Freddie Mercury and David Bowie are known for their collaboration on the song ‘Under Pressure’. What most people miss out on is their relationship. Many of us still to this date, have no idea their relationship was unique and it dated before they both were far from achieving their dream.
Under Pressure” was released as a single in October 1981. When both David Bowie and Queen were at the peak of their popularity. Their affiliation with each other was years before. Mercury was born in 1946 and moved to England with his family in 1964. He attended Ealing Art College, where he came to be known as ‘Freddie’.
They met with each other at Freddie’s college. When Bowie was booked to perform at Ealing Art College, Mercury was one of the students in attendance. He offered his help to set up the stage, offered to lug his gear for him, and followed David all day long.
After college, Mercury strived his best to be a musician. To pay his bills, he worked at a second-hand clothes stall in London’s Kensington Market. He loved fashion and he was simply following his passion. While working there, he once sold a pair of leather boots to David Bowie. The market stall owner has said in the book, Is This The Real Life. “‘Space Oddity’ had been a hit, but he said he had no money. “Typical music biz! I said, ‘Look, have them for free.’ Freddie fitted Bowie for the pair of boots. So there was Freddie Mercury, a shop assistant, giving pop star David Bowie a pair of boots he couldn’t afford to buy.”
Alan Mair was a bootmaker to the stars in the early 1970s according to RadioX. His handmade footwear was a go-to product for many rockstars. Calf-length boots with stacked heels and 2-inch platforms were a popular fashion accessory among musicians and hipsters, known for their glamorous and rocker-inspired style. These boots quickly gained popularity and were considered the ultimate statement piece for those looking to make a bold fashion statement.
Mair stated, “We used to go to the Greyhound pub after we closed on Saturdays and one time Freddie said he’d been at a party and everyone, men and women, was wearing the boots. He said: ‘I don’t know if you realise, but you’re not considered cool unless you’re wearing Alan Mair boots.‘”
In the BBC documentary Freddie’s Millions, Mair stated that Mercury was a great specimen as an employee. He said, “He was always efficient, he was very polite, No one ever complained about him; he never had any attitude problems. He always got there a bit later, but that didn’t matter.”
Their friendship was special and pure. David has also revealed that he was very fond of Freddie Mercury. They also had a great working relationship. In a 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Bowie spoke highly of Mercury, saying “Of all the more theatrical rock performers, Freddie took it further than the rest… he took it over the edge. And of course, I always admired a man who wore tights. I only saw him in concert once and as they say, he was definitely a man who could ‘carry a tune.’ In fact, he could probably carry about three.”