INTRO/ TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN
Kenny Everett: God you’re noisy, Fred!
Freddie Mercury: That’s one of the softer tracks. [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: That track’s called “Tie Your Mother Down” from the new LP called “A Day At The Races”, which is actually ‘teffifico’ and it’s just out in time for Christmas.
Freddie Mercury: Yes, that’s right.
Kenny Everett: Why tie your mother down?
Freddie Mercury: Well this one in fact is a track written by Brian actually, I dunno why. Maybe he was in one of his vicious moods. I think he’s trying to out do me after “Death On Two Legs” actually.
Kenny Everett: I see.
Freddie Mercury: So if he’s listening, folks…
Kenny Everett: Let’s try a nice gentle lilting one now.
Freddie Mercury: Oh this is the ‘real heavy’ one, yes.
Kenny Everett: That’s right. This is one where you sing by yourself, times 35 or something, isn’t it?
Freddie Mercury: Yes, I’ve multi tracked myself on this one.
Kenny Everett: How many of you are there on this one?
Freddie Mercury: Well… what the next one? “You Take My Breath Away”. This one I did myself, I multi tracked myself. So the others weren’t used on this for the voices. I played piano and basically, I don’t know how we managed to stay this simple you know, with all our over dubs and things. People seem to think that we’re over complexed, and it’s not true. It depends on the individual track really, if it needs it – we do it. So this is pretty sparse actually by Queen and our standards.
Kenny Everett: It still sounds like the choirs of Heaven. So here comes Freddie…plus Freddie, plus Freddie…
YOU TAKE: MY BREATH AWAY
Kenny Everett: Hmmm, another classic there that’ll live forever from the lips of Freddie, “You Take My Breath Away” off the new LP. Which there’s space for in you’re Christmas stocking. Freddie.
Freddie Mercury: Yes dear.
Kenny Everett: We’re going to take a break now. We’re going to play a few of our bits ok, is that alright?
Freddie Mercury: Yes.
Kenny Everett: Smashing, back with another track in a sec.
Kenny Everett: [Laughter] Hey guys, the mikes on! That’s “Long Away” by Brian May. He does four tracks on your new LP doesn’t he?
Freddie Mercury: Yes he does…
Kenny Everett: I see, can you proliferate?
Freddie Mercury: Which tracks you mean? That’s one of his and “Tie Your Mother Down” was Brian’s. He’s written a lovely Japanese song, which is at the end of the second side. It’s got Japanese verses…
Kenny Everett: What, actual?
Freddie Mercury: Actual Japanese verses
which we had to do, we did a lot of research actually and we had our Japanese
interpreter. We flew her over from
Kenny Everett: Actually you should know Japanese off by heart by now, because you’re always there, aren’t you?
Freddie Mercury: Do you want me to say some of them then? [Recites a verse from “Teo Torriatte”].
Kenny Everett: Oh flan flastic! [Applauds] Flerry good, and now we will split for a commercial break. [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: Right, back to the spiffingest LP ever released. Oh what do you think of the new E.L.O.?
Freddie Mercury: Oh it’s great, I’ve got a copy of that. And I know you keep, I keep hearing more of those tracks on your show than anything else.
Kenny Everett: Well…
Freddie Mercury: So I don’t need to play my album, really [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: And also The Eagles, they’re the three for your Christmas stocking, folks. This is me talking to Freddie Mercury of Queen, who must be a millionaire by now, what Freddie?
Freddie Mercury: Oh…in what way?
Kenny Everett: Financially and commercially, I mean you keep buying these paintings and things.
Freddie Mercury: Yes because I like them. Actually it’s what I’ve been interested in a long while, and now that I’ve got a little bit of money to throw around I thought I might as well go and buy it. So I went to Sotheby’s the other day, and got a few paintings. The dealer’s weren’t pleased at all! [Laughs].
Kenny Everett: Actually, you’ve brought champagne with you, which is very good of you.
Freddie Mercury: But of course dear, it travels with me everywhere.
Kenny Everett: You make Gerald Harper look quite cheap. Thank you for that [Laughs]. Usually when I come in here, the place is full of old dead bottles, you know. And green fly…but we’ve made him look peculiar today. Right, “The Millionaire Waltz” which is the next track on the LP, what’s this?
Freddie Mercury: Well it’s all about John Reid actually.
Kenny Everett: You’re manager, well he’ll love all that.
Freddie Mercury: I might as well…
Kenny Everett: It’s a bit gay and weird and strange, but it grows on you.
Freddie Mercury: It’s very out of the Queen format, really and we thought we’d like to do that on every album. I think I went a bid mad on this one. But it’s turned out alright I think, it makes people laugh sometimes.
Kenny Everett: It’s very jolly, let’s have a listen to it.
THE MILLIONAIRE WALTZ
Freddie Mercury: Ooh, lovely! Actually I’d like to say that Brian did do a very good job on the actual guitars. He’s really taken his guitar orchestration to its limits, I don’t know how he’s ever going to out do that one actually. And John played very good bass on that. I think it’s good and we’re patting ourselves on the back again. I really think it’s worked out well especially from the orchestration point of view. Because he’s really used his guitar in a different sort of way, I know he’s done lots of orchestrations before.
Kenny Everett: He’s probably the world’s greatest guitar technician really, isn’t he?
Freddie Mercury: Oh I’d say that dear, absolutely…[mock aristocratic accent]
Kenny Everett: Yes, pass more champagne…[same accent] [Laughs]
YOU AND I
Freddie Mercury: That’s the end of side one of “A Day At The Races”. That was a track by John Deacon, he’s contribution to this album. His songs are good and are getting better every time actually. I’m getting a bit worried actually.
Kenny Everett: He’s the quiet one.
Freddie Mercury: He’s sort of quiet, lots of people think that. Don’t underestimate him, he’s got a fiery streak underneath all that. I talk so much anyway, he like to let me do all the talking. But once people crack that thin ice, then he’s alright. (You can never stop him talking then).
Kenny Everett: You’re all a very shy bunch really, aren’t you?
Freddie Mercury: We are really, actually. I am actually, people don’t seem to realize that. Just because I go around tearing on stage, they think I should go tearing around life, but I’m not really.
Kenny Everett: Good, well done. I’ve said to you once, you must have had a classical up bringing, and you went ‘Ha’! So I dropped that one. [Laughs] But I think you really must have.
Freddie Mercury: I did have in my youth… that’s a couple of years ago. No, when I was about seven years old, I did piano lessons and I did up to grade 4 classical, practical and theory. Then I gave it up, as I basically play by ear really and I can’t sight read at all. So I gave that up and all my playing is done by ear. I can’t read music that well, it takes me a long time.
Kenny Everett: Well how do you work out these amazing harmonies you do?
Freddie Mercury: Well that’s quite easy, yeah. [Laughs] The same as you do! [More laughs] I don’t know, I just have to work at it and after a while you fall into a pattern through experience. I think I’m getting better every year, don’t you?
Kenny Everett: Oh yes.
Freddie Mercury: I learnt a lot from our past albums and things. Seeing how they’re constructed and things, then you use things what you’ve done in the past and work out different things.
Kenny Everett: Oh you’re polishing beautifully, it’s a polished product now. That “You Take My Breath Away”, the harmonies on that are supreme.
Freddie Mercury: They’re nice, I’m very pleased with them.
Kenny Everett: You see – modest. Right, from the polished to…side two. A bit hairy this number, so if you’re a little old lady then please stand back!
Kenny Everett: Cor! How did you manage to get such a loud noise on one record?
Freddie Mercury: I don’t know, it’s
down to Mike Stone our engineer. We’re very bad in the studio for that
actually, the poor engineer has to really suffer because we really want as much
level as possible. We keep pushing the phasers up and he keeps looking at the
meters and going ‘Oh it’ll never cut’. Then we give him the added task of going
Kenny Everett: Yeah, I should explain for the folks, that if a noise is too loud on a record – the little wobbly groove grundges into the groove next door.
Freddie Mercury: That’s right.
Kenny Everett: Then the record skips…
Freddie Mercury: Yes, it can skip and do all kind of things.
Kenny Everett: So the more noise you put on, the less likelihood you have of…
Freddie Mercury: So if Mary Potts has got a little dance set, then it’ll just go flying off! [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: I must admit, you do get a lot of sound on one little LP.
Freddie Mercury: Yes it’s very difficult to… it’s a very fine dividing line really, because if you want to put in more music – but at the same time you’ve got to make sure you don’t put too much in otherwise it suffers.
Kenny Everett: And you’ve got a genius technician that looks after all of that.
Freddie Mercury: Well Mike Stone is pretty good, yes. That little bugger…
Kenny Everett: Yes… right. [gives out weather report with Freddie laughing and teasing throughout]
Freddie Mercury: What a nice little chap he is. [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: Right here we are in Capitol tower with cuddly Ken and Freddie Mercury, nattering about the new LP. Which also has this track on it.
SOMEBODY TO LOVE
Kenny Everett: So, if you’re planning
to but this LP – you get that thrown in as an added goodie. The new number one
Freddie Mercury: They’ve probably all got their copies by now anyway, so we might as well play something else.
Kenny Everett: Yeah, but the thing is we all had “Sailing” by Rod Stewart and everyone bought it. Then they re-released it and everyone bought it again. Very strange.
Freddie Mercury: Yes, go out and but it again, I’m not complaining. [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: Let’s play a little track off “Sheer Heart Attack” now, because I thought this was one of your tunes, because it’s so wilting.
Freddie Mercury: I thought you’d made a slight mistake earlier on, but this is a track called “Dear Friends”. Taken from our “Sheer Heart Attack” album, it’s written by Brian. I’ve done the vocals on it, but Brian wrote this lovely tune.
Kenny Everett: Well let’s hear this one.
Kenny Everett: Very pretty. I didn’t know Brian May wrote that, I thought he was the hairy department.
Freddie Mercury: Yes he does those, he’s very versatile.
Kenny Everett: Ok, this next one is one of yours isn’t it?
Freddie Mercury: Yes, it’s called “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy”, and it’s in my ‘ragtime’mood that I get a chance to, [Laughs] to do on every album and this time, this is something I’ve come up with this time around.
Kenny Everett: Right, a little frilly number from the pen of Fred.
GOOD OLD-FASHIONED LOVER BOY
Kenny Everett: Right, that was one of Freddie’s tunes. I hear you’re not too pleased with the musical press, Freddie [Laughs] Let’s be outrageous!
Freddie Mercury: It depends, I don’t take much notice to be honest. They can say what they like.
Kenny Everett: I find that they slag everything available, they just don’t say anything nice about anybody.
Freddie Mercury: Not constructive at all. The American press do their homework and the kind of questions they ask you makes much better copy anyway.
Kenny Everett: They pick the good points, and then blazon them all over the place.
Freddie Mercury: It’s more sort of things that are more relevant, I feel anyway. You can tell that they’ve done their homework because they ask you very penetrating questions – which I don’t mind. Because then you know they have some substance because when they write about it, it has much more bearing. But over here, it’s all ‘Why have you stopped wearing black finger nails or whatever…
Kenny Everett: Have you stopped? [Laughs]
Freddie Mercury: Then that’s the review of the album, they haven’t a clue anyway – so [blows a raspberry] to them.
Kenny Everett: Yes [blows a louder raspberry] to them!
Kenny Everett: You keep writing things that are things of beauty that will last forever.
Freddie Mercury: Well I hope so.
Kenny Everett: One day you’re going to come up with an LP that’s going to kill everybody.
Freddie Mercury: I thought we had – this is it!
Kenny Everett: Oh, what have I said! What have I said? [Laughs] I mean just you, I think you’ll come out with the Mercury symphony in E flat or something.
Freddie Mercury: E flat minor actually… well I hope so. There’s time for that I think, I have a lot of ideas bursting to get out.
Kenny Everett: And you’ve got a film…a film?
Freddie Mercury: Yes, we’ve erm [Laughs] He’s no fool this one. He’s a tart, but he’s no fool!
Kenny Everett: I tell you what, let’s go to this one… I’m not a tart – I’m a DJ! [More laughs and teasing from Freddie] Let’s discuss the film after the news and this little track off the new LP “A Day At The Races”, which is dying to dive into you’re Christmas stocking!!
Kenny Everett: That’s a Roger Taylor track, and Roger’s just had a requiem set for his hair – so we’re all in mourning. We’ll be back with some more really great stuff, including their climactic climax to this LP right after the news. So I’ll see you then, right Fred?
Freddie Mercury: Yes dear, see you then.
Kenny Everett: Ok, bye bye ladies and gentlemen.
Kenny Everett: And now here’s Freddie with the weather!
Freddie Mercury: Oh God! He’s just put it in my lap, I can’t believe it! Weather for the Capitol area; It’s dry with long sunny periods, clean spells this evening, cold…
Kenny Everett: CLEAR spells.
Freddie Mercury: Oh, [Laughs] It’s you’re writing! Clear spells – yes that’s right. Clear spells this evening, cold high feel four centigrade…
Kenny Everett: Oh forget it!
Freddie Mercury: Winds light, force two or three… well this is the way you’ve written it. It’s in code, my god! [Laughs] Two or three mostly west to northwest, becoming south to south west later. [More laughs in studio].
Kenny Everett: Are you done?
Freddie Mercury: I’m sure everybody got that.
Kenny Everett: Yeah, I’m sure…
Freddie Mercury: That does it, you wait ‘till you come to the studio next time!
Kenny Everett: Get your calculators out and work out the weather. Right, here it is folks – the climax of this LP “A Day At The Races”, waiting for a place in your Christmas stocking.
TEO TORRIATTE (LET US CLING TOGETHER)
Kenny Everett: That’s the last track off “A Day At The Races”, the new LP by Queen, and if you had your Grundig out, then you should be ashamed of yourself – you’ve just robbed this millionaire of another 18 & 6. [Laughs].
ROCKET MAN – ELTON JOHN
Kenny Everett: Well what was a civilized little gathering, is now turned into chaos with bubbling heaps all over the studio. It’s now on the Freddie and Ken show. Any comments on that, because your manager is the same as his isn’t it?
Freddie Mercury: Yes that’s right. In fact I’d like to dedicate that one to a few friends I know; Sharon, Beryl, Phyllis, Serita, Deirdre all the lovely people who’ve all been nice to us this year.
Kenny Everett: All lady friends then?
Freddie Mercury: Yes, they’re all going into my white book. My black books quite full up actually. [Laughs]
Kenny Everett: He says with champagne bubbles coming out of both ears.
BENJAMIN BRITTON TRIBUTE
Kenny Everett: Well I suppose you could call that a golden oldie, as it was written in 1961. Lovely, I like classical stuff don’t you?
Freddie Mercury: I like a bit of Chopin.
Kenny Everett: I’m a Mozart man.
Freddie Mercury: Well there you are then, we differ.
IT’S OVER – ROY ORBISON
Freddie Mercury: ‘It’s Over’! [Freddie & co sing the last line].
Kenny Everett: The masked mouths of the Mercury entourage, and “It’s Over”. Which was written in 1964 and is one of my faves Roy Orbison, who always did a good tune when called upon.
Freddie Mercury: Yes, very good actually. “Pretty Woman” was very good as well.
Kenny Everett: He did a lot of good
stuff, I think he’s fab. I tell you what,
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME –
Kenny Everett: Round of applause for
Dusty Springfield. She’s great, the only thing that’s wrong with Dusty is that
she’s not in
Freddie Mercury: I wish she’d come back actually. She’s very good, a very good singer.
Kenny Everett: I think she’s a ‘nana really, as she’s sat over there and not producing some fab stuff.
Freddie Mercury: I don’t know her, but I think she’s a bit scared to go on. She’s scared of what people might think, especially in this country. I think if she did come back, she’d be liked.
Kenny Everett: She’s be adored, there’s millions of people here waiting for her to come back. I’m not sure what’s wrong with her.
Freddie Mercury: I think she’s got stage fright, she needs a bit more encouragement and a bit more confidence.
Kenny Everett: Now we have another one of your oldies.
Freddie Mercury: Oh? Which one is this?
Kenny Everett: “Love Of My Life”, coming up in just a sec.
Freddie Mercury: This tracks called “Love Of My Life” which…
Kenny Everett: Pull yourself together dear! [Laughs]
Freddie Mercury: I’m perfectly in control, and is dedicated to you dear for being so nice to us today and letting us infiltrating your ‘Be Bop Bonanza’ programme.
Kenny Everett: Shucks, ok.
Freddie Mercury: It’s from our “Sheer Heart Attack” Album – oh no, it’s “A Night At The Opera”. God, we’ve made so many I keep forgetting.
Kenny Everett: It’s the previous and it’s a lovely tune, have a listen to this.
LOVE OF MY LIFE
Kenny Everett: [
Freddie Mercury: I can’t hear the damn thing.
Kenny Everett: It’s over now. You should wear headphones.
Freddie Mercury: Oh I hate those things!
Kenny Everett: I know it kinks your hairdo, but they’re handy and you can hear what you’re saying through them. I feel naked without headphones…[More laughing] Right, it’s thirteen minutes to four and we’re going to sing along at the end of this show ladies & gentlemen, we’ve decided to join Bill Grundy in his cell, for doing naughty things on the wireless. We’re going to sing live, the end of “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Freddie Mercury: So get your vocal chords ready.
Kenny Everett: Yes, because we want you to all join in with us, because it’s nearly Christmas and you can let yourself go. The end of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, if you forget how it goes, it goes like this…
Freddie Mercury: Oh God, you’ve put me in it!
Kenny Everett: I don’t remember that bit. [Laughter]
Freddie Mercury: ‘Nothing really matters to me’ [Sings the line].
Kenny Everett: Great, an old number by Freddie called “Flick Of The Do Dar” or something…
Freddie Mercury: “
Kenny Everett: Really? I thought that was one of yours. Right, here we go then “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Never been done before in it’s life – live in a studio. So we hope you’re going to join in. It’s easy, it’s like Vera Lynn isn’t it. All you’ve got to do is catch onto Freddie, because he’s going to sing the first few lines…
Freddie Mercury: I thought we were all…
Kenny Everett: No, no it’s all yours. Ready? [Laughter] Oh dear, he’s just fainted. You’ve got one minute to lead us into “Bohemian Rhapsody” Go!
Freddie Mercury: I don’t know it… ‘Nothing really matters to me’ [Sings]. I thought you were going to play the track.
Kenny Everett: No, I haven’t got it, I was thinking you being a pro…
Freddie Mercury: I can’t do it live, I mean I need the guitar and multi track, with Brian…
Kenny Everett: Now we know the truth folks, Freddie is a lemon. [Laughter] ‘I see a little silhouetteo of a do dar , scaramouche, scaramouche will you do the fandango’ [Sung in a high pitched voice]
Freddie Mercury: Are you expecting me to sing the full track?
Kenny Everett: Oh I can’t be bothered with these live stars…
Freddie Mercury: I don’t think Capitol have the resources of multi tracking anyway.
HOTEL CALIFORNIA – THE EAGLES.
Blame it on Rio
What has the world’s largest McDonalds,
drives thousands of people mad every evening and is hated by the Pope? Sorry
time’s up. It’s Rock In Rio, the world’s largest outdoor festival , starring
While you’ve been shivering in sub zero temperatures, 300,000 people a night have been listening to 90 hours of music over 10 days at a custom built arena nestling in the mountains at Barra Da Tijuca.
The place is 250,000 square metres in size and about the length of a small airport. It’s not your usual site with tacky old hamburger stands either. There’s a shopping centre with more than 30 shops, a fast food centre including the world’s largest McDonalds, a fully equipped hospital and flush toilets and showers.
You could land a jumbo jet on the stage, which is 21,000 sq feet in size with revolving sections to move equipment around. Twenty tons of lighting equipment with 160,000lbs of sound equipment belting out 500,000 watts of power have been flown in. The arena has its own electric substation.
Rock in Rio should play to 3,000,00 people beating the Guinness Book of Records champion, Watkins Glenn festival in 1973, which could only manage 600,000.
It all beats confession and a few Hail Marys in church on Sunday , so the local clergy have issued a statement condemning the event, saying it will corrupt the nation’s youth. The Government is backing the Church and the official censor nearly succeeded in banning anyone under 18 going to the concert.
Nobody takes any notice though. Queen’s hotel and others along the seafront are under siege by fans. Even minor personalities have only to step out on the balcony for the crowds to go berserk while passing cars blast their horns and screech to a halt. Iron Maiden and Whitesnake were trapped inside the airport by fans, and took a couple of hours to break through.
Queen have been keeping themselves to themselves, Roger Taylor briefly surface to have a drink on the terrace with his minder, but the others are nowhere to be found.
Rod Stewart is sometimes seen lounging by the pool. En route to Rio he has been accompanied by a young German nymph. Gary Kemp has just jetted in from New York and says he’s looking forward to meeting Ronnie Biggs. A couple of Duranies should also be putting in an appearance.
Yoko Ono should also have been around, but since hearing that the Rio authorities want to name a square after her beloved John she’s been threatening legal action. God only knows why.
Rock In Rio is costing around 11 million dollars to stage. It’s the brainchild of Brazilian advertising man Roberto Medina and he wants to make it an annual event. Mick Jagger visited the site a couple of months ago and the Stones might be headlining next year. Gary Kemp also wants Spandau to play there. Not only do bands perform to a captive audience of 300,000 but the Globo television company broadcasts the show to 100 million people across Latin America. Brazil is a healthy market for selling records, 70 per cent of the population is under 30 and they love European and American music.
Whitesnake and Iron Maiden are in rattling good from, although Maiden’s vocalist Bruce Dickinson manages to brain himself on a piece of equipment and finishes the show with blood streaming from his forehead.
Queen and Rio were made for each other. Queen’s trademarks of operatic grandeur and style, perfected when Malcy McLaren was still with the Sex Pistols, drive the lusty Latins wild.
It’s virtually the same show as the last tour over here, complete with ‘Metropolis’ effects. Everything goes very well, especially on ‘Love of My Life’ which was number one in the Brazilian charts and ‘We Are The Champions’ or ‘We Arr De Champons’ as they say in this neck of the woods
There’s a spot of trouble when Freddie decides to dress up in his best Bet Lynch gear for ‘I Want To Break Free’. Some outraged Brazilians decide this just isn’t on and get very nasty. Instead of throwing beer cans at the stage in time-honoured tradition, they decide that pebbles and concrete are far more effective.
Fred does a quick sprint to safety and it’s all forgotten quickly. You should have seen 300,00 hands clapping in unison for ‘Radio Ga Ga’.
The following night there’s a party at Freddie’s hotel, where he’s occupying the Presidential Suite. Somebody was going to arrange a trip up Sugarloaf Mountain but discovered it was closed for the evening.
Girls with skin the colour of rich bronze parade around and everybody who is somebody in Brazilian society is there. With close looks it’s strange that Brazil has yet to produce a star in the calibre of Sade.
Waiters in white jackets dispense gallons of wine and topless samba dancers have been hired. But some of them are sent home because they were too drunk to perform.
Rod Stewart puts in a fleeting appearance before retiring to a nearby bar. "I’d like to meet Freddie but I don’t think I’d make it upstairs," he says.
Rod claims the girl he’s with is in fact auditioning to be a violin player with his band. What a sense of humour he has. Naturally Rod is surrounded by heavyweight security men who threaten to do unspeakable things to photographers and journalists who get too close.
Somebody also capable of perhaps doing unspeakable things is the charming young woman who flicks the hair at the back of my neck and says, "come to my room later, darlink". Quite so, Madam, quite so, but what would Chaka say?
How does it feel to be playing Rio, Fred? Have you been having a good time?
"It’s wonderful. The sunshine makes such a difference. People are allowed to flower here. They’re a wonderful audience and I love their displays of emotion. They get over excited sometimes but I can bring the whip down and show them who’s in control.
I don’t know why they got so excited about me dressing as a woman. There are lots of transvestites here. It seems second nature to a lot of people, Just go and look on any street corner and you’ll find them.
Rio is an interesting place, but I haven’t done much yet. It takes a couple of days to settle in to a new area but I have a small circle of friends.
It’s a tremendous market. If you crack it here the amount of money you make is tremendous. We’ve opened South America to the rest of the world. We came to South America originally because we were invited down. They wanted four wholesome lads to play some nice music. Now I’d like to buy up the entire continent and install myself as President."
Queen aren’t likely to be back in Britain until ’86 at least. But there’s always Fred’s solo album to look forward to.
"It’s very beat orientated. It’s just some things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I think it’s a very natural album and I hope people will like my voice.
I won’t be touring on my own though or splitting up with Queen. Without the others |I would be nothing. The press always makes out that I’m the wild one and they’re all quiet, but it’s not true. I’ve got some wild stories about Brian May you wouldn’t believe."
And as if to prove, the lanky guitarist suddenly decides to hurl himself into the swimming pool, accompanied by a wholesome girl in a white see-through dress.
Freddie contents himself by posing with some more beauties, drawn to him like moths around a candle.
I love everybody you know I love all these beautiful brown bodies whoever they are. I think I’m a mother figure to many people. I love to share problems with people.
I love what’s happening with the charts in England. Frankie Goes Top Hollywood are a tremendous act and so are Spandau and George. We’ve still got some of the best music in the world, there’s so much quality in it.
I love George Michael because he moves so well and has a sense of dignity and fun. I don’t like the Thompson Twins though. I don’t know the real reason why. It’s one of those things they don’t move me.
I would have loved to have been on the Band Aid record but I only heard about it when I was in Germany. I don’t know if they would have had me on the record anyway, because I’m a bit old.
I’m just an old slag who gets up every morning, scratches his head and wonders what he wants to fuck.
Ambitions? Oh I don’t know. I don’t want to be a great actor. I don’t think I’d be very good at it. I’m alright when I’ve got a costume on and I can hide behind my role but I would be hopeless doing something straighter.
Doing this job is like being a housewife. Everyday I get up and I’ve got lots of chores to do. Really, you know, it’s not very spectacular."
Freddie I’ll come and help you with the washing up if it means another trip to Brazil.
Rock on Freddie
As thousands of adoring fans flock to buy his first solo album this week, Freddie Mercury tells of the one thing that all his success and all his millions can’t ever buy……
Freddie Mercury. the outrageous front-man of superband Queen. Is addicted to his phenomenal success but his fame and fortune have also been the source of his misery. Freddie loves creating bizarre stage images and thrives on the roar of his audiences and the beat of his music. But when the lights down at the end of a show. he is .left feeling lost and lonely.
"You can have everything in the world and still be the loneliest man. and that is the most bitter type of loneliness." says Freddie. "Success has brought me world idolisation and millions of pounds. but it's prevented me from having the one thing we all need-a loving. Ongoing relationship.
"It's like the old Hollywood stories where all those 'wonderful actresses just couldn't carry on a relationship because their careers came first.
"That’s the way it is with me. I can’t stop the wheel for a while and devote myself to a love affair because all sorts of business problems would pile up. The wheel has to keep turning and that makes it very hard for anyone to live with me and be happy.
"I'm driven by my work and will go on for as long as my system will allows me - until I go insane. There's a voice inside me saying. 'Slow down Freddie. you're going to burn yourself out'. but I just can't stop.
"You can't' revel in the success and then. 13 years down the line. wake up one morning and say. 'No. I don't want to be a superstar today. I want to go out in the streets on my own. or pour my heart into a relationship'. -It's impossible. Because this is it."
"It" is being the extrovert lead singer with probably the most successful rock band ever. In their 13-year reign. Queen have rocked the world in a way that no other group has before or since .not even the Beatles.
Today. Freddie and. the boys-Brian May. Roger Taylor 'and John Deacon each earn over £1 million a year and need never make another record or undertake another tour. But they have no intention of stopping. ~st year. Queen toured Europe and had yet another hit with Thank God It's Christmas, and Freddie released his first solo single. Love Kills-which made the top 10 and began work on his new single and first solo album. Earlier this year. he and the band were the star attraction for the 250.000 fans at the rock festival in Rio. Brazil.
"It was awe-inspiring and mind-boggling to be up there. with all those people in the palm of your hand." says Freddie. "But the other side of the coin is that. though was surrounded by masses of people who love me. I must have been the loneliest person there. Can you imagine how terrible it is when you've got everything and you're still desperately lonely? That is awful beyond words.
"I don't want people to think, poor old Freddie. because I can deal with it. But I'm so powerful on stage that I seem to have created a monster. When I'm performing. I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man.
"Of course, the stagey streak in me, where I love to jump around
and be volatile, is real, but people don't realise there's more. They expect me to be the same in my personal life as well. They say. 'Come on, Freddie, perform, give us some excitement'."
The hunky, dark-haired singer, who takes pride, in his rippling muscles and ever-changing appearance, once joked that he'd had more lovers than any Hollywood star.
"But they never last," says 38-year-old Freddie. "I seem to eat people up and destroy them. There must be a destructive element in me because I do try very hard to build up relationships, but somehow I drive people away.
"They always blame the end of
the love affair on me because I'm the successful one. Whoever I'm with seems to get into a battle of trying to match up to me, so all the time I'm feeling guilty and over-compensating... Then they end up treading all over me.
"I can’t win. Love is Russian roulette for me. No one loves the real me inside. they're all in love with my fame, my stardom.
"I fall in love far too quickly and end up getting hurt all the time. I've got scars all over. But I can't help myself because basically I'm a softie I have this hard, macho shell ~which I project on stage but there's a much softer side. too, which melts like butter.
"I try to hold back when I'm attracted to someone but I just can't control love. It runs not All my one-night-stands are just me playing my part. What I really like is a lot of loving. And I spoil my lovers terribly. I like to make them happy and I get so much pleasure out of giving them really wonderful, expensive presents."
Freddie has admitted that he is bisexual, but says: "I couldn't fall in love with a man the way I could with a girl". The one love of his life and the only person he really trusts is 31-year-old Mary Austin, a quiet, fair-haired woman. Freddie and Mary had a seven-year romance.
"Our love affair ended in tears but a deep bond grew out of it, and that's something nobody can take away from us. It's unreachable," he says. "All my lovers ask me why they can't replace her, but it's simply impossible.
"I don't feel jealous of her lovers because. of course, she has a life to lead, and so do I. Basically, I try to make sure she's happy with whoever she's with and she tries to do the same for me.
"We look after each other and that's a wonderful form of love. I might have all the problems in the world, but I have Mary and that gets me through."
The seal of Freddie's commitment to Mary is his decision to leave her his millions.
"What better person to leave my fortune to when I go?" he smiles. "Of course my parents are in my will and so are my cats. but the vast bulk of it will go to Mary.
"If I dropped down dead tomorrow. Mary's the one person I know who could cope with my vast wealth. She works in my organisation and looks after my money side and all my possessions. She's in charge of the chauffeurs. maids. gardeners. accountants and lawyers. All I have to do is throw my carcass around on stage."
Freddie is one of the world's richest rock stars but he never has a penny in his pocket and has no idea of how many millions he owns.
"I love having so much money." he admits. "but I don't believe in counting it And because I have far more than I need, I give a lot of it away to people I like.
"I try to enjoy life and if there was no money I wouldn't let it stop me having a good time. In the early days. when I hardly had anything I'd save for two weeks and then blow it all in a day so that I could have a blast of fun."
Certainly. money hasn't always been so free for Freddie. Born Freddie Bulsara on September 5. 1946. his father was a government accountant, which meant Freddie spent some of his childhood in Zanzibar and India. After school. he did a graphics course at Ealing College of Art in London (he designed the band's logo. using the four members' birth signs as inspiration). It was in late 1971 that he joined May. Taylor and Deacon and the Queen phenomenon began. The biggest visible mark of Freddie's success (and millions) must be his magnificent 28-room mansion in London's Kensington, for which he paid over £1/2 million
When Freddie bought the house four years ago, he had three of the eight bedrooms knocked into one, for himself, and filled the
mansion with handmade furniture from Harrods and priceless Japanese carvings and paintings from Tokyo. Outside. an army of gardeners carved out a country retreat in the grounds.
But the king of the castle still hasn't moved in: For the first time Freddie explains why: "Every person who makes a lot of money has a dream he wants to carry out and I achieved that dream with this wonderful house. - Whenever I watched Hollywood movies set in plush homes with lavish decor. I wanted that for my-self and now I've got it But to me it was much more important to get the damn thing than to actually go and live in it Maybe the challenge has worn off now. I'm very much like that-once I get something I'm not that keen on it any more. I still love the house but the real enjoyment is that I've achieved it
"Sometimes, when I'm alone at night. I imagine that when I'm 50 I’ll creep into that house as my refuge and then I'll start making it a home. Anyway. as it is. I can only spend 60 days a year in England for tax reasons."
Freddie has spent the last few months in Munich putting the finishing touches to his first solo album. Mr Bad Guy, which he has dedicated to his dead cat. Jerry.
The album. which is out this week. is packed with new material taking different direction.
'I’ve put my heart and soul into this album. he says. 'it’s much more beat orientated than Queen’s music and it also has some very moving ballads.
In between hard work he also found time to begin a new friendship with a German actress 42-year-old Barbara Valentin.
Barbara and I have formed a bond that is stronger than anything I've had with a lover for the last six years." he says. "I can really talk to her and be myself in a way that's very rare."
Among his existing close friends. Freddie counts Rod Stewart, Elton John and Michael Jackson.
"Rod. Elton and I were going to form a band called Hair. Nose and Teeth after the three of us." he laughs. "But it hasn't happened because none of our egos can agree on the order of the words! Naturally I want it to be called Teeth, Nose and Hair.
"I'm very fond of Rod and Elton. They both came to my last birthday party and sang happy birthday when the cake was wheeled in. I shouted out. 'This is probably the first time the two of you have sung without being paid for it!' and they laughed like mad.
"Michael Jackson and I have grown apart a bit since his massive success with Thriller. He's simply retreated into a world of his own.
"Two years ago we used to have great fun going to clubs together but now he won't come out of his fortress. It's very sad. He's so worried that someone will do him in that he's paranoid about absolutely everything.
"I get worried about that myself but I'll never let it take over my life like that"
Freddie has said that if he wasn't
a rock star with Queen. he'd have liked to have been a ballet dancer. He once appeared with the Royal Ballet dancing to a selection of Queen hits, and it was at a glittering Royal Ballet party that Freddie met Prince Andrew.
"I was wearing a white scarf and holding a glass of wine when I was introduced to Prince Andrew. But I was so nervous I didn't realise my scarf was dangling in the drink." Freddie recalls.
"There I was trying to be really cool and suddenly the Prince said, 'Freddie, I don't think you really want this getting wet'. He squeezed out the scarf and that broke the ice between us.
"I said, 'Thank goodness you've put me at ease. Now I can use the odd bit of dirty language'. Then we both burst out laughing.
"He really got into the spirit of things and even had a dance. He's really quite hip in those sort of situations.
"I have a lot of respect for royalty. I'm a tremendous patriot"
Yet another unexpected side to the king of Queen. But then there's much more to Freddie Mercury than most of us ever see. Underneath the bizarre clothes and images that have become his trademark, there is the other Freddie. He sums it up simply . . . "Sometimes, I just long to be perfectly ordinary as well."
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