Freddie Mercury left us on November 24, 1991. Queen’s historic and inimitable front-man died 28 years ago at the age of 45 due to bronchial pneumonia aggravated by AIDS.
Author, together with guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Meddows-Taylor and bassist John Deacon, of songs symbol of rock history like Bohemian Rapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now, Somebody to Love, We Are the Champions, Freddie Mercury remains still today in the hearts of fans around the world. Just think of the success achieved at the cinema by the biopic of Bryan Singer “Bohemian Rapsody”.
Born Farrokh Bulsara, of the Parsi ethnicity, in 1970 he changed his name to Freddie Mercury and founded the Queen, giving his unmistakable mark both in the vocal timbre and as an exuberant and extraordinary performer. A few years later, in 1976, he left the historical companion, Mary Austin, after becoming aware of his real sexual orientation.
The Queen’s street is paved with successes and performances on tour around the world. But nevertheless he never forgot to call his house in London to “talk” with his beloved cat family: Tom, Jerry, Oscar, Tiffany, Delilah, Goliath, Miko, Romeo and Lily. He loved them so much that Brian May said that “Freddie was a great lover of animals and loved his cats more than anything else”.
Queen’s last concert was held on 9 August 1986 in Knebworth Park: this was Freddie Mercury’s last performance in front of 12 thousand spectators. In fact, a few months later he was diagnosed with AIDS. In addition to the activity with Queen, in the eighties he undertook a short solo tour by releasing two albums, Mr. Bad Guy in 1985, which he dedicated to his cats, and Barcelona in 1988.
Among the most exciting moments in the history of Queen, the duet by Freddie Mercury with a record audience (250,000 people) on the notes of Love of My Life (dedicated to Mary Austin) when the band took part in Rock in Rio; and the exhibition, on 13 July 1985, at the Live Aid, the concert organised by Bob Geldof to raise funds for the Ethiopian populations affected by a severe famine.
Mercury kept his fans unaware of his illness until twenty-four hours before he died. On November 22nd, 1991 he published a press release explaining his departure from the stage. “As a result of the enormous speculation spread by the press, I would like to confirm that I have been tested for HIV and have AIDS. I have considered it correct to keep this private information up to date in order to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come for my friends and fans from all over the world to know the truth and I hope everyone will join me, my doctors and all those around the world in the fight against this terrible disease “.
Just twenty-four hours later he died. Recently manager Peter Freestone wanted to share Freddie Mercury’s last moments of life. Freestone said that the Queen leader felt he was a burden to those around him. “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone else – it would seem that he said just before he died – I would like to hear that I went away without being a burden.”
The manager then added: “He took my hand and we looked into his eyes and he said ‘thank you’. I don’t know if he had decided it was time to leave and wanted to thank me for the 12 years we spent together or if instead he was saying thank you for the last 12 hours”. From these words there are those who have deduced that it was a programmed death already planned by Mercury , now suffering from the disease.