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May 24, 2020

Freddie Mercury in Private: 40 Candid Photographs of the Queen Frontman Behind the Closed Doors

While Freddie Mercury’s public stage persona is well known, less is seen of the star’s life behind closed doors when he relaxed with friends and family backstage at concerts and at his quiet London home.


Queen recorded over fifteen studio albums and were constantly traveling the globe - they toured Japan six times alone - producing more radio-friendly pop music as they evolved, and becoming one of the most popular and enduring bands of the 20th century.

The band’s unusual name - a mix of sexuality and class - was Freddie Mercury’s idea, and speaking to People in 1977, he confirmed: “The whole point was to be pompous and provocative, to prompt speculation and controversy.”

Yet behind their electric on stage personas and incredible star power, Roger Taylor, Brian May, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury were often on the road, traveling from country to country, based in hotel rooms and frequenting backstage venues - living much of their lives away from the spotlight.

Freddie eats a biscuit while studying at Ealing Technical College in London in summer 1969.

Freddie Mercury at his Shepherds Bush flat, London, 1969.

Freddie Mercury pictured relaxing at his Shepherd’s Bush, London flat in 1969.

Freddie Mercury and Brian May in the back of a car, 1974.

Queen posing with actress and Queen Elizabeth II look-alike, Jeannette Charles, September 1974. The group are (left to right) drummer Roger Taylor, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and singer Freddie Mercury.

Freddie Mercury of Queen, portrait at home, Holland Park, London, 1975.

Queen take a break during their Japanese tour at Tokyo's Prince Hotel on April 20, 1975.

Freddie Mercury against the Nagoya Castle while on tour in Japan on April 22, 1975.

Freddie Mercury at Hotel Pacific Tokyo on their Night At The Opera tour, Tokyo, Japan, March 21, 1976.

Freddie and Mary Austin at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey, to promote Queen’s album A Day at the Races, September 23, 1976. Freddie is also accompanied by manager John Reid.

Brian May and Freddie Mercury relaxing backstage during the band’s US tour, January 1977.

Freddie Mercury in a bedroom during a tour, circa 1977.

Freddie Mercury drinking a glass of champagne as his girlfriend Mary Austin looks on during party for friends at home, circa 1977.

Freddie at a Queen after-party with the band's manager John Reid, March 1977.

Freddie Mercury pictured applying eyeliner backstage in 1977.

Freddie Mercury takes a photo with a Polaroid camera backstage, Los Angeles, US, circa 1977.

Freddie Mercury in signature PVC leather at a post-concert party in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1977.

Freddie Mercury gets his hair done backstage by his hairdresser circa 1977.

Freddie Mercury photographed in September 1977 with his girlfriend Mary Austin.

Freddie Mercury holding stuffed dogs in a hotel, Tokyo, April 1979.

Freddie Mercury gets training from a ballet instructor in Covent Garden, August 1979.

Freddie Mercury takes a moment to catch his breath during a ballet class in Covent Garden, London on October 3, 1979.

Freddie Mercury attends a ballet class in Covent Garden, London, October 3, 1979.

Freddie Mercury backstage at the Groenoordhal Leiden, Netherlands on November 27, 1980.

Freddie Mercury between laughing with the crowd between songs on tour with Queen in 1982.

Freddie Mercury getting a train from Leiden to Amsterdam, Netherlands, after a gig at Groenoordhal, Leiden, April 25, 1982.

Musicians Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury of Queen attend Queen Press Conference on July 27, 1982 at Crazy Eddie’s in New York City.

Freddie Mercury of Queen, interview and photo session for Music Life magazine, on the band’s Hot Space Japan tour at a hotel in Fukuoka, Japan, October 19, 1982.

Freddie Mercury on Queen's fifth tour of Japan, in an interview photo session for Music Life magazine, on the band’s Hot Space Japan tour at a hotel in Fukuoka, Japan, October 19, 1982.

Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor relax backstage at the Hankyu Nishinomiya Stadium after a show on the Hot Space Japan tour, Nishinomiya, Japan, October 24, 1982.

Freddie pictured backstage Freddie Mercury of Queen backstage at the Hankyu Nishinomiya Stadium after a show on the Hot Space Japan tour, Nishinomiya, Japan, October 24, 1982.

Freddie Mercury on the Osaka Train Station platform leaving for Nagoya during the Hot Space Japan tour, Nishinomiya, Japan, October 25, 1982.

The Queen frontman shaving his mustache backstage on April 12, 1984.

Freddie Mercury with Mary Austin, during Mercury’s 38th birthday party at the Xenon nightclub, London, UK, September 1984.

Lead singer Freddie Mercury performing on stage on his 38th birthday in drag at Wembley Arena on September 5, 1984.

Freddie Mercury with friends comedian Billy Connolly and DJ Kenny Everett, during Mercury’s 38th birthday party at the Xenon nightclub, 1984.

Freddie and Jane Seymour relax backstage at during the Fashion Aid benefit concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, November 5, 1985.

Freddie Mercury with Cliff Richard at an after-party in London on April 9, 1986.

Freddie Mercury performs a duet with Samantha Fox during a party at Kensington Roof Gardens in London, July 12, 1986.

Freddie Mercury arriving by helicopter for Queen's famous Knebworth concert on August 9, 1986.

(Photos: Getty Images, via Smooth Radio)

2 comments:

  1. Freddie's hairdresser is wearing a Peaches shirt. Peaches was the best record store in Atlanta in the 70s and 80s. The chain of stores featured hard to find LPs, used albums, as well as imports and the latest releases. You could easily spend hours in any Peaches store and I often did.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GET WELL SOON BRIAN ... THE BADGERS NEED YOU.

    ReplyDelete

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