Freddie Mercury - Free Spirit

by Brian May

It seems inconceivable that we now have to do without Freddie; this proud, vibrant, irreverent and passionately creative man surely can't have been extinguished in the prime of his life? Freddie was denied the privilege of growing old, but in 45 years he packed in enough living for a dozen lifetimes.

A child of strict upbringing, he was, when I met him, an uncertain youth stepping into an unfamiliar world outside, but his head was full of great dreams and the certainty that they could be achieved. At the age of 20 he already lived the dreams, and behaved with a gentle grandeur that demanded respect. He looked and acted like a million dollars, though he had scarcely the bus far home on his person. (that never changed! - later when his millions were safely in the bank, someone else always carried the purse!) Perhaps in changing his name just prior to our first record sleeve, he decided to leave the fragile Frederick Bulsara at home under parental care, and became the God Freddie Mercury.

Freddie was a very uncommon creature in our time - a free spirit. He knew what he wanted to be and set about it with complete dedication. His loves were music and life, life was for living and enjoying to the full, and when life disappointed and hurt him, he poured all the more passion into perfecting his music, the weaving of his spells. He never hid in modesty. He gave himself credit for his own achievements and gave credit generously to the achievements of those around him. Freddie never did anything by halves, he had no time for anything but the best.

His spirit will live on as long as musicians strive to pour excitement, drama and mystery into their work.

I was fortunate to share in many moments of creation with Freddie, and I still hear his voice whenever a mediocre compromise is threatened.. "No Darling, we don't compromise" His songs say it all: Lily Of The Valley, Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The March Of The Black Queen, The Champions, The Miracle, Play The Game and many others all have the finest shades of emotion among the bold strokes. Freddie never wanted to discuss his lyrics: "They should speak for themselves" was his curt dismissal.

But the imagination in those lyrics compiled with a magical sense of melody, and a deft knack of sliding between keys at the drop of a hat, made him one of the truly original songwriters of our time. Person, writer and finally performer. This is where the superlatives run out. For, on a stage in front of 200 people or 200,000 he was, of course, matchless. Somehow by channeling his inner self through the heroic, yet intensely human figure that he had created, he reached out to every heart, every boy who ever struggled to be a man, every woman who wanted a man like this. He had the touch of genius which spurred us all to greatness.

Freddie, you did it: you were the best: you changed the world.

God Speed.


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