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.


Musical Reflection




I just stumbled upon a minor ditty by David Bowie – the stupid grin and solo warbling as I dance along have lead to this musical reflection.

Music tastes are snapshots placed carefully in photo albums. Sometimes the yellowing pages are turned – we groan, smile, cry, and travel through time so completely that often, even if for a split second, we find ourselves transported to another place. Catching us unaware, triggering unstoppable musical reflection. It mirrors our lives – speaks of who we are, where we came from, and what we did along the way.

Electric Warrior by T Rex was the first album I purchased – it “disappeared” when I took it to the grade seven “sock hop”.

Not counting Dr. Hook at the race track when I was fourteen or Trooper and Loverboy at the roller rink – Queen, Night At The Opera tour was my first real concert. Freddie Mercury practically begged me to vacate sleepy town – the city had radio stations playing music all day; instead of farm reports or country and western oldies – there was a place where music ruled.

Elvis Costello, The Clash, Joe Jackson, Patti Smith, Cocteau Twins, Jello Biafra, Devo, Nash the Slash, Skinny Puppy, DOA, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Madness, The Specials, Talking Heads, Orchestral Manoeuvers, David Bowie, Brian Ferry, Jonathan Richman -a plethora of musical delights. I’ll pry myself away from memory lane with a clip from one of my number one, all time best, hands down favorite concert – John Cale at the Commodore Ballroom…