|Born: September 5th 1946 in Zanzibar
Other Names: Farookh Bulsara
Education: Graphic Art and Design Degree from Ealing College of Art
Personal: Persian Parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara.
Occupation: Lead Singer, Performer of rock band Queen.
Claim to Fame: His timeless music and performances solo as well as with his legendary band Queen.
Recordings: Numerous recordings including classics such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Barcelona, A Kind of Magic, The Great Pretender, and Flash Gordon.
Freddie Mercury was born Farookh Bulsara to Persian parents Bomi & Jer Bulsara on September 5th, 1946. He was born on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, in East Africa but was proud of his Persian background. Freddie’s family moved to India in 1947. As a young child, Freddie attended an English boarding school in Panchgani, a city located just outside of Bombay. There, he learned to play the piano and developed a keen interest in music. In 1963, they moved to England. Freddie had a youger sister Kashmira. He graduated from Isleworth Polytechnic school in 1964 with three ‘O’ levels and one ‘A’ level in Art. Freddie decided to pursue an Arts degree at the Ealing College of Art. Five years later, he received his degree in Graphic Art & Design and joined a band in 1969 called IBEX. Ten days later, he debuted with the band in his first public performance. Their music was heavily influenced by the heros of the time, like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. In the following year, they changed the band’s name to Wreckage and replaced their drummer. Eventually, the band slowed down and fell apart.
Freddie joined Sour Milk Sea as the lead singer. Other members included Chris Chesney, bass player Paul Milan, Jeremy ‘Rubber’ Gallop on rhythm guitar and Rob Tyrell on drums. They did a few rehearsals, and then a few shows in Oxford. From this Freddie and Chris became close friends. Finally in April of 1970 Tim Staffell left the band Smile, and Freddie joined them as lead singer. He changed the name of the band to Queen, and also changed his last name to Mercury. In 1971 John Deacon joined the band and Queen were complete. Freddie designed the band’s logo and wrote the first Queen song that entered the British charts (Seven Seas Of Rhye). He also wrote the first big hit (Killer Queen) and the most famous Queen song that was on the top of charts for 9 weeks (Bohemian Rhapsody).
Freddie had amazing range and performed with the Royal Ballet. At the end of 1982 Queen all agreed they announced a band break. During this time, Freddie worked and performed solo. He collaborated with Georgio Moroder, to produce the song Love Kills. In 1983 Freddie attended a performance of Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera at the Royal Opera House. He fell in love with it. In April of 1985, Freddie released his first solo album Mr. Bad Guy with CBS Records.
At Live Aid, on July 13, 1985 Freddie peformed one of his best performances ever with his band Queen in front of 72,000 people. Live Aid was also broadcast to over one billion people worldwide. Freddie stole the show and became one of the most legendary performers in history. Among his next achievements were releases including the song The Great Pretender and Barcelona.
Freddie Mercury became ill with AIDS and did not let the public know. October 8th marked the last time he performed live. He announced his illness the day before he died. On November 24th, 1991 Freddie died peacefully at his home in London of AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia. Freddie was loved by millions of fans all over the world. He was a handsome and tall man of 5 ft 9. He loved animals and pets. He also appreciated all sorts of music, including opera and ballet. His idols were Marilyn Monroe and Aretha Franklin, among others. He loved to enjoy life and relax with a glass of chilled Champagne or iced Vodka. He adored good food and and Indian cusine was one of his favourite.
Queen’s Greatest Hit album was recently legalized in Iran. This CD is one of the first to be allowed to to be sold in stores, after recordings from Julio Iglesias and the Gypsy Kings were allowed. Freddie Mercury’s music has such diverse reach and power that even traditional Iranian music listeners love the sounds by this legendary singer and performer.
Barcelona 1988 Polydor CD 837 277-2
Queen 1973 EMI (remaster)