I know it’s a bit late in the day to be announcing this, but today (okay, yesterday, by the time this is posted), September 5, 2011, is the sixty-fifth birthday of a rock ‘n’ roll legend. The man I speak of is quite possibly the greatest rock vocalist of all time, a charismatic performer, and the man I voted prom queen back in 2007 (true story).
I am talking, of course, of the late great Farrokh Bulsara, better known as Freddie Mercury.
Freddie rose to fame in the mid-1970s as the frontman of Queen, one of the biggest rock bands of all time, who remained active up until the singer’s untimely death from AIDS in 1991 (yeah, maybe Freddie’s former bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor may have re-united under the name Queen and toured with that guy from Bad Company and Free a few years, but I tend not to acknowledge that whole…thing). The group’s ecclectic array of musical style owes much to Mercury’s songwriting, which draws inspiration from diverse genres ranging from opera to ragtime to old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll (apparently, there are those who are still fooled into thinking “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is an Elvis song, despite being recorded after Presley’s death). With Freddie’s help, Queen stole the show at the already star-studded Live Aid concert in 1985 (to give you an idea of how big a deal this is, they shared a bill with Bono, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney. That’s right. They upstaged a freakin’ Beatle). Other instances of badassery in Freddie Mercury’s career and posthumous legacy include providing the soundtrack to two films (the film adaptation of Flash Gordon and the first Highlander movie. At least one of these soundtracks was almost certainly better than the film itself), collaborating with Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé, having a statue of his likeness erected in Switzerland, and did I mention he was voted prom queen by yours truly at the senior prom (okay, but I didn’t tell you that I also spent most of the dinner course at said prom singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” into my fork, now did I)?