Monday, November 24, 2008
On this day in 1991, the recording world lost a giant. Freddie Mercury of Queen. What an amazing performer and songwriter. Freddie only had one great friend in his life. She was Mary Austin. They lived together like man and wife in 1970's. On the other side of the coin was Jim Hutton, a gay hairdresser who was his lover and the one person at his bedside when he died. As a performer, Freddie was known for his four-octave vocal range and onstage theatricality. As a songwriter, he composed many international hits, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "We Are the Champions", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy". In addition to his work with Queen, he also led a solo career with moderate success, and was occasionally a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. Mercury, who was of Indian Parsi descent and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star." He died of bronchopneumonia induced by HIV (AIDS) on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease. In 2006, Time Asia named Mercury as one of the most influential Asian heroes of the past 60 years. There was even a Broadway play that opened on this date with the premise that Freddie was allowed to come back from death and address "the unfinished business" of his life. Today also marks the opening in 1950 on Broadway of the classic MUSICAL "Guys and Dolls". Crafted from two Damon Runyon short stories and part of a third we were introduced to Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, Nicely, Nicely Johnson (oh how I remember how well the role was played by my friend David Holmes) and Miss Adelaide. I attended my great nephew's eleventh birthday yesterday. Wow, how time passes! It was a fun afternoon.