Freddie Mercury and David Bowie are two of Britain’s greatest rock stars of the 20th century. Both have now left us, but their incredible legacy lives on through their sensational old catalogues. And in the early days of their musical careers, the two certainly crossed paths and perhaps in more ways than one.
Lesley-Anne Jones, who has toured with both David Bowie and Queen, has written a new book on Freddie Mercury’s love life and a new excerpt in The Times features quotes from the Ziggy Stardust star about his relationship with him.
The author recalls how Bowie had her write her first book about the Queen singer at his home in Mustique, as he said:[I’m] so fond of Freddie Mercury.”
The two music legends met in 1969 when Bowie performed at Ealing Tech, where the future queen star studied art.
Bowie recalled bumping into each other in Kensington Market, where Freddie worked at a booth selling boots and could get him a pair of platforms for next to nothing when he was still skin color.
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Freddie Mercury and David Bowie in 1969
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When asked if their friendship was more, David asked with a grin, “Did I push him, you mean?”
The star, who passed away in 2016, continues: “It doesn’t always come down to that. Let’s say he was out and I was out.
“Up, down, in, out, shaking everything. Put the little cokey and spin it around. Same city. Same hangouts. Our parts crossed. Should I say, trails.
“He was just Freddie, slim and clear. His beauty was the feeling you got when he spoke to you.”
Love of My Life: The Life and Loves of Freddie Mercury by Lesley-Anne Jones comes out September 2nd
Of course, it wouldn’t be until 1981 for Freddie and Bowie to work together in the Under Pressure sessions.
Speak with Radio XQueen guitarist Brian May recalled: “It wasn’t easy because we were all precocious boys and David was very… powerful, yes.
“Freddie and David have definitely thrown the horns together. But then the sparks flew and that is why it has become so beautiful.
“[They fought] in subtle ways, like who would arrive at the studio last. So it was kind of awesome and terrible. But in my mind I now remember the beautiful, more than the terrible.”
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May also told the mirror of Bowie’s clashes with Queen bassist John Deacon during filming.
The Queen guitarist said, “What was that riff you had, Deacy?” says David B. “It was like that,” says John Deacon. But Bowie protested, ‘No, it wasn’t, it was.’
“This was a funny moment because I just see DB going up to him and putting his hand on John’s tormenting hand and holding him back. It was also a tense moment because it could have gone either way. Deacy was not kind to hear what he had to do.” especially due to physical disturbances while he was playing! But he was good-natured, and it all went through.’
Love of My Life: The Life and Loves of Freddie Mercury by Lesley-Anne Jones will be released on September 2, 2021.
READ THE ENTIRE EXTRACT IN TIME HERE.
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