This Freddie Mercury portrait is a 24x36" watercolor.

This is a watercolor portrait of Freddie Mercury.

Freddie Mercury. If you are a fan of classic rock and roll…or amazing singing ability…or captivating showmanship…or remarkable songwriting talent, then you are a fan of Freddie Mercury. I was lucky enough to see Queen in the summer of 1982 at the Omni in Atlanta (Billy Squire was the opening act), with Tim Etheridge, John Rogers, and William Boling. I believe that was the Hot Space tour.

That was over thirty years ago, and it remains to be, a high point of my live music experiences. Of course, it was an amazing show. Freddie’s sad ending has made that concert a treasured memory. I don’t know about the guys I saw them with, but when Freddie or Queen comes up in conversation these days (especially with younger music lovers) I love being able to drop into the conversation that I saw them at the height of their prowess.

These days, Freddie seems like such a sad figure to me. He was so talented and adored, yet still afraid to be himself completely in public. It’s a little too easy for us to look back at Freddie now and think “Well, of course he was gay, how could he not have been?” But it wasn’t that simple back then, was it? Not for all of us.

It occurred to me that I may have missed the opportunity to visit his final resting place when I was in London in the 1990’s, but after doing a little research, I discovered that its location is still a secret. Apparently, he was so afraid that his grave would be desecrated, that he insisted it be kept secret.

I have no doubt that there were many people who loved and cared for him at his side when the end came. But if he met a similar fate today, maybe he would have been comfortable enough to let the world know what was happening. His fans would have had the chance to show their love and support, and I can’t imagine that would be anything but good.