In Remembrance….

Last night I was waiting for the Superbowl Fan Jam to come on VH1 so I could see Duran Duran perform.  Ahead of that show was a countdown, the top 100 artists of all time as voted on by over 200 musicians.  I watched off and on with mild interest  as the numbers continued to descend.  Then I heard it.  My heart did a flip as I heard that voice and I ran to the television.  Even after all this time, I felt my eyes water and my throat close up as I heard the guests talk about him and his legacy.  The band, Queen, was number 17. 

Queen will always have a special place in my heart.  They were one of a small handful of groups that ushered me out of my childhood Disney soundtracks and into rock and roll.  Queen’s album “The Game” was the first one I ever bought with my own money.  I saved allowance forever just to get it. I listened to it obsessively. I used my little tape recorder and held it up to the speakers of my stereo to record whenever one of their songs came on the radio.  I was in awe of them.  I knew nothing about the way they layered their harmonies or the meanings behind the songs.  I was ten. I didn’t care.  I just knew I loved them.  The world loved them.  It’s a love affair that continues even now.

Freddie Mercury was the consummate performer.  He mesmerized us with his 4 octave voice, his performing ability, his costumes and his energy.  He could sing like no other had before or has since.  His lyrics could make us laugh, motivate us, or bring us to tears.  He delivered it all in his own way and we couldn’t stop watching.

The generation before us talks about remembering the passing of John F Kennedy. I remember the day Freddie Mercury died. It was November 24, 1991. I was in college, still living with my parents.  I was in the downstairs family room, calculus homework spread on the table in front of me and the television on in the background for music.  The announcement came on and I sat with my jaw open for a few moments and then began to cry.  The news that he had AIDS had only come out shortly before.  Nobody had even known he was sick because he had continued to record and perform, never showing how terribly he was really doing.  Now he was gone. How could that be?  It was a shock. He was my hero, my icon, a chapter of my life that I couldn’t believe had just come abruptly to an end.  I called my best friend and told her. We sat on the phone and cried together, talking about the music and what our world would be like without him.  I often wonder how he would have continued to influence the musical world had he been able to stay with us a while longer.  He was our JFK and we will never forget.  Rest in peace, Freddie.  You are still missed.  This one’s for you…

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~ by musicloveaffair on February 4, 2011.

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