Freddie died in 1991, but remains as famous, if not even more so, decades later. His music, of course, lives on, and the movie Bohemian Rhapsody raised the profile of the extraordinary performer and the band Queen for an entirely new generation. His mother, Jer, lived another 25 years after the loss of her son and has spoken powerfully about his pride and pain.
In on emoving interview, Jer spoke about the peculiar mix of joy and sadness she associates with Queens most famous hit.
She said; “I went to the shops and I was very excited. They were all around the shops you know, Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen…
“I got one and I was so pleased with myself that I am buying something of my son’s first number 1 record. Of course, it hurts me now when I hear the song. It hurts…”
The song, as fans well know, includes those emotional cries to “mama.”
In a rare interview in 2012, Jer spoke movingly about finding peace with losing her famous child.
She said; “It was a very sad day when he died in November 1991, but according to our religion when it is the right time you cannot change it.
“You have to go. God loved him more and wanted him with Him and that is what I keep in my mind.
“No mother wants to see her son die, but, at the same time, he has done more for the world in his short life than many people could do in 100 years.”
Jer painted an adorable picture of Freddie as a young child in Zanzibar, already eager to share his talents, already fuelled with extraordinary self-belief.
She said: “At the age of four or five he wanted to say that he could sing and we used to take him to parties and he would say, ‘Can I sing?’ So I would get a chocolate as a prize (for him).”
Jer revealed Freddie’s passion for music only grew as the years passed.
She said; “He used to write all his music before going to college put it under the pillow and telling me not to remove any pieces of paper underneath…”
In the same interview, Jer was asked how the family dealt with Freddie’s crazy life and partying. Was it ever a problem for them?
She replied: “No, because whenever he used to come and meet his family he was just as normal as ever and used to respect both of us me and my husband and said ‘Don’t talk about business… I want to come home.'”
Freddie, however, remembers his parents were certainly rather shocked by his lifestyle, especially in the early days: “I used to go home periodically and turn up in these outrageous clothes and with my fingernails painted black and at that time my mother used to freak out. They used to say, ‘My God! Don’t let the neighbours see you. Come in here quick. Use the back door.’
“But now they see we’re making money, they seem quite happy about it.”