Revealing and intimate, based on more than 100 interviews with key figures in his life, this is the definitive biography of Queen front man Freddie Mercury, one of pop music’s best-loved and most complex figures.
A revealing, intimate look at the man who would be Queen.
As lead vocalist for the iconic rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury’s unmatched skills as a songwriter and his flamboyant showmanship made him a superstar and Queen a household name. But despite his worldwide fame, few people ever really glimpsed the man behind the glittering façade.
Now, more than twenty years after his death, those closest to Mercury are finally opening up about this pivotal figure in rock ’n’ roll. Based on more than a hundred interviews with key figures in his life, Mercury offers the definitive account of one man’s legendary life in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Rock journalist Lesley-Ann Jones gained unprecedented access to Mercury’s tribe, and she details Queen’s slow but steady rise to fame and Mercury’s descent into dangerous, pleasure-seeking excesses—this was, after all, a man who once declared, “Darling, I’m doing everything with everyone.”
In her journey to understand Mercury, Jones traveled to London, Zanzibar, and India—talking with everyone from Mercury’s closest friends to the sound engineer at Band Aid (who was responsible for making Queen even louder than the other bands) to second cousins halfway around the world. In the process, an intimate and complicated portrait emerges. Meticulously researched, sympathetic yet not sensational, Mercury offers an unvarnished look at the extreme highs and lows of life in the fast lane. At the heart of this story is a man...and the music he loved.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I will say it right now: this book is not perfect, far from it. However, for Jones (arguably the least-acquainted biographer of the late Mr. Mercury)to pull together a book as solid in its facts and unprejudiced in its content is a true accomplishment to which even the harshest of critics would have to tip their hats. I am familiar with the other biographies of Freddie, and while they certainly contain various degrees of accuracy, Jim Hutton and Peter Freestone were not writers by profession (also, some of the details in the formers' publication were a bit too graphic for me-meaning no disrespect) and therefore, to get to sit down and read the work of someone who not only had an ongoing professional relationship with Freddie Mercury, but whose job it is to document the lives of musicians, is very refreshing. I am not through the book yet, but far enough to have a solid idea of how the writer wants to come across as a biographer; which is to not bash the reader over the head with...
Reading this biography it's evident the author had little or no interaction with her subject but still manages to capture him. While books by "confidants" Peter Freestone and Jim Hutton are full of anecdotes (including some jaw-droppingly disrespectful ones), Lesley Ann-Jones is removed enough to see the totality of Freddie Mercury, a man of extremes who seemed destined for a short but remarkable life. He was highly intelligent but not an intellectual, guided by impulses and addictions as well as an unstoppable work ethic. Jones's writing is tangential but in a good way; she's researched not only Mercury but those around him, including studio executives and producers, and she gives specific names of restaurants and bars Freddie would frequent in cities around the world, which allows the reader to do his own research on Google.
This book also highlighted the extent to which the man transformed himself -- out of young Fahrook Bulsara from a provincial Persian upbringing --...
While this book is very interesting, the "unprecedented access" the author had seems to be the sum of press touring and an uncomfy evening spent at a bar with Mercury fearing he'd acknowledge she was a journalist. She opens with this heavy-handed bit to remind us that *she was there*. The rest is a cobbled together collection of interview quotes and rehashes by folks that ran out of other options for reminding the public that they once were star... um... companions. This feeling is not helped by the inclusion of a number of photos of the author with everyone in the world BUT the actual members of Queen.
Hoping that this "outsider's view" would be an asset, I read the bulk of the book with interest and was pleased that the author used a roughly musically-cued format. Though I am a life-long Queen fan, I have shied away from the many books written up to this point. I figured two decades down the pike from Freddie's death, maybe this one would be mature. Up until the point of...
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