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An intimate memoir of the flamboyant Queen singer by the man who knew him best.
Peter Freestone was Freddie Mercury’s Personal Assistant for the last 12 years of his life. He lived with Mercury in London, Munich and New York, and he was with him when he died.
In this book, the most intimate account of Mercury’s life ever written, he reveals the truth behind the scandalous rumours, the outrageous lifestyle and Mercury’s relationships with men, women and the other members of Queen.
From the famous names – including Elton John, Kenny Everett, Elizabeth Taylor and Rod Stewart – to the shadowy army of lovers, fixers and hangers-on, Peter Freestone saw them all play their part in the tragi-comedy that was Freddie Mercury’s life.
Freestone lived with Mercury in Europe and America for over a decade. From the East 50s apartment in New York to Kensington Lodge, the house in London where Mercury died – not to mention innumerable international hotel rooms and apartments in between – Freestone was always on hand to serve and protect the man he had first met in the Biba department store in the early 1970s. Then Queen was a largely unknown band. Soon it would be the most glitzy of glam rock bands. Freestone saw the fame arrive and with it the generosity, the excess, and the celebrity friends who came and went.
“I was chief cook and bottle washer, waiter, butler, valet, secretary, amanuensis, cleaner, baby-sitter… and agony aunt,” he writes. “I shopped for him both at supermarkets and art markets, I travelled the world with him, I was with him at the highs and came through the lows with him. I saw the creative juices flow and I also saw the frustration when life wasn’t going well. I acted as his bodyguard when needed and in the end, of course, I was one of his nurses.”
Freestone’s bet-selling account of a talented and extravagant star’s life and death is compelling, entertaining and ultimately, very touching.
Illustrated with many photos from personal and Freestone’s own archives.
“An entertaining and thought provoking read” – PRS for Music Sales
“This collection of Freddie’s own words is the closest thing there is to an autobiography of a man with no regrets. The foreword is written by his mother” – reFRESH magazine, Leading Gay mag in the UK
- Sales Rank: #281283 in eBooks
- Published on: 2010-01-07
- Released on: 2010-01-07
- Format: Kindle eBook
‘The myth of Mercury’s debauched private life is well and truly debunked by the man who was there throughout the toothsome showman’s later years in this affectionate portrait…’ Q
Most helpful customer reviews
141 of 145 people found the following review helpful.
The Last Twelve Years — 1979-2001
By David R. Lorenz
I will say, on the one hand, I am not a “die-hard” Queen fan, nor am I a “die-hard” Freddie Mercury fan. On the other hand, I do enjoy Queen’s music.
The intent on buying this book, as in any biography, is to learn about the birth, career, and so on of the person in which the biography is based. That is not the case for this book.
At first, I was a bit dissapointed to discover that I would not learn about Freddie’s birth, childhood, his early carrer, the founding of Queen as a band, as well as the birth of Queen’s successes.
The book opens in 1979. That is when the author, Peter Freestone, began working for Queen; his original job was to make all the costume changes ready, during Queen’s concert performances. His job descriptions, and responsibilities increased as time went on, and he began working solely for Freddie, himself.
‘I was Freddie’s chief cook and bottle washer, waiter, butler, secretary, cleaner..and agony aunt’,writes Peter Freestone (quoting from the back cover, to give an insight as to the various responsibilities he had while employed by Mercury.)
‘I travelled the world with him, I was with him at the highs and came through the lows…I acted as his bodyguard when needed and in the end, of course, I was one of his nurses.’
This is, indeed as the title states, an intimate look at the man who is Freddie Mercury, written by someone who became one of Freddie’s closest, most trusted friends.
But, it only covers the 12 years that Freestone knew, and worked for him.
The last 2 chapters are especially touching. Peter Freestone was there when Freddie passed away, in 1991, and he shares a very personal account of the goings on before, during, and after his death.
What I learned, and appreciated about this intimate memoir, was how generous, and giving Freddie was. He was a loyal friend. He treated those who worked for him as close friends.
This book was excellent reading, for what it was; and what it was, was an intimate portrait, getting to know Freddie Mercury on a personal level (kinda like getting a backstage pass, so to speak), learning things that would be, otherwise private.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful.
Pleasant Memories of Freddie Mercury…
By rosemarie jean odom
I truely enjoyed reading this book. I have, for many years been a Freddie Mercury fan and great admirer of his music. I was very apprehensive about buying this book, as most often books as such are rarely kind to the individual whom they are written about. But I felt that this book characterized Freddie Mercury more as a “person” rather than this huge “rock star” (which he was) and gave some delightful and colorfull insight into his daily life. The book is filled with many stories and incidents that depict his life style more in terms of his love of music, the band, his friends, his home and his cats. There are stories demonstrating his sensitive character, as well as his over all kindness and generousity. The fact that he was gay is secondary in this book, but it was not ignored either. If you are a Freddie Mercury fan I know you will enjoy this book very much. The photo section in the book is good…but for Freddie Mercury fans there are never enough pictures.
I myself have reread my book several times and enjoy it just as much each time, sometimes reading something I missed before. Peter Freestone remembered his friend kindly.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful.
By Kevin Killian
Peter Freestone travelled over hill and dale with Freddie, and holds very little back in his account of life with one of rock’s most “mercurial” stars.
Was he the man who knew Freddie best? He claims to be, and yet there are a number of fans and other authorities who feel he has claimed this intimate title without the back story to back it up. He knew the tragic star for eleven years, the last years before his death from AIDS, and he even became kind of a nurse to him, so there were elements of Freddie’s life he had an eyewitness view of, and saw things no other mortal was ever privileged to see.
The music, the madness, the mirth, all are aspects that Peter isn’t so hip on, but I dare any reader to go through this book right to the end and fail to shed a tear as the implications of Freddie’s diagnosis begin to take root, and people begin to realize what this will mean to Freddie himself and to all those who loved Queen and rock music too. Peter F. was there, amd he writes sensitively about a difficult issue. Elsewhere his writing is humorous and sparkly, with a bit of an outsider edge, when he describes the ingenious ways he thought of to protect Freddie from the punters and paparazzi, but at the end you will feel your heart in your throat.
See all 106 customer reviews…
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