Queen guitarist Brian May revealed that Freddie Mercury lost most of his foot before his death in a The Times interview.
“The problem was actually his foot — and, tragically there was very little left of it,” May said. “Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said: ‘Oh, Brian, I’m sorry I’ve upset you by showing you that.’ And I said, ‘I’m not upset, Freddie, except to realize that you have to put up with so much terrible pain.’ ”
The rock icon regretted that his friend and bandmate couldn’t benefit from the revolutionary antiretroviral drugs that were introduced just a couple of months after his demise.
“He missed by just a few months,” May grimaced. “If it had been a bit later, he would still have been with us, I’m sure.”
“We were all wondering if it was an illusion and he was going to be cured,” May told The Telegraph, saying he couldn’t believe his ears when he heard the news. “You can’t really take these things in properly. Then we got the phone call…It was surreal. Even though we had been preparing for such a long time, it still didn’t feel possible.”
It was only when the news aired on TV that the guitarist was struck with the reality of it all. “We all got together and talked and had a drink and then saw it announced on the TV,” he said. “Strangely enough, that was when it seemed real for the first time. You thought, ‘Oh my God, he really has gone and everybody knows now. It can’t be taken back.’”