Arguably the best band of all time, Queen has given us some amazing well-known hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You, and Fat-Bottomed Girls.
It seems that everyone knows and loves Queen for their creative song-writing and unique instrumentals, and you can’t think of Queen without thinking of the legendary singer Freddie Mercury.
You may think you know everything there is to know about the band, but here are 20 facts about the European music group, Queen.
1. Freddie Mercury kept his sickness a secret
Freddie Mercury died of AIDS on November 21, 1991. He didn’t publically announce his condition until just before the day he died of pneumonia caused by the symptoms of his illness.
He let his band in on the secret diagnosis in 1989, and then told his sister a year later in 1990.
He made it clear that the only reason he announced his condition to the world was to bring awareness.
While we may have lost a music legend, his death helped put a spotlight on the disease and help people take the proper steps to protect themselves.
2. Brian May is a doctor
Queen guitarist Brian May almost went a different route with his career. He obtained his PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London before getting with the band. They took the wood from an antique piece of furniture.
3. Brian May’s guitar was made from a 200 year-old tree
Brian May’s father actually made his guitar for him by hand. Affectionately known as “Red Special”, May even helped work on the guitar himself. The wood used to make it was over 200 years old. Special indeed.
4. Freddie Mercury’s collaboration with David Bowie was coincidental
They were two of the biggest music stars at the time, so their paths were bound to cross at some point. However, it was not planned for them to work together. Bowie happened to be at the same studio at the same time. Luckily, they decided to seize the opportunity and gave us the epic song “Under Pressure”.
5. Freddie Mercury was a cat guy
Freddie Mercury owned many cats throughout his life and loved them dearly. He was known to call and check in on them when he was on tour, talking to them on the phone. He even had a professional artist draw portraits of his cats.
6. Deacon was not the first bassist in the band
A band knows when they have found their perfect match. Luckily, they found that in Deacon in 1971. However, they would try a number of other people before choosing him. Mike Grose, Barry Mitchell, and Doug Bogie all tried with the band before him.
7. Taylor was offered a role in Genesis
Good drummers are hard to find. The band Genesis spotted Taylor’s talents before he joined queen, but he turned them down. That’s lucky for us since his contributions helped make the band what it is.
8. Freddie Mercury drew the logo for Queen
The band’s logo consisted of all four of their zodiac signs. There are two lions to represent the Leos (Taylor and Deacon), a crab for the Cancer (May), and two virgin maidens for the Virgo (Mercury). Freddie came up with the logo himself. Who knew he was so into astrology?
9. Brian May had hepatitis
Unfortunately, Freddie Mercury isn’t the only one who had health issues. In 1974, as they were on tour opening for another band, Brian May collapsed, and the band dropped out of the remainder of the tour for his health. He was diagnosed with hepatitis. Luckily, he has learned how to manage his illness.
10. Taylor and May were the original members
While most people think of Freddie Mercury when they think of Queen, he wasn’t in the original band. He roomed with someone Taylor and May were playing with when the band was called “Smile”.
When Freddie’s roommate choose to focus on other aspirations, he recommended they consider Freddie.
11. Freddie was on a stamp
The British government put the famous singer on one of their stamps. This was unusual since the only other person on stamps at the time was the queen.
12. Queen filmed music videos at home
When they first started out, they didn’t have the resources for extremely high production videos. To make it more cost-efficient for them, the band decided to film at home. Literally. Two of the videos, “We Will Rock You” and “Spread Your Wings” were filmed in Taylor’s backyard.
13. Freddie Mercury’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara
You may not know that Freddie was actually Indian. His family came from a city in India called Gujarat. He legally changed his name when he got older.
14. A Piano and a Bathtub
Freddie Mercury was a creative soul, and he never knew when inspiration would strike. For that reason, he had all of his assistants carry pen and paper around with them in case he needed it.
He even once had his piano brought to the bathtub so that he could create a song as he was thinking about it. That song became the popular “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.
15. The stand-free mic was a happy accident
Many people picture Freddie Mercury with his famous stand-free mic. Most people don’t know that this was a complete accident. It accidentally broke during a performance once and Freddie went with it. After that, it became a thing.
16. The band is an inspiration to many
If it weren’t for Queen, we might not have had some of the other artists. Lady Gaga, Kurt Cobain, and Katy Perry all name Queen as an inspiration in their career.
17. Queen’s Greatest Hits Album is the best selling album of all time
Time and time again, we see how much people absolutely love the band. They proved that with album sales. Out of all of the albums from all of the artists around the world, more people bought this album than any other. I call that a success.
18. Queen set a record in Argentina
Queen didn’t just make waves in their home country and America. They had people all around the world rocking out to their music.
People in Argentina loved them so much that they set a record in the country for the biggest crowd of any concert with a whopping 300,000 people. From my understanding, they did not know how to sing in Spanish.
19. Queen remained on the UK charts for an unprecedented 26 years
Many bands are happy to reach the charts at all. Queen not only hit the charts, but they stayed for 26 years. No other artist in history has been able to say the same thing.
This goes to show how much the fans still love their music and how relatable it is even to the next generations.
20. Freddy was concerned about the legacy he was about to leave behind
On his death bed, Freddie Mercury told his manager about his legacy, “You can do what you want with my music, but don’t make me boring.”
Don’t worry, Freddie. That would be impossible.