Farrokh Bulsara was born on Thursday, 5th of September 1946 on African spice island of Zanzibar, to parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara. His early schooling was spent away from the family at a boarding school in Bombay. Freddie’s father Bomi, was a British diplomat, so they were often moving from one place to another. In 1954, aged 8 years, Freddie started to attend British College School, St. Peter’s in Panchgan (near to the city of Bombay). At this time his schoolmates started to call him by the name of Freddie. The school was typically British and in sports Freddie was very strong in boxing and in table tennis, winning many trophies and medals. Freddie also loved art and music and showed great talent in both areas ; playing the piano and performing in school shows and also joining the school choir. Freddie, with the encouragement of the headmaster of the school, did piano lessons and applied himself to them very well achieving Grade IV in both practical and theory. In 1958, five friends at St Peter’s School formed a rock’n roll outfit called ‘The Hectics’ – the members were Freddie Bulsara, Bruce Murray, Derrick Branche, Victory Rana and Farang Irani (Freddie was the piano player in the band). They played at school parties, at annual events and school dances.
His family eventually settled in England in 1964, that same year Freddie enrolled at Ealing College of Art. In 1969, Freddie graduated from Ealing with a Diploma in Art and Design Freddie was a huge fan of Jimmy Hendrix and was still very interested in music.
It was a Ealing that Freddie met Tim Staffel, who was in a band called Smile, with Brian May and Roger Taylor. Freddie attended many performances and rehersals with Tim and became great friends with Brian and Roger also. By this stage Freddie had started to use the name Mercury after the mythical God. In 1969 Freddie graduated with a diploma in art and design.
Freddie, as he was known by now, played in a series of groups from ‘Ibex’ to ‘Sour Milk Sea’ and then ‘Wreckage’ which he founded himself. His friends, Tim, Brian and Roger were having good but slow progress with Smile – but it was too slow for Tim and Smile broke up, with Tim joining another band as things weren’t happening fast enough for him. Freddie soon left his band ‘Wreckage’ and joined Brian and Roger because he felt the previous band ‘Smile’ was very good and had all the elements that he wanted in a band. In 1970 Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, Brian May and Mike Grose (bassist from April to August 1970 – Mike died in on March 6th 2019) formed a band called ‘Queen’. After a turnstyle type rotation of bass players, John Deacon joined Queen in 1971 and Queen as we know it was formed. (You can read the main bio to see what happed in Queen after this point…)
Freddie now went and designed the band’s logo with his Diploma being put to work. Freddie used the birth signs of everyone in the band : 2 fairies for him (Virgo), 2 lions for Roger and John (Leo) and a crab for Brian (Cancer). Queen recorded a debut album which had limited success but Queens early hits were Freddies songs, ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’, ‘Killer Queen’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘.
In 1980 Freddie changed his image, cutting his hair and growing a moustache with hard-core fans sending gifts of nail polish and razor blades. Freddie, during a Queen break in 1983, wanted to record a solo album and booked studio time at Musicland in Munich. On September 10, 1984 Freddie’s first solo single, ‘Love Kills’ was released. Other solo releases included ‘I Was Born To Love You’ and this preceeded the April 9, 1985 release of Freddie’s first solo album Mr. Bad Guy was released by CBS Records.
On November 24th, 1991 Freddie Mercury died peacefully at his London home. Freddie Mercury died of AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia. Freddie was cremated according to the beliefs of his parents and himself. Many celebrities including David Bowie, Elton John and others attended his removal.
On April 20th, 1992 a tribute concert in Freddie Mercurys memory was held at Wembley Stadium. And in 1995, another tribute to Freddie was the album ‘Made In Heaven’, which was released on November 6th, 1995. This album was compiled and maastered by the 3 remaining members of Queen.
Freddies music and memory lives on and he was truly one of the greatest singers, songwriters and performers ever… Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991) : A singer of songs, a lover of life.
Freddie Mercury was immortalised in the 2018 Queen Biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ which won the most Oscars at the 2019 Academy Awards picking up 4 of the 5 nominations. Rami Malek played Freddie Mercury so convincingly he won Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards 2019. The Bohemian Rhapsody movie also won Golden Globes, BAFTAs amongst its 30 awards.