Forums > Queen - General Discussion > fans from the day--suspect something wrong w/freddie?

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ontheoutside user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Dec 06, 23:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Asking for thoughts on what people's opinion of Queen's status in the late 80's. Just curious to know if fans around at the time suspected freddie was ill. As a fan, what was your thoughts when Kind of Magic came and went and then a year later we see Freddie looking a little different in The Great Pretender; then The Miracle comes out with songs that seemed forced or uninspired along with videos of Freddie looking different. Did you suspect anything was wrong? Thoughts on no miracle tour at the time? I'm talking from the release of the miracle and prior, or even shortly after.
if this has already been covered before, get over it. everything has been covered 100X + on this board.

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 06:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, I think lots of fans suspected something was wrong. There were lots of rumours as well, mostly about a split up (Freddie also says something about that at the Wembley concert)but also about possible illnesses and so on. (I thought it was cancer actually)
There was enough stuff to wonder about, if you read the lyrics of the Innuendo album, and also the Miracle album it's very obvious something was going on.
These albums had a very different feeling than the ones before, if you know what I mean.
Also, usually the songs were written by May, Mercury, Taylor or Deacon and now it was suddenly all written by 'Queen'.
Personally I did think it was Freddie who was ill (obviously he lost weight and he the video's speak for themselves), but I never thought about aids. I was naive of course but aids was a rather 'new' disease back in the 80's and there were many myths and stories about how you could get infected (by bugs etc, or by swimming in a pool where an aids-patient had been in, toilet-seats, sneezing, etc. stories like that) and it was all very scary and upsetting. And the medication was different too, if you had aids back then, you had to take dozens of pills each day and you were surely going to die very soon. It's very concerning though, how the attitude towards aids has changed, of course there are much better treatments now, but it's still a lethal disease. I hope people won't take unnecessary risks.

So it wasn't a surprise that Freddie was ill, we were prepared I think. Just not certain what we were prepared for!

I hope I answered your question a little :-)


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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 07:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Personally I suspected something was wrong from about 1988 onwards. A friend of a friend worked as a nurse in an AIDS clinic in London and she said Freddie was a regular visitor to the clinic. I thought it was a case of Chinese whispers and never thought that much in to it – but I think it sowed the seed in my mind.

The Miracle came out and I watched the videos, from I Want it All through to The Miracle, and witnessed Freddie becoming much thinner. He still displayed so much energy that I still didn’t believe the rumours (or didn’t want to believe?)

The press were full of it at the time, but didn’t actually come out and say he had AIDS, as they probably never had actual proof. The fact that there was no Miracle tour also raised suspicions. This was a guy who had spent the last 20 years doing what he did best – putting on a show. Freddie saying he was “too old to run around in a leotard” just didn’t make sense to me.

I remember telling a mate then when the single Innuendo came out that Freddie wouldn’t be in the video due to his deteriorating looks and condition – and sure enough…………

Listening to the lyrics to some of the songs you could hear that this was the beginning of the end – even if some of them weren’t directly wrote by Freddie they were certainly inspired by him.

The Headlong video totally confirmed it to me, I was in complete shock and quite upsetting.

I also admired the balls of the guy to still be getting up there, giving it his all, while obviously suffering.



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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 07:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Of course the rumours were everywhere. But I personally kept on waving them away. I even had fights with other guys from school because they 'were spreading lies' about Freddie.

Of course, in hinsight, it was me that had been blind and ignorant for not seeing that something REALY was wrong.

Actually, when I Want It All and Breakthru and such came out, I sincerely thought that Freddie looked realy good!

So sad...

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 08:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I had no clue that Freddie was ill. It took ages for "Miracle" to come out and it was a huge disappointment for me as an album. I thought it was pretty mediocre. Watching the videos I thought Freddie looked old but that was it. I never read tabloids and I had no private TV and of course no internet. The first time I got suspicious was when I saw the IGSM video and did not recognize Freddie. He looked nothing like himself but then it was a costume and I did not think much about it anymore.

He died on my birthday which was a Sunday, so I did not hear about the statement and did not hear the news on Sunday having a severe party hangover. I read the news in my Monday newspaper and could not believe my eyes. I just had lost a friend to AIDS months ago, so I had a very clear idea about what had happened. I don't know why I never thought of AIDS when I saw the IGSM video -it just did not cross my mind although we knew he was gay and gay people were very much at risk.



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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 09:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

for me it was the fact there was no miracle tour it didnt add up, he loved performing but if you look back they could have maybe toured in 87 & carried the euphoria of the magic tour & he may have died on stage after a gig who knows & no one would have knew any different. he had it all worked out quit at the top (knebworth) & worked till he couldnt anymore. I have the radio one interviw from 1989 where gives his reasons for not wanting to repeat the same routine "album, race round the world etc) but the truth was in hindsight he could have died at any point miracle onwards, he was a private man but i cant help thinking if he had a said in 88 or whenever full blown aids kicked in - he could have been an even bigger role model for sufferers & raised even more money & remove the stigma , rather than make liers out of everyone who denied it for two years, just my opinion.

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 12:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ok...i am a long-time fan (like Sally J) from '74 onwards...and i honestly had no idea..believe me it was the weirdest thing...as a huge queen fan - saw them live five times, and had EVERY UK release they issued...every collectable...but i felt so stupid

there were things in the videos for Miracle and Scandal that i thought looked odd...there was even his reluctance to say he would tour again... but i put it down to the fact we can all have days when we look shitty. i also i remember listening to that Mike Read Interview on that May Bank Holiday 1989 and thought "selfish bastard"
the first time i accepted he was ill was the 1990 (i think) Brit Awards thing where Freddie looked ill and that suit hung off him...and even then i remember saying to my wife "oh shit, i hope it's cancer...or something treatable"

my excuse for not knowing? - life i suppose - i had a very young son at that time - he was coming up to two and a promotion that involved travelling three hrs each way to london every day for 18mnths...

then FUCK!! WHAM!!! - driving to work at 4:30am (in London) on the monday morning and and three back to back queen songs...then another handful...then the news at 5am...and i pulled over on the hard shoulder of the motorway...it was eerie and sad and odd all at the same time

sorry for boring you all...just my (very)long-winded way of saying i really didn't know much about it...which was odd for a 29yr old mega queen fan at that time...


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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 12:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I knew something was really wrong after the Kind Of Magic video. It's still probably my favorite, but the most shocking. I knew they used make-up, as most actors do, but Freddie's was absolutely horrendous. At first, I thought it might be intentional for the video, but soon after the Great Pretender Single came out and his skin looked just as "flaky". I couldn't honestly reason why they would make him up that way, so I assumed it was a health condition, coupled with the "too old..." interviews, that was "forcing" Freddie out of the business.

I think the later videos that came out (IGSM, Headlong, etc) which showed Freddie were his way of going out on his terms... and letting us fans know, without actually coming out and saying it.

I can't actually believe that Brian would be all over the radio stations telling fans that they MIGHT be touring when he knew they weren't. He was very careful with his words. He never actually said "Queen on tour", he would use phrases such as "getting the boys together" or vague references.

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 13:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Same here Brenski. Except I live in the States and the only video being shown at the time was I Want It All and personally at the time I thought he looked good. Only because we hadn't seen much of the band in recent years here and I thought he had lost some weight from dieting or working out. But that was all we had of them. Just that one video. So I didn't think much of it then. But looking back now it's interesting how they were covering up his illness with each video by using black and white film, montages of old footage or by costumes. But for the most part I had no idea he was sick and it wasn't reported here until a week before he passed away.

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 13:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ontheoutside wrote:

Asking for thoughts on what people's opinion of Queen's status in the late 80's. Just curious to know if fans around at the time suspected freddie was ill. As a fan, what was your thoughts when Kind of Magic came and went and then a year later we see Freddie looking a little different in The Great Pretender; then The Miracle comes out with songs that seemed forced or uninspired along with videos of Freddie looking different. Did you suspect anything was wrong? Thoughts on no miracle tour at the time? I'm talking from the release of the miracle and prior, or even shortly after.
if this has already been covered before, get over it. everything has been covered 100X + on this board.


Who cares if it's been covered, Freddie's dead. So obviously something was wrong with him, what do you want to give a cookie to folks who suspected it? Pointless question IMO.

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 14:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm glad sometimes that I was only 2 years old at that time, I don't think I could have coped with it if I would hear about Freddie's death on the radio... I'd be devestated. I've now become a fan, knowing that he is dead, so I think that might be easier to deal with, because it doesn't come as a shock. But still, it's hard for me....


Kunst-Raststätte
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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 14:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

MercuryLines wrote:

...because it doesn't come as a shock. But still, it's hard for me....



It´s still hard for any TRUE and REAL Queen fan in here I guess...

PS: NO Paul = NO Queen!!! ...hope this helps ya?


Shoot for the moon... even if you fail you will land among the stars!

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 15:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

kdj2hot wrote:


what do you want to give a cookie to folks who suspected it? Pointless question IMO.


I'll take a cookie.

I like the holday Sugar Cookies, especially if they're still warm. I like them with those little "Red Hot Imperials" on top or the little colorful "jimmies", but not the little silver bells as they tend to get caught in between my teeth.

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 15:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I knew something was wrong after playing "The Miracle" for the first time and reading these lyrics:

Was It All Worth It

What is there left for me to do in this life.
Did I achieve what I had set in my sights.
Am I a happy man, or is this sinking sand,
Was it all worth it, was it all worth it.
Yeah, now hear my story, let me tell you about it,
We bought a drum kit. blew my own trumpet.
Played the circuit, thought we were perfect,
Was it all worth it. giving all my heart and soul and
Staying up all night, was it all worth it,
Living breathing rock n'roll, a godforsaken life,
Was it all worth it, was it all worth it all these years.
Put down our money without counting the cost,
It didn't matter if we won - if we lost,
Yes we were vicious. yes we could kill,
Yes we were hungry. yes we were brill,
We served a purpose, like a bloody circus,
We were so dandy we love you madly,
Was it all worth it. was it all worth it,
Living breathing rock n'roll, this godforsaken life,
Was it all worth it. was it all worth it,
When the hurly burly's done -
We went to Bali, saw God and Dali.
So mystic, surrealistic,
Was it all worth it, giving all my heart and soul,
Staying up all night, was it all worth it,
Living breathing rock n'roll this never ending fight,
Was it all worth it, was it all worth it,
Yes, it was a worthwhile experience,
It was worth it.


"Every night's a party at Melina's mansion!"
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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 15:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bohemian<font size="1"></f! wrote:

MercuryLines wrote:

...because it doesn't come as a shock. But still, it's hard for me....



It´s still hard for any TRUE and REAL Queen fan in here I guess...



of course!


Kunst-Raststätte
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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 16:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

MercuryLines wrote:

Bohemian<font size="1"></f! wrote:

MercuryLines wrote:

...because it doesn't come as a shock. But still, it's hard for me....



It´s still hard for any TRUE and REAL Queen fan in here I guess...



of course!


Thanx honey... YOU & ME, we are not alone!!! :-)


Shoot for the moon... even if you fail you will land among the stars!

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 17:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

:)


Kunst-Raststätte
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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 18:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

;-)



Shoot for the moon... even if you fail you will land among the stars!

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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 18:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is a question I asked my dad once... He said something like, "Everyone noticed his deteriorating looks... We all knew something was wrong."
I see some different views on this thread!


-Things Have Changed For Me-
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Posted: 15 Dec 06, 20:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To me it was when I saw some article in a local paper about the forthcoming Miracle album (it wasn't released here - Brazil - yet, it was about a month or so before the release). There was a promo pic and he looked absolutely awful. Thin, fragile, with that "help me" look ... if you have ever seen someone that close to death (cancer, AIDS, whatever), you know what I mean. Also, they even mentioned something about a "mysterious" illness that made the band take too long to release something new. When the first video appeared, there wasn't any doubt to me, and I didn't even thought of cancer.

It wasn't the same as just telling he was just looking "old" or "tired". I had this feeling of aging when I saw them in Rock in Rio - that leotard seemed a bit tighter than usual... at least to that belly. His "moustache look" made him look a thousand years older, and the moustache was gone so it wasn't exactly the fact that he was looking older, he wasn't. And that beard...

Another sign to me that things weren't going so well was when some radio here aired that guitar stuff from 1990, with Brian going solo and singing Queen songs. Instead of thinking "ok Brian is there for some gig with other people and decided to play some Queen songs for fun" I immediately thought "well they seem to be testing him for taking care of the vocals from now on"... what an awful rendition of TYMD it was...