War Hero: Freddie Mercury

To balance out our damning War Criminal feature, we at TMS have decided to spotlight those men who stand out as cultural trailblazers. A War Hero is someone who defies convention, who spits in the face of The Man, and then has sex with The Man's mother (or father as the case may be). He is a visionary who talks the talk, walks the walk, and wakes up with used condoms strewn about the bedroom floor. He has conquered his domain, be it sports, Hollywood, music, or black market adoptions. To this man, we raise a pint of ale and cower in his presence. For he is a War Hero, and he can do no wrong.

Without further ado, TMS proudly presents our inaugural War Hero: Freddie Mercury.

With his slender physique, tight clothing, overbite, and well-groomed moustache, Farrokh Bulsara was a modern rock Adonis in the latter portion of the 20th century. Bulsara was born on the island of Zanzibar, but moved to Britain with his family when he was a teen. He would mature into a delicate adult, excelling in the arts and idolizing Jimi Hendrix. After fronting a number of short-lived bands, Freddie changed his last name to Mercury, and re-named Smile, his band in 1970, after his suppressed alter-ego, Queen. Freddie also designed the band's new logo, a combination of the Zodiac signs of the four members; two lions for John Deacon and Roger Taylor's sign of Leo, a crab for Brian May's sign of Cancer, and, appropriately, two fairies for Freddie's Virgo. During the same year, Freddie met his heterosexual soulmate and lover, Mary Austin, the only woman he claimed to have truly loved. He would later go on to love numerous men, most notably his partner at the time of his death, Jim Hutton.

Queen quickly rose to prominence as the stadium band of preference through the mid-80's. Their preeminence on the global scene culminated in a performance in front of 72,000 fans at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium. Known for his keen ability to don spandex unitards, yet simultaneously disguise his homosexual tendencies, Mercury convinced both men and women alike that he was the best thing going in Cold War entertainment.

Mercury's operatic influences and panache on the stage made for extravagant performances of classic Queen songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are the Champions, Another One Bites the Dust, and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Queen's collaboration with fellow bi-sexual David Bowie resulted in one of the greatest hits of the 1980's, the venerable Under Pressure. Queen would also flex their influential muscle by penning the theme songs to the science fiction movies "Highlander" and "Flash Gordon". Many began to wonder if there were any mountains that Freddie and Queen could not conquer.

Mercury unwittingly broke numerous social barriers in his pursuit of stardom. He became the world's premier Indian/Persian/British/homosexual rock star ever to die of AIDS. If you can find another one of those, drop us an e-mail. He also laughed in the face of our image-driven society by refusing to surgically correct his unfortunate overbite. This is a man who selflessly gave the people all he had, and asked for nothing in return but love.

Mike Myers, the famed comedian, once said of Mercury, "He had theatricality, he was larger than life, new, fresh, cool. This is a god that walks as man."

Sadly, this Friday marks the 15th anniversary of Freddie's untimely death from complications due to AIDS. He left us with music, memories, heartfelt adoration, and a touch of chest hair-enthusing testosterone. A few months after his passing, the remaining members of Queen organized The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in Wembley Stadium, with such guest performers as Metallica, Guns N' Roses, George Michael, Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, and Freddie's personal favorite, Liza Minnelli joining in the festivities. Proceeds were directed to AIDS research. We will remember Freddie's performances, his albums, his confident swagger, and his fantastic statue in Montreux, Switzerland. But most of all, we will remember the man, the legend, the War Hero. Good night dear Freddie, and God bless.

Comments

Carrie D said…
God blessed us all with the talent of this beautiful human being - who only wanted to be loved.
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