The show must go on: 30 years since the death of Freddie Mercury

On November 23, 1991, years after he last stepped off the stage, Freddie Mercury told the world why he hid and revealed his illness to the surprised fans – the day after he passed away. His death shocked his friends and broke the band but in the end they also realized that Kevin’s music – must be played live

Kensington is one of the best neighborhoods in London. If you have some time and a lot of money, and in case you arrived in the British capital it is worth spending a few hours there. The neighborhood is in the west of the city and abounds in beautiful Victorian buildings, green and spacious parks, boutiques where every item will shave you about a quarter of the salary, and a few other monuments that every culture-loving tourist must tread on at least once in his life like the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. By the way, Royal – in the neighborhood is also one of the palaces of the royal house. In addition to new rich people and people with the right degree and a lot of old money in the bank, some rock and pop stars also live there. Even in the 1980s, one of them lived there, but in the last five years of his life, he rarely left his home. He saw all this beauty and wealth mostly from the window while sadly stroking one of his cats.

The movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” provided the Kevin band with great service. While he did make some salad out of her schedules and album order, he managed to expose her to a new generation of listeners who weren’t sure they would have gotten to her music without him. As you may recall, it ends in the 20 and a few minutes that Freddie Mercury and his three friends provided in the summer of 1985 as part of the Live Aid show at Wembley Stadium in London. Kevin’s short and great set there is not only one of the most memorable music moments from the eighties, it also signaled to them that after a few difficult years they can conquer the world again.

And that’s about what they did. Kevin has always been a great band, but what happened to her in the middle of that decade on stage, even her friends seem to have a hard time imagining. In January 1985 they flew to Brazil to perform at the Rio Rock Festival in front of 300,000 people. They did it twice, night after night. For two days more people watched them than those who would one day tell their grandchildren that they were lying in the mud of Woodstock. It did not end there. About six months later, and following the album A Kind of Magic, they embarked on the most successful tour of their careers. In retrospect he was also their last with Mercury. And also with bassist John Deacon.

An in-depth analysis of Kevin’s last five years – the ones that may one day appear in the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody 2” – reveals a band that realized its time was up and decided to act against it, and at all costs. Throughout the summer of 1986 they held only 26 performances, but almost every one of them set a new record – commercial and artistic. They traveled mainly in Western Europe, but still managed to get to Budapest in one evening. Even before the fall of the wall, they easily attracted 80,000 happy Hungarians and made a small musical and cultural history in the east of the continent.

The show that sealed that very successful tour took place at Nevworth Park in front of 150,000 people. He wandered there after the band realized that Wembley Stadium was already small on them. The 1986 tour was short, in part due to Mercury’s health (he did not yet know at the time that he had AIDS, but he must have already realized that something bad was happening to his body). No doubt if the fans and the band had known this was their last chance to see each other, the quartet would have made another small and appealing effort a bit towards the fall, and maybe even jumped for some concentrated week in the United States.

Kevin then focused on Europe because her new album for the benefit of her promotion – A Kind of Magic, was mostly successful on the old continent. Although it included hits such as A Kind of Magic, One Vision, Friends Will Be Friends and Who Wants to Live Forever, in the United States it aroused less interest. Even re-listening is far from a bad album, and it certainly helped Kevin recover from the deep crisis she was in at the beginning of that decade. But he is also a bit of a chatterbox between guitar guitars in the spirit of the highs he displayed in the seventies and rich pop and produced in the spirit of the eighties. The band that has stated in the past that even if you search well and shake well you will not find a single hint of synthesizers in its albums, has been using them here non-stop. For the album’s tour, they even hired a keyboardist named Spike Adni, and he had a lot of work to do.

Unlike Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles or Genesis, Kevin was a band of super hits that hold up very well even 40 years or more after they were written, and less a bunch that released albums where every moment merges into a masterpiece. This is true of its great years in the mid-seventies. This is no less accurate for the trilogy that sealed its days with Mercury. Each of these three albums had great songs, as well as fillers, but when you know you have a kind of giant hourglass above you and every minute that passes in the studio without the recording being filled with a few more sounds will not return, you filter a little less. This is the face of things (and sounds) in A Kind of Magic, and they also apply to re-listening to The Miracle from 1989 recorded in London and to the band’s studio in Monterey, Switzerland, after Mercury announced to his friends that his time was limited. And certainly they are true to Innuendo which came out in the winter of 1991 and became the last album that Mercury completed with the band in his life.

Time to know the truth
The band’s fans did not really know why Kevin stopped performing. They do not seem to have believed that those who until a few years ago were considered the kings of the stage, suddenly feel like sitting in the evenings at home. The British media continued to chase Mercury in an attempt to get up-to-date photos of him, but for the most part she was unable to catch him outside his home. When a nimble paparazzi photographer nevertheless returned with some yellow frame to the system – what was published the next morning spawned a flood of questions that were answered in complete silence by the band members and its speakers.

Anyone who has listened to these three albums in real time will surely enjoy the good moments in them – and there are quite a few of them. It is highly doubtful whether he found at the time in Who Wants to Live Forever, in These Are the Days of Our Lives or in The Show Must Go On a hint of what was going on in Mercury’s body, or in the rabbi’s grief in which his three friends knew his time was going. And runs out. To some extent this is also the case with Made in Heaven, the album that was released about four years after Mercury’s death and consisted mainly of remnants that the singer recorded in the last months of his life. Although it is far from a good album, that did not stop it from selling 20 million copies.

Mercury’s health condition deteriorated, but the fact that the band did not go on tour allowed him to take advantage of his better hours to record as much as possible. He did so with opera singer Montserrat Cabilla on his second solo album, Barcelona, ​​recorded for the Olympics held in the Catalan capital in the summer of 1992. Most notably with Brian May’s guitar, Roger Taylor’s drums, Deacon’s bass and various guests such as Steve Howe, guitarist of Yes on the album Innuendo, and the keyboards of Adni who also starred in Made in Heaven.
In his better days and when Mercury had some power, his private driver drove him from his beautiful chapel in Kensington to short studio outings to record as much as possible. About a month before his death, he managed to hold in his hands Kevin’s latest physical musical product – her second collection of hits with the blue cover that brought together her most beautiful moments throughout the 80s. Pretty soon this collection will become a hysterical bestseller that will flip 16 million copies worldwide.

Until November 23, 1991, no one knew exactly what Mercury had. The hairs were plentiful. That morning, a statement was issued in his name stating that “following the many hypotheses that have been circulating in the press over the past two weeks, I hereby seek to confirm that I have indeed been diagnosed with HIV and that I have AIDS. However, the time has come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone joins doctors and physicians all over the world in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been of great importance to me and I am known for refusing to be interviewed. Please understand this position Stay tuned. ”

The next day he died. At home, at the age of 45 and a bit. The official cause of death was pneumonia caused by AIDS. The funeral was small, with only 35 people in attendance including friends Kevin, Elton John and Mary Austin, his closest friend and ex-partner. She also received the urn containing the ashes of the rock star’s body, buried in a secret location that has not been revealed to this day. The inheritance she received also included the beautiful house, most of Mercury’s money and royalties. The rest was divided small between his then-partner Jim Hutton and Mercury’s family. Both the personal driver and his private chef received a handsome sum, probably in the economic terms of thirty years ago.

Millions of fans around the world were saddened. Also the three members of the band. They had a hard time recovering and thought of falling apart, but when Elton John told them they had a great Ferrari that was just standing in the garage picking up dust and they had to find her a driver, they started thinking about how (and if) Kevin would look the day after Mercury. A tribute show to the late singer held a year after his death – of course – at Wembley Stadium, which featured Robert Plant, Metallica, Roger Deltrey Mahmi, Annie Lennox, Elton John, Ganz & Roses, David Bowie, Bob Geldof and George ‘Michael, proved that the demand for Kevin’s music remains immense. As well as the movie “Wayne’s World” from that year that brought back to life (and parades) Bohemian Rhapsody.

But they were in no hurry to return to the studio or go out. Mae and Taylor took the death of the front from their own hard. Deacon, the quiet man in the lineup, was a tool-breaker and had a hard time believing there was any point in continuing in any format from the one he had known for the past twenty years. Not long after, he repeated to his friends the sentence that Menachem Begin said after the Lebanon war, declaring that he could no longer and retired to his home. He did not even bother to get out of it to come with his two friends to the ceremony where the band entered the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Bands that have lost a key member in the lineup have quite a few, and some of them even managed to get off the boards. One that lost two of them within a few years, and yet returned to matters a little rarer to find. One can write a lot of bad things about what the two remaining Kevin friends have done since (from the musical, for the failed collaboration with singer Paul Rogers to their tour with musical reality refugee Adam Lambert), but they have certainly managed to keep their brand alive. They probably did so out of greed as well, but they may have just listened to what Mercury asked of them in the last big song he recorded for his farewell album – that they would continue this show even without it.

By Editor

Leave a Reply