5 Things you didn’t know about Queen, even if you know every word to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’


5 September 2014

On the occasion of Freddie’s Birthday last week…


1. Queen wasn’t going to release “Another One Bites the Dust” as a single until Michael Jackson convinced them. It became the most successful single of their career.  [BRIAN MAY WROTE ON SOAPBOX: JUNE 2009 ]

2. Despite the popular song’s lyrics, Freddie Mercury didn’t like riding bicycles.

Freddie cycling

In the song, “Bicycle Race,” Freddie Mercury claims, “I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride it where I like.” This apparently isn’t true. Guitarist for the band, Brian May, claimed the song isn’t “autobiographical”. May also pointed out that this means the line “And I don’t like Star Wars” is completely false Mercury even rode on Darth Vader’s shoulders during shows! [ BRIAN WROTE ON SOAPBOX: MAY 2011 ]

3. Freddie Mercury referred to Queen as “the bitchiest band on earth.” THE GUARDIAN

4. Guitarist Brian May built his iconic guitar from scratch as a teenager.

Freddie and Brian playing guitars
UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 01: WEMBLEY ARENA Photo of QUEEN, Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing on stage (Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns)

Brian May is a pretty incredible person. Besides being one of the greatest guitarists ever, May also has a PhD in astrophysics, co-authored two scientific articles while Queen was at its height, is now a Strategic Advisor for the Sentinel Mission and way back when built a guitar from scraps that’d last him a lifetime. May tells the story on his guitar website:

I designed an instrument from scratch … The result, after two years of spare-time work, exclusively with hand tools, was the instrument I now call my “Red Special” — or the “Old Lady” — the guitar which has been a part of me through 30 years of live concerts and studio work with Queen, all around the world.

5. Freddie Mercury once dressed Princess Diana as a man and took her clubbing. Nobody recognized her. [As CLEO ROCOS WRITES ]