I still remember the day Freddie Mercury died. 24th November 2011. I had been a fan since my parents had bought Queen’s Greatest back in the Eighties. At the time of his death, I didn’t know much about Freddie – I knew he was flamboyant but not much more. So, for me his death was a shock.
By the time the movie was released, I had read and watched much about Queen and Freddie. I had introduced my daughter to their music and now felt I was an ardent fan. My friend Jimbo was an equally big fan so we got some early tickets to watch the film.
I loved Bohemian Rhapsody! I think there was only a slim chance that I wouldn’t enjoy the film but Rami Malek nailed the performance to deliver a convincing Freddie.
This film takes us on a journey through Freddie’s eyes from his first meeting with Brian and Roger to the performance at Live Aid. In between we learn more about the recording of some of their greatest hits, and Freddie’s desire for a solo profile as well as the wilderness years in Germany.
If I picked holes it would be that the chronology of the band’s recording was mucked around to fit the story, but it makes a good story. The moments have been chosen to create a coherent movie that delivers the songs, the tears and the laughter.
Bohemian Rhapsody on Carnaby Street
Whilst in London to watch the movie, we also heard there was an art installation on Carnaby Street. We hustled along at dusk to get some pictures.
Strung across the Street were the words to Bohemian Rhapsody, in Neon! So cool.
At the far end of Carnaby Street was a pop up shop with Queen and Freddie memorabilia.
Of course I had to get a picture!
What is a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody, anyway?’
A rhapsody can be defined as, “an effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling” or musically as, “a free instrumental composition in one extended movement, typically one that is emotional in character.”
If you think of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” or “Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies” then you’d be musically on the right lines. (also note Queen’s Budapest concerts borrowing from Liszt!)
The Bohemian part can be defined as, “a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts” . I think you’ll agree that Freddie Mercury was certainly unconventional.
So there you have it, Bohemian Rhapsody is a long form piece of music that at times can be effusive, from the mind of a true bohemian.
The Carnaby Lights will be up until the 6th January 2019 and the shop open until the 4th Jan, so you still have time to go see them!