“I’d sit alone and watch your light, my only friend through teenage nights and everything I had to know, I learned it on my radio.” When Freddie Mercury sang these words he may well have been speaking directly to me, telling me it’s ok to be impossibly shy, awkward, different, this magical little box holds all the answers – just follow the light.
The thing about being out of step with all your friends and classmates is that sooner or later you get left behind. At a time in my life that should have had me out experiencing the world, I found a different font of knowledge to draw from. I retreated to my room and pressed ‘play’. Music became my education. I discovered the wonders of AC/DC at full tilt, the ferocity of Guns N’ Roses, the 50’s inspired perpetual teenage universe described by Meat Loaf and the sheer power of Queen, where everything was turned up to 11.
I could write a book on each member or Queen but let’s stick with Freddie for now. Larger than life, one of the greatest frontmen ever and with a voice from the Gods, Freddie Mercury could raise a song to epic proportions, his heart and soul dripping from every word. With one breath he could fill a stadium, with the next, whisper something so profound that in that moment I knew, this is what it is to be human.
Through Freddie and my ever-growing legion of musical heroes I learned my most valuable lesson – the importance of being myself. I didn’t have the confidence to put it into practice until years later but the seeds were sewn those nights long ago. I thank Freddie, Axl, Meat and all the others for shocking my system when I needed it the most and then, when they had my attention, telling me “everything I had to know.”
And that, my friends is why I painted Freddie mercury.
Giclée fine art prints of my painting are available from my online shop in a variety of sizes.