Freddie would have been 65 today!! My hero, truly. Brandon and I met under the pretense of defending our fandom of Queen. I was wearing a t-shirt featuring Freddie and the boys and Brandon demanded to know whether I really liked them ... or if I bought the shirt from Hot Topic. He's lucky he didn't get smacked!! Our first conversation was about Queen, my obsession with Freddie and the fact that he shared that devotion. It was the closest to love at first sight that I've ever witnessed. We have plans to name one or more of our offspring after Freddie [born Farrokh Bulsara ... I think we'll stick to "Freddie"] and we hope to be able to share with them our love of Queen and other truly great music.
My earliest childhood memories were of dancing to what I would later realize is some of the the best music ever made in our den, laden with burgundy shag carpet and wood paneling. Queen makes me feel like I'm young again, even though Freddie was dead before I was ten years old.
Later, as I was realizing that I could sing, which I wasn't really aware was a anything special since I came from a musical family, I began to appreciate his range and imitate his belting capabilities. He and Mariah Carey made me realize what is possible, range-wise and how that effects the type of music you can sing and the emotion you can add and transfer to others. It really is a shame that he died and Mariah stopped [really] singing. Where have all my heroes gone?
My friends will tell you ... whether they like it or not, if Freddie comes on the radio, someone is about to get a show. I love to sing Freddie. Mostly because the songs aren't something just anyone can sing, so there is a sense of pride that goes along with being able to please a crowd when singing Queen. And not just singing "We are the Champions" or "Somebody to Love" [which hardly anyone gets right]. Even singing karaoke in jest, the songs are great, but to really do it justice is something I strive to do anytime I drunkenly demand someone play "In the Lap of the Gods." One of these days I'll go crazy and YouTube a catalog of my versions of Queen songs. I'll probably have to do it with a bag over my head, but I think it would be fun!
I truly believe Freddie to be the reason I paint my nails black, wear cat-eye make up and make it a point to sing at least one entire song each day. You know, just to keep the vocal chords loose and ready in case someone wants to hire me. Freddie is the reason I love skinny men with glorious chest hair, the reason I respect talent, the reason I don't need an alter ego ... the reason good fashion matters as much as good manners and the reason that being loyal to those I love is a lifelong aspiration.
So, in the spirit of "la voz"... on this amazing September day, enjoy some visual and aural inspiration only Freddie could give.