...that Freddie Mercury died. November 24th 1991. I find it hard to believe that two decades have passed since then. I remember waking up and hearing the news on Breakfast TV…I really, really did not want to go to school that day (I was 17 and in the sixth form). School friends of course can be cruel and I had quite a few comments about his passing, people joking about him, yes the jokes are quick when someone 'famous' dies. Cruel, sick jokes which some people seems to thrive on. Not sure why. In truth though everyone knew me as a fan of the band and my closest friends were full of sympathy. Full of best wishes. Asking if I was alright. For some reason I found that strange but very welcome.
Suddenly everyone was a Queen fan which I found really annoying. In the same way as when Michael Jackson died and all his albums went into the top ten again. More recently Amy Winehouse’s albums did the same after her sad passing. It’s a strange phenomenon really. I never quite understood it. Ok so the songs are played on the radio more often as the artist is in the news but why become a fan of a band when they are no more? Odd…and anyway Queen were my band and no one else’s. At least no one in my class.... You see, Freddie was almost part of the family in the same way Roger, Brian and John were. When finally I joined the fan club in 1987 at 13 years of age it just added to the family feel. Going to the conventions four years later even more so.
I have been lucky up till now as I have never lost anyone really close to me, I know that time will come and I dread the thought of it, however I know it will happen, it’s the way of life. Up till now Freddie’s death is the nearest I have come to feeling deeply upset at someone dying. Feeling lost, feeling like a part of me had died. In a way it had. In time I realised that I wasn’t the only one that felt that way. There were millions of fans around the world feeling exactly the same way all trying to come to terms with it. We had the chance to express our feelings five months later at Wembley Stadium with 72,000 other people, all there to wave Freddie goodbye. Seeing him on the video screens singing to the crowd was a surreal thing to witness. I knew he wasn’t really there but it seemed so real that the chills went down the spine. Were there tears? Yes I think there were. I was afraid to admit that at the time, embarrassed really, but not anymore. The only shame I feel now is for the gutter press that hounded Fred into his grave. Most Queen fans will never forget that. I certainly never have. I wish them all a speedy demise with the News Of The World the first of many to disappear. Technology has already overtaken them and before long will make them extinct.
So hope you are doing ok Fred? You died at 45, and will forever remain that age, so young, it just doesn’t seem fair. We miss you of course, we think of you every day. We see your image on screen; we hear your music on our radios. We remember you in different ways, whether it’s the ‘70s starting out, or the ‘80s in your prime or the early ‘90s, so frail. However we remember you, we are all lucky enough to enjoy your music and will do for many years to come.