[Responding to a mail – see LETTERS]
Well, emphatically YES, Dagmar – we would still have played Sun City if Freddie had been black (he was actually Persian, as I’m sure you know !)
Because contrary to the popular spin at the time, Sun City was in Boputhatswana, not South Africa, and it was totally non-segrated … or we would not have gone there. We played to mixed audiences, and I visited Soweto to open a black music festival. The friends we made on that visit in the black community were part of the reason we were able to make such a success of organising Nelson Mandela’s 46664 concert some years later in Green Point Stadium, Cape Town.
There is a lot of misconception about that whole period. Queen never played in any situation which signified endorsement of segregation … and we never will.
But if we decided never to play in any country where there is ignorance and prejudice, I fear we would never play anywhere – including the UK.
We will, of course be looking carefully at current developments in Russia as regards gay rights. Thanks for writing.