Freddie Mercury, THE most important front man
It’s been 27 years since Freddie left this world. I’m sure he is probably waiting us around some cosmic corner. Here my tribute to this beautiful soul that inspired and changed my life.
I was a teenager then, 13 years old, just started to gradually separate from my 8 years older brother and his influence regarding music and understanding of life. Growing up this way very often meant that certain Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple song could be my sleeping lullaby. So when music is the question I guess I didn’t have much choice at the time.
Of course eventually I’ve changed, I “become softer”. MTV was guilty why video killed the radio star, why I stopped listening vinyl’s and converted myself to VHS fan. After watching E.T and Spielberg’s Close encounters of third kind and soon after that Highlander my childish mind created this world where there was lot of fantasy and strong desire for transcendence (read fairy-tales 🙂 ). Somehow I had this idea of existence of different reality – reality beyond the world of humans and E.T’s. World where eternity is just the beginning of greater story. So no wonder I would melt down every time I heard “Who wants to live forever”.
But as teenager my fantasy world was soon replaced with this three-dimensional boring and often cruel reality and music become my shelter at that time of loneliness, disappointment, quietness, isolation. Countless times before going to school I would put my headphones and listened to Bohemian rhapsody, not because I understood what was the song about, but just because of that famous part of the song: “Nothing really matters…to me”.
There were only few channels on TV at that time, but one of them was constantly broadcasting Queen’s famous ’86 Wembley concert. That funny looking black mustache guy would always brought smile on my face every time I saw him on that stage addressing the public to follow him: “Eeeeeee ooooooo”. It was magic.
Most of my peers were oriented towards the alternative, rebellious bands and music. So Nirvana, Pearl jam, Alice in chains, Guns and Roses were their source of meaning and lifestyle. I found that music most of the time disturbing. It was aggressive and with none sophisticated tonalities that just couldn’t feet into my aesthetics. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what they did, but from a different angle.
I’m always attracted by the tune and after some time I get interest in the lyrics. First notice the performance and later let the lyrics get in. Always preferred life performance. One of the rear cases when I was first attracted by the text was when I heard The Show Must Go On. “Empty spaces what are we living for…”.
That 1991 I was 7th grade, hormones on top, grew up 14 cm that summer, with more self-esteem and increased taste for life and passion. So, first love came, first kiss…
And then out of nowhere, Freddie’s gone. Normally, I was shocked. His “Barcelona” was playing inside my head that day, I really love that song. I was sad because I never went to his concert. I was sad but didn’t show it. Not as my friends who were deeply hurt when Kurt died some years after. Yes, Queens’s greatest hits were on for some time and I had no interest in following the stories about his immoral life that came after.
But few years later, again out of nowhere, Queen has published new album. Made in Heaven. What a title! How convenient, just when I was reading a lot about eastern religion and the immortality of the soul.
I hurried into the music shop both the album listened to it on my walk-man. Why they kept it away for so long? – I thought. So deep, so wise, so all-pervading. Beautiful day, Mother love, Heaven for everyone. This is confession of a dying man – facing death and longing for life, thirsty for love and sad because of leaving the close ones, craving for mother love, hoping for acceptance as entering the unknown and anxious because of the uncertainty what’s going to happen.
Not everyone likes Queen’s music, but there are many that enjoy and respect Freddie’s authenticity. With his unique vocal and self-confidence Freddie was Nietzsche’s superhuman on that stage, he was loved by fans and he loved them. I will just always remember him as one of the most influential people in my life. Many things matter now and thank you for that dear Freddie.