We are all reeling from the news last night that the little girl who really WAS our number one fan on the recent tour …  has died in a tragic accident.   

Michelle Bruheim - courtesy of her Dad
Michelle Bruheim – courtesy of her Dad

Michelle Bruheim, from Norway, was at EVERY show on our European tour.   We started to notice her outside the gig every time we rolled up for a sound check.   I asked her how she did it, one afternoon.  I learned she had no money, no food and nowhere to stay, but had decided to give up her job to devote her whole time to following Queen/PR on tour.   We all got her meals, and I invited her backstage before the show to get her off the street, to get some rest and refreshment …. she was hitch-hiking from city to city, and sleeping outside on the ground.  We were able to hook her up with some kind fans who gave her lifts, and many of us at some time or other got her a room for the night, or a meal.  She became in a way part of the family.   I didn’t know until her Dad wrote to me yesterday that she was a talented concert pianist, and I didn’t know of her struggles with depression in her early teens.    I didn’t know she had already decided to come to Japan and New York, and had already managed to buy tickets.   But somehow I think we all assumed we would be seeing this little person again.   Sadly, we never will.   She was apparently working for a lighting company, loading off some heavy equipment from a truck, and a palette fell on her and killed her instantly.  How anyone could ask this tiny slip of thing to handle heavy weights is beyond my understanding, and obviously with no-one there to look after her.   But it is done.   I feel sad, and of course I think we will all wish we had done more for her.  But she lived as she chose, with great courage and always with a smile and a pleasant greeting, and never made demands on anyone.   I hope in the grand scheme of things she is safe and that if there is another life, that she gets a fairer shot.   Wherever she is, she will for sure rock!   When the DVD of Sheffield comes out, we will all see her there, right in front of the thrust, singing along to every word, her face transported, and joy in her eyes.   We will all miss you, Michelle.  

Rest in Peace.