Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury

2 articles
Short biography

Faroukh Bulsara (that's Mercury's real name) was born to Persian parents, Bomi and Yair Bulsara, on Thursday, September 5, 1946 in a government hospital on a small island in the Zanzibar archipelago, just off the coast of Tanzania. His father, Bomi, was a civil servant, working as Supreme Court Treasurer for the British Government. In his first year of life, Freddie got his first taste of celebrity when a local photographer took his picture and put it in the window to win first prize in a competition. At the age of five, he began attending the Zanzibar Missionary School, which was patronized by the British monasticism.

In 1954 Freddie was sent from a quiet life in Zanzibar to an English boarding school in Panchgani, about fifty miles from Bombay. It was there that his friends began calling him Freddie, a name that the family also adopted.

Freddie was a good sportsman and showed artistic ability. He was also obsessed with music and listened to records on the old family record player. The music he was able to get his hands on was mostly Indian, but occasionally there was some Western music. He could sing anything and preferred music to studying.

During his time in an English school, he formed his first rock band. They played only at school celebrations, parties and discos. They were not allowed to do booked gigs outside of school.

In 1964, the Bulsar family were deported to Feltham, Middlesex. In September 1966, Freddie was enrolled at Ealing College of Art in London, on a graphic illustration course.

At Ealing, Freddie met and became very good friends with Timothy Staffel, vocalist, bass player and leader of the band "Smile". As time passed, Timothy began inviting Freddie to rehearsals.

The time came, the summer of 1969, and 23 year old Freddie graduated from Ealing with a degree in graphic design. On August 13, Freddie met the Liverpool band Ibex, later renamed Wreckage. The band came to London to try their luck. The band consisted of guitarist Mike Bersin, bassist John "Tapp" Taylor and drummer Mick "Miffer" Smith. Ten days after meeting Freddie already knew the entire repertoire of the band, added a few of his own songs, and went with them to their first concert together.

In April 1970, Tim Staffel decided to leave "Smile", and then the other members of the band offered Freddie a place as a vocalist. He accepted.

Freddie immediately took charge, which he did decently well. He decided to rename the band, and take a pseudonym for himself, so that his image was already fully European. As for the name, as he later recalled, he wanted something simple and memorable, something that would be on the ear. And what could be on the ear more and more often than the title of a ruler in a monarchical country? Especially since at that time there had already been a woman in power for more than 20 years, hence the Queen. So Freddie's decision to name the band "Queen" was one of the most brilliant decisions of his life.

Freddie's contribution to "Queen" in particular, and to world music in general, is difficult to assess. He was the author of the first Queen song to hit the British charts - "Seven Seas Of Rhye" (1973). He also came up with the idea to make a video clip for the band's first hit "Killer Queen" (1974), as a result of which the band entered the Guinness Book of Records as the author of the first music video in history. And he also wrote Queen's most successful work - the masterpiece of world music art "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Freddie tragically passed away on November 24, 1991 at the age of 45. The cause of death was bronchial pneumonia caused by HIV infection. His death drew great attention of the world community to the problem of AIDS.

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