For a time, one of the world's most famous rock stars – singer of stadium rock anthems that still signify foot-stomping machismo – existed as an avatar of the most exuberant, feared, liberation-era forms of homosexuality: going from a 1970s long hair in skin-tight leotards cut to the navel to a Castro clone with a handlebar moustache who wore fisting T-shirts in his music videos. If the legacy of Mercury and his music often seems to smooth his work, and that of his band, Queen, into a sort of middle-aged, KISS FM everyday normality, here we lean into the contradictions of the charismatic man and the nuances of queer life in the 1970s and 1980s.
John Harris, “The Sins of St Freddie,” The Guardian, January 14, 2005, sec. Music, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2005/jan/14/2
Jim Hutton and Tim Wapshott, Mercury and Me (London: Bloomsbury, 1995); Lesley-Ann Jones, Bohemian Rhapsody: The Definitive Biography of Freddie Mercury (London: Touchstone Press, 2012)
Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne, Somebody to Love: The Life, Death and Legacy of Freddie Mercury (London: Weldon Owen, 2016)
“Remembering Queen’s Infamous 1981 Tour of South America,” Remezcla (blog), accessed February 8, 2022, https://remezcla.com/features/music/we-remember-queens-infamous-tour-of-latin-america/
Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner.