Freddie Mercury AIDS ‘Makeup’ Finally Revealed

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Late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury‘s boyfriend Jim Hutton discussed Freddie’s lines about ‘makeup’ in one of his last songs as he was dying from AIDS. A Freddie Mercury ‘fat’ photo was revealed by his mother. Freddie Mercury Club wrote:

On October 14th 1991, exactly 28 years ago today, Queen released “The Show Must Go On” as the last single from their Innuendo album (6 weeks before Freddie passed away).

Written mainly by Brian May, the song was featured as the twelfth and final track on the album.

The song chronicles the effort of Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life; battling AIDS. It is a comment on Freddie’s attitude towards life and his “incredible courage.”

A ‘gaunt’ Freddie Mercury video was recently revealed. Freddie was so ill at the time that Brian had concerns as to whether he was physically capable of singing it. Brian states; “I said, ‘Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing.’ And he went, ‘I’ll fucking do it, darling’ — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal.”

After listening to John Deacon and Roger Taylor playing the chord sequence that would be the basis for the song, Brian sat down with Freddie and the two decided the theme of the song and wrote some lyrics. Brian wrote down the rest and added a bridge inspired by Pachelbel’s Canon.

Musically, the song begins in B minor; then there is a modulation to C# Minor as if the song implied a hope; but eventually it falls back to B minor.

And here’s Jim Hutton’s comment on the song: “To me, the most autobiographical line was: “My make-up may be flaking but my smile still stays on.” That was true. No matter how ill Freddie felt, he never grumbled to anyone or sought sympathy of any kind. It was his battle, no one else’s, and he always wore a brave face against the ever-increasing odds against him.”

P.S. This is one of the very first songs I heard by Queen and THE song that made me a Queen fan from an early age. Of course at the time I didn’t know the background to the song…

And now I appreciate it even more (with tears of course). The raw emotion in Freddie’s voice, his masterful technicality, and the superhuman power in the way he sings every word is just spinechilling…what a man. Freddie Mercury making a ‘morbid’ death remark was recently revealed.

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