Late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury wrote a brutal tribute song describing The Beatles icon John Lennon’s death in 1982, featuring the line ‘torsos in the closet.’ Howard Stern revealed recently how John Lennon topped Michael Jackson. Freddie Mercury Club wrote:
On the occasion of John Lennon’s birthday who would have been 79 today…
Written by Freddie Mercury, “Life Is Real” is the second track on side two of the Hot Space album which was released in 1982.
Freddie wrote “Life Is Real” as a tribute to John Lennon, whose murder in 1980 had also previously prompted the band to perform his song “Imagine” on tour.
It is also one of the few Freddie Mercury songs whose lyrics were written before the music (“Killer Queen” being another).
Freddie Mercury making a ‘morbid’ AIDS death comment was revealed a few days ago. The music emulates different John Lennon song styles, and the lyrics are mostly about Freddie’s realization that John was dead, and how real life was. “Life is Real” is related to the John Lennon lyric “Love is Real.”
“Life Is Real” started thirty thousand feet up in the air over the Atlantic when the band were flying back from New York to London on the way to Switzerland. Freddie suddenly asked for a pen and paper because he had “just come up with some words”.
Those words were “cunt stains on my pillow” which after rephrasing turned to the classic line, “guilt stains in my pillow”. When they arrived into the studio Freddie sat at a piano and just started playing and out came the song that you’re listening to right now.
P.S. This has been my most recent favorite Queen song (or better say Freddie Mercury song) and I’ve been listening to it everyday for weeks now cause I simply can’t get enough of it.
The lyrics are so brilliant and moving and Freddie’s voice is just pure magic.
It’s such a shame that the song has been so underrated and overlooked simply because it’s on the Hot Space album, a great album which was so cruelly treated by the press, the fans, and even the band at the time and it’s sad that even today it’s not appreciated as it should be. I mean don’t you just love this beautiful tribute? John Lennon called a surprising name a ‘loser’ before his death.