Freddie Mercury felt imprisoned by fame according to biographer

music news 23/11/2018

With the release of Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody', the sales of previous biography book on Freddie Mercury from 2011 have been boosted. 

'Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury' was written by Lesley-Ann Jones, whom Freddie once told he felt "imprisoned" by fame, and that he had a desire for "anonymity and normality" for much of his life. 

Jones was involved as a script consultant in the early versions of the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' film: “The film is a superficial montage of snapshots. Freddie was 45 when he died. No two-hour flick could portray his whole life story, or capture his true essence. His life and his personality were too complicated for that.”

In her opinion, the most fascinating era of Freddie's life were his formative years, when he attended a boarding school, seldom saw his parents, then moved to London to go to art school and discover Jimi Hendrix. “For me there is an entire second film in Freddie’s childhood and teens,” Jones said.

“Over the years that I toured with Queen, I had more than my share of downtime moments with him. He was candid with me about the ways in which fame and fortune had compromised and even ruined him. He craved anonymity and normality, much of the time.”

Jones said her strongest memory of Freddie was “sitting with him late at night on the banks of Lake Geneva in Montreux” in 1986. “Freddie talked that night about being ‘imprisoned’ by fame. He said he wanted to be buried there without fanfare when his time came – he already knew his days were numbered. ‘Just throw me in the lake when I go,’ he said.”

He had a huge commitment to his fans though, as Jones recalled: “I was with him in Budapest when he was trying to learn the words to a traditional folk song… He couldn’t quite get them, so he scrawled them in black marker pen on his left palm. During the performance, he made flamboyant gestures with his arm, which enabled him to read the lyrics written on his hand. It was so important to him to get it right. I melted.”