Never-seen Queen photos published by old school pal of Freddie Mercury


26 September 2014

Visions of Queen
Visions of Queen

Unseen photos of rock group Queen are being published in a new book – with a foreward from Freddie Mercury’s Bedford-based school friend.

Bruce Murray, who runs The Music Centre, in Tavistock Street, grew up in India, where he and Mercury formed their first band, The Hectics, while at St Peter’s boarding school.

Mr Murray said the remarkable thing about Mercury, who they called Fred Bulsara (his real name being Farrokh), was his talent for playing the piano.

He said: “I remember him as very shy, but very funny in his own way. Fred would listen to a song once and sit down at the piano and play any song we chose.”

The boys were just 14, and 15 at the time, and kept in touch as Queen became increasingly popular.

The last time the pair met was in Las Vegas, several years before Mercury died in 1991.

Freddie and school pals
Freddie and school pals

The book features a collection of images from the personal archive of freelance rock photographer Steve Emberton, who moved to Bedford from America.

Much of his work was featured in former music magazine Record Mirror, but he built up a library of unused photos of Queen from 1975-to-79, now published by Bedford-based Wymer Publishing.

The book is available for £29.99 from The Music Centre.

Visions of Queen
Visions of Queen


Drawing on the archives of Record Mirror staff photographer Steve Emberton and concert photographer Alan Perry, Visions of Queen contains fabulous colour and monochrome images of the band taken between 1975, as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was climbing up the charts, through to December 1979.

The vast majority of these images, which have laid untouched since the day the photos were taken, have never been published before and have been scanned directly from the original negatives and digitially restored.

This is a high quality, hardback, large format (26.8cms x 32.5cms, 10.5″ x12.7″) deluxe, coffee-table book, housed in a slipcase, with the images printed on matt art paper.

Included in this collection are images taken near the beginning of the 1975 UK Night At The Opera Tour in Coventry, and at London’s Hammersmith Odeon; Hyde Park in 1976; previously unseen images from the Day At The Races press launch at Kempton Park in September 1976; Wembley Arena on the News Of The World tour in 1978; and from Manchester and Liverpool on the 1979 Crazy Tour.

With a foreword by Bruce Murray, Freddie Mercury’s band mate from his first group The Hectics, along with personal anecdotes from the photographers, make Visions of Queen an essential tome that documents Queen’s ascendancy from theatres to arenas.

This Collector’s Edition – available from publisher – comes complete with a set of 5 A4 bonus prints reproduced on gloss art paper, perfect for framing.  One print of each band member and one group shot.

Also available at: AMAZON.CO.UK
Visions of Queen Collector’s Edition
by Steve Emberton (Author), Alan Perry (Author)
Hardcover: 120 pages
Publisher: Wymer Publishing (2014)