Monday, September 05, 2011


Every year, September 5th is the day when all the music lovers, enthusiasts and Queen's fans around the world gather together to celebrate what is been the birthday of the legendary rock singer Freddie Mercury. The front-man, lead vocalist and the pianist for one of the most celebrated rock band in the history - Queen; is still a mysterious figure, well-respected singers of his time as well as the controversial one. Today, in the year 2011, if he is still here with us, he would have been 65.

Queen Official has released a special video to coincide today's event with a six-minute video with cuts of interviews and portions of "My Melancholic Blues" and "Made In Heaven".

Although I was not born earlier than the day they started to rock the world on, I have been familiarizing myself with Queen's musics all thanks to my uncle. He is a Queen's fan as well and for all these years, I have been listening to their songs. To sum it all up - Queen is full of catchy while rhythmic; mysterious yet meaningful tenor of songs that inspire its listener! Alas, Queen's survival in music has been much on a clinging rope since Mercury passed away in 1991, when I was only six.

To celebrate the day, I have decided to dedicate with my music player been tuned it all up and loud as the Queen's musics will be playing for most of the day. I am not the only one, for sure and of course, as million of others will be flocking their way over to Google's home page to experience not any of the Google Doodle has ever done before. For this special day, Google holds a wonderful tribute to Freddie Mercury by replacing the title block with an impressive HTML5/Flash presentation of Queen's 1979 song "Don't Stop Me Now". That song has been a huge hit with plenty of cult following and placement in the culture as it has been selected as accompanying theme for lots of advertisements. Personally, I love the song and of course the presentation. (Note: In case Google has difficulty loading it, there is a Youtube video already in place for which you can view below):

Freddie Mercury was born as Farrokh Bulsara, a Parsi (Persian) in a Zoroastrian family on this day in 1946 in Gujarat, India. Friends from the time remember him as a quiet and shy young man who showed a great deal of interest in music. However, Freddie is blessed despite spending his early life travelling with his family to Bombay, Zanzibar and London; for that it shapes Freddie into a soul with rich cultural mixture and incisive rhythm in singing. He joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor in 1970 to form Queen. Since their amazing success that sprouted to life in 1974, Freddie is well-known not only for his amazing crystal tenor voice, but also for his talent in song writing and a live performer that captivates his audiences. He is natural. He is not like any performer these days. He sells his voice rather than misguiding it into inappropriate agenda.

In 1975, Freddie wrote "Bohemian Rhapsody" - a six-part musical pieces believed to be about his life into a record breaking hit. The song was a huge success that eventually lead Queen into an international stardom. While it was huge in UK, the song only began to become popular following its feature in 1992's film 'Wayne's World'. "Bohemian Rhapsody", according to Freddie, "It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them... "Bohemian Rhapsody" didn't just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera. Why not?" Till this day, no one is certain what the song carries about, but "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a perfect example on how widely ranged Freddie is in terms of song writing. It infuses classical, instrumental, contemporary pop ballad and rock into a musical. Now, I remembered how this song was used in my school's choir group (my school's Glee version!) to be used in various choir competition.

As a live performer on stage, Freddie Mercury is that one-man whom will steal the limelight. His powerful vocal and brilliant connection with his fans are the keys to success. Just look at this 1985's Live Aid performance and witness yourself. It might be odd how a man whose signature is in the later years combing his gel hair fro-to-back, wearing chest revealing singlet (it appears so) and holding a "bottomless microphone stand" could charm you. Oh boy, Freddie Mercury did. In the Live Aid video below, the first of five parts show Freddie Mercury and the band performing "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Radio Ga Ga" in front of 72,000 spectators in Wembley Stadium. Even Elton John admitted that Queen has stole the show and rocked the house.

The other Queen's most successful hits include "We Will Rock You", "We Are The Champion" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".

In 1987, it is believed at that time when Freddie was first diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, Freddie and the inner circle of friends whom he trusted have again and again denied the fact but speculations rife as Freddie's public appearance has became scarce in 1990. For the last two years of his life, he was living in reclusion. On November 23, 1991, Freddie released a press release by saying:

Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue.

When words came out with his official statement to confirm that he has AIDS, it was all too late. Barely 24 hours after that announcement, he died in his private home due to bronchial pneumonia as a complication of AIDS. Despite his death, Freddie Mercury remains as one of the most influential rock singers of all time. He may be dead but his musics will live on.