Brian May ‘can’t celebrate Freddie Mercury’s death’ – ‘I have to hide away’

Brian May gets ‘emotional’ at launch of latest album

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Freddie Mercury died 31 years ago on November 24, 1991. The star lost his life after battling bronchopneumonia, a complication brought on because of AIDS. The star’s death was a tragic event for the entire music industry but nobody was affected more than the people he spent the most time in the world with, his fellow band members from Queen.

The remaining members of the band have gone on to honour Freddie’s life and legacy ever since. But Brian May has confessed it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

In a new interview, Brian explained how the death of his father feels a lot different to the loss of his partner and friend, Freddie.

“It was very hard,” he said of losing his father. “Hard to get perspectives. It was obviously massively important for me to lose my dad, and very difficult to come to terms with, but it was a private thing.”

On the other hand, Brian likened losing Freddie to losing “a brother”.

Brian said: “Yes, [losing Freddie] had the glare of public knowledge to go along with it … We were kind of dragged into a perpetual wheel of having to look at the loss of Freddie in a public way.” This, he explained, is the reason behind his public reactions to the star’s death in recent years. He said: “That’s why I tend to hide away on the anniversary of his death. People do a lot of, sort of celebrating on the day of Freddie’s death, but I don’t want to and I don’t feel I can.”

The guitarist isn’t opposed to celebrating the star’s life completely, however.

Brian May discusses ‘losing Freddie’ with Johnnie Walker

Brian said: “I’ll celebrate his birthday, or the day we first got together, but the day of losing him will never be something I can put straight in my head. There was just nothing good about it.”

He also confessed that he and the band’s drummer, Roger Taylor, went into “denial” after Freddie’s death. “Roger and I plunged into our solo work and didn’t want to talk about Queen,” he explained. “That seems almost nonsensical because we spent half of our lives constructing Queen. But we didn’t want to know at that time. It was a grieving thing. We just overcompensated. It went on for a long time.”

Despite this, he told BBC’s How Do You Cope with Elis and John that they went through a “normal” grieving process.

Brian said: “But [it was] accentuated by the fact it has to be public. We sort of went into denial. Like: ‘Yeah well, we did Queen, but we do something else now.'”

The musician even covered a John Lennon song in an act of spite. He revealed: “I went so far as to adapt John Lennon’s ‘God’ song in my solo stage act to say: ‘I don’t believe in Queen anymore.'”

But he called this a “vast overreaction”.

Brian said: “I didn’t need to do that, why would I do that? Because I couldn’t cope with looking at it.”

The star has continued to honour Freddie long after his death and even continues to play his music alongside Adam Lambert with Queen.

Listen to Brian May on How Do You Cope with Elis and John here.

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