“I’d rather be remembered for saving animals.”
“I am dedicated to the welfare of animals.”
– Brain May, guitarist from Queen
In honour of the long weekend, today’s style icon is about Queen – the band, not the monarch.
Queen’s frontrunner, the late Freddie Mercury, referred to the group as, “the most preposterous band that’s ever lived.” Preposterous? Maybe. Flamboyant? Hell yeah.
Rock ‘n’ roll glamour
In his pre-Queen days Freddie Mercury ran a stall at Kensington markets. His eye for fashion and his over-the-top personality meant fans were treated to some of the most colourful ensembles in history.
In the 1970s Mercury was into straight hair, eyeliner and wearing black nail polish – on his left hand only. Later on he would adopt the iconic mop of hair and handle bar moustache.
Mercury’s outfits were theatrical and you could spot him in anything from platform shoes to white pants, winged designs, pleats and satin.
While the rest of the band mixed up their hairstyles, guitarist Brian May always kept his long and curly. Even today he wears it the same way – although his locks are now white.
“Freddie was a huge animal lover … he loved his cats more than anything”.
– Brain May on Freddie Mercury
Mercury the cat lover
On tour Mercury would talk to his pet cats over the phone. He also had portraits painted of them. When he found out his boyfriend Tony Bastin had been seen out with someone else, he kept Bastin’s cat in revenge.
Brian May the animal lover
In 2010 May founded “Save Me”, a group that campaigns for the protection of all animals with a particular emphasis on preventing hunting of foxes and the culling of badgers.
Mercury was influenced by ballet. In 1976 while recording in the same studio as the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious said to Mercury, “I see you’ve bought ballet to the masses then.” Mercury replied, “Oh yes, Mr Ferocious. Trying my best dear.”
Mercury was also quoted as saying, “I’m into this ballet thing … and trying to put across our music in a more artistic manner than before. [It] may not be quite right for rock ‘n’ roll … [but] if you don’t try these bloody things out, you’ll never know.”
People are still influenced by Queen today. Lady Gaga took her name from Queen’s 1984 hit single, ‘Radio Ga Ga’. Other celebs who have been inspired by the band include Axl Rose, Katy Perry and Dave Grohl.
Sacha Baren Cohen will be playing Mercury in an upcoming biopic. In this 38 second video Cohen talks about the “challenges” he faces with the role.
But if we take any style advice away from Queen it should be to push boundaries and be fearless. Fashion is for fun!
Do you think Cohen will do a good job portraying Freddie Mercury? Let us know in the comments below.