Brian May Says People Tried To Make Freddie Mercury Look Stupid

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In a recent episode of the Fret Not podcast with Rosie Bennet, Queen’s legendary guitarist Brian May addressed the persistent attempts to cast Freddie Mercury in a negative light. Reflecting on the challenges they faced with the media in the pre-internet era, May shared insights into the band’s enduring struggle against jealousy and animosity.

During the interview, when questioned about handling negativity back then compared to the present, May revealed, “Yes, we had a very tumultuous time with the press. It was truly harrowing. There was an undeniable disdain towards us, fueled by jealousy and hatred. To some extent, it still lingers. We countered it by focusing on our music, such as reopening ‘We Will Rock You’ in the Coliseum.”

May delved into the memories of the attacks on Freddie Mercury’s image, recounting, “Despite our musical achievements, we still faced individuals being downright nasty, driven by envy. Particularly Freddie, who bore the brunt of it. People were not just criticizing him; they aimed to make him appear foolish for various reasons. It was challenging not to harbor resentment towards such malicious behavior.”

When asked about how the band collectively dealt with criticism, May acknowledged the sensitivity within each member. He noted, “Deep down, we were all sensitive. Freddie, outwardly, exuded confidence and brushed off criticism, but I know he felt it. Yet, he remained resilient; it never hindered him from pursuing his passions.”

In a more personal revelation, May opened up about grappling with imposter syndrome despite his significant accomplishments. When questioned about experiencing imposter syndrome, May admitted, “All the time. Even now, I walk into a room as Sir Brian May, and there’s a lingering thought – ‘What do people think? Maybe I shouldn’t be here.’ It’s a constant feeling. I assume that people don’t know me or wouldn’t be interested. It’s a prevalent sentiment.”

May further explained that the sense of being underestimated persists, and he always feels the need to prove himself. He shared, “It never completely goes away. I still battle with it. As I get older, there’s an expectation for me to be more knowledgeable and experienced. It’s positive in a way; it keeps me humble and prevents me from becoming overly arrogant.”

The interview provided a candid glimpse into the challenges Queen faced, both collectively and individually, emphasizing their resilience in the face of adversity. The full conversation is available for viewing below.

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