Great read about Queen and Freddie Mercury

Curlycat

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Was Freddie Mercury really a good musician and artist or was he all hype?

Original article by Julie Perkerson and published on Quora
https://www.quora.com/Was-Freddie-Mercury-really-a-good-musician-and-artist-or-was-he-all-hype

OK, I have recently taken up a minor obsession with Freddie Mercury and Queen. I don?t know how old you are, but there?s something you need to think about when you ask this.

In the 70s and 80s there was no auto tune and most bands had to write or co write their own songs. Queen was made up of 4 VERY smart guys. One had been through dental school, one was one semester away from a PHD in astrophysics and astronomy, and Freddie had gone to a prestigious (and hard to get into) art school for graphic design. He was 6 semesters in, I think. So he?d have been the equivalent of a junior in college, and John Deacon was an electrical engineer.

Freddie joined the band with the drummer and guitarist who all wrote their own songs and found their own way to record a demo and sent it to every record label they could find as they did college gigs where their word of mouth was exploding quickly.

Freddie renamed the band Queen, designed the bands logo and wrote a lot of their songs. All four of them did actually. Writing credits said written by FREDDIE MERCURY on Bohemian Rhapsody, which is considered to be one of the masterpieces of rock to this day and that was in the beginning.

I love Freddie a lot, but as is said by many who knew him and in documentaries he wasn?t your ?pin up poster boy? rock and roll singer. He wasn?t traditionally good looking at least for what the stereotype rock star should?ve been.

He was confident but humble too (it?s complicated), but he always said he would be a star and he made it happen. Not through press because Queen was the most press hated band that all the people loved.

They hated the press from almost the beginning and interviews aren?t plentiful compared to other bands at the time.

Freddie had I hear a 4 to 5 octave range (he sang opera with one of the most legendary opera singers in history later in life). He wasn?t a ?classically trained? singer, which was actually better at least for rock music. He learned the piano in boarding school and according to his band mates had an unbelievable ear for music. He would hear a song once and be able to sit down and reproduce it immediately. He could read music though he says not well and he hated it. So if you look at pics of their songs they are lyrics and a few chords for Brian on guitar written on notebook paper. Remember there were no computers. This was the age of actual RECORDS.

He wrote their biggest chart topper in the US ?Crazy Little Thing Called Love? in the bath in what everyone says was about 10 minutes. Though he says he can?t play guitar and he can?t compared to the lead guitarists, but he played rhythm guitar which is just the basic chords and strumming pretty well too along with the piano, to which he was a master. If you?ve ever tried to play the guitar even one chord to another making two is hard as hell! Freddie may have said he could only play 3 chords but he could play more, and in perfect musical timing because not only do you learn chords you have to play them well enough to go at the pace of a rock song. If you watch Live Aid he does amazingly well, as well as sing perfectly on key while doing it.

Freddie Mercury is NOT hype. As a matter of fact no one hyped him at all while he was alive all press stories were negative or critical of everything from his teeth to his clothes to his sexuality. So to be considered one of the best rock singers EVER, despite every song critic trying to cut him down, you can bet your ass he was talented.

That?s not why he?s awesome though. He is literally and proven to be, one of the most charismatic frontmen of a band ever in the 20th century. The concerts you see today are because of him. Any visual effects the concerts have were because Queen and Freddie Mercury didn?t just sing, they put on a show to which live shows have never and will never match. They were the ones with all the lighting effects first. They made what is considered to be the first true music video, and he designed it all.

You need to go on YouTube and type in Queen at Live Aid and watch that 20 minutes of legendary showmanship to which all they had that day was a piano, a crappy sound system (Live Aid?s sound was infamously horrible) and guitars and drums. That?s it and he still performs one of the best live performances OF ALL TIME!

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana even mentioned how amazing Freddie was in his SUICIDE NOTE! They never met. They weren?t friends, and it was a suicide note. He could have written about anything or anyone and he mentioned Freddie Mercury! I mean that right there proves he was unbelievably great cause no one hyped someone in a suicide letter.

I?m sorry if this seems emotional, but for the past 3 or 4 months since the movie came out I have watched live concerts on any form of media I can find numerous times. I?m reading a book by his personal assistant and I?ve watched every documentary that exists. Not to mention I?ve watched the Live Aid performance everyday for that time and I am so ?in love? with Freddie Mercury that anyone who says anything bad makes me upset. That performance makes me happy and I would take a time machine back to 1985 and fly to London for that 20 minute performance, if possible. I?d sit through 16 hours of staggering heat with 70,000 people in that stadium even in the last row to see that set.

He was by no means perfect. He was impatient and could be bitchy and he was very very picky about anything to do with music or Queen or his band. He could be a huge brat sometimes, but so can all rock stars and they were.

He was also insanely private in a day and age where you could still be private, before cell phones and Instagram. I can?t think of a current popular or known musician today that is currently making music that even holds a candle to him in most every way.

So the answer to your question is no he isn?t all hype because there was no hype until we could look back and see what we had lost.

There is a 5 minute video called Queen at Live Aid 20 minutes that changed music on YouTube, watch it. Then after you?ve watched that gig and that video or even idk looked up anything about him at all, come back and tell us if you think he?s just all hype because I don?t know many people, if any, that have ever said he wasn?t an amazing performer and musician. If you find one let me know. I would be interested to know their reasons because I don?t think there are any valid ones.

Freddie Mercury is a true legend, who IN MY OPINION is more interesting than Elvis or the Beatles, but I?m of course biased. So good luck, and you might want to buy a Queen greatest hits album while your at it. Long Live the King of Queen! Long Live Freddie Mercury and may his legend be appreciated for decades and centuries to come.

CONTINUED: I?ve gotten about 3/4 of the way through the book ?Freddie Mercury In His Own Words? and it?s so awesome, btw. But now I know that Freddie graduated from art school and did freelance art for a couple months, which bored the crap out of him. I know that they all finished their degrees, except Brian May, who was a little shy of his PhD, which he has since finished. That?s why they had to succeed at music because they put all their educations on the line.

BE WARNED! If you do read the book you will be even more in love with him than you were before. It?s all his interviews and conversations with one particular journalist who was a good friend of his, who he confided in a lot more than most, and a very sweet forward by his mother.






 

Trompie67

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A nice and objectively written piece!  :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

I do not disagree though, he is a legend, as is the band IMHO.

That?s not why he?s awesome though. He is literally and proven to be, one of the most charismatic frontmen of a band ever in the 20th century. The concerts you see today are because of him. Any visual effects the concerts have were because Queen and Freddie Mercury didn?t just sing, they put on a show to which live shows have never and will never match. They were the ones with all the lighting effects first. They made what is considered to be the first true music video, and he designed it all.

When they were doing their "The Works" tour & performed at Sun City in October 1984 they were rated as one of, of not the, best live acts around. Having seen them perform many other live shows were mediocre at best and downright shitty at worst afterwards. Rammstein raised the bar to the same level. That's many, many years later!
 
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