Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury

By Hosts: Huw Lemmey & Ben Miller

Bad Gays

Tuesday, 8 February

For a time, one of the world's most famous rock stars – singer of stadium rock anthems that still signify foot-stomping machismo – existed as an avatar of the most exuberant, feared, liberation-era forms of homosexuality: going from a 1970s long hair in skin-tight leotards cut to the navel to a Castro clone with a handlebar moustache who wore fisting T-shirts in his music videos. If the legacy of Mercury and his music often seems to smooth his work, and that of his band, Queen, into a sort of middle-aged, KISS FM everyday normality, here we lean into the contradictions of the charismatic man and the nuances of queer life in the 1970s and 1980s.

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SOURCES

John Harris, “The Sins of St Freddie,” The Guardian, January 14, 2005, sec. Music, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2005/jan/14/2

Jim Hutton and Tim Wapshott, Mercury and Me (London: Bloomsbury, 1995); Lesley-Ann Jones, Bohemian Rhapsody: The Definitive Biography of Freddie Mercury (London: Touchstone Press, 2012)

Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne, Somebody to Love: The Life, Death and Legacy of Freddie Mercury (London: Weldon Owen, 2016)

“Remembering Queen’s Infamous 1981 Tour of South America,” Remezcla (blog), accessed February 8, 2022, https://remezcla.com/features/music/we-remember-queens-infamous-tour-of-latin-america/

 

Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner.

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