Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, was one of the most successful and much loved vocalists and songwriters worldwide. His songs and his energetic performances captured the hearts of many and his amazing voice spanned over a four-octave range. In 1970, along with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Tylor, he formed the band Queen which went on to become one of the greatest hits the world has ever seen. So, if you are feeling nostalgic about those good old days of Queen here are some facts about Freddie Mercury that we are sure you would enjoy reading.
1. Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara and raised in Zanzibar. He was a Zoroastrian. At the age of 8 his parents sent him to India to get a better education.
Freddie Mercury was born on September 5, 1946, in the British protectorate of Sultanate of Zanzibar, East Africa, where his parents moved to so that his father could continue work as cashier at the British Colonial Office. His parents were Parsis from the Gujarat region, British India, and practiced Zoroastrian religion. Freddie started taking piano classes at the age of seven and was sent to study at St. Peter’s School in Panchgani near Bombay (now Mumbai). Music had been a very important part of his childhood and by the age of 12, he formed a school band called The Hectics playing a lot of rock and roll music from artists such as Cliff Richard and Little Richard.(source)
2. In 1974, a then-unknown Queen performed to a jeering Australian audience who wanted Aussie bands instead. After finishing, Freddie Mercury responded, “When we come back to Australia, Queen will be the biggest band in the world!” When they came back in 1976, they were at the top of the charts.
During the Sunbury Pop Festival that ran between January 25 and 28, 1974, Queen’s performance had upset the established local bands and promoters as it was first non-Australian performance in the festival. The local DJ who was acting as the MC introduced the band saying “Well, we’ve got another load of limey bastards tonight. They’re probably going to be useless, but let’s give them something to think about!” The band was also looked down upon as snobs because they brought their own crew and lighting rig, which was sabotaged by local roadies. Mercury made his statement as the crowd were jeering and indeed, when they returned to Australia in 1976, they were quite famous.(source)
3. Freddie Mercury had an overbite which he did not want to get corrected because he was afraid it would affect his singing voice.
It’s hard to miss Freddie Mercury’s one feature, apart from his good looks and great singing, that stands out – his teeth. The overbite was caused by four extra teeth that forced his incisors to look prominent. But he was worried that getting a corrective surgery to fix it might damage his voice and so he chose not to get it corrected.(source)
4. The a cappella introduction of Bohemia Rhapsody is a five-part harmony made entirely of multi track recordings of Freddie Mercury, not the whole band.
Though we see all the four members lip-syncing the intro, the B♭ major a cappella was song only by Freddie. Each voice was sung by him separately and put together to sound like chorus. Also after 14 seconds, when the grand piano enters, Mercury alternates his voice with the other vocal parts. If you are listening in a stereo, the words “little high” come from the left speaker and the words “little low” come from the right. The contrasting chords during “easy come, easy go” give it a dream-like atmosphere.(source)
5. During a concert in the 70s, someone in the audience shouted “You fucking poof” to Freddie Mercury. Freddie responded by demanding the crew to turn the spotlight on the crowd to find him and said, “Say it again, darling.”
After realizing and coming to terms with his sexuality, he told his then-girlfriend, Mary Austin, about it, who was very supportive, and stayed close to her for the rest of his life, also employing her as his personal secretary and adviser. According to Austin, since then Freddie never felt the need to explain himself to anyone. He also didn’t tolerate cheap defamation as could be seen in the incident mentioned above.(source)