Born Farrokh Bulsara in 1946, Freddie Mercury was a legendary British musician and the charismatic frontman of the iconic rock band "Queen." His powerful and versatile voice and electrifying stage presence made him one of the greatest rock performers in history.
Mercury's songwriting prowess contributed to Queen's immense success, producing timeless hits like "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You," and "Somebody to Love."
From early on his life itself, Freddie exhibited the artistic tendency that he was later to hone properly which would make him a global star. He was a true embodiment of artistic passion and diverse talents, from collecting stamps at a very early age to later be exhibited in a museum in London to starting a rock band as a teenager. Today, let's explore the dynamic trail left behind by this rock legend.
Freddie was born on 5 September 1946 in Zanzibar to Parsi-Indian parents. His father, Bomi, had moved the family from India so he could continue working as a cashier for the British Colonial Office. The house rented by the family where Freddie grew up is now the Tembo House Hotel. The hotel acknowledges the trail of the singer through a signboard that hangs on the entry door and says “Freddie Mercury House.”
On the same street as the house lies the Freddie Mercury Museum which entered into a partnership with Queen Productions during its opening in 2019. The museum has a small collection that includes photos, handwritten lyrics, a piano and a replica of the famous yellow jacket worn by Freddie Mercury during Queen's last tour in 1986, among other things.
At the age of 8, Freddie was sent to Bombay to his grandmother and aunt to attend the St. Peter’s Boarding School in Panchgani. In Bombay, he stayed at the Bombay House, the Tata Group's modern-day headquarters. The building is a four-story colonial structure built with Malad stone and was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet. The unique history of the building is recorded in a book by journalist Coomi Kapoor entitled “The Tatas, Freddie Mercury & Other Bawas.”
Panchgani, a beautiful hill station located just 240 kilometres southeast of Mumbai, is home to St. Peter’s Boarding School. Founded in 1902, this all-boys boarding school was attended by Freddie Mercury. A buck-toothed Parsi boy, Freddie never took a liking to his nickname, "Bucky." At the age of 12, Freddie joined a school band called "The Hectics," which was started by Bruce Murray. He played the piano, guitar, and sang, quickly becoming the star of the band. "The Hectics" jammed to the music of famous artists like Elvis Presley, Cliff Richards, and Little Richard. The band soon gained a reputation as the unofficial school band, performing at various events, including Christmas choirs and other occasions.
On January 12, 1964, Freddie and his family had to flee Zanzibar due to the Zanzibar Revolution. They went to England and settled in Feltham, at 22 Gladstone Avenue–the real Bulsara family home. This is where Freddie and his relatives resided after leaving Zanzibar. You can easily identify the house as a blue plaque has been erected outside in honour of Freddie.
One of the most iconic Queen performances, which was also the film's climax, was Live Aid. It took place at Wembley Stadium in the summer of 1985 to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine. Queen delivered an outstanding performance that arguably stole the show. Unfortunately, the original Wembley Stadium, where Live Aid took place, was demolished and is no longer accessible. However, you can visit the new Wembley Stadium, which was built in the exact location in 2007.
Freddie Mercury had a strong connection with Montreux, Switzerland, and spent much of his later life there. Queen also recorded multiple albums at the Mountain Studios located in Montreux. One can find a statue of Mercury on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux.