Freddie did love a good one-liner. His joy was evident in any cracking throwaway quip or comment, the more provocative and outrageous the better. Of course, not all of it should be taken at face value but his deeper thoughts, hopes and fears always shine through. A new book has unearthed some of his most powerful and passionate thoughts on his extraordinary life and how he viewed death and his own legacy, including having a pyramid built. Meticulously put together into a single narrative in Freddie’s voice, it is as close as we will ever come to an autobiography. It is impossible not to read them without a mix of sadness and hilarity, regret and celebration. Freddie, no doubt, would have approved.
Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words is out today with hundreds of incredible quotes from the Queen legend.
Talking about his own mortality he said: “The most important thing, darlings, is to live a fabulous life. As long as it’s fabulous, I don’t care how long it is.”
“I don’t want to go down in history as one of those people who worried… hoping they realise, after I’m dead, that I created something or I invented something. Life is for living. I don’t give a damn about all that. In the meantime, I’ve had fun and I want to go on having fun – doing this. I don’t want to sound morbid. 70 is a long way away. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve lived a full life and if I’m dead tomorrow I don’t give a damn. I’ve lived. I really have done it all.”
“I don’t expect to make old bones and what’s more I really don’t care. I certainly don’t have any aspirations to live to 70. It would be so boring. I will be dead and gone long before that.”
Talking about how he wanted to be remembered, he said: “Will my music stand the test of the? I don’t give a f***! I won’t be around to worry about it.”
He also had some typically grandiose ideas about how he wanted to be buried: “If I want to be buried with all my treasures like Tutankhamun, I’ll do it. If I want a pyramid in Kensington and I can afford it, I’ll have it. Wouldn’t that be fab.”
Freddie was also clear that he would never stop making music as long as he lived: “I can’t retire. What else would I do? I love being in Queen. I never think of music as work. There’s nothing I’d rather do. It’s a very funny thing. I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved. I’ve got where I want to be. I have enough money, I have success and adulation. What more do I want? I’m just a musical prostitute, my dears!”
It was something that proved to be true.
Brian May and Roger Taylor have described how Freddie continued to write and record music, even as his strength was failing in 1991 and AIDS began to take his life. At the band’s studio in Montreux, Switzerland, he would come in for one or two hours a day whenever he felt strong enough and record only a couple of takes of each line for material that would be included on the Made In Heaven album.