|In 1968 Brian May and Tim Staffell, both students at London's Imperial College, decided they wanted to form a group. Brian placed an advertisement on the college notice board for a "Ginger Baker Type" drummer and a young medical student called Roger Meddows Taylor auditioned, and got the job. They called the group SMILE. Smile were signed to Mercury Records in 1969 and had their first experience of a recording studio - Trident Studios - that year. Tim Staffell introduced Freddie Bulsara to the band and Freddie soon became a keen fan. Sadly, in 1970 Tim went off and joined an other band. But Freddie left his band, and joined up with Brian and Roger - it had all begun.
Freddie changed his name to Mercury and the bands name to QUEEN. John Deacon was asked to audition as their bass player after three temporary bassists had been and gone. In February 1971 John was taken on as the fourth member of Queen. The band played several small gigs and one time they had the chance to test a new recording studio. Queen had to try out new equipment and they could make free demo tapes, which they did. They had signed recording, publishing and management contracts with Trident in 1972, and during that year were paid just £60 per week. In July 1973 released their first album: Queen. In April 1974 the band undertook their first ever American tour but in may of that year Brian collapsed with hepatitis and they had to work a long time without him. After this incident, many albums were recorded and many awards were won. Queen also puplished soundtracks for example for the films Flash Gordon and Highlander
One of Freddie's all time heroines was Spanish opera diva Montserrat Caballe, and in March 1986 he met her in her home city of Barcelona. An astonishing partnership was formed when Montserrat agreed to record an album with Freddie. He penned a song about Barcelona for her, and the two began to write and record the album. Freddie and Montserrat appeared on stage together for the first time in May 1987, at the Ibiza 92 Festival, held at the famous Ku Club on the holiday island. They performed Barcelona. The single "Barcelona" was released in Spain in September 1987, and 1 0,000 copies were sold in just three hours. The Spanish Olympic Committee adopted the song as the theme for the Olympic Games, being held in the city in 1992, then decided against it. which caused great anger amongst the fans.
On November 23rd 1991 Freddie announced to the world that he had AIDS. Just the next day his fight was over and he died peacefully at his home, surrounded by family and friends. The world was in shock. Freddie had kept his illness very private, and only those closest to him had been aware of just how close to the end he really was. Fans from all over the world sent flowers and cards and many travelled to London to be outside Freddie's house. In April, Brian had been commissioned by a London advertising agency to write a piece of music for an advertising campaign for Ford cars. The resulting track, Driven By You, was so good (and proved so popular) that Brian released it as his first solo single on November 25th. It made the top ten in the UK charts.
As a tribute to Freddie, and to raise funds for the Terrence Higgins Trust to continue the fight against AIDS, as Freddie's last wishes had requested, Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives was released as a double A sided single. It entered the UK chart at number one, where it remained for five weeks, raising over one MILLION pounds for the AIDS charity. In December 1991, Queen had no fewer than 10 albums in the UK top 1 00. At the awards ceremony where queen won the “Outstanding Contribution To British Music” award, Roger and Brian announced plans for a massive, open air concert at London's Wembley Stadium lo celebrate Freddie's life, and give him a send off to remember. The tickets went on sale the next day , with no announcement of who was going to play apart from Brian, Roger and John, and all 72,000 tickets sold out in just SIX hours. On Easter Monday, April 20th 1992, many of the worlds top stars joined Brian, Roger and John on stage at Wembley stadium to pay an emotional tribute to Freddie. The stadium was packed lo capacity and it was televised live to over one billion people. Prior to Christmas 1992 a double video of The Freddie Tribute Concert was released. The money raised by the trust is used to help those with HIV and AIDS. After Freddies dead the members of Queen started solo carriers.
Queen are one of the most collectable bands in the World, and their fan club is as strong as ever. Queen will be around for a lot longer yet!
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