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Today is Freddie Mercury’s birthday.
Well it would be if he wasn’t dead.
However I still remember it because he made a big impression on my life.
Yes, I know that makes me sound like a sad bastard – but quite frankly I don’t care – because while I loved much of the music they created*, Freddie and his band of merry men did much more for me than simply writing a bunch of rock and roll songs.
They made me learn to play the guitar.
They encouraged me start a band.
They got me to travel to countries I might never have otherwise visited.
They made homosexuality a topic that could be easily talked about.
They got me interested in the business side of creativity.
They taught me about prejudice.
They gave me some of the most exciting and memorable days of my life.
They introduced me to an incredible array of musical styles and stars.
They taught me about the importance of entertainment in presentation.
They were behind some of mine and Paul’s most ridiculous adventures.
They showed me what loyalty really meant.
They helped me work out what music I want at my funeral.
They let me experience what 250,000 singing the same song sounds like.
They made me interested – albeit for wrong reasons – in South African politics.
They helped me understand the importance of being true to yourself – because at school, there was 1 Queen fan for every 25 Smiths or Teardrop Explodes fan.
Queen gave me far more than just music, they had a hand in fundamentally impacting and shaping my life and while it could be argued any band could have done this – the fact is they didn’t, Queen did – and that is why regardless of how many people think they’re shit and that I’m a sad, pathetic, old bastard for loving them, I will always hold them in the highest regard … way more than the brands that try and have that same level of impact on society without actually doing anything more than an ad.
Happy birthday Freddie.
* 1974-1982, after that, even I have to say their output had large dollops of rubbish in it.
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