45, Freddie died of complications from AIDS. Ten years after his death, the band received a spot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A few years after, Brian and Taylor met Roger Taylor, who eventually became a part of the band. In 2011, American Idol’s Adam Lambert became the band’s lead singer.
The Broken Microphone Stand
During one of the band’s acts, Freddie’s microphone stand broke. Still, he continued performing, holding the broken stand instead of getting a new one. All of a sudden, he saw himself roaming around the stage with his new microphone. But, it wasn’t just him who decided to run around the stage with a stick attached to the mic. Over the years, he has inspired lots of musicians, including Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses, Klaus Meine of Scorpions, Bret Michaels of Poison, and Joey Belladona of Anthrax.
Queen’s Duet with David Bowie
Queen is also remembered for their legendary duet of the song “Under Pressure” with David Bowie. The group was just recording their 10th studio album entitled Hot Space at Mountain Studio in Montreux, Switzerland, when suddenly, Bowie arrived to record a song for the film Cat People. Initially, Bowie was assigned to do backup vocals for the song “Cool Cat”, but he suggested it is better to have an original together, instead.
How “We Will Rock You” Got Its Intro
The band’s hit song, “We Will Rock You” didn’t really start with the lively stomp-stomp-clap electronic percussion. It was Brian, who was responsible for the stunt. He used his knowledge about astrophysics to create the sound in a show at Bingley Hall, near Birminghan, England. He wanted to estimate the sound of people clapping at once, so he used what he learned from school about how sound waves travel over far distances.
England Commemorates Freddie Mercury with a Postage Stamp
In 1999, England gave recognition to the band with a Freddie Mercury commemorative postage stamp. The photo used in the stamp featured Roger Taylor in the background. In the country’s tradition, the only living people, who can appear on British stamps, are those that are members of the Royal Family.
Freddie Wrote a Song in a Bathtub
Of course, it is really hard for most people to read a book while taking a bath in the tub. However, Freddie was so talented that he was able to write a whole song, while soaking in the bubbles. To somehow lift up his mood to create “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, he plugged up the bathtub and hopped in. According to stories, he asked his assistant to move his piano next to him so that he can play while writing.
Mercury actually had a serious girlfriend in the early 1970s. She is Mary Austin. Even after they separated because of sexual preferences, they remained friends. In an interview, he even said the she was the only true friend he’s had. The song “Love of My Life” was all about her. Now, he is the godfather of Austin’s son. There are reports that say he left his house, his money, and his recording royalties to her.
Freddie’s Love for Cats
Freddie was a great fan of cats. At one point, he even had 10 of them. His 1985 solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, was named after one of his pets. He also dedicated one of his discs “to my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else”.
The Song Delilah is About Freddie’s Favorite Cat
The song “Delilah” was actually about his favorite tortoiseshell cat. It was featured on his last album with the band, “Innuendo”. The lyrics of the song is quite amusing, but definitely nuts, with lines saying, “When you throw a moody, you’re all claws and you bite/That’s all right/… You make me so very happy/When you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me/And then you make me slightly mad when you pee all over my Chippendale Suite”.
Freddie Designed the Band’s Logo
As a graduate from an art college, Freddie designed the logo of the band, which he called the “Queen crest”. It was released together with their first self-titled album in 1973. Although he wasn’t really interested in astrology, the logo he created featured the zodiac signs of his bandmates. There was a crab for May, a pair of fairies for him, and two lions for the rest. The logo was more or less similar to the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.
Freddie’s Biopic is in the Works
A biopic about Freddie’s life is currently in the works. Sasha Baron Cohen of Borat was supposed to play the role of the singer. However, he backed out last summer and was then replaced by Ben Whishaw, who played Q in the James Bond movie, Skyfall. As what May shared with Rolling Stone, the band felt that Cohen’s personality was too identifiable to play Mercury.
He said, “What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that he’s made — The Dictator, Les Misérables, and Hugo — in which he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances. We thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief — the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t think that could really happen with Sacha”.
Of Yellow Flowers and Suicide Notes
When Freddie died, a species of yellow flowers was named after him. Also, in the suicide note of Kurt Cobain, Freddie was mentioned. Kurt explained how he envied and admired the performer’s ability to embrace the love of his audience. But in real life, Freddie was said to be very shy and hardly ever gave interviews.
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