When asked by Melody Maker in 1981 if rock stars should use their power to try to shape the world for the better, Mercury responded, "Leave that to the politicians. Certain people can do that kind of thing, but very few. John Lennon was one. Because of his status, he could do that kind of preaching and affect people's thoughts. But to do this you have to have a certain amount of intellect and magic together, and the John Lennons are few and far between. People with mere talent, like me, have not got the ability or power." Mercury dedicated a song to the former member of The Beatles. The "Life is Real (Song for Lennon)" is included in the 1982 album Hot Space. Mercury did occasionally express his concerns about the state of the world in his lyrics. His most notable "message" songs are "Under Pressure", "Is This the World We Created...?" (a song which Mercury and May performed at Live Aid, and also featured in Greenpeace – The Album), "There Must Be More to Life Than This", "The Miracle" (a song May called "one of Freddie’s most beautiful creations.. it’s all so optimistic about the miracles that are being found in the world, which is incredible when you think what he’s looking at" (Mercury had been diagnosed with HIV two years previous) with the one miracle "we're all waiting for" is "peace on Earth and an end to war") and "Innuendo".
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
Although he cultivated a flamboyant stage personality, Mercury was shy and retiring when not performing, particularly around people he did not know well, and granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: "When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man." On this contrast to "his larger-than-life stage persona", BBC music broadcaster Bob Harris adds he was "lovely, bright, sensitive, and quite vulnerable." While on stage, Mercury basked in the love from his audience. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's suicide note mentions how he admired and envied the way Mercury "seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd".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 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
Mercury and Austin remained friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to her as his only true friend. In a 1985 interview, Mercury said of Austin, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary [Austin], but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary, and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that's enough for me." Mercury's final home, Garden Lodge 1 Logan Place, a twenty-eight room Georgian mansion in Kensington set in a quarter-acre manicured garden surrounded by a high brick wall, was picked out by Austin. Mercury was the godfather of Austin's oldest son, Richard.More Info
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