15 Things You Never Knew About The Queen Frontman
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Revealing hidden facets of his live and work, these surprising Freddie Mercury facts are laid bare in the singer’s own inimitable style.
So, everybody knows that Freddie Mercury was a gifted songwriter, a breathtakingly original performer and frontman of one of the greatest bands of all time, Queen. But there are many lesser-known Freddie Mercury facts that reveal hidden depths to the life and work of the man born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, on 5 September 1946.
1: Freddie Mercury was a brilliant boxer
At school in India, the young Freddie Mercury was a good table tennis player. He used to play tennis sometimes, especially when he was on holiday, and enjoyed watching Wimbledon. He also liked watching rugby, but football and cricket did nothing for him. “I loathed cricket and long-distance running; I was completely useless at both. But I could sprint, I was good at hockey, and I was just brilliant in the boxing ring,” he revealed.
Mercury said he “loved” the nightclubs in New York and went to check out a Brooklyn disco called The Gilded Grape, even though it was supposed to be very edgy. “I’d heard it was really exciting, but everyone told me I shouldn’t go – or, if I did, at least to make sure I had a fast bulletproof car waiting for me outside,” said Mercury. “Everyone tried to warn me about this club, which of course made me all the more determined to go. Not long after we got there, a massive fight broke out, which ended up at our table. Chairs were being smashed, fists were flying, there was blood everywhere. Billie Jean King was petrified, but I loved it. I told her not to worry, and as the fight raged I grabbed her and took her on to the dancefloor. It was much more fun than having some cosy dinner back at my hotel.”
When he was a student at Ealing Art College, Mercury began experimenting with different looks, but it didn’t go down well at home.
“My parents were outraged when I told them what I was up to,” he recalled in Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words (Mercury Songs Ltd). “I used to go home periodically and turn up in these outrageous clothes, with my fingernails painted black, and at that time my mother used to freak out! They used to say, ‘My God! Don’t let the neighbours see you. Come in here quick! Use the back door!’”
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October 15, 2019 6:49am ET by Pressparty