Freddie Mercury is extremely easy to talk to. Like, John Lennon levels of easy. You mention him, he’s practically there! A few nights ago I was watching a youtube video that mentioned Freddie and Princess Diana’s friendship, how he and his cronies dressed her up in a “dominatrix” cap (Freddie’s description) with aviator sunglasses and took her out for a night on the town! Everyone was so focused on Freddie Mercury no one noticed Princess Di in her disguise!
Freddie knew fame, and he really knew boundaries too. He knew how to reach his fans with love and glory, and he knew (and did his best) to protect his loved ones. And he adored Diana. That was the first thing to come through. I’ll ask Freddie to come in and help me recall that conversation in a moment, but first I’d like to acknowledge that whenever I’m writing about talking to well-known people in the afterlife, I’m not trying to prove anything here. The confirmations I get are likely easily discoverable through google, and as with my previous conversations, I do my best to keep this respectful and mindful.
K: Hello, Freddie!
F: (Freddie appears in elaborate royal dress, similar to the above photo, but he says:) Tell them it’s with more fur and glitter! (Lots of fur piles across his shoulders in white and black, full length red robe with gold, and an impossibly high spiked crown.)
K: Your clothing reminds me of Lady Gaga –
F: AH Yes! I adore (says her given name Stephani). She has the heart of an angel and the voice of a Siren! We met.
K: You met? But you died in 1991.
F: We met! She and Brian and (shows me two other people) had a séance with a trusted medium and we spoke, she felt me! It’s not something she would speak on publically of course. We made the connection, Bry felt it as well. Was a blast! One of the things I always wanted to do after I died, appear in a séance. I didn’t / couldn’t knock over the table or anything like that, this medium was not dramatic and added no embelishments. They did sit on the floor, done up with piles of rugs and pillows, but they were all standing, dancing by the end! It was a special evening. I’ve spoken / visited Mary (Austin) often too. Of course I do, I would never leave them alone.
K: What about the fellow you were living with, Jim Hutton?
F: I do, he was angry with me for a period and told me to “Just fuck off, Freddie,” so I did. He had good reason to be angry with me.
K: Did you have a falling out or…?
F: No, no nothing like that. We had a non-monogamous relationship, where I would sleep with someone else, and he would either sleep with someone else as well or not, and then he’d forgive me. After a while the drama drained out of it, and I would behave badly – like a rock star, you know – and I thought he’d gotten used to it, because we didn’t fight about it anymore. After I died – no, that’s not true. Before I died, while I was sick and he was taking care of me, he was so fucking loyal, just such a good man, and I said I was sorry I had treated him as I had. He was too angry with me to feel it until after I died, and he had to process everything that had happened. There was always the suspicion too, that I had been the one to give him HIV. There was no way to know, of course, because back then many believed it happened to you *because* you slept with men. So many of us didn’t believe in god, but got the virus and thought, well, this is god punishing me for being a fag.
K: You just internalized it. Did you do that, with the disease?
F: No, I didn’t, but towards the end I thought that maybe I had ruined Jim’s life. I didn’t feel like that all the time, just when I felt really ill and depressed. Jim never let me push him away though.
I was always honest with Jim. He knew I was holding myself back from him, and he was right. Mary was the only person in my life that I was completely open with, and she accepted me completely. She knew me. We had unfailing loyalty to each other. I talked with Jim early on in our relationship about how special and irreplaceable Mary was in my life. He understood at the time, he said I could love him my way, and he would love me his way. That we would figure it out together, and he was not asking me for something I could not give to him.
After I died, I think Jim allowed himself to see he had accepted the short end of the stick. I had wondered if I should have kicked him out – but where would he go? I didn’t want to reject him, I loved him, dearly. I was always honest with him.
K: Did he ever ask you to promise him to be monogamous? I can delete this, you don’t need to answer.
F: Alright, yes, he did ask me to stop messing with other men, on several occasions. In the moment, I could not bring myself to tell him, “No, I can’t do that.” I just said, “Alright.” Those were the most painful conversations. He had every right to feel angry with me, afterwards. The anger only lasted a short time. We lived together, we travelled together, because the good times far outweighed the bad.
K: I saw in a youtube video that stated you were bisexual, but only romantically interested in women, and only sexually interested in men, which I know is a thing, but it didn’t seem to ring true to me about you. What do you think?
F: Of course, the audience wants to believe they know what goes on behind the curtain. No, I am not simply interested in men for one thing and women for another. I had wonderful, pleasing, gratifying sex with men and women, and I love and loved both men and women. I treated my relationships with them differently, and I was more leaning towards men than women, really. I only needed to journey into my adulthood to discover that.
My love for Mary and my love for Jim was quite different. My loyalty to them was complete. I felt like I owed so much of myself to Mary, there were moments in my young adult life where Mary picked me up off of the floor. She loved me unconditionally, she simply accepted me. Mary came first. I was honest with Jim about that too, Mary would come first.
Jim, to his credit, did not resent Mary one bit. He respected her, respected our relationship.
Jim was with me through my whole illness. It must have been terrifying for him at the time, knowing he had the same thing, and it was just ticking like a tomb bomb inside of him, waiting to do the same, or similar, or possibly worse things to him. My foot was gangrenous. It just never healed. It started with an infected toenail, and the tissue just started to die, and then more around it would die, and it all just went bad. They wanted to amputate my foot, but I just knew if I went into the hospital I would never get out. “Let it rot off,” I said, “I’m dying anyway.” Then we had a show that week. That was the first time I thought “This show might be my last,” so I poured every ounce of energy into every show from that point on. It felt different, pushing to get the show out, giving it every last ounce of life inside of me.
I thought, if I died of a heart attack during a performance, that would be art. It had never been done before! Or if I died of a heart attack shortly after a show, that would be alright too. I wasn’t afraid of pushing my body too far and causing a rupture or a stroke or any of the other things they said might happen if I continued to perform.
What was I here for, if not to sing? Every show became the opportunity to give *the best performance of my life*. I am proud of Queen, I am so very, deeply proud of our final performances together. We all knew each one might be my last.
K: I understand you were recording a song just a few weeks before you died?
F: Yes, and I fucked that one up. They had to finish it without me, but they did a great job. The pain in my foot was terrible at the time, I was sick from the infections. (he corrects me as I went to write “fever” but says it wasn’t a fever because his immune system wasn’t working well, and he gives me dizziness, nausea, weakness, and incredible fatigue.) All in all, I am very happy with my legacy. Let’s talk about the cats.
K: Oh yes! The other night you mentioned that you had a cat just like Rupert, and then we found a photo!
He looks just like my cat Rupert in this photo! Rupert makes that face whenever he is having an opinion about something.
F: Yes, he was a self-possessed pussy. We had others, too.
K: Yes, I found this photo, and the two of them together look like Mikey and Rupert!
F: Oh, but this orange tabby could be such an asshole. He would piss on things if he didn’t like his dinner. He could be a bully with the other cats as well, so we had to manage him. I think he was one of Jim’s favourites.
K: With so many cats in your house, I’m sure there were a few cat pee wars.
F: Yes (the female) would get upset and pee on the furniture. I just loved her too much to take it personally. I just wish she didn’t pick the antiques.
K: I saw mention of you petting Delilah as one of the last things you did in your life.
F: Yes, that’s from Jim’s book – you should read it, it’s very good.
(Here it is, called “Mercury and Me”)
K: I will, I love a good autobiography.
F: You will love his. He doesn’t get into much detail about his own life before we met, because he believed that people weren’t interested in him, they were only interested in the story of our love life. In truth, Jim rarely allowed anyone to get the full measure of him. He underplayed his intelligence despite being extremely well-read. He loved art, music of course, and he was humble, he never attempted to aggrandize himself through his associations. (Freddie gives love and admiration for Jim.) He is a jewel of a man. I did not give him full credit either, I thought he would surely leave me after my HIV diagnosis. We didn’t know he was positive as well. I expected him to get off the ride, but he didn’t, and I was so very lucky to have him with me when I died. He loved me right to the very end. And he made sure I didn’t die in hospital.
K: Oh right – Michael Jackson! Sweetie told me something about you pissing off Michael for “doing too much cocaine”? What happened there?
F: Oh Michael. I reached out to him, I loved his music, and we were planning on collaborating. I did quite a pile of cocaine off of his fancy coffee table in view of (shows me children’s playground equipment through the window. He clarifies it was before Michael build the Neverland ranch, but it was Michael’s home and he had children’s play equipment nearby.) Michael was an innocent. He cultivated his child-like view of the world. It was more than a faux paux to use cocaine in his house, right in the open. I don’t supposed it would have been different if I had gone to the washroom and done is discreetly, but why would I? We were both rock stars, he knew who he was inviting to his home!
K: When I first heard that, I thought Michael was upset that you did too much of *his* cocaine? (I was joking.)
F: No, Michael didn’t use cocaine. All of his drugs came from doctors, who were no better than drug dealers anyway. He would just find a doctor who would prescribe him what he wanted, and BRING IT TO THE HOUSE. If one wouldn’t do it, another would. Obtaining his drugs through doctors elevated him above “dirty druggee” status. I’m sorry to say Michael was far more dependent on his medications than I ever was on cocaine. Suffice to say that our collaboration never happened.
(indicates he also met Elton John through Princess Di)
K: Oh how did you like Elton?
F: (shrug) I believe that dear Diana believed we would become friends because we were – to her understanding – both gay men, and both musicians, performers, arguably “over the top” performers too. Di was a sweetheart, and we both did love her, but Elton and I were at opposite ends of the rainbow. My band may have been called “Queen” but he was the true Queen. He was… On rethinking it, I believe our personalities simply clashed. Elton seemed to love to live like royalty – he had people for everything! Bring me breakfast, wipe my ass! He loved the royal treatment. I preferred my privacy. I had assistance cleaning the house, cooking on occasion, gardening – but I did not have “staff” the way Elton had staff. We just could not relate. I would never have played Las Vegas, for example.
K: (This struck me as wrong, how could Queen with Freddie Mercury singing, have never played Las Vegas? I tried to google it, but as Queen is still touring and *does* play in Las Vegas, it’s more than a simple search to answer that question. I asked Freddie to clarify and he just cocked his head to the side, not sure how to interpret that.)
Have you met Michael in the afterlife at all?
F: Of course! And I was in the front row to greet Bowie, of course! The party continues! And Lennon too! John Lennon, I never had the opportunity to befriend him in life.
K: I found a photo of you two together:
F: Yes! John was a legend there and I was just starting out. Queen had not fully happened at that point. I was devastated when John was killed. I couldn’t believe I had let all of that time pass, and we had never formed a friendship. We were too busy, touring, and then John became quite reclusive, and lived in New York. I should have taken the time – but, I thought there would be time. I never thought either one of us would die, ever! (laughs)
K: You were young and immortal?
F: And a famous rock star! That’s as close to immortality as one could get in the seventies! It was absolutely wild. With the women on the pill and there was free love everywhere, our generation scared the shit out of the establishment. Your young generation should do what we did (get out of control). Did you notice they let the 1980’s economic boom happened to calm all of the rebellious counter-culture youth? It worked, as well. After a while, our fans needed babysitters to come to our shows, or some would bring their kids and leave early! Our audience was changing, but I knew Queen needed to continue as the band THEY remembered. I wasn’t interested in aging, but it was happening. Jim and I used to talk about growing old and decrepit together, I always insisted I was not going to do that! He would say, “Well, speak for yourself, I have every intention of growing old.” As it turned out, the decrepit happened, just not the old. (lights a cigarette and smiles, twinkle in his eye.)
K: Did you ever want children, or more of a family with Jim or Mary?
F: (emphatically) No. I would have been a shit father. Proper parents must make parenting the focus of their whole life. I knew I couldn’t do that. I loved my cats like children, I was fortunate to have many friends, incredible artists, and I left my mark upon the world. It was a successful life.
K: Yes it was. Thank you for talking to me. Oh Freddie! I almost forgot – a reader asked me to ask you if you are still with Jim in the afterlife?
F: Yes. (Shows Jim behind him, both have huge smiles. Jim waves, he glows happiness. There is also a privacy indicator, so I don’t ask follow-up questions.)