Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24: Freddie Mercury of Queen died on this date in 1991...

... he was 45 when he died from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, Freddie was best known as the lead singer, pianist and co-founder of the rock band Queen.

Nicknamed Freddie by his friends in boarding school, he took piano  lessons at an early age, and played in rock & roll bands with friends. Due to political upheaval in Zanzibar, Freddie and his family fled Zanzibar for England in 1964.

In England, Freddie enrolled in the Ealing College of Art and fell under the spell of guitar wizard Jimi Hendrix. It was while attending Ealing that Freddie befriended a fellow aspiring musician, bassist Tim Staffel, who was a member of a local band called Smile.


Freddie soon began attending Smile's rehearsals and struck up a friendship with the group's other members, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Freddie  played in bands himself including Ibex, Wreckage, and Sour Milk Sea, but instead of just playing piano as he did back in Zanzibar, he began singing.

Following graduation, he joined a series of bands and sold second-hand clothes in the Kensington Market in London. He also held a job at Heathrow Airport. In April 1970, he joined with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.  Despite reservations from the other members, Freddie chose the name "Queen" for the new band.

After going through a succession of bassists, finally found a permanent member, John Deacon, just prior to the recording of their first album. But just before the release of Queen's self-titled debut in 1973, Freddie issued the solo single "I Can Hear Music"/"Going Back" (with his Queen bandmates backing him) under the pseudonym Larry Lurex.

(Continued below CDs...)

HIGHLY Recommended (Links to Amazon):

Queen: Greatest Hits I & IIA Night at the OperaClassic QueenQueen: Rock Montreal & Live Aid [Blu-ray]Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs: The Very Best Of Freddie Mercury Solo (2CD)Freddie Mercury

(... continued)

As a performer, Freddie was known for his four-octave vocal range and onstage theatricality and flamboyant performances. As a songwriter, he composed many international hits, including "Bohemian Rhapsody," which many rate the greatest song of all time, "Killer Queen," "Somebody to Love," "Don't Stop Me Now," "We Are the Champions," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy."

In addition to his work with Queen, Freddie also led a solo career and was occasionally a producer and guest musician, piano or vocals for other artists.


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