In 1987, Mercury celebrated his 41st birthday at the Pikes Hotel, Ibiza, several months after discovering that he had contracted HIV. Mercury sought much comfort at the retreat and was a close friend of the owner, Anthony Pike, who described Mercury as "the most beautiful person I've ever met in my life. So entertaining and generous."According to biographer Lesley-Ann Jones, Mercury "felt very much at home there. He played some tennis, lounged by the pool, and ventured out to the odd gay club or bar at night." The birthday party, held on 5 September 1987, has been described as "the most incredible example of excess the Mediterranean island had ever seen", and was attended by some 700 people. A cake in the shape of Gaudi's Sagrada Família was provided for the party. The original cake collapsed and was replaced with a 2-metre-long sponge cake decorated with the notes from Mercury's song "Barcelona". The bill, which included 232 broken glasses, was presented to Queen's manager, Jim Beach. Before his death, Mercury had told Beach, "You can do what you want with my music, but don't make me boring."
During the early- to mid-1980s, he was reportedly involved with Barbara Valentin, an Austrian actress, who is featured in the video for "It's a Hard Life". In another article, he said Valentin was "just a friend"; Mercury was dating German restaurateur Winfried "Winnie" Kirchberger during this time. Mercury lived at Kirchberger's apartment and thanked him "for board and lodging" in the liner notes of his 1985 album Mr. Bad Guy. He wore a silver wedding band given to him by Kirchberger. A close friend described him as Mercury's "great love" in Germany.More Info
In 1975, Mercury visited Everett, bringing with him an advance copy of the single "Bohemian Rhapsody". Despite doubting that any station would play the six-minute track, Everett placed the song on the turntable, and, after hearing it, exclaimed: "Forget it, it's going to be number one for centuries". Although Capital Radio had not officially accepted the song, Everett talked incessantly about a record he possessed but could not play. He then frequently proceeded to play the track with the excuse: "Oops, my finger must've slipped." On one occasion, Everett aired the song thirty-six times in a single day. Capital's switchboard was overwhelmed with callers inquiring when the song would be released.More Info
Mercury's two full albums outside the band were Mr. Bad Guy (1985) and Barcelona (1988). His first album, Mr. Bad Guy, debuted in the top ten of the UK Album Charts. In 1993, a remix of "Living on My Own", a single from the album, posthumously reached number one on the UK Singles Charts. The song also garnered Mercury a posthumous Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. AllMusic critic Eduardo Rivadavia describes Mr. Bad Guy as "outstanding from start to finish" and expressed his view that Mercury "did a commendable job of stretching into uncharted territory". In particular, the album is heavily synthesiser-driven; that is not characteristic of previous Queen albums.More Info
During the 1970s, Everett became advisor and mentor to Mercury and Mercury served as Everett's confidante. Throughout the early- to mid-1980s, they continued to explore their homosexuality and experiment with drugs. Although they were never lovers, they did experience London nightlife together. By 1985, they had fallen out, and their friendship was further strained when Everett was outed in the autobiography of his ex-wife Lady Lee. In 1989, with their health failing, Mercury and Everett were reconciled.More Info
In the early 1970s, Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington, London. By the mid-1970s, he had begun an affair with David Minns, an American record executive at Elektra Records. In December 1976, Mercury told Austin of his sexuality, which ended their romantic relationship. Mercury moved out of the flat they shared, and bought Austin a place of her own nearby his new address of 12 Stafford Terrace, Kensington. While the Stafford Terrace apartment was undergoing renovations, Mercury lived with Minns in Dovehouse Street, Chelsea, London.More Info
We don't show ads. Help us keep it that way.