I Want To Break Free

Seventy two years ago today Farrokh Bulsara was born in British colonial Zanzibar. Eight year old Farrokh started calling himself Freddie when sent to a British boarding school near Bombay. At twelve Freddie formed The Hectics, a rock cover band with schoolmates. In 1964 the Zanzibar Revolution forced Freddie’s family to flee Zanzibar for England. The Bulsaras settled in Feltham, Middlesex, Freddie enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic in West London to study art, eventually graduating from Ealing Art College with a degree in graphic design. Freddie sold second hand clothing at Kensington Market, fell in and out of bands and worked as a baggage handler at Heathrow. In 1970 he met Brian May and Roger Taylor, in 1971 John Deacon made it four. Dismissing reservations of band-mates and management company Trident, Freddie named the band Queen and officially changed his name to Freddie Mercury.


March 11, 1977 I stood front row at Pacific Colosseum in Vancouver for Queen’s Day at the Races concert. To this day the spectacle of Freddie Mercury gives me chills.

Image result for freddie mercury

For weeks, baggage handlers at Heathrow practiced dance moves to celebrate Mercury’s birthday. Astonished travelers passing through Heathrow today were treated to a heart warming spectacle. Never mind amateur hour, this clip made my day and I hope it does yours.


3 thoughts on “I Want To Break Free

  1. Saw Queen at the Sun City Superbowl – when it was still Bophuthatswana . It is a marvelous venue and the wife and I had seats up top, looking down on the stage. It was one of the best gigs I ever went to.

    We were very fortunate as the previous night’s show had been cancelled because Mercury was suffering from a severely sore throat, so it was reported. Probably the dry air down here. We only heard on the Saturday that the show was ”on.”

    When he came on stage he apologized for cancelling the night before but promised that: ”Tonight, I’m going to sing my bollocks off!”

    And the crowd went wild …. as you can well imagine.

    The highlight of the show for me was Brian May’s solo spot where he played Brighton Rock.
    Never forget it.

  2. I’m going to be contentious here and state I never really got what all the fuss was about. I bought the first album back in 1973, then lost interest. I also think Bohemian Rhapsody is grossly overrated. I hated it back in 1975, and time an repeated exposure haven’t changed my view. 😉

  3. Excellent and besides, Heathrow airport can do with some positive PR: when their systems break down (too often), crowds that Freddy would have been pleased with get stuck at immigration. Breaking free isn’t an option but staying calm and performing a Queen flash mob is, apparently.

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