Freddie passed away more than 30 years ago and was a massive loss for our rock community. Queen’s frontman was one of the greatest singer and stage performers out there back then. And still, to this date, he is considered a legendary performer for his feats.
Mercury revealed to the world that he was battling AIDS at the age of 45, and passes away at his home 24 hours after the announcement. Apart from his closest friend circle, nobody knew about his illness. Among them were his bandmates, and his former girlfriend Mary Austin.
Fellow singer Elton was also informed about Mercury’s diagnosis and was one of the very few people who visited him in his final days. Still, Elton could only bare to spend little time with him as he was hurt to see his friend in such a frail condition.
In his memoir, Elton said, “He was too frail to get out of bed, he was losing his sight, his body was covered in Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions, and yet he was still definitely Freddie, gossiping away, completely outrageous.”
“I couldn’t work out whether he didn’t realize how close to death he was or if he knew perfectly well but was determined not to let what was happening to him stop him being himself.”
A little insight into their friendship…
The pair were incredibly close to each other. Elton John also gave recognization to his friend, for saving his life when he was at the height of his drug usage. During a Q&A with David Walliams, he talked about how he would go clubbing with Freddie all the time. On top of that, they also used to take drugs together. He said,
“There’s nobody like Freddie. He was larger than life. So funny, so gifted. So talented in what he wanted to do in his videos. Using ballet dancing. He had such an incredible mind and was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and was so wonderful to spend time with.”
“We just used to sit there and dish the dirt basically. And do drugs. And dish the dirt and laugh and laugh and laugh. There was a club in London on Jermyn street that I used to go to a lot. We were there every night.”
Later on, the final two years of Freddie’s life were a total mess. He was thin and frail. Even in his final days Freddie was thinking of others and spent time choosing Christmas presents. It was delivered after he passed away. The gift Elton got from Freddie had him cry like a child, he reveals. Elton said,
“I was moping about when a friend showed up at my door and handed me something wrapped in a pillowcase. I opened it up, and inside was a painting by one of my favorite artists, the British painter Henry Scott Tuke. And there was a note on the front from Freddie.”
He had received a painting by Henry Scott Tuke, one of his favorite artists and it also had a heartbreaking note. It read,
“Dear Sharon, I thought you’d like this. Love, Melina. Happy Christmas.”
Regarding the name, he revealed how they had given each other nicknames. Elton commented, “Years before, Freddie and I had developed pet names for each other, our drag-queen alter egos. I was Sharon and he was Melina.
“I was overcome, 44 years old at the time, crying like a child. Here was this beautiful man, dying from AIDS, and in his final days, he had somehow managed to find me a lovely Christmas present.”
“As sad as that moment was, it’s often the one I think about when I remember Freddie, because it captures the character of the man. In death, he reminded me of what made him so special in life.”
Freddie and Elton shared something only a few people can share in a lifetime. While revealing all those details he also shed tears and said, “It was really moving. He was dying and he still thought of his friends and he bought me this. I still have it on it’s easel and I still have the pillowcase next to my bed. That is the kind of person he was. He was so so full of love and life. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite like that.”