Here are 10 things you might not have known about the Queen frontman. Visit of the biography drawing of Freddie Mercury!
MTV doesn't appreciate "Coronation Street"
The video clip "I want to break free" starts with a plan on a wide shot of chimney pots and terraced streets: a reminder of UK drama Coronation Street. Disguised in women, we see :
- Roger Taylor plays Suzie Birchall,
- Brian May is Hilda Ogden
- Freddie Mercury as Housewife Bet Lynch
- John Deacon as granny Ena Sharples
Because Mercury's is dressed in a pointy-chested, glamorous housewife (and obvious transvestite message), It led MTV to ban the clip from its US network! A shame they didn't find out it was a tribute to UK soap Opera.
Farrokh Bulsara grew up in Zanzibar.
Mercury was born in Zanzibar, actual Tanzania. He grew up there before moving back to England when a teenager.
While in a school near Mumbai, Farrokh Bulsara started going by Freddie. He legally changed his name to Freddie Mercury in the early '70s.
Freddie Mercury teeth
Freddie had four extra teeth on his upper jaw, which were pushing on the front ones.
He never considered ‘fixing’ them because he believed that they contributed to the special sound of his voice -- the legendary four-octave range.
Freddie Mercury has a particular voice
Freddie Mercury had a recorded range of almost four incredible octaves but it's not that part which is interesting !
Following a study on Freddie's vocal tone, based on the analysis of six interviews revealed that Freddies having a speaking fundamental frequency of 117.3 Hz: the very common frequency of baritone voices. Freddie Mercury was a baritone!
Among the many facts the searcher was looking for, they concluded that Mercury's vocal cords moved faster than the average person's: an unusual vibrato of 7 Hz.
The typical vibrato is between 5.4 Hz and 6.9 Hz.
The last thing they discovered was that he employed subharmonics, just like the Tuvan throat singers (Tibetan monks singing polyphonic songs). This could explain why he became the most famous rock vocalist!
He designed the "Queen Crest" emblem
Freddie associated with Roger Taylor, co-ran a stall in Kensington Market, London in 1969. They sold second-hand clothes and Freddie’s artwork as well.
Freddie has a degree in art and graphic design from Ealing Art College.
The crest he designed for "Queen" is made of zodiac signs: two lions (John Deacon and Roger Taylor), a crab for Brian May, and two fairies for himself.
The "Q" and the crown represent the band name, and a phoenix protects the Band.
Freddie Mercury wife
Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin. After having an affair with a male, Mercury told Austin of his sexuality. This ended their relationship.
They remained close friends through the years, Mercury wrote the song "Love of my life" referring to her as his only true friend.
The Bad Guy's recording solo
He had a solo career apart from his work with Queen. Mercury released two albums :
- Mr. Bad Guy
wich were a commercial success. He also covered “The Great Pretender” from The Platters with Tony Williams on lead vocal.
The Bottomless mic - incident
Mercury is well known for performing with a “bottomless mic” during live shows.
The origin of this was a gig incident :
The mic broke off during one of the Wreckage concerts (or Ibex) when he wanted to pick up the full stand.
Helpers tried to fit the two pieces back together but they couldn't.
Freddie used the half stand instead.
The Show must go on!
When Brian May presented the final musical record to Freddie, he doubted he could sing the demanding vocal line: Mercury was seriously ill and so weak that he could barely walk.
To May's surprise, when the time came to record the vocals :
Brian May : - Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing.
Fred : - I'll fucking do it, darling!
- vodka down and the job was done in a single take !-
Live Aid crowd warm-up: EEEE OOOO
If you are a lead singer and want to learn how to warm up the crowd, Freddie just made a perfect warm-up performance and winning over the crowd with these simple lyrics: "E" and "O".
Why did this happen, it wasn't planned.
Well, Freddie wanted to hear his voice back and test sound levels and acoustics and warm his own voice with some singer warm-up tricks before launching the show!