Friends reveal Freddie Mercury's last days

Reporter: Rahni Sadler, Producer: Sandra Cleary

Peter Freestone was Freddie Mercury's personal assistant for 12 years and he rarely left the Queen frontman's side during the height of his fame.

"Live aid was the big moment for Freddie. I don’t think I've ever seen any man just hold the world in the palm of their hand like that," Freestone told reporter Rahni Sadler.

"He could be a bit if a diva at times, but then he had earned it hadn't he?"'

Mercury discovered he had AIDS after keeping his sexuality fiercely private for many years and chose to keep the diagnosis a secret too, despite conjecture from the media.

"When he told me, he never actually mentioned the word "AIDS," Freestone said.


"He came down to the kitchen… He just said, "Look, we need to talk, OK, yes, I have it.. But that’s the last we talk about it because I have a life to live"."

Band-mates Brian May and Roger Taylor also revealed to Sunday Night the struggle Mercury faced as he lost his famous flair and energy.

"Not only was he an incredible musician and singer but he really had an incredible thing on the stage," May said.

Freddie Mercury and Peter Freestone

"He wanted to keep making music and keep working. He wanted life as normal."

Mercury filmed his last music video, looking very frail, in May 1991. The song "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" is still considered his goodbye to his fans.

He continued to work until November before becoming too weak to leave his house.

"He said to all of us, "I will have no more drugs that will keep me alive now"," Freestone said.

It was only then that Mercury released a statement confirming he had AIDS.

Freddie died two days later at home, aged 45.

"He just stopped breathing," Peter Freestone told Rahni Sadler.

"The very last thing he ever said to me was "thank you". And I'll never ever know for what."

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After the shock of losing their close friend and collaborator, Brian May and Roger Taylor decided Queen was too big to end and began discussing a revival.

"I never thought we would do that again," Taylor said

"Should we replace Freddie? No. I thought it was totally over."

But Adam Lambert made his debut in 2009, singing Queen songs on reality show American Idol and blowing away not only the judges, but also impressing Brian and Roger.

I had friends actually emailing me, saying, "You have got to see this guy"."

They offered him a gig with Queen.

"We wanted him to be himself and there’s never been this thing like he’s replacing Freddie or he’s trying to be Freddie you know he interprets the songs the way he interprets them which is wonderful," May said.

The threesome first shared the stage during American Idol in May 2009 for a performance of “We Are The Champions”. They teamed up again in 2011 at the MTV European Music Awards in Ireland.
Lambert has now performed a series of shows with Queen across Europe including three sold-out gigs at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

Next – they are heading down under to tour Melbourne, Sydney Perth and Brisbane in August and September.


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