Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury, released yesterday, apparently offers the most compelling portrait yet of the famous singer thanks to exclusive revelations supplied by no less a roster than Elton John, surviving members of Queen and the late Mercury himself.
That said, the items on offer in Jones’ book seem to fit more comfortably under the heading “Yup, that’s weird alright” rather than “Holy cow I had no idea!,” at least judging by reports in the Hollywood Reporter.
To wit: though he dated women and claimed the love of his life was longtime partner Mary Austin, Mercury was “mostly gay.” Um, yeah… thanks for that.
Anyway, some other tidbits:
"Freddie Mercury could out-party me, which is saying something," comments Elton John, he of the notorious cocaine addiction in the 1970s. "We'd be up for nights, sitting there at 11 in the morning, still flying high."
Mercury was pals with Michael Jackson and though the two recorded three tracks together, nothing saw the light of day. Mercury is quoted as saying, “We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely.”
Author Jones also quotes Mercury as saying, with characteristic aplomb, "[MJ] used to come and see our shows all the time, and that is how the friendship grew ... just think, I could have been on Thriller. Think of the royalties I've missed out on!"
Queen almost broke up a few years into the game and used to bicker bitterly about everything, "including the air that we breathe." Yet bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor both recall Mercury as the peacemaker, calling the frontman "a great diplomat."
And a genuine superstar.
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