Interview about The Great Pretender

David Wigg. Ibiza, 1987


FM: Initially when we started, I mean you know we had our own thing to do and we were sort ofer apart from being... I mean, we were so stubborn, to be honest, that we just wanted mmm to do just our own thing to do. I mean we were so mmm which is a good thing to do, becauseer it was like we were letting people know thatyou know we were I think to be wrecked with and all that sort of... We hadand also we had all these ideas, its you know I dont think people could, to be honest, can make it by doing sort of cover version all the time, I think its wrong to show originality and things like that. And I just thought that the time came when I wasnt scared to sort ofmmm break out that mode. I mean a lot of people have done cover versions before, but Queen - its always been a sort ofer I think the factor is that we are so prolific within us, I said I mean Id feel that if I ventured into the studio with Queen and said look, Id like to do a remake of a certain song, they would say: Oh, hes drying up!, you know.

DW: Hm.

FM: Yeah and because theyve got you know tons of songs so I mean I think that kept us going so we all had to come up with really original material

DW: (simultaneously) Stuff

FM: Yeah, material. But now thats sort of things to my own, and we sort of, you know, made a pact that we can go and do our own things. So that is me - and Queen about you know

DW: Drive them out

FM: Mmmand this, I just have this song in my head and I just thought it would be lovely, you see, cause its like you sing a song and its wonderful to sing. And because its somebody elses - it doesnt matter. And I thought why not, have a go basically. And you know cause we all you know, having a shy and thing and all that. You sing other peoples songs but I just thought no, put it a tape and see, what happens. So, it was a very sort of impromptus sort of start, and I just come to this, and I just thought: no, Ill take it a bit further and make it as you know, bring it out as A-product of my own.

DW: Do you feeling that you have been [] do you feel being a big pretender?

FM: Basically its what the song really says is a very sort of one-to-one base of the ballad, that hes pretending because shes gone, but hes still pretending that shes still around basically thats it

DW: Yes.

FM: But I thought that you could sort of take it a lot further - just in the word pretender.

DW: Yes.

FM: So, that pretends. And for me the way Im doing it is that, you know, its time not to take everything too seriously, that all these sort of visuals and these sort of these images that I portrayed over the years this is how one pretends. Because I mean theres in no way that I was real on stage. I wore costumes and I sort of put myself into different atmospheres, different characters, but underneath all that there is a real me, which, you know so I just thought - why not now, Ive been pretending all this time, you know, doing all this stuff - you know, wearing bananas on my head


FM: coming on the peoples shoulders, wearing glitter, doing glitz, doing glam, wearingyou know wearing that - it was all a kind of thing its a kind of pretence, yes, where is, I mean you know underneath that Im still a musician.

DW: Yeah

FM: And so I thought Id bring it up to sort of and now that there were all these sort of costumes were a lot of people taking so seriously I didnt give it a damn I just thought: My God! you know and they read far too much into it. I just thought that this is a nice way of sort of covering this whole sort of era of mine as you called it and said: Look its just been a bit of fun! Actors deal with that kind of thing - portray somebody, they do become those, then go back and do something else.

DW: So if you looked in the mirror and reflected on the true Freddie Mercury - who is he? What is he?

FM: I though about all these things before. I just think Well I think quite a sort of Im quite a chameleon, you know. I may change, I have moods, and I think its a combination of a lot of sort of you know characters that make up a person anyway, yeah, I go into my moods [] Im probably trying to sort of Im a sort of person of extremes because I can be very soft and [] that makes me that much more tenacious its like something trying to get out of me so that I can actually but when Im off stage I calm down, I become a very different person - I research, gather lots of energy, gather lots of information and then I just use it to so thats in a way theres no so half measures I Im hot and cold.

DW: Hm-hm

FM: And I think Id like to be that way so that what Im gathering you know I gain [] and I do it. And when I should know when I want to release it it comes across like a tidal wave and then theres a []

DW: Yeah, yes

FM: But I hate to take that back home with me.

DW: Hm. Very good. Freddie do you feel youre would you say you are a difficult person to live with or not?

FM: Oh yes, I think I do all that, to be honest. Im

DW: Do you?

FM: Well I think I am


FM: You may be surprised cause I mean its not for you to say, its

DW: No.

FM: The only way you can find out whether you because I its the other person, or other personas

DW: Yes

FM: So I mean I think that kinda thing I mean, its not up to you I mean I I think I I live within in a fair way but that is me anyway cause I mean there are lots of differenter up-looks on how people behave and everything but I mean I think I give whoever Im living with I give people a fair chance and sometimes too limit - maybe thats my fault

DW: Do you think so?

FM: I think so, yeah

DW: Somebody wants

FM: Im a very Im a verymmm possessive person

DW: (murmurs simultaneously) Thats what I wanted to know

FM: Which I am

DW: Yeah

FM: I am.

DW: Yes.

FM: But you see I want to have my cake and eat it too

DW: Ah

FM: which is what everybody wants

DW: Yes

FM: But I am, yes I think in terms of back of anything I can, yes, I can be I can go to great lengths trying to bebemmm.

DW: Loyal?

FM: Loyal, yeah, just to prove point and but then once if I but [] betrayed me I got the other way, theyll find that Im very hard to live with because when one time betrayed Im a new chap

DW: You never seem vulnerable. Have you ever cried, Freddie?

FM: Absolutely. Of course, I have! Yes, I cried rivers, dear!!!

DW: And so what would what what makes you cry?

FM: You know, lots of things. Lots of things. You know lots of things. I seem a sort of I think everybody cries. And Im very hard on the exterior, Im very sort of you know

DW: Self-centered (laughs)

FM: Absolutely, yeah With a chocolate

DW: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

FM: []black magic

DW: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

FM: Yeah

DW: What kind of things would make you cry, Freddie? Relationships?

FM: Sometimes its a No, sometimes I think its a kind of stress factor overall from lots of different areas and I seem to sort of build them up and build them up and then its like welling or swelling a lot [] and I build them up and build them up and then I justsoso I burst into tears I do this I go to a complete - whats it, and then Im sot of you know it has to come out so its like a balloon that bursts so I mean I feel that I seem to sort of take everything and then I sort of build it up, build it up, and then [] its likeand when Ive got it too like fever pitch somebody just has to prick the balloon and that is all - pfff! Thats what I am and I

DW: And you explode

FM: And I cry and I

DW: And you explode Do you feel fulfilled, totally fulfilled in you life now? Youve reached 40, youve had incredible success

FM: Good question, I was thinking that [] Im very happy with what Ive achieved its like I know that a lot of people who think: OK, now Ive done, Ive got what I wanted to, cause I have enough money and success and relation you know - what would you want?

DW: Fame

FM: Yeah. Exactly. So I have all that and I think... and I look back and say: Well done my dear, I say you know: Good luck to you that you did it yourself and now I think Ive come to sort of like like another sort of phase of my life where I think: Look I .. I still want to keep achieving the kinda success that I have in this [] But I think - look. I think now I have the time and the capacity to try to venture into areas which I would NEVER DARE because it would be harmful to my career whatever. Things that I mean, so now Im doing those kind of things and I think I dont really want to do that as a benefit Am I making sense?

DW: Yeah

FM: I dont want it to be a game in my but its for somebody I want sort of trying doing things, walk on tie trope, living [] and do things when I can fall completely flat on my face but I neither... I dont to me if its harmful to my career - so what? I wanna do it, no one will take away whatever Ive achieved. They can only say: OK, look its fall flat. Do you know what I mean?

DW: Hm-hm

FM: Whereas before there were things where I still wanted there was this growth-process of my career or my bliss when I didnt want anything to hamper it while doing it I wanted it to there was a kind of but now I feel that there is acceptance which I like. It is I mean when I a sort of forget that idiom to do certain things where

DW: For the sake of risk?

FM: Yes Not for the sake of taking risk. Its something that I want to do things, I dont want to sort end my life just being a RocknRoll star.