Three decades ago, almost without respite and in the same week, the world learned that Queen singer Freddie Mercury was HIV positive, dying and had just died.
The shock and shame at the consequences of a disease that advanced on people beyond moralizing stupidity this time fell on a figure of global character, in a country where Miguel Abuelo and Federico Moura, also victims of the virus, were still mourned.
Next, we select five moments in the life of one of the most legendary singers in rock history, the only one where he is looked at and heard.
1) Thus spoke Bulsara
In his most famous book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra-A Book for All and No One, the German philosopher Fiedrich Nietzsche uses the so-called prophet as a figurehead for his ideas, even giving a poetic framework to the matter.
It is not the intention to reduce to a syllogism one of the fundamental works of modern philosophy, but it is It is worth establishing that Zarathustra is also, in turn, a look-alike of Zoroaster, the founder of Mazdeism or, also, Zoroastrianism.
“All the gods are dead, now we want the superman to live,” reads one of his most cited moments.
The death of God in the mouth of Nietzsche interprets and crosses the life of the child Farrokh Bulsara. Stock Photos
The death of God in the mouth of Nietzsche, using as a medium a character who is an allegory to the considered “first monotheistic religion” that is remembered is something that, to this we were, challenges and crosses the life of the child Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury) born on the island of Zanzibar (now Tanzania) on September 5, 1946.
Son of two Parsis (natives of Gujarat, in Bombay, India) in his family the religion that was professed was, of course, Zoroastrianism. Fate and destiny, the son of Bomi and Jer Bulsara would develop all his virtue according to his inordinate life drive, which could fit in the phrase that another Nietzschian would lavish in 1971: “I am just a mortal with the potential of a superman” (Quicksand, David Bowie, 1971).
Ten years after that proclamation, already become superstars & supermen, they would record the global hit together Under Pressure, where they alternate in singing. “It’s the terror of knowing what the world is about / Watching some good friends yell ‘Let me out'”.
David Bowie kneels in concert to pray the first live Our Father of rock. AFP Photo / THIERRY SALIOU
And ten years after it was published, the occasional duo would be divided between the survivor (Bowie) and the departed (Mercury). A few months later, in May 1992, Bowie would kneel at Wembley, in full concert honoring Freddie, to pray the first Our Father Live from the history of modern music.
2) Queen II, the dark side of a peak
There is an album that is a lifesaver for all of us who, although we like Queen, live looking for a fifth leg for the cat. The one who assumes all the costs in the name of his discography, perhaps because even its strategic & chronological location shows purity: it is the step prior to the explosion of A Night at The Opera), the landmark from 1975 that includes classics like Bohemian Rhapsody and Love of my life, among others.
Queen II, to him it is necessary to refer, has occult halo and a quasi macabre cover, based on a photo of Mick Rock, the famous portrait painter who passed away a few days ago. An apparent portal to a gloomy world, which the sound content will not disprove.
And Freddie, it is documented, is the architect of the B side (vinyl era, of course), called the “Black side.” As a prelude, on “the White side”, Procession it could be part of the epochal soundtrack A Clockwork Orange, with its brief and disturbing echo of Bach.
Father to son It is as if the medley of Abbey Road (The Beatles) were empowered in their pomp and circumstance. White Queen (As it Began) she is rocker and imperial and Someday one day It was the song that Cerati chose as the last song to record with Soda Stereo, for the Latin tribute to Queen.
The Loser in The EndTo wrap up the side, it’s the hippest track on the album: Bowie-worthy glam rock / Mott The Hoople / The Sweet. A degenerate exercise of gender.
The dark side breaks with Ogre Battle: the diaspora between hard rock and heavy metal could be defined here. The Fairy Fellers Master-Stroke he revels in unthinkable dynamics, the ones that make fans justify him as a mix of Led Zeppelin-Yes-Beatles.
Nevermore It seems like a pastiche worthy of Serú Girán (praise) and The March of the Black Queen it is a two-sided parade: between opera and musical.
In closing, Funny how love is looks like a tribute to the Beach Boys and Seven Seas of Rhye a well-extracted compendium of all the ductility of the band: musicality, power, ambition, mystique and a bit of solemnity it borders on the ridiculous. More Mercury, impossible.
3) Zanzibar peaches
Witnesses say, and those who say they have been and those who imagined a place on the site, that the celebration of Queen presenting the album Jazz in New Orleans (1979) it was rarely seen. The remembered journalist / host / presenter Juan Alberto Badía revealed (not without shame) part of the memory in his autobiography In my life (2012).
“The strongest thing that happened to me – I said it very few times, probably due to a bit of modesty – was having attended the presentation that Queen made in New Orleans of their album Jazz, in 1979. An orgy, that short. It was the last great rock party. AIDS appears later, and that leads to the story beginning to unfold in a different way. The Rolling Stones parties during the tour of Some girls And that Queen was the last great crazy rock parties. And I was not forewarned… ”.
(…) All that element paraded through the hotel lounge. Creepy things of any kind were proposed to you all the time, and I felt … apart. Fucking for not being able to enjoy. All Queen did was walk around the living room twice, riding bicycles; they had no prominence. The party was the only protagonist of the night. It was hard to tell that in the late ’70s, so I preferred to shut it up. From what place was he going to tell it? From a quiet place, from rock and roll?
It was difficult for them to believe you, besides, all the things that happened that night. I wouldn’t have believed them either if they had told me, but we Argentines were very misplaced that night. What happened to me also happened to others. Not so much to the Brazilians, although they were also shocked by what was happening. Without knowing it, we were attending the last great rock and roll party. Today, it seems almost silly; living it at that time was strong ”.
By contrast, It is hard to understand how the living members of Queen decided to show a Freddie “guilty of sinning” in the moralistic biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). As if they retraced all the radical euphoria of a subject like Don’t stop me now, just included in Jazz and that also closes the film, to minimize the vital drives that led the singer to be who he was, and everything he was.
4) Live is life
On your suicide note Kurt Cobain documented his emotional chaos as an entity equidistant from the Queen leader’s way of approaching things.. “When I’m backstage and the lights go out and the maniacal roar of the crowds starts, it doesn’t flinch like Freddie Mercury did. He loved and relished the adoration of his fans. And that’s something I envy, “he wrote before hitting himself with a shotgun.
Curious: both Queen (1981) and Nirvana (1992) played in Buenos Aires at the same stadium, Vélez Sársfield. And it may not have been in this city (or in any other in the universe) two more antagonistic shows, with the asterisks of the case.
Queen, in 1981, gave a series of full and triumphant shows during their visit to Argentina.
That of the English was full, triumphant, hyper-fired by the media at a time when the reception of shows of that stature was practically nil. There were three shows from Buenos Aires, plus one in Mar del Plata and another in Rosario, where everything that could be foreseen from Mercury was operated as if there were a style manual and it was applied to perfection.
Instead, the Cobain trio turned all the levers down when they saw first-hand the mistreatment that the local public offered to the opening band, their friends Calamity Jane.
What the Seattle boy tried to offer to the local public was exemplary, but misunderstood and ahead of its time: sabotaging the concert by taking away the audience from hearing the hit Smells Like Teen Spirit and behaving with total apathy.
Queen at Live Aid 1985, considered the highest to which you can aspire as a live band.
For too many people, the perfect rock show consists of a mere twenty minutes of Queen’s performance on the stage. Live Aid Festival at Wembley (1985), for repertoire, context, delivery and empathy with the audience. The movie Bohemian Rhapsody he took so seriously the saying that he dedicates himself to replicating it in its entirety, as a reconstruction of the highest that can be aspired to reach on stage.
5) If the singer is silent
In that remarkable movie that is Silence is a body that falls (Agustina Comedi, 2017) the director goes in search of the “lost years” of her parents, who died a few years ago and very suddenly.
In the reconstruction, he meets revelations: left-wing political activism and the homosexual preference of his relationships. “A part of him died when you were born”, is the phrase that one of Jaime’s old friends, that’s the name of his father, gave him away without anesthesia.
But Jaime is gone and all he can know is in the footage and testimonies of that past, like nothing apocryphal gospels. But from these testimonies, she herself can come to better understand a fact that once marked her: the first time she saw her dad cry.
“Silence is a body that falls”, scene of the projection of a death on that of Freddie Mercury.
This happened one morning in late 1991, while I was driving her to school. In the face of inconsolable tears, Agustina wants to know what is wrong with her. And Jaime excuses himself: the world has just found out about the death of Freddie Mercury.
With that excuse, he would find out many years later, made up the main reason for his grief, which was none other than the death of Nestor, his great lover, a wedding witness and best friend ever since. AIDS had taken both of them and the penalties were never less unrelated.
Reference from clarin