“You know, women are as promiscuous as men and yet, of course, people are inhibited from having an affair or a relationship because the real-world consequences are a drag.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Fans of the Queen and its late lead vocalist Freddie Mercury can count on this writer when it comes to admiring their songs, mostly recorded in the 70’s and early 80’s when I was starting to fall in love with music.
But when it comes to how Mercury lived his life and the messages it imparted to those who lionized him all over the world, I am one of those who don’t agree that the great rock star was a role model.
Most of Mercury’s music were great, there’s no doubt about it; but he didn’t live an exemplary life, or a lifestyle that’s something for the youth to emulate and use as inspiration.
The height of veneration heaped upon Mercury by fans, including Filipinos, was no excuse to parade his promiscuous life in public, much less “justify” its exoticism to the degree that it almost smeared our discernment on what is right and wrong, and slurred the line of decency and indecency.
A culturally determined concept, promiscuity is formally defined, according to Webster, as including not only frequent but “indiscriminate” sexual behavior.
When Mercury died of AIDS in London on November 24, 1991, The Sun reported the following day: “He lavished expensive gifts on his lovers–diamonds, Mercedes cars and money.”
Mercury’s former personal manager Paul Prenter, who died from AIDS two months before Mercury’s death, revealed his one-time boss slept with hundreds of men, partly because he was terrified of sleeping alone.
The Sun quoted Prenter: “It was more likely that I would see him walk on water than go with a woman. Freddie told me his first homosexual relationship happened when he was at boarding school in India when he was 14. While we were touring there would be a different man every night, He would probably go to bed by 6am or 7am–but rarely alone.”
“He has a fear of sleeping alone, or even being alone for long stretches.” Prenter said Freddie phoned him after airline steward John Murphy, a one-night-stand died of AIDS in 1987 and admitted. “I’m afraid I could die of AIDS.
The manager claimed AIDS also killed another one of Mercury’s lovers– courier Tony Bastin.
Despite his hundreds of male lovers, Mercury was expected to leave his fortune to a woman–his one time girlfriend Mary Austin.
He once said: “The only friend I’ve had is Mary. She will inherit the bulk of my fortune. No one else will get a penny, except for my cats Oscar and Tiffany.”
Mercury and Mary lived together for seven years until 1980 when the relationship broke up due to his increasing gay urges and the pressure of his fame.
But he kept in touch with her because she was the only person he really trusted.
He said: “I don’t want anybody else. Over the years I have become bitter and I don’t trust anybody else because I have been let down so many times.”
Mercury showered gifts on Mary including a £600,000 house just around the corner from his own.
When she gave birth to a son in February 1990 he was the automatic choice as godfather.
Mercury said: “Our love affair ended in tears. My life is extremely volatile and someone like Mary couldn’t cope with it. Success has brought me millions and world idolization, but not the thing we all need–a loving relationship.
That’s why I am alarmed by the growing reverence of some members of today’s young generation on Mercury starting when the film, Bohemian Rhapsody, was released in the US on November 2, 2018.
Many Filipino fans have already watched the film, a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and Mercury’s extraordinary talent.
The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was originally written by Mercury for the British rock band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera.
A six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda, it is called “Bohemian Rhapsody” because it depicts the life of a ‘bohemian’, whose original meaning is ‘artist’ while ‘Rhapsody’ is a fantasy (literally, it could play in his head) or a vision; within this song Mercury foresaw his life in a symbolic way.
(According to Dr. Stephen A. Diamond of Psychology Today, “Preference for frequent sexual contacts is not necessarily the same as being sexually indiscriminating. The latter, in women, indicates a possible compulsive, and therefore, pathological quality to the excessive sexual behavior, referred to traditionally as nymphomania. (In men, it is called satyriasis.) Such indiscriminating or sometimes even random sexual behaviors can be commonly seen in various mental disorders such as psychosis, manic episodes, substance abuse and dependence, dissociative identity disorder, as well as borderline, narcissistic and antisocial personalities, and can, in fact, often be partially diagnostic of such pathological conditions.”)