“Queen conquered the USA from Munich,” says Freddie Mercury biographer Nicola Bardola on the 30th anniversary of the Queen front man’s death.
“Flamboyant. No other word stands out so much in connection with Freddie Mercury,” writes author Nicola Bardola in the preface to his biography “Mercury in Munich — His Best Years.”
On November 24, 1991, the extraordinary artist died of AIDS-related complications, only a day after he had publicly announced that he had contracted HIV. Until then he had kept silent about his illness, despite all the rumors. Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946, was cagey when it came to his private life and mostly kept a low profile during interviews. He once said that he hated talking to people he didn’t know.
Unknown in Munich
This is one of the reasons he felt so at home in the Bavarian metropolis of Munich, where he lived for a period between 1979 and 1985. Germanist and author Nicola Bardola has written an extensive biography of Mercury’s time in Munich, quoting the singer at the outset as saying, “I’ve found a place, which is called Munich, where I can actually walk the streets.”
The band Queen had already scored their first number one hit in the U.K. with “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975 and were no longer unknown in Germany. Yet, despite the fame, Mercury was left alone in Munich. He found refuge there and experienced an artistic awakening.
“Freddie changed a lot in…