Freddie Mercury


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Freddie Mercury & his fight against AIDS / with Influences on the American Gay and Lesbian sub-culture

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Freddie Mercury

  1. 1. Freddie Mercury & his fight against AIDS / with Influences on the American Gay and Lesbian sub-culture In memory of Freddie Mercury September 5, 1946 –November 24, 1991
  2. 2. Education History Career Performances Relationships AIDS Sexual orientation and influence Influential Individuals Awareness / Discrimination Quotes
  3. 3. Growing up as a boy, Freddie attended an all boys school in St. Peter’s India. There, he formed a small school band called The Hectics, he played piano. A friend of his from the time stated that he had “an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano" The school has a mythical bird, the Phoenix as their mascot, which rises out of fire below and holds the olive branch of peace Education History The Phoenix is the symbol of hope and rebirth. The gods vowed that as long as the Phoenix lives, there is hope for mankind. The Phoenix in the image is holding an olive branch in its beak to signify that each student of St. Peter's School is a peace-maker and cherishes peace.
  4. 4. Although he was born in the British protectorate of Zanzibar, which is in East Africa, Mercury was able to remain a British citizen for the remainder of his life. Because of the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, Freddie had to move to England for safety. He was able to attend two schools, and studied Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College. In England, He was able to study at college and earn a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design. Freddie's House before he moved to England.
  5. 5. Freddie’s career influenced a large amount of people. He showed true talent to millions and obtained the reviews of thousands of people. Freddie’s voice was described as "escalating within a few bars from a deep, throaty rock- growl to tender, vibrant tenor, then on to a high- pitched, perfect coloratura, pure and crystalline in the upper reaches". - David Bret “The difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice“ - Montserrat Caballé Career
  6. 6. Songs that Freddie Wrote Bohemian Rhapsody Seven Seas of Rhye Killer Queen Somebody to Love Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy We Are the Champions Bicycle Race Don't Stop Me Now Crazy Little Thing Called Love Play the Game
  7. 7. Performances David Bowie preformed with Freddie recording the song “Under Pressure”. Bowie said “of all the more theatrical rock performers, Freddie took it further than the rest… he took it over the edge. And of course, I always admired a man who wears tights.” "The World's Greatest Gigs“ In 1985, during a show, the audience of 72,000 people sang and swayed in unison voted by a group of music executives as the greatest live performance in the history of rock music.
  8. 8. Mercury has performed an estimated 700 concerts all over the world during his career. In 1980, he made frequent use of synthesizers. Queen guitarist Brian May states that Freddie was not impressed with his skills on the piano and used the instrument less over time. Freddie focused more on the guitar and vocals instead of playing piano. But even still, Freddie only had rudimentary skills while playing guitar and exceed in vocals. "Victory" "There Must Be More to Life Than This" It is interesting to know that during 1981–1983, Freddie recorded several tracks with Michael Jackson. Both were only demo songs.
  9. 9. Relationships • Freddie had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin in the early 1970’s. • By the mid-1970’s, he had an affair with a male American record executive who worked for Elektra Records. • In the early 1980’s, he became involved with Barbra Valentin, an Austrian actress. • By mid-1980’s, again he became involved with a male hairdresser named Jim Hutton.
  10. 10. Relationships • Freddie said “All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary, but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage.” • “We believe in each other, that's enough for me.” – On Mary Austin, a long time companion, and the inheritor of most of his estate, as quoted in "For A Song : The Mercury that's rising in rock is Freddie the satiny seductor of Queen" by Fred Hauptfuhrer, in People magazine (5 December 1977)
  11. 11. Jim Hutton, who was Freddie’s partner at the time, stats that he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1987. This image, which is the worst that was found at the time, claimed to show how “sick” Freddie was. AIDS At first, Freddie denied the claims about him having AIDS, for fear of how the public might view him. Freddie wanted to keep things in his life private, yet the media forced him to announce his story.
  12. 12. Freddie hid the status of his HIV for several years, but the awareness of AIDS could have helped him fight against the disease sooner. • He was the first major rock star to die from AIDS. • His death represented a very important event in the disease's history. • In April 1992, the remaining members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust • The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was founded to celebrate the life and legacy of Freddie and raise money for AIDS research
  13. 13. • 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was re-issued to raise money for AIDS research projects. • It soared to the top of the charts. • The song also climbed to The U.S. Top #2 in March 1992, after being featured in the movie "Wayne's World" • It had originally reached number 9 in January 1976. • A memorial concert for Mercury took place at London's Wembley Stadium on May 20 1992, featuring an array of stars including Liza Minnelli, Elton John, Guns N'Roses, George Michael, David Bowie and Annie Lennox. AIDS
  14. 14. AIDS In November of 1991, Freddie called up the Queen's manager Jim Beach. He Invited him over to his home to discuss a public statement regarding his situation he had with AIDS. The very next day, on the 23rd of November, the following announcement presented by Mercury 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.
  15. 15. Only 24 hours had passed since issuing the statement. Freddie died that evening at the age of 45. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS • Mercury's funeral was conducted by a Zoroastrian priest. • Only family, and a small group of friends were among the few people there. • The remaining members of Queen were there. • Elton John and David Bowie were also there.
  16. 16. I like people to go away from a Queen show feeling fully entertained, having had a good time. I think Queen songs are pure escapism, like going to see a good film - after that, they can go away and say that was great, and go back to their problems. I don't want to change the world with our music. There are no hidden messages in our songs, except for some of Brian's. - "The Man Who Would Be Queen" in Melody Maker (2 May 1981) I'm possessed by love — but isn't everybody? Most of my songs are love ballads and things to do with sadness and torture and pain. In terms of love, you're not in control and I hate that feeling. I seem to write a lot of sad songs because I'm a very tragic person. But there's always an element of humour at the end. – Freddie Mercury - 1985 Quotes (influence) I fall in love far too quickly and end up getting hurt all the time. I've got scars all over. But I can't help myself because basically I'm a softie I have this hard, macho shell — which I project on stage but there's a much softer side. too, which melts like butter. "Rock On Freddie" (1985)
  17. 17. Sexual orientation and influence • While Freddie Mercury was an acknowledged bisexual by the public, some critics claimed he hid his sexual orientation. Others made claims that he was simply gay. • He had prior relationships with females, and his love for Austin was unconditional. • He also had an unconditional love for Jim Hutton.
  18. 18. "I am as gay as a daffodil, my dear“ One of his most famous quotes • Although he would distance himself from his partner, Jim Hutton. During any events set in public. • He was shy in general, and along with his sexual orientation, seemed to be ignored by the audiences and pundits of both gay and straight for years to come.
  19. 19. Influential Individuals • Despite the fact that he had been criticized by gay activists for hiding his HIV status, author Paul Russell included Mercury in his book "The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present. • The discovery of HIV in the US in 1981 has been accompanied by a widespread discrimination. • Myths about HIV being spread by casual contact such as kissing or touching. Freddie Mercury "one of the most dynamic and charismatic frontmen in rock history.“ - Rolling Stone
  20. 20. Influential Individuals "There's definitely something missing in today's music scene," he says. "We don't have a lot of men on stage doing flamboyant or theatrical. We have a lot of female pop stars doing it, but where are the guys? Where's the classic pop-rock showman?“ - Adam Lambert Freddie Mercury “Queen” There never will be a rock and roll showman who will compare to Freddie Mercury. Emotional Intensity
  21. 21. Influential Individuals • Freddie writes “Jimi Hendrix is very important. He's my idol.” • “He sort of epitomizes, from his presentation on stage, the whole works of a rock star. There's no way you can compare him. You either have the magic or you don't. There's no way you can work up to it. There's nobody who can take his place.” – As quoted in "Queen's Freddie Mercury Shopping For An Image In London" by Scott Cohen in Circus Magazine (April 1975)
  22. 22. “…openly gay rock stars” • It may also be safe to say that nobody had a greater influence on rock music than Freddie Mercury. • True, there were other openly gay rock stars in the like Elton John and David Bowie, but Mercury, despite his sexual orientation, was different. • Even the most homophobic, conservative music lovers listened to the band Queen. • Freddie Mercury can also be credited for helping to create the foundation of much of today’s rock music. • Contemporary artists, such as Adam Lambert, Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam and many other “Gay and Lesbian bands” all can credit Mercury as one of their greatest musical influences.
  23. 23. Awareness / Discrimination • The word queen used towards a gay male in the pejorative sense is often meant to describe someone who is particularly effeminate or flamboyant. • “They don’t think it’s ridiculous to call me a queen because of my sexuality, but they think it’s ridiculous that I would run for queen because I’m a guy,” said Bell. “That’s a bit of a double standard.” • But, discrimination still exists, and with an increase in cases of HIV among heterosexual people, it is often linked to people being Gay and or Lesbians. • Internationally, 40 million people live with HIV worldwide. • With only 8% of people with the virus in developing countries having access to treatment there were 3 million deaths in 2005.
  24. 24. Awareness / Discrimination • "Hold onto the hope" • Before Freddie Mercury died, he asked us all to help the fight against AIDS. • The Mercury Phoenix Trust was founded in response to his request. • The Trust's aim is to raise AIDS awareness and funds to help charities all over the world to support those affected by this dreadful disease.
  25. 25. Conclusion • Aside from the figures, there is the human picture. People have been influenced by musical talents, but Freddie Mercury has helped ‘open up’ the Gay and Lesbian Community by sharing his story to the world. • “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? • —Freddie Mercury
  26. 26. Works Cited • "Freddie Mercury Biography“ Inout Star. Farrokh-Bulsara-1876.html. Retrieved 14 November 2010. • "Tribute to King of “Queen” Freddie Mercury | NowPublic News Coverage". Retrieved 22 November 2009. • Hutton, Jim (22 October 1994), "Freddie and Jim" A Love Story", The Guardian, "Weekend magazine", • National AIDS Trust (2006), 25 years of HIV – London: National AIDS Trust press office, 22 December 2006. • Listen: Adam Lambert on the Influence and Legacy of Freddie Mercury - August 31, 2010 • “Male student beats the odds and wins homecoming queen” 12 October 2010, by Andy Badii • Freddie Mercury Phoenix Trust - Queen - Royal legend 1997 mercury-phoenix-trust.html