Freddie Mercury, 1984, während eines Konzerts im Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (POPB)
Freddie Mercury, 1984, during a concert at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (POPB)
|THE STORY OF FARROKH BULSARA ALIAS FREDDIE MERCURY|
Freddie Mercury’s life was like a fairy-tale. The shy boy from a tropical island became a myth. His music and his voice helped him along the way. His millions of fans remain true to him to this day – twenty years after his death. This story is dedicated to all of them.
Freddie Mercury’s life may sound like a fairy-tale, yet fairy-tales inspire readers and listeners to reflect!
A long time ago there lived a boy by the name of Farrokh Bulsara. Farrokh means fortunate or happy. Everyone wished him good fortune, when he came into the light of the world. Bulsara was the name of the family he was born into. His forefathers had lived in the city of Bulsar. One of them, a magician, conjured up a star as a present for the boy upon his birth. It was the star of Mercury. This star would accompany him on his path in life. But the magician was also able to see into the future, so he could perceive Farrokh’s mission upon Earth. It was to make people happy through music. But not just any old music! No, it would be Farrokh’s own music that he created with the help of his talent, his voice and his imagination!
When Farrokh was seven years old, the magician wished to instruct the boy in his purpose on Earth, however he had second thoughts. A mission in life is a secret that each of us should discover for himself. Whoever does not reflect upon this will remain unhappy – a person without a purpose in life, someone who cannot achieve his goals.
All of this took place on an island in the Indian Ocean, where there were sultan’s palaces of ivory and houses of coral. The beaches were covered in coconut trees and cowry shells lie in the golden sand amongst red sea stars, washed up by the wild wind. It was the Island of Zanzibar.
Farrokh went to school there. During the first couple of years he learnt the same thing we all learn in our first years of school, no need to get into details. Yet his parents wanted him to have the best education, since they loved him. A better than average education could not be found on such a small island. However in Panchgani, over in the hills of India, there were excellent schools, although they were also stricter. Since Farrokh had grown to an age, when discipline cannot hurt, they decided to send him to such a school. That is how Farrokh came to leave Zanzibar and take a ship over the ocean to Panchgani. A trip of eight weeks! During this time, he tried to imagine what to expect at his new school. What would his teachers, friends and lessons be like? Would he be able to stick to the principles that his grandfather, father and uncle had taught him? The same principles that all his Persian forefathers had followed, that were preached by Zarathustra, the greatest of all prophets! He had received them in turn from Ahura Mazda. Ahura Mazda was Farrokh’s one and only God. He had created the world based on absolute truth. Good thoughts, good words, good deeds – those were the principles of truth. Whoever follows them cannot commit a grievous sin. Good thoughts, good words and good deeds – those were Farrokh Bulsara’s principles!
At his new school, English names were used, so the boy called himself Freddie. He learned a lot about geography, history, physics and so forth, including the languages of Hindi and Marathi, and he perfected his English along the way. Although he was very good at table tennis, sports were not terribly important to him. Art meant a lot more to him. As a pupil, Freddie Bulsara drew pictures, painted, acted and read literature. He was particularly fascinated by the biographies of great Persian and Indian heroes.
However he was most deeply moved by music! Music alone was able to transport him to unknown worlds, strange melodies from so far away that he had never heard of them before, and names that sounded so foreign, such as Chopin, Mozart and Debussy. After he had learnt to play the piano, they became his musical masters. Their works appeared wondrous to him! And they helped him create his own wonder. Freddie Bulsara’s first artistic creation was his own first composition.
How could such a wonder ever have moved him to give up his own God, to declare war upon Him? After such a wonder, what could possibly have motivated him to give up the principles that were part of his own flesh and blood? Even a single one of them! On the contrary, Freddie Bulsara promised eternal gratitude to his God for the present he had been given. And he kept his promise for the rest of his life!
After Chopin, Mozart and Debussy, modern composers and singers began to inspire Bulsara. Rock stars, such as Elvis Presley and Little Richard moved him to found his own school band with a couple of friends. Full of enthusiasm, he hammered on the keyboard until it almost bent under his weight. After four years with his band, he was a young man, whose school years in Panchgani were over. He returned to Zanzibar, yet unfortunately there wasn’t a piano waiting for him there. The music to be heard in Zanzibar was called Taarab. This cheery mélange of African, Arabic and Indian influences had its origin in the Sultan’s palaces. There were also Zoroastrian temple songs. With a little imagination, almost anyone can guess what cheerful Taarab and temple songs might sound like. “Zoroastrian” may seem beyond many of us, however it’s not hard to explain or understand at all. A Zoroastrian believes that Ahura Mazda is the one and only God. Just like Freddie Bulsara did! A Zoroastrian is not exotic, just someone like Freddie Bulsara, who believes in his one and only God. I think most of you will now be able to imagine Zoroastrian temple music, accompanied by flutes, drums and serene voices!
After he had returned to Zanzibar, Freddie experienced something, which made him put his music aside. Amongst other things, he fell in love. Not just once! In contrast to Panchgani, where mostly boys had attended school, he now had plenty of opportunities to fall in love. One or two girls returned his love, while others did not. Many considered Freddie to shy or too inexperienced. Or he fell in love with a girl, who was already in love with another boy. He accepted that with a shrug of his shoulders, as he wasn’t pushy. A shy boy, who often hung around with his arms folded across his chest cannot be pushy by nature! Old photos of Freddie are sufficient proof.
Despite everything, he was sure that one day he would find the right girl and start a family with her. Ahura Mazda’s highest commandment for Zoroastrians is to get married and have children. This should ensure that the family line doesn’t die out. Zoroastrians are a small religious community, which is therefore very concerned about its progeny. In addition to falling in love, Freddie Bulsara was preparing to study in Zanzibar, since his parents had chosen a career for him as a doctor or lawyer.
One day, something happened on the Island of Zanzibar, which had never taken place before. War broke out on the Island, turning Zanzibar into hell. Beatings and shootings mingled with cries of death. There was a coup against the Sultan! Thousands of Arabs and Indians were murdered, and the Zoroastrians were not spared, either. The magician read all this as a sign from God. He told Freddie about the present he had been given, about the star of Mercury, which would always watch over him and which he could always count on. That moment, young Freddie Bulsara knew what to do. He had to leave Zanzibar, since he had no future there. His future lie in a foreign place, Freddie was convinced. He and Mercury would find their future path!
His future lay in London. The music attracted him there. It attracted everyone like a magnet, including Freddie! He composed, wrote lyrics and sang without fully recognizing his mission in life. He experienced disappointments like we all do at times. A lack of success and unhappy relationships, bad luck in meeting the wrong person at the wrong time. But he couldn’t go back. He was so sure of his future. He had been convinced right from the beginning that he’d make it. Of course, he was still thinking of starting a family, in addition to making music. But it wasn’t all that simple. Usually a young musician, who hasn’t had a great breakthrough, also needs other work to make a living, unless he has patrons or sponsors, inherits a fortune, or is a boot-licker. Freddie had neither one nor the other, which made his situation all the more difficult. When he first arrived in London, he was a young musician before his breakthrough, earning his living with other work, but still convinced he could succeed. It all took time. A man cannot found a family from one day to the next. Especially not with someone, who’s interested in nothing but his future success. His unlucky relationships, meeting the wrong person at the wrong time, led him to put off founding a family until later.
However, his convictions spurred him on. He met musicians, who shared his beliefs and founded a band with him. This led Freddie Bulsara to recognize his mission in life. He must make use of his talents, his voice and his imagination to create music for the people – in order to make them happy. After recognizing this, he began calling himself Freddie Mercury!
In many of his songs Freddie Mercury thanks God. He sings about God, love and his own loneliness. Those are the three basic themes in Freddie’s songs: love, God and loneliness. That is what caused him the greatest pain – endless loneliness. It was the same with him, as it is with all great artists. Each of them is lonely at heart. Anyone, who develops a great talent, makes others jealous. Anyone who displays his talents arouses envy, and envious people generate a lot of hatred in this world. It is a cruel rule: Anyone, who remains true to his talent, is lonely at heart. His most loyal enemies were to become jealousy, envy and hatred.
Genuine friends are rare. They can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Who is a real friend? A real friend will love you unconditionally. He will stand by your side through all dangers. He will never lie to you. He will never covet your wealth, neither your intellectual wealth nor your material wealth. He will remain loyal to you beyond death. Freddie Mercury had plenty of false friends. They made him feel just as lonely as jealousy, envy and hatred did. All of this tested his strength. Freddie survived with the help of his own sense of humor! It was a huge help and never deserted him.
His convictions led him to succeed – Freddie and the band conquered the world with their music. Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. If success comes all too quickly, downfall will also follow quickly. They went on tour and gave many concerts, Mercury always at their front! He wanted only the best for everyone, so he had to be a good example. This was entirely compatible with his mission in life. Naturally it was show business, the audiences wouldn’t have been happy otherwise. Sensitive as he was, Freddie knew that. But he didn’t put on just any show – he put on the best show around! Staging just any old show would have been to cheat the audience, and that wouldn’t have lived up to his principles: good thoughts, good words and good deeds!
In addition, Freddie Mercury never did anything half-heartedly. He’d rather not do it at all, than half-heartedly! So he dedicated his whole soul to music. This led to a storm of enthusiasm around the world, which in turn led to jealousy, envy and hatred to the extreme. His enemies sputtered with rage and made it their business to defame Mercury, seeking collaborators for their envious game. They found them quickly! They were powerful people, who control whole countries. Together they began to destroy Freddie’s success. First of all they focused on his reputation. They slaughtered it. For a Zoroastrian the most important thing, apart from founding a family, is his reputation. Without it he is only half a person. Destroying a Zoroastrian’s reputation means robbing him of his honor. His honor has been destroyed for life, and such victims receive a scathing commemoration upon their death. Such a person will do anything to prove the truth. A Zoroastrian believes that truth goes above all.
Now you might ask why Freddie Mercury did not defend himself, why he let them destroy his reputation? That is an understandable question, but how would it have looked in the eyes of the world for a single person to defend himself against the concerted powers of jealousy, envy and hatred? Wouldn’t Freddie have looked like someone, who was trying with all his might to shrug off an unacknowledged fault? Like a coward or a liar?
Like every Zoroastrian, Freddie was a proud man – he never would have fallen on his knees before his enemies. But that’s exactly what they were counting on. They thought he would keep his silence and swallow his pride. His enemies won the hand, because Freddie didn’t defend himself publicly. The messages between the lines of his songs, which he sang out to the world, remained unheard. No one paid any attention to his missions to defend his reputation. The people, who considered themselves lucky to have heard his music, didn’t really hear him or see him or understand him. They were satisfied to mindlessly yell along with his songs and stomp their feet on the ground like simple-hearted children.
“… They never ever let you win … everything you do is sin … nobody believes you … they bring you down before you begin …” Freddie Mercury sings these lines in his song “Liar”. Does that make anyone think?
“… And no-one really knows the truth from the lies, and in the end, the story must hide, deeper and deeper and deeper inside …” In “Scandal”, Freddie screams the pain out of his soul. Did anyone take note?
Defamation of character is a common crime that’s bloodless and far too rarely punished. It almost seems as though courts and judges would consider it negligent, yet it will always be a crime! Destroying someone’s reputation is character assassination, the crime of making dishonorable allegations about someone, although it can be proven that they are false! If no punishment is decreed for this crime, the culprits get off scot-free. Character assassins have no conscience! Character assassination does not take place over night; it takes time to plan and always involves malicious deceit.
The plan to destroy Freddie Mercury’s reputation was forged by his enemies as soon as he became a success. But how can anyone plan to assassinate the character of someone, who pleads for love, while holding a conversation with God and asking him for strength? What kind of barbaric monsters they must have been!
Freddie was a real fighter, who never gave up. On account of his poor reputation, he knew he would have to defy those who wished to blacken his name. He consciously took up the unfair struggle with the intent to win. As always, he trusted in God to protect him. On live camera he said: “He’s watching over me,” pointing to heaven and meaning God. He should have kept that to himself. Now the three evil forces were joined by malice!
Freddie Mercury became the greatest fighter of his time. The stage was his battlefield, and the microphone was his weapon. His talent, his voice and his imagination helped him win the battle. He became a great champion. He remained unchanged in person, contrary to his poor reputation, and he won the hearts of all those, who loved his music. That included many millions of people all around the world. No matter whether adults or children, short or tall, fat or thin, pretty or ugly, intelligent or precocious. Many millions of people loved and honored him, despite his poor reputation. Happiness is a very rare thing for most people, even if it only lasts as long as it takes to sing a song. Freddie loved all these people. They were like his family!
He wrote hymns for all of those, who sang along with him in the stadiums. He wrote songs that they could sing to themselves on the way to work, to get their minds on something else. Not for note, line for line, he wrote in the hope of uniting people around the world through his music. In the hope they would become the sisters and brothers he saw them as. He only wanted one thing: to make everyone happy!
“Nothing can bring him down, his success is like magic,” said jealousy, envy and hatred to each other. “Let’s see about his great protector,” said malice, meaning God. They all joined forces and planned another attack, something much worse than just destroying Freddie Mercury’s reputation.
It was as if his enemies were slowly poisoning his body. They thought nothing but a slow, cruel death was good enough for him. Good enough for someone, whose slow death is brought about by jealousy and its bestial companions. Slowly, very slowly, the poison spread. Freddie Mercury died very slowly.”Each day Freddie cam a little closer to death,” one of his handful of friends said. By destroying his reputation, his death became less conspicuous. A wise person once said: “The ideal murderer is never found – he commits a crime without leaving any evidence that could lead to even the faintest suspicion of murder!”
Freddie’s idea of founding a family was over now. But that didn’t make him wallow in sorrow or complain about his fate. He never gave up, even when he was gravely ill. Despite his physical degeneration and the endless tortures, he remained loyal to his mission in life. He kept composing music and continued fighting his enemies, as his talent, his music and his imagination never deserted him. And neither did his humor. His humor gave him the last laugh in the face of those who opposed him. They were helpless in the end. How could they tear away the music from a slowly dying man, if his body and soul would not allow it? On the contrary, the weaker his body became, the stronger his voice. His harmonies, melodies and songs became all the stronger, as his body weakened. During his final years, music gave him a supernatural power, month for month, week for week and day for day. However, he could no longer perform without the help of the band, which still stood by him.
He redirected the abuse, ridicule and taunts he received back to his enemies, just like the arrows, which used to adorn his costumes. His projectiles hit their targets, and he finally won the battle. Jealousy, envy, hatred and malice were only hurting themselves by wishing Freddie a slow and cruel death. His slow death left him yet more time to write music for the people of this earth!
Freddie Mercury died peacefully on the 24th of November. At his deathbed two Zoroastrian priests celebrated all the rituals, which are required for a devout Zoroastrian. His body was cremated, as dictated by his religious beliefs.
Millions of people remained loyal to Freddie Mercury even after his death. Jealousy, envy, hatred and malice underestimated the power of someone, who is no longer on this earth. The power of the everlasting soul is far greater than that of the living, more forceful than the living can ever imagine. No living person can match the power of the everlasting soul, since our lives are too limited by material things and all the related shortcomings.
The world mourned when Freddie Mercury died. His music will never be forgotten. It is still played to this day, and he is still loved to this day. Jealousy, envy, hatred and malice remain powerless in the face of Freddie Mercury today.
A few brief facts to complete the picture – whoever’s interested, will be able to find out even more:
- Mercurius (Mercury) of Smolensk, whose memorial day is November 24th, lived in the 13th century. In a fierce battle he saved the city of Smolensk from barbarian enemies. Mercurius lost his life in this battle. His sandals are displayed as relics in the Holy Cathedral of Smolensk.
- Mercurius (Mercury) Kayseri, whose memorial day is also on November 24th, died as a young soldier in 251 AD in the Turkish province of Kayseri. He also lost his life during a fierce battle – to be precise – he was tortured to death. A church has been dedicated to his memory in Cairo. Before he died, Mercurius Kayseri spoke to his tormentors as follows:
“You may do whatever you like, you have the power over my body, but God has the power over my soul. And even if you shall put my body to death, my soul will be everlasting!”
- Freddie Mercury died on November 24th, 1991. One day before his death, he made a public announcement in the form of a written statement that he was suffering from AIDS. It has never been proven exactly how Freddie Mercury contracted this disease.