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It’s no secret that I’m a huge Queen fan. Over the past year, I’ve read numerous biographies about Freddie Mercury and Queen, and with every one, I felt like I got to know a little bit more about this legendary performer. But no other book made me feel like I got to know the real Freddie as did Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words.
Compiled and edited by Greg Brooks, Queen’s official archivist, and Simon Lupton, Queen’s TV and DVD producer and director, the book features quotes and interview transcripts from the man himself.
Reads like an autobiography
Freddie didn’t give a lot of interviews over the course of his career, which makes this collection even more precious. The closest we’ll ever come to an autobiography, the book provides intriguing insights into the man behind the legend. From his humble beginnings as an immigrant to worldwide super stardom, this book not only gives us a close up and personal look at Queen’s journey, but also allows us an intimate glimpse at this often painfully shy and very private man.
Freddie talks about pursuing his dream (“I am not going to be a star. I’m going to be a legend,”) and dealing with wealth and fame. He reflects on getting old, his legacy (“Never make me boring”,) and death.
It is well known that Freddie was a huge cat lover. He had a total of 10 cats over the course of his life, and by all accounts, they were very much a part of his family.
“I’d love to have a baby, yes. But I’d much rather have another cat.”
I found this passage particularly touching:
“There have only been two individuals who have given back as much love to me as I gave to them: Mary, with whom I had a long affair, and our cat, Jerry.”
He goes on to say: If I go first, I’m going to leave everything to her. Nobody else gets a penny – except the cats. They deserve it.”
Another testament to Freddie’s love for his cats is the dedication on his solo album, Mr. Bad Guy: “This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else!”
In 20 chapters, 194 pages and nearly 73,000 words, you will meet Freddie: inimitable, unpredictable, invariably funny, often poignant, and always entertaining.
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Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words is available from Amazon.
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Image of Freddie Mercury with his cats via Imgur