The iconic imagery of Live Aid looms large over Queen. Indeed, even today, the latest Queen and Adam Lambert tour has taken in massive stadiums all over the world. It is difficult o imagine a time when the band played smaller venues, where Freddie was up close to the fans. In the early days, the frontman used to love doing one particular thing during the last number. Not only is it beautiful, the extra lengths he went to prove just how special he was.
There are numerous pictures and records of Freddie throwing flowers into the audience. Sometimes it was carnations but, unsurprisingly, he loved throwing roses.
Being Freddie, he also made sure the roses were specially prepared for one thoughtful reason. This is why his fans loved him so much.
Fan site FreddieMercuryClub reveals: “At the end of every Queen show (mostly in Queen’s early gigs from 1975 to 1978) Freddie would throw a handful of flowers into his adoring audience. I’m sure you’ve noticed this if you’ve watched Queen’s 70s concerts.
“The thorns of these long-stemmed red roses would have been plucked out one by one by a crew member because Freddie didn’t want anybody to get hurt in any way.”
However, one night in 1975 at a show in Bristol during the tour to promote new album A Night At The Opera, disaster struck.
A newspaper cutting from October 1975 reveals: “While Freddie, Bryan, John and Roger were on stage performing, someone backstage discovered that the roses Freddie throws to the audience during the final number were missing.
“Unseen by the ecstatic audience, a member of Queen’s slipped out of the audience and, with the aid of a policeman, raced off in a car, its lights flashing, to find a garden with roses.
“They managed to find a fresh bunch for Freddie to shower on the fans. That is dedication. And because of it, Queen are all set for a long, long reign.”
In one last final twist, a fan commented that actually the roses that night came from somewhere a little shocking.
According to another fansite: “The roses mentioned in the article that Freddie threw into the audience were actually stolen from a local cemetery. Thanks to Jane Palm-Gold for the tidbit.”
It’s a little disgraceful but also rather outrageous. You can imagine Freddie’s hilarity when he found out. He is probably still laughing about it, where he is now, resting in peace.