Freddie Mercury – the frontman of legendary rock band
Queen, Freddie was one of the most talented and innovative singers. His flamboyant stage performance and four-octave vocal range keep amusing us today. Also, he is a well-known cat lover by lavishing his cats with an abundance of love.
Rock Charisma, Freddie Mercury
Born in 1946, in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Freddie spent most of his childhood in India and began taking piano lessons at the age of seven.
At the age of 17, Freddie and his family fled from Zanzibar for safety reasons due to the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution to England.
Freddie began to study art and ultimately earned a diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College (now the Ealing campus of University of West London), later using these skills to design the Queen heraldic arms.
In 1969, Freddie joined up with a group called
Ibex as their lead singer. He played with a few other bands before joining forces with Taylor and May.
They met up with bassist John Deacon in 1971, and the quartet—who Mercury dubbed Queen—played their first gig together that June.
Queen’s music have been described as a fusion of hard rock and glam rock, it echoes through arenas with the thunderous double-stomp and clap of
We Will Rock You to the triumphant
We Are The Champions.
Freddie Mercury quotes (goodreads)
The Bohemian Rhapsody
In 1975, Freddie wrote a seven-minute rock operetta for the album A Night at the Opera. Overdubbing his voice, Freddie showed off his impressive four-octave vocal range on this innovative track. The song hit the top of the charts in Britain and became a Top 10 hit in the United States.
Freddie didn’t consider himself a particularly great pianist and he always dreaded performing Bohemian Rhapsody in concert because he worried he would mess up on the piano in the process.
The Face of an Entertainer and a Designer
In addition to his talents as a singer and songwriter, Mercury was also a skilled showman. He knew how to entertain audiences and how to connect with them.
He liked to wear costumes—often featuring skintight spandex—and strutted around the stage, encouraging fans to join in the fun. Artistic in nature, Mercury was also actively involved in designing the art for many of the group’s albums.
The members of Queen collaborated with David Bowie, who is also known as a cat lover, to create
Under Pressure. A No. 1 hit in Britain, the song’s distinctive bass line was later reportedly used by Vanilla Ice for his 1990 rap hit Ice, Ice Baby.
Freddie dedicated his solo album
Mr. Bad Guy to his cat Jerry which was one of his first cats. All the songs he wrote himself, and it was a contrast to typical Queen work, as they were rock-orientated.
Freddie was pretty much a multi-talented musician, he took part in everything from performing the tracks to sound engineering to obtain his desired effect. Freddie used synthesizers and orchestration in track development, adding to the diversity in each piece.
Delilah and Goliath
Delilah may be the most famous feline of Mercury’s clan. She was a large, tri-colored tabby who was adopted in late 1987. As the lyrics to her song state, she took over the house and pretty much did whatever she pleased.
Delilah was always first on Freddie’s lap, first for food. In turn, Freddie favored her as well, picking her up more than the others.
She would also run to him for safety when the other cats would gang up on her. She loved sleeping at the foot of his bed, or in the laundry baskets.
A black cat that arrived the same day as Delilah was named Goliath. The tiny cat had a habit of disappearing, especially when company came. Once, when it was noticed that Goliath was gone for a long time, Freddie and his staff frantically searched the house only to find him sleeping in the marble sink in the bathroom.
Miko and Romeo
Miko, another tabby, came just after a trip to Japan thus the inspiration for her name.
A white-faced tabby called Romeo was found by his boyfriend Jim Hutton and turned out to be quite a fighter. Freddie always wanted a white-cat.
The Home Is Where Cats Are
One of his cats, Oscar was an orange-and-white Tom who came to live with him via a boyfriend.
Oscar was more of a loner, though, and went to visit other homes around the neighborhood when Garden Lodge, the two-story mansion surrounded by gardens and walls.
While Freddie had homes across the world, all the cats lived in this Garden Lodge, and he spent most of his time there.
Each cat got its own Christmas stocking filled with treats and toys. They had full run of the house and were permitted outside during the day to roam the gardens. Their unconditional love gave him great comfort and company in his final days, and Mercury would never deny them admittance to his bedroom.
Before Mercury passed away on Nov. 24, 1991, he made sure all of his loved ones would be taken care of. Freddie put as much importance on them as any human in his life.
Freddie Mercury quotes (goodreads)
Also published on Medium.