Freddie Mercury - The Final Act (2021) Movie Script

This programme contains some
strong language from the start.
Freddie opened up his heart
and gave it everything he had.
How long have we got?
Five minutes? Five seconds.
He lived for his music,
he loved his music.
# Oo-oh-oh!
# Oo-oh-oh!
OFF PITCH: # Oh-oh!
Ready to go and do this?
The '86 tour was really
a high point for us.
I have nothing but great memories
of that tour.
# Day-doh
# Dee-doh
# Daaaaaaaay-doh
# Dum bum ba be
# Dum dum da ba bum bah
# Pressure pushing down on me
# Pressing down on you,
no man ask for
# Ba ba beh
# Ba ba beh
# De day da
We'd done the biggest
tour ever of our lives
and Freddie said,
"I can't do this any more after
this." And we went, "Oh."
# Watching some good friends
screaming, "Let me out!"
He didn't at that point want to do
any more live shows,
which sort of told us
that there was something wrong.
# Chipping around, kick my brains
around the floor
My mom visited him more time
than Dad.
And she rang me one day and said, "I
think you should ring your brother
"because he's very, very ill."
And I just said to him,
"It's not Aids, is it?"
And he completely denied it.
But I knew that it was.
There's been a lot of rumours
The rumours are that we're going to
split up. What do you think?
They're talking from here!
So forget those rumours.
We're going to stay together
until we fucking will die. I'm sure.
# Like a blind man
NEWSREADER: After months of
speculation, the rock star
Freddie Mercury confirmed
at the weekend that he had Aids
and he died last
night at the age of 45.
# Insanity laughs under pressure
we're breaking
# Can't we give ourselves
one more chance?
That dreaded new disease - Aids -
has now reached Britain...
The judgment on homosexual
..killer plague afflicted on mankind
by an outraged God...
BRIAN MAY: There was this talk of,
"Well, you know, he was gay.
"He kind of deserved it.
You know, he lived that kind
"of promiscuous lifestyle.
It was going to happen."
And we thought, "Oh, my God,
you people have no idea."
We were very angry and we had
to stick up for our friend.
You know, our best friend.
So I remember thinking, "Well,
we can do something about it."
# This is our last dance
72,000 packed inside, tens
of thousands are still arriving.
And half a billion people
watching on TV,
on satellite around the world.
Good evening, Wembley and the world!
# Under pressure
# Under pressure
# Pressure #
Interview with Freddie Mercury,
talking to David Wigg
recorded in Britain.
Um, first of all, what is the
future of the band going to be?
I did some major interviews
with The Beatles
and I was in Chelsea
and Kenny Everett was having
dinner with Freddie.
And as I walked past the table,
Freddie just said, "Oh, by the way,
"I did enjoy your interviews
with the Beatles."
I said, "Well, thank you."
He said, "You haven't done me yet!"
I said, "Well," I said,
"if you'd like me to, I'd be
delighted, of course!" You know.
"Right, come up to Manchester next
week and we're doing a show there,
"and I'll see you after the show."
He was very much...
Freddie was an instant person.
He would make instant decisions
like that.
And we just got on from the start,
you know.
Life was for living,
is what Freddie used to say.
Hello, boys and girls.
It's very nice to be in Japan.
Thank you very much for
the reception
and the amazing welcome.
And from me and the boys,
from Queen, thank you very much.
# Can anybody...
I was very close to Freddie in the
beginning, and I used to share
rooms with him when we were on tour.
So there isn't a lot that
I don't know about Freddie.
# Find me
And he was very shy.
Very uncertain of himself,
uncertain of his sexuality,
for sure.
# Somebody to
I think there was a period where
he felt that we might disapprove
and the rest of the world
might disapprove,
so I think he struggled with it.
I know he did.
And eventually he was able to pluck
up his courage and just completely
be what he wanted to be.
# Each morning I get up
I die a little
# Can barely stand on my feet
# (Take a look at yourself)
Take a look in the mirror and cry
# (And cry)
Lord, what you're doing to me
He didn't want to go into
big discussions
about his private life, really.
But when Freddie did talk
about it to me, he said,
"What I am is all in the songs."
# Can anybody find me
somebody to love?
He was a very sexual animal.
And once he came out, he went wild.
He went wild.
# ..every day of my life
But the most important thing
with Freddie was that the way
he expressed himself, you couldn't
help but realise, you know,
he was always searching
for someone to love.
# Can anybody find me
somebody to love?
Modern medicine is on the march
forward against disease around
the world, but modern lifestyles
bring problems of their own.
Nicholas Bulley has been examining
this phenomenon, particularly
the spread of a recently identified
killer disease called Aids.
Is it more a scare or a scourge?
Aids is really a very alarming
new disease, and it appears
to be a disease that is going
to turn out to be universally fatal.
I first became aware of the disease
we call Aids now in late 1981.
I'd previously worked a couple
of times in Brazil for an English
and he described
these extraordinary cases
he'd been asked to see in New York.
Very unusual infections in gay men,
and he said, "Look, if I'm right,
then this infection
"is already occurring in London."
And then, at the end of 1982,
we admitted the first patient
with Aids, as we now call it.
We constantly then had increasing
numbers of young gay men
admitted with severe illness.
I'd just come out the Air Force and
I was 20...well, approaching 21.
I met Paul, my boyfriend,
and we moved into Clapham Junction.
# This thing called love
# I just...
I used to go to The Coleherne
and it was a leather bar,
and Freddie liked his...
Leathers and feathers, I called him!
# Get ready!
I wasn't a big Queen fan.
Rock music wasn't my thing,
but I obviously knew who he was.
# This thing called love
May I introduce to you, Freddie...
Good start! ..Mercury!
Ladies and gentlemen...
Freddie started seeing
Kenny Everett.
# There goes my baby
They were great friends, and they'd
go off and have a laugh and drinks
at these various gay bars
in Earl's Court.
Do your stuff, Freddie!
It was an eye opener for me, being
that young coming to London.
There was a lot of sexual energy.
# I gotta be cool
The Coleherne had a reputation
for its, like, dark corners
and things like that, and that
was all new to me.
Carefree sex, and, uh,
I didn't embrace it.
But I didn't ignore it.
# Crazy little thing called love
The value of the dollar
is up around the world.
Interest rates are down by 40%.
The stock and bond markets
surge upward.
Inflation is down 59%.
Buying power is going up.
Some economic indicators are down,
others are up.
It was an enormous struggle to get
governments to take the scale
of this disease seriously.
And indeed, I remember a view
that gay men
were not innocent victims -
they'd brought this on themselves.
Reverend Falwell, you say
Aids is God's judgment
on homosexual promiscuity.
I believe that God does not
judge people, God judges sin,
and I do believe that Aids -
generally caused by homosexual
promiscuity -
is a violation of God's laws,
laws of nature and decency.
And, as a result, we pay the price
when we violate the laws of God.
One of Freddie's friends
in New York actually
worked in St Vincent's Hospital,
where a lot of people
were being treated,
so it registered that there was
something out there
that could kill you.
But, you know, I think basically
we all thought,
"Well, hopefully
it won't happen to me.
"It just won't happen to me."
In 1983, Paul and I,
we went for an STD check.
They took our bloods and we went
back a few days later
and got the results of those,
and, "Oh, by the way,
"you've got this disease
that's hitting New York."
Well, that dreaded new disease,
Aids, has now reached Britain.
Soon after we got the diagnosis,
somebody found out.
And the fact we were living in
Clapham Junction,
we were on the seventh floor,
and we hadn't been in that flat long
and we'd just got it exactly as...
It was our first proper home.
And somebody had painted on
in capital letters
with, like, whitewash paint,
and it just said, "Aids queers"
with an arrow, like this,
going up the seven floors. And then,
when it hit our communal area,
the arrow was pointing
right at the door.
We only found out because we heard
some scrubbing in the morning.
It woke us up.
It was our neighbour next door.
She was in her 80s, and she was
there trying to scrub it off
before we could see it.
BRIAN MAY: While we were touring, we
would call into radio stations and
TV stations, and sometimes we would
just do promo and not do the gigs -
which is a bit arduous actually,
because the gigs are the nice part.
And I sat in a TV studio, and
I'm not going to tell you where,
and they said, "Oh, right, we'll
play your new video down right now."
# I want to break free.
# I want to break...
They put the video on and they
went, "Oh, well, we'll stop
"right there and we'll change
the subject."
They went pale, they went ashen.
They didn't understand
that it was a pastiche of a soap,
you know, Coronation Street.
They don't have that in America.
They didn't see the funny side.
But even if they had, I don't think
they would have approved.
And it was like, "We can't show
this to our children.
"We can't show this to our audience.
This is a terrible mistake."
# It's strange but it's true
I mean, it didn't go down well
with MTV,
which was obviously very
It was one big joke, really,
as far as we were concerned.
We thought it was rather funny.
They really had this whole
attitude of,
"We cannot be seen to support
this kind of thing."
"This kind of thing" meaning
And it's funny -
it makes you laugh now,
but it made them drop the record.
The thing with America is
at the time, in the mid-'80s,
the way that people
had to be portrayed had to be so
cotton-candy clean.
You could not be seen to be gay
or you could not come out
during that period.
It was completely hidden.
# But life still goes on
I've heard people say to me,
"Oh, but Freddie denied he was
No, he didn't.
Look at the interviews. Look at it.
The NME asked him in about 1978.
They said, "Are you gay?"
And he said, "As a daffodil, dear!"
That is not a man
denying his sexuality.
But the funny thing is,
people didn't really hear it.
Freddie Mercury was a raving queen,
and he wouldn't mind
anybody saying it.
And it was quite amazing that most
people didn't even think
that Freddie Mercury was gay.
And then you look back
at the history of rock and roll,
and you look at Little Richard...
Let it all hang out!
With the beautiful Little Richard
from down in Macon, Georgia.
Is Little Richard a man trying
to hide the fact that he's gay?
I don't think so.
I am the king of rock and roll!
Oh, oh, oh! My, my, my!
I just had to do that and I feel
so much better I got it out.
And yet nobody talked about it.
Little Richard screamed his passion
in a way that nobody had ever
done it before.
It's incredible, and Freddie
belongs to that genre completely.
I grew up in Singapore and Malaysia,
and I come from a family
of very staunch evangelical
Christians at the time,
and there was a popular perception
coming from America that
a homosexual lifestyle was aberrant
or abnormal and not acceptable.
But I persisted with exploring it
until I came out to my friends.
# I'd sit alone and watch your light
# My only friend through
teenage nights...
When you're a teenager growing up
gay, you think you're
the only person in the world.
# I heard it on my radio #
I remember Queen. To be honest,
for me, that whole era of the '80s
where people were more androgynous
looking and took their shirts off
like Freddie did kind of gave me
hope that there are people being
a bit wild and radical and
and they look like they're OK
so maybe I will be too one day.
I was sitting in front of the TV
on the floor, on the carpet,
watching TV. I think it was
the news or something.
Good evening.
Anything to do with HIV
or anything to do with being gay,
I was hyper attuned to.
Rock Hudson is suffering from Aids
and has been having treatment
for more than a year.
The confirmation came from Paris,
where he's been in hospital
since Sunday.
Rock Hudson was my dad's favourite
actor and I remember him saying,
"Oh, my favourite actor is now
Clint Eastwood."
And it was just a throwaway
comment my dad made,
and I don't think he'd meant
anything bad from it.
But, to be honest, as a teenage
boy who was secretly gay,
because I had that secret
inside me, my heart went cold.
Mr Rock Hudson has
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome,
which was diagnosed over a year
ago in the United States.
He came to Paris to consult
with a specialist in this disease.
I had the sort of double whammy
of worrying about my sexuality
and whether that would be accepted
or whether that was acceptable,
and also worrying about whether
I would end up with HIV and die.
# There's no time for us
# There's no place for us
# What is this thing that builds...
A few of Freddie's friends
actually died.
The closest was one of
his friends
from New York, John Murphy.
# Who wants to live forever
# Who wants to live forever
And there were a couple
more people who just...
# There's no chance for us
# It's all decided for us...
Within the past half hour, we've
heard that the film star
Rock Hudson has died at his home
in California. He was 59.
Rock Hudson dying actually did
affect Freddie.
REPORTER: News cameras were kept at
a distance as the body was moved
into the coroner's van,
but there was trouble with two
photographers for two
London newspapers.
They were trying to get shots
of the body inside the van.
# Who dares to love forever
Hollywood is full of anxious people.
The scourge of Aids, especially
of Rock Hudson's, has cut
through the old myths
about everlasting youth and beauty.
# Forever
It made Freddie face the fact
that instead of us being immortal
and it happening to someone else,
it was getting closer and closer
to home.
# Who waits forever anyway? #
ROGER TAYLOR: Well, we did two
Wembley shows and the Knebworth
at the end of the '86 tour.
BRIAN MAY: We'd sold out two nights
at Wembley, which was extraordinary.
And then there isn't another
date available, so we go
to Knebworth Park and we sell
way over...
I don't know how many people
were there.
People have told me like 130,000
or something.
It was a huge audience, I remember,
and the set just seemed
to float by in a dream.
We'd done the biggest tour ever
of our lives, and it was a great
success and we were very happy.
And Freddie said, "I can't do
this any more after this,"
and we went, "Oh."
After Knebworth, he just felt
that it was taking a lot out of him.
More than normal.
He was fairly firm, the fact that
he didn't at that point want to do
any more live shows,
which sort of told us
that there was something wrong.
ANITA DOBSON: I met Fred in '86 and
I got to see them play at Wembley
just before they finished that tour.
And then I got invited to the party
afterwards, and it was at that party
that Fred grabbed my arm and said,
"Come and meet my Jim!"
That was his boyfriend, Jim.
And he was very proud of Jim.
We spent ages talking together and
then he took me back to his house
afterwards, and that was really
how our friendship started.
It was that night.
Well, he always said London
was his home.
When he got Garden Lodge,
it was beautiful.
And he made the garden into
a Japanese garden
because he loved going to Japan.
He had also found Jim Hutton,
who was there living with him.
They'd devised this thing to say
that he was a gardener.
And I thought, "Well, he's obviously
a very good gardener because he's
there every time I go."
So, yes, I put two and two together.
Peter Freestone - Phoebe,
as we called him - was always there.
And Joe, the cook. Our lovely Joe
who used to cook wonderful,
wonderful food.
I always enjoyed visiting him
because he'd got a chef,
he'd got a chauffeur.
I liked all those things! But also,
it was lovely to just sit down and
have a chat as a brother and sister,
and we would talk about
all kinds of things, you know.
He had his own family, the Bulsara
family, who were...who are divine.
But he made another family
for himself
that was the family that he'd
chosen. The friends from his world,
his new world that he was in,
where Freddie could be Freddie.
Freddie loved Japan, and he felt
that he still wanted to put things
into Garden Lodge - some
furniture, some porcelain, art.
So he and Jim and Joe Fanelli
went off on a shopping trip!
He thought that that would be
the perfect place for him
to get back some energy.
And when he came back,
the Sun jumped on him.
"Is this man dying?"
I think it said.
That's pretty close to scavenging
carry on that you could get.
What kind of way is that to treat
somebody who's brought a lot
of pleasure to a lot of people?
It sort of engendered absolute
hatred in me
of the Murdoch press approach.
Once again this morning,
some of the popular press
have been indulging
in their latest pastime.
Headlines like this -
"Danger men in Aids alert."
Talk about a gay plague.
Freddie was a prime target.
I mean, he didn't look sick.
There was absolutely nothing wrong
with him, but he was the famous
person who they sort of knew
was gay so maybe he had it.
So I came out in 1985,
when I'd just turned 16.
I'd started to explore my life
as a young gay man in London.
You know, I made a few friends.
I was going out, hitting the really
small black gay scene
in South London where I grew up.
Just...I think it was a week
after I came out,
Rock Hudson died of Aids.
I think I really became aware
of it in late 1986, when my friends
were telling me to go for HTLV-III
tests, which had just become
available in this country.
I wasn't nervous and I wasn't
anxious because I genuinely thought
that I don't have this, because
I'd only had a couple of lovers.
And, in my mind, Aids was something
that was happening across the pond
and there was a narrative that if
you avoided sex with Americans,
which I did, and in my community
if you avoided sex with white men,
which I did, then you
wouldn't get HIV.
And if you were not
having lots of sexual partners,
you wouldn't get HIV.
And I ticked all of those
three boxes.
So I got my tests done at
Westminster Hospital
and I saw a really,
really lovely doctor.
Dr Dolman I think his name was.
And he sat me down and said to me,
you know,
"Sadly, they've come back positive."
And I sat stunned in
absolute silence.
I remember feeling like I was
in a tunnel and everything
was closing in on me, and I just
felt that my future would be dark,
would be filled with disease -
a disease I didn't even understand
but I knew it would be painful
and it would be shameful.
I was 17 and three months.
# Oh, yes
# I'm the great pretender
# Ooh, ooh
I was in that video dressed
in a purple mini dress, I think,
with a sort of yeehaw fringe.
# My need is such
And it was just a laugh
with Freddie.
# I pretend too much
He said I've always fancied,
you know, doing a version
of The Great Pretender.
He said, "It'll be a hit, darling."
And that's exactly what happened.
It came out. I think it was straight
into, like,
number five or four or something,
bounced out and there we were,
off and running.
# I play the game
Freddie had this mark on his hand
and we could see he was worried.
He then decided finally
to go to the doctor
because it was just getting
bigger and darker.
They did a biopsy and when
the doctor called him,
Freddie would not take the
phone call.
He had all the excuses -
oh, he was in the bath,
he was out, he was somewhere...
He just did not want to talk
to the doctor
so I had a very, very good idea
that he knew that this was
Kaposi's sarcoma, which was one of
the first indications of Aids.
# I seem to be what I'm not
We were seeing people
being thrown out by their families,
facing violence
from their neighbours,
losing their jobs, the media
attacking them.
So I can only imagine what that must
have felt like for a global
superstar like Freddie Mercury.
There was so much shame,
there was so much stigma,
there were no effective treatments,
so in some ways it was safer to sit
in ignorance, to sit in denial.
Interview with Freddie Mercury
in 1987
on the occasion of his birthday,
celebrated in Ibiza.
What do you want to say?
We were sitting around the pool
and it really sent a chill
through me because Freddie
had a mauve mark on his cheek.
And I knew that people get a sort
of mauve mark
anywhere on their body,
it's a sign they could have HIV.
And two hours later,
I had to interview him.
At the end of the interview,
I said to him,
"Freddie, I'm going to have to ask
you something. Have you HIV?"
And he said,
"David, is that machine off?"
I said, "Yes, it is off."
"Well, if I tell you as a friend,
David, will you promise me
"you will not put it
in the article?"
And then I thought, "I know what's
coming," so I said,
"If you don't want to,
then of course not,
"but I just hope it's not
what I think it is."
And he said, "Well, I'm afraid it
is, but I'm going to fight it.
"We're going to find a cure.
"End of subject."
MARGARET THATCHER: Civilised society
doesn't just happen.
It has to be sustained by standards
widely accepted and upheld.
It is time that these things
were said.
# Well, I guess it would be nice
# If I could touch your body...
George, are you gay?
Am I gay? That's a pretty...pretty
direct first question!
I've never said no.
I've never said yes.
The main thing I like to express
is that I don't think
it's anybody's business.
In the 1980s, there was
a culture war.
I'm trying to make people
more tolerant towards things
which aren't harmful.
More gay people were coming out
and demanding our rights.
The only people who have succour
and comfort from your views
are those who beat up, discriminate
and practise abuse
against the gay community.
You ought to be ashamed...
At the same time, the Aids pandemic
generated a huge moral panic
against gay and bisexual men.
Children who need to be taught
to respect traditional moral values
have been taught that they have an
inalienable right to be gay.
# Faith, faith, faith
During the 1970s, early 1980s,
public opinion had been shifting
in favour of accepting
gay and lesbian people.
But with the advent of the Aids
pandemic, that went into reverse.
The real thing is what is right
and what is wrong.
Government is to ban the promotion
of homosexuality in schools.
..clause 28 of the local government
bill would make it an offence for a
local authority intentionally
to promote homosexuality.
..Anderton, Chief Constable
of Greater Manchester, last week
castigated homosexuals as engaging
in obnoxious practises and said
the alarming spread of Aids was made
possible by our increasingly
degenerate conduct as a human race.
# Faith, faith, faith
It was vicious.
"Lock them all up." "Gas the gays."
"Put them on an island somewhere."
It wouldn't have existed
but for homosexual behaviour
in this country, and let's say
it straight out without any messing.
Nobody knew anything apart
from the fact that it impacted
young gay men.
So it's not about how much sex
they're having, how they're having
sex, it's who we're having sex with,
right? People hated gay sex.
They didn't like the idea of men
engaging with sex with other men.
It's like a gift from God
because it's seen as a plague
afflicted on mankind by
an outraged god.
A killer plague against
permissiveness, against illicit...
It's Old Testament, isn't it?
It's biblical.
# I gotta have faith, faith, faith
Richard was...
He used to work in Heaven.
They had a little leather concession
shop next to the Star Bar.
I wasn't working, and he said,
"Oh, I can get you a job."
And I said, "Why, where do you
work?" He said,
"I work for John Lewis."
We didn't work together.
I was in china and glass
and he was in fitted kitchens.
He was on the floor below me.
My parents just absolutely
adored him.
He was, like, 12 years older
than me.
And he knew upfront about me.
Um, but he never took a test to
begin with
because he always
suspected that he might have it.
And I think a lot of people
did back then.
BRIAN MAY: These things were not
really spoken of, but of course,
we read the papers, we'd seen what
happened to Freddie,
we saw him disappearing and coming
back with these, uh,
kind of burns to his skin.
# A new life is born...
And I think we didn't like to ask
because we didn't want to know,
And I think that went
on a very long time.
We made a whole album during that
time. We made The Miracle album.
And Freddie at that time was still
full of energy, but signs
that something is attacking him
because he's got this skin thing
going on, and he disappears
for his treatments sometimes.
# I wake up
# Feel just fine
# Your face...
We wanted to think it was something
else, maybe to do with his liver
or something and there was a certain
amount of self-deception going on,
and then I think in the end
it became fairly obvious.
And then, in the end, he sort
of frankly told us.
# Can't you see?
The first time we really knew was
when we got together in Montreux,
and Freddie just sat down and said,
"OK, you guys probably know what's
going on with me.
"You know what I'm dealing with.
I don't want to talk about it.
"I don't want to take any action
"apart from carrying
on the way we are.
"I want to keep making music
for as long as I fucking can,
"and we will not dwell on it.
We will just go on."
And so we all went, "OK."
And that was it.
Oh, I think our feelings were,
"Goddamn it!" You know?
"Poor Freddie.
Let's all close ranks around him."
He wanted to do nothing but work
because that took his mind
off things.
# If I could only reach you
# If I could make you smile
# If I can only reach you
There was a further discussion
about what attitude we would have
if we were questioned, and we all
agreed we would just deny.
To protect Freddie, we would just
say, "Nope, nothing happening,"
and we felt quite
comfortable about that.
I was absolutely prepared
to lie through my teeth
right up to the last minute,
you know?
# Break through! #
He did say that he has got
an incurable blood disease.
And I just said to him,
"It's not Aids, is it?"
And he completely denied it.
But I knew that it was Aids.
But he didn't want to talk about it
so I respected his wishes.
When we were in the studio,
the studio doors were closed.
We were in there and we had fun.
# And you're rushing headlong,
but there ain't no stopping
# And there's nothing you can do
about it... #
It was a great time, it really was.
It sounds strange to say that,
but it really was. For us
as a family, Queen as a family,
it was fantastic.
We were never closer than those
times in Montreux.
# Headlong #
But by that time, Freddie
was suffering.
Wherever Aids comes from, and
whoever it attacks, it produces the
same catastrophic, fatal results.
People with Aids lose several stone
in weight and suffer many
afflictions like diarrhoea
and breathlessness and brain damage.
Richard had CMV - cytomegalovirus,
which was a virus that attacked
all the internal organs
and just literally ate away at them.
And he was suffering.
Freddie had problems with his eyes.
He had to have Ganciclovir,
which was a drip for one hour,
three times a day.
He had a Hickman central line put
in. Joe and I were taught
how to actually connect up the drip
to give him his medication.
When Freddie would see his own
videos, he would say,
"Oh, I was handsome then,"
and that is...that's very,
very hurtful, that he knew
what he was going through.
Because I thought my brother
was handsome.
Still do!
I really thought that was...
That was sad.
This year's Special Award
for an Outstanding Contribution
to British Music goes to
John Deacon,
Brian May, Roger Taylor,
Freddie Mercury - Queen.
Accepting that award,
it was quite hard.
We knew that Freddie obviously
wasn't well,
and it was obvious to everybody.
But, you know, rather than not
accept the award, we just turned up
and took it.
"Thank you very much."
Thank you. Goodnight.
He was really in a lot of pain,
and he never complained. Never.
# Empty spaces
# What are we living for?
# Abandoned places
# I guess we know...
It's a strange story,
The Show Must Go On,
because I had the title and a few
words and I had most of the tune
and the chords and everything.
And I called it
The Show Must Go On, and I said
to Freddie, "I'm calling this
The Show Must Go On right now,
"but do you think that's
a bit too corny?"
And he said, "No, no, it's not
too corny at all. It's great.
"We'll do it.
Let's write some words."
So we sat down and started writing
some words, and we were writing
a little story about this clown
who's very sad
but he paints his smile on
so that he still looks happy.
# Another hero
At no point did I say to him,
"Well, actually, I was writing this
song about you, Freddie," you know?
And he didn't ask. He didn't say,
you know, "Who is this clown?"
or whatever. The unwritten thing was
that we didn't discuss
the lower levels.
# The show must go on
When he came in, he wasn't
in a great state.
He was finding it hard to walk,
even finding it hard to sit
because he was in a lot of pain.
I played him the stuff. He said,
"It's brilliant. I will sing it,
I will fucking go for it."
He said, "Bring me the vodka!"
I brought him the vodka and he pours
himself a shot,
knocks it down, and then he
props himself up.
Says, "Another one."
Knocks another vodka back and says,
"OK, go for it."
and he went for it. And those notes
came out of him,
and I don't know
where they came from.
Those are very, very high notes -
even for Freddie, who had a kind
of operatic section to his voice.
# My soul is painted like the wings
of butterflies
# Fairy tales of yesterday
will grow but never die
# I can fly, my friends
And his voice has that high,
wonderful edge that Freddie's voice
always has, but it has a different
kind of timbre underneath it.
You can hear it.
# I'll face it with a grin
# I'm never giving in
# On with the show
It's perfectly obvious to him what
the endgame was going to be.
But while he was still here
and still capable,
he did what he always did.
He worked hard and he was brilliant.
NEWSREADER: The Princess of Wales
has given a warning
of the dangers of growing
prejudice against people with Aids.
It was a very difficult time.
I was a very junior doctor,
so I was carrying out tasks
at the order of my consultant.
And it was very hard to get things
done because the minute you said,
"I've got an HIV-positive patient,"
you could hear the person sighing
at the other end of the phone
and then suddenly there
would be no beds.
And it was the same sometimes
for investigations.
If you needed a bronchoscopy,
a test to look in the lungs.
And I remember very clearly
being young, frightened,
but feeling like I had to put an
armour on, roll my sleeves up
and go into battle.
And that was to get a CT scan!
Which is kind of ridiculous
when you think about it now,
but it literally was like that.
HIV does not make people dangerous
to know,
so you can shake their hands
and give them a hug.
When Richard was in hospital,
he was in there for a year and
I was there every day with him.
You start to notice what's
going on in the ward.
It suddenly hits. You see
the nurses running somewhere
and you know what's happening.
And people were dying quickly and
Joe Public didn't really know.
I lost 95% of my friends.
# Sometimes I get the feelin'
# I was back in the old days,
long ago
I think Those Were The Days
Of Our Lives was very poignant
because of the video,
because that was the last
video Freddie did.
# The days were endless,
we were crazy...
I think Roger Taylor wrote that.
That was the last video he could do
because he couldn't stand up
for long
and he was in great pain.
# I just don't know
Everybody around us that,
you know, worked with us,
some of them hadn't seen Freddie
for a while.
They were very visibly shocked.
# Those were the days
He could barely stand then, so that
was a very brave thing to do.
But he wanted to do it,
and do it he did.
He just looked very thin and gaunt,
and the hollows seemed
a bit more deeper.
He knew what he was facing
and he knew what
he was looking at in the mirror.
# I still love you
It was a nice little sign off
at the end,
I thought was very moving.
# I still love you #
It was like a goodbye at the end,
you know?
I remember he said, "Darling,
when I can't sing any more,
"then I die, I'll drop dead.
That's it."
And I think when he'd finished
and he'd sung as much
as he could sing, he withdrew
and he got ready to die.
The documentary Aids Updates,
it was a series of five ten-minute
programmes over a week.
I cry my eyes out and, you know,
I just get hold of Stuart and I
say, you know,
"Stuart, I can't...
I just can't cope."
The idea of it was to dispel
the myths.
Richard was there straight away.
He said, "Yes, we'll do it."
I've made out a will.
I've spoken to Stuart about
funeral arrangements
and how I want, um,
basically how I want my funeral.
He almost caught me out. I was in...
You could smoke in the corridors
of the hospitals then,
and I was having a crafty cigarette.
And I heard somebody shout,
And I dropped the cigarette,
ran in there.
I held him.
Richard's head was here. I said,
"Baby, let go. Let go."
And he did.
And I felt his breath,
his last breath.
The last two weeks of Freddie's
life, there was the same people
in Garden Lodge. There was Freddie,
Jim, Joe Fanelli and myself.
Joe Fanelli was diagnosed with HIV.
Jim was diagnosed with HIV.
He had already made the decision
he would have no more drugs
that were keeping him alive.
The only thing that he would take
would be painkillers.
And for those last two weeks,
he slowly let go.
There was a huge press of media
surrounding the house, you know,
even photographing the groceries
in the back of the car
and, you know...
Uh, it was all pretty sick,
I think I tried to
run somebody over and failed.
My mum visited him more times
than Dad.
I don't think Dad could take it
because he looked like a skeleton
towards the end.
And I remember very clearly my dad
was reading one of the many articles
and tears were pouring down his face
onto the newspaper,
and he said, "This should have
been me instead of Freddie."
I remember that so clearly.
It was so sad.
And now, the shipping forecast.
There are warnings of gales
in Thames, Dover, Wight,
Portland, Plymouth...
Joe called me, I think,
at about 5:30 in the morning
and Freddie had basically
gone into a coma.
So we called the doctor and he made
Freddie sort of comfortable.
The doctor had literally
just left the house
and we went up, and Freddie
had moved.
You could see he had moved a bit.
And as we were changing his T-shirt,
we just looked and saw his chest
had stopped moving.
NEWSREADER: A day after revealing to
the world that he had Aids,
the rock star
Freddie Mercury has died.
The day he died, we spent the whole
night at my house in Kensington
at the time, and the three of us
just trying to
make sense of it. And then it came
up on the news in the early morning.
Good morning from Sarah and me.
You're watching the BBC's
Breakfast news. It's 6:30.
The headlines this morning -
Monday, the 25th of November.
Maybe it shouldn't have been,
but it was an awful shock.
And Roger and John
and myself got together, sat...
Um, kind of had a cup of tea,
not knowing what to say.
And then we put the TV on.
The pop star Freddie Mercury
died last night in London.
We almost stopped breathing
because that's when we believed
that it had actually happened.
The fact that it was on the news
made it real.
I didn't really see much of Jim.
I think, not being one that lived
his life in the public eye,
he didn't want any of that,
The lead singer with Queen, aged 45,
had announced on Saturday
he was suffering from Aids.
It was announced before he died,
but he didn't want to go through
the misery of being
the object of pity, or scrutiny,
you know, when you're that sick,
so he did announce it,
and within 24 hours, he was gone.
So I think that was probably
perfect timing.
Bloody good move, I thought.
Rolling? Rolling.
Freddie Mercury, er,
was an incredible, er,
innovative singer
and frontman for a band.
He was a very dear friend of mine
and it was a privilege
to have known him
for some of his life.
The press was full of what
a wonderful performer Freddie was,
what amazing music he wrote.
Everybody had been saying such
wonderful things, nice things.
How very quickly that changed.
The press were pretty shitty,
as they normally were.
Freddie dying of Aids,
Freddie sleeping around,
so he got what he deserved.
Yeah, I wouldn't single anybody out,
except maybe The Sun, I think,
were particularly awful about it.
There was some nice press,
there were some people who were
very nice,
but there were people who were
unbelievably unsympathetic.
730,000 people using the Aids
helpline last year,
those people seeking
help and advice.
We've got to be able to give it
in school, but we've got
to be able to give it as part
of a total picture,
so that we don't have a great
hoo-ha when Freddie Mercury died,
because he had such a bizarre, and,
in my view,
quite unacceptable lifestyle.
There was this talk of,
well, you know, he was gay,
he kind of deserved it,
you know, he lived that kind
of promiscuous lifestyle.
It was going to happen.
You know, that, that...
And we thought, Oh, my God,
you people have no idea
of what this disease really is,
and obviously no feeling
about the morality
of what you're saying.
Roger Taylor and Brian May
are with us.
The death of Freddie Mercury...
Brian and I decided to say something
on breakfast TV or something.
It's been quite distressing to read
some of the, erm, the reports
in the press.
Not quite sure what we want to do,
but just to say that this press
is disgusting,
and what a terrible attitude,
and, er, there we were,
stuck with Paul Daniels.
Paul Daniels is listening here.
Were you a fan of Queen
and of Freddie Mercury?
Well, no, cos I...
We were in a bit
of a daze, to be honest.
It hit us very hard.
We were very angry,
and we had to stick up
for our friend,
you know, our best friend.
Freddie made one crucial
decision before he died,
which was to announce the fact
that he did have Aids.
It was a very brave, and, I think,
well-timed act on his part,
because it gave us and those close
to us a kind of weapon
erm, to talk about Aids, you know,
it would have been very easy for him
to put on his death certificate,
pneumonia, you know, which he knew,
and it could have perhaps
sidestepped the whole thing.
The fact that he announced it,
and said, "Look, I've got this",
and he was, there was no shame
to that, I think is very important,
cos there shouldn't be from this
point, well, not from ANY point,
any stigma to having this disease.
It's nothing to do with, you know,
somebody did something wrong.
He's being punished.
That's got to go. It has to go,
you know, it's everybody's problem
At that point, we thought
we're not going to let Freddie
be perceived in history as a victim,
or as someone who threw himself
in front of a train,
and if we're going to talk
about Aids, we should bring
everything out into the open.
Freddie isn't the only person
who is being vilified...
..before AND after his death
by people who think that Aids is
some kind of revenge
against gay people.
# Is this the real life? #
I felt that it was a waste
of a lovely, talented life.
# Is this just fantasy? #
But also for those people who died
in the same period as Freddie,
it was such a bad stigma,
and the shame behind it all,
that a lot of families didn't
# Caught in a landslide
# No escape from reality. #
People died on their own,
which I thought is such a shame.
# Open your eyes... #
Queen is to rerelease its best-known
hit Bohemian Rhapsody next month,
with the proceeds going
to an Aids charity.
You have doubts about everything.
You think, are we capitalising on
his death?
Is this maybe a tasteless thing
to do?
And we thought, no, we put it out,
and all the profits
will go to charity.
I think one of the results
of his life can be that people
have a different attitude
to people being gay.
I really hope so.
Here's a guy who was strong,
who was incredibly talented,
quite magnificent in every way
you can think of,
and he was gay,
and was quite public about it.
So I don't think anyone
can ever quite feel the same
about that any more,
and it's time, God knows, you know?
# Too late
# My time has come... #
Obviously, the band was effectively
finished at that point,
so I remember thinking,
well, what can we do?
# Goodbye, everybody... #
Well, we could have a concert
to honour our friend,
and I became sort of fixated with
the idea of giving him
a hell of a send-off,
and at the same time, promoting
awareness about HIV, Aids.
I remember showing Brian, "Look,
I reckon we can get this lot, here,
you know, all these great artists".
He said, "Well, I don't know".
He didn't really believe in it,
I think, at first,
then it's, "Well, if you can get
that lot, I'm in".
I remember I went in to
Harvey Goldsmith, the promoter,
with our manager, Jim Beach,
and he looked up, and we said,
"We want Wembley Stadium".
And he said, "Who's going to sing?"
And so we said,
"Well, I've got this list".
And he just looked at me,
and said, "You're mad".
And I thought, "Well, are we?
Maybe we are".
I'm the wet nappy service that runs
24 hours a day, that's what I do.
Booking Wembley Stadium,
speak to the bookings department,
and say is May the 4th available,
and if they say yes,
they send you a contract,
and you have to pay them
a load of money.
That's it!
Once that date's set, that show's
happening, so then the question is,
who do we get?
Well, I think the first person
I called was Elton,
because I knew he was a shoo-in.
Elton and Freddie were great
friends, and I know Elton
was particularly supportive
in the last days.
Just what you would want
from a really good friend.
And I rang up David Bowie.
I said, you know, you can do
Under Pressure.
And he said,
"Well, who would I sing it with?"
And I thought, I know Annie
Lennox loves David Bowie.
He said,
"Well, I'll do it with Annie".
So I rang up Annie,
and I said, "Bowie will do it".
She said, "I'll do it".
Two psychiatrists...
No, rather, two psychics
pass each other on the street,
and one says to the other,
"You're doing all right. How am I?"
And it kind of went on from that.
First of all,
how are the rehearsals going here?
They're going tremendously well,
I mean, er,
I think Queen themselves have taken
on an incredible amount of work.
# Mm ba-ba, mm ba-ba
# Bada-boom ba-bai-ya... #
You know, we'd lost Keith Moon,
so I knew what they were going
to be going through, emotionally,
and it's incredibly traumatic,
I can't tell you.
# Pressure
# Pushing down on me
# Pressing down on you
# No man ask for
# Under pressure... #
David Bowie's doing it, and then
Roger Daltrey's doing it,
Robert Plant's doing it.
All kinds of people who were
really heroes to us.
# It's the terror of knowing
what this world is about... #
And then a lot of people
who were there, younger than us,
to who Freddie had been a hero,
so, Extreme, Metallica,
Guns N Roses,
and everybody said, "Ah!
Guns N Roses will never turn up!"
# People on streets...#
Everybody was there.
It was just like a sort of
fame fest. Ha-ha!
I'm doing I Want To Break Free.
I'm doing that on my own,
and I'm doing a duet
with George Michael.
I'm doing
These Are The Days Of Our Lives.
They offered me this song,
I Want To Break Free,
and I said to Roger Taylor,
"I hope you don't think
that this is really bad taste,
"but do you think it would be really
good if I had a vacuum cleaner
"on the stage, and put rollers
in a net in my hair,
"like Freddie on the video?"
And Roger Taylor was so lovely,
and he got hold of me,
and he just said,
"Bad taste is what this band
is all about, darling!"
And it was so lovely,
and that's it,
that was that.
I think at rehearsals,
there was a definite feel of respect
and a responsibility.
# Pressure...
# Pressure. #
It's scary enough to play
with Queen anyway, and also thinking
that you're taking the place
of someone that was such
an incredible performer.
Queen were the first concert
we ever saw.
We were 11.
I mean, we were enthralled.
So George's only stipulation
was that he wanted to sing
Somebody To Love.
# Each morning, I get up,
I die a little
# Can barely stand on my feet
# Take a look in the mirror and cry
# Lord, what are you doing to me? #
"I look in the mirror every
morning and I cry and cry.
"Please, God,
send me someone to love".
# Lord!
# (Somebody) Oh, somebody
# (Somebody) Can anybody find me
# Somebody to love? #
He had the world at his feet,
sold a hundred million
records by this time.
# I work hard (He works hard)
# Every day of my life... #
But he never found love,
and that was tough for him.
# (At the end of the day)
I take home my hard-earned pay... #
I was very close to George, and
George was a very complicated guy.
We all knew that George was gay,
and at the time, he clearly hadn't
come to terms with it himself.
# Can anybody find me
# Somebody to love? #
So, when I was 19, I came out
to various friends,
and one of my sisters,
and I said I was going to talk to
my mum and dad,
and was persuaded,
in no uncertain terms,
that it really wasn't the best idea.
There was this sort of weird stigma
attached to it all,
and it was like because he was
this sex symbol
that he couldn't come out
of the closet.
This was one lie that I'd been
kind of trying to tell people
in my own way for years
and years, and I don't think
I would have had the same career.
My ego might not have been satisfied
in some areas quite as much,
but I think I would
have been a happier man.
The week of rehearsals,
we were there four days out of five,
and that's where that video
comes from, me and him,
behind Roger's drum kit,
watching Bowie and Annie Lennox,
that was the last day,
and when they finished,
he did his rehearsal, yet again.
Four days in a row.
No-one did that.
# Can anybody find me... #
There's a definite feeling when
George went out and did
Somebody To Love
that he'd absolutely nailed it.
# Somebody t-o-o-o-o-o-o-o... #
There weren't any tantrums,
there wasn't anything like that.
# (Find me somebody)... #
Nobody was more important
than anybody else.
There wasn't one person
who was making a fuss,
cos there's always usually one.
L-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-v-v-v-v-e? #
All right!
The old school building
in Notting Hill has become Britain's
first purpose-built Aids hospice.
I'd been working at...
Well, not working,
I'd been volunteering
at London Lighthouse.
People with HIV could...
..go for respites, go for security,
go for counselling,
and their friends could go along
to visit them.
It was a safe place.
And I managed to get tickets through
one of my friends who worked there.
I've never been a concert-goer.
Apart from Tina Turner, bizarrely.
And so I had to go to Wembley -
I'd never been to a football match
at Wembley,
so I wasn't aware of
the space of it.
And when we got there,
it was like, wow.
A very good afternoon.
PRESENTER: Freddie Mercury died of
Aids in November of last year.
Love and respect for the man,
together with a passionate
commitment to do something
about the disease,
has led to this event.
Some of the great names in world...
We had great seats and I felt
privileged to be there.
72,000 packed inside, tens
of thousands are still arriving
and half a billion people watching
on TV, on satellite
around the world.
In a way, the concert is quite
important for us cos it's our way
of saying goodbye to Freddie
as well.
And I think we need to do
that before our minds
can really move on.
Good evening, Wembley and the world!
We are here tonight to celebrate
the life and work and dreams
of one Freddie Mercury.
You have to have something
that attracts people to hear
the message that needs to be said,
and nothing on this planet
will ever beat music.
They're number one
all over the world right now.
Please welcome on stage Def Leppard!
Good evening!
Are you all enjoying yourselves?
It unites people.
MUSIC: Now I'm Here
by Queen
# Here I stand
Here I stand
# Looked around, around,
around... #
'Essentially, what we have with
this show is the celebration
'of the life of a musician'
who just happened to be gay, who
died of the consequences of Aids.
# Now I'm there
Now I'm there... #
That in itself is incredible and
juxtaposition in 1992,
because it was improving,
but it was still a homophobic world.
# Just a new man
# Yes, you made me live again... #
'And I think that fact that you've
got this, what you might call,
very heterosexual rock opening
up the show for the first hour,
I think that juxtaposition is
actually beneficial.
# A baby I was when you took my hand
# The light of the night
burned bright... #
'If you'd have just been an entirely
gay collection of musicians,
'it wouldn't have worked.'
# But you knew my name on sight... #
If you look back at how the show
flowed and who performed on it,
it doesn't really make any sense.
Please welcome Metallica.
'The last thing you'd expect
is a band like Metallica
'to be playing an Aids
awareness show'
and a tribute to Freddie Mercury.
# Don't I love you so... #
Here for Aids awareness
is Guns N' Roses.
This is Guns N' Roses, 1992.
They were completely off their face.
I remember seeing Duff, bless him,
sat on the stairs.
He couldn't even speak.
He couldn't speak.
And this is an hour before
they went on.
How are you feeling
before you go on?
I just woke up.
You just woke up?
And I'm thinking,
"Oh, boy, I can't wait to see this."
Yet when they went on stage,
he was amazing.
# Whatever comes of you and me
I'd love to leave my memory... #
'There would have been a lot of
heterosexual people
'that loved Queen that went,'
"Oh, I'm not keen on
the gay lifestyle bit."
But to the majority,
most people just didn't care.
They were there to celebrate Fred.
Thank you! See you soon, all right?
I first discovered Queen
in my last years at school.
Everybody at school was saying
how I looked like Freddie Mercury.
The man changed my life.
From being a 16-year-old blood
getting mick took out of him
for goofy teeth and Bugs Bunny
to being a good-looking chap
who could go round town
and sing and dance.
It just changed me completely.
Are you ready?
MUSIC: Another One Bites the Dust
by Queen
'There was this one'
guy who was dressed like Freddie
on someone's shoulders.
Do it!
He encapsulated that audience
for me.
Every gesture, every motion,
it was bleeding out of him.
MUSIC: Keep Yourself Alive
by Queen
He just looked and then he did,
like, a double take...
# Keep yourself alive
Come on
# Keep yourself alive... #
..and he just started laughing,
and I remember that
like it were yesterday.
MUSIC: Radio Ga Ga
by Queen
# All we hear is... #
You could see individuals
celebrate the music and, you know,
lose themselves
and express themselves.
Sing it!
# All we hear is radio ga ga
# Radio, what's new...? #
'It wasn't just another singalong -
it was more than that.'
It was visceral.
# Someone still loves you. #
Thank you!
'Of course, we were the beginning
of the event,'
and it was that way
throughout the whole day.
I think I learned that day just
what an incredible force he was,
not just his voice,
but the man himself.
All right, we're about to go in to
the second half of the concert
in which the three members of Queen
will perform with a remarkable
series of collaborators.
There was an energy that day
that was unbelievable.
Next, the lead singer
from The Who, Roger Daltrey,
along with Brian May, Roger Taylor
and John Deacon from Queen.
MUSIC: Pinball Wizard
by The Who
And it was because of one person.
They lost Freddie, so I can imagine
what they were going through.
It must have been incredibly
traumatic, but I'm sure that once
they heard their music again,
even though it's being done
differently by me and the other
artists, it must have just
given them a lift.
MUSIC: I Want It All
by Queen
# I want it all
# I want it all
I want it all
# And I want it now... #
I think for the boys,
it was a catharsis.
It was a way of saying goodbye,
but saying goodbye in front
of everybody, saying this was
someone we loved deeply.
Our next guest is Mr Paul Young.
I did feel the sense of loss
in the stadium.
I mean, I felt that the fans were
there to celebrate Freddie.
# All we hear is radio ga ga... #
'But I did feel it'
from the band as well.
It was like my childhood
was all coming on stage -
all the singers that I'd idolised.
# Pray tomorrow takes me higher
# Pressure on people,
people on streets... #
When you say stepping into
his shoes, that really brings
it home, you know, cos that's
what we were trying to do.
'Please, give me a break!'
I was not trying to be
Freddie Mercury.
'You do your best.
That's all you do.'
# I want it all
# I want it all
I want it all
# And I want it now... #
I know it sounds really,
really corny,
but it was really like he was
watching and if he'd have been
there, he's have been saying,
"No, do it like that and you do
it like that," so you were trying to
listen to what he would say.
# I want to break free
from your lies
# You're so self satisfied
I don't need you... #
'And you really wanted to'
make him feel proud and you wanted
to make Queen feel proud.
# God knows. #
You know, it's all about
the band, as well.
And they played so well,
Roger and Brian and John.
And I'm just pleased for them.
It's going to be a very
emotional day for them.
MUSIC: Bohemian Rhapsody
by Queen
# Mama
# Just killed a man... #
Well, it was obvious why it was
important for Elton to perform
because he was the most
vocal of all the gay musicians.
# Mama, life had just begun... #
Elton and Freddie were very close,
and I remember Elton
during the rehearsals being
just very sombre.
# Mama
# Oooh... #
With Axl Rose, he had the
reputation for turning up at a gig
and then going on stage two hours
late, and all the rest of it,
and there was a lot of controversy
about Axl.
Axl said some fairly unwise and
could be construed as
homophobic statements.
'And one of my real dreams at
the time was to get them together'
on Bohemian Rhapsody.
# Goodbye, everybody,
I've got to go... #
But we never knew if Axl
was actually going to turn up,
cos he didn't turn up to rehearsals
and he was famously unpredictable.
It was such a dangerous thing to do
at the time.
Axl Rose and Elton John,
you know what I mean?
You'd imagine it to be
the biggest road crash ever.
# I sometimes wish
I'd never been born at all... #
We left our door open
so that we could see
who was milling around outside.
We saw Elton walk past our door
and then he kind of must have done
a John Cleese and he stopped
and walked backwards and kind
of just leaned in and went,
"Hello, boys."
Then he came in a little while later
and he went, "What's going on?"
He says, "I've got to sing a duet
with this guy in four hours' time,
"and he won't open his door."
# I see a little silhouetto
of a man... #
Apparently, he knocked on the door
and his security guy just opened
the door a little bit and said,
"Axl's sleeping,"
and he shut the door.
It's like, you don't shut
the door on Elton John.
And he vented his spleen
in our dressing room.
"I've got to do a duet.
He's not opening the door.
"I'm Elton John!"
Fucking hell!
It was really funny, actually.
# Let me go
# Ah
# No, no, no, no, no, no, no... #
And I'm thinking,
it'll be interesting to see
how this works out.
And I just sort of looked round,
thinking, is he going appear?
And he suddenly appeared
like a whirling dervish
in a Scottish kilt.
And he was absolutely fantastic,
I thought he was electric.
# So you think you can stop me
and spit in my eye
# So you think you can love me
and leave me to die
# Oh, baby
# Can't do this to me, baby
# Just gotta get out,
just gotta get right outta here...
If there was anybody in the crowd
that wasn't keen on him doing it,
they didn't seem to show it cos I've
never seen a reaction like it.
But then there was this, like, total
kind of polar opposite of when it
goes down to the end section.
# Nothing really matters,
# Anyone can see
# Nothing really matters... #
The two of them come together,
and my memory serves me right,
for a brief second, they held hands.
# me. #
'And the two of them went
down the front and held hands
'at the end of the song.
'That wasn't rehearsed.
'There's a lot you see in that
concert which was not rehearsed.
'It wasn't rehearsed because
Axl wasn't at rehearsals.'
And it's momentous.
# Any way the wind blows... #
It's very hard to quantify
what impact the concert had.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen,
would you please welcome
the remarkable Elizabeth Taylor?
But what I can say with utmost
certainty is it did open up a public
conversation and together with
the actions of HIV and Aids,
organisations began to shift
public attitudes.
We are here to celebrate the life
of Freddie Mercury.
It was tricky for us.
On one level, we're saying,
this is celebrating his life,
this is the strong statement.
And on the other hand, we're
thinking, ouch, you know,
this actually does hurt us.
And it was bound to do.
# Day dum
# Day de day de day dum. #
We are here also to tell
the whole world
that he, like others we have lost
to Aids, died before his time.
Freddie's tribute, to me, was
like a tribute to Richard as well,
and the thousands
that had died before him.
# Ay dum. #
He's one of the people that
I thought about for a long, long
time because he kind of represented
a cohort of patients that died.
Some when I was with them alone late
at night in a high dependency ward
trying my best, but it didn't work.
Each day around the world,
5,000 people are infected with HIV,
the virus that causes Aids.
Tonight, we're here to send them
a message that we care.
It wasn't that long after
that effective treatment arrived.
I would think, Oh, Freddie
and this gang of guys, mostly guys,
would be still alive today
if they had these treatments.
But they didn't - they were
just a few years too early.
But I'm also here
with a message for each
and every one of you - protect
yourselves, love yourselves,
respect yourselves,
because I will keep on telling you
until you do and I won't give in.
And I won't give up because
the world needs you to live.
It happened with Anselmo
across a lobby.
So I met him in that lobby
and I didn't understand why
the click happened.
This is a man in a Brazilian hotel.
I'm never going to see him again.
Why did that happen?
This was the first love
of my entire life.
This was the first person
I ever shared my life with.
It was love at first sight.
He was a fashion designer,
very talented man.
At the time, I was married
and we hid Anselmo
as my wife's cousin.
And he was everything to George.
I was 27 and I'd just started my
first proper relationship,
which is pretty old,
isn't it, really?
I went out for dinner with George,
and he was very quiet on me.
He goes, "Anselmo's got Aids."
Thank you very much.
There's something I'd like to say.
I think many of us have something
to say today.
I couldn't believe he had found
someone to love.
And now he was going to lose
that person.
It was heartbreaking.
The conservative estimate
for the year 2000
is 40 million people on this planet
will be infected with HIV?
And if you think, or any
of you out there, really think
that those are all going to be gay
people or drug addicts,
then you're pretty much lining up to
be one of those numbers.
So, please, for God's sake,
and for Freddie's sake,
and for your own sakes,
please be careful.
All right?
Thank you very much.
This song
is one of my favourites.
It's called Somebody To Love.
MUSIC: Somebody To Love
by Queen
# Each morning I get up
I die a little
# Can barely stand on my feet
# Take a look at yourself
# Take a look in the mirror and cry
# And cry
# Lord, what you're doing to me
# I have spent all my years
in believing you
# But I just can't get no relief,
# Somebody
# Ooh, somebody
# Can anybody find me
# Somebody to love...? #
"Please God. I cry and cry.
Send me someone."
And he did, but he was dying.
I want to hear every single person.
See every single pair of hands.
Three, four!
# Find me somebody to love
Find me somebody to love
# Find me somebody to love... #
The sound of his voice is coming out
in the monitors all around me,
and there were moments on that night
when we had that crystal clear
razor edge just like Freddie.
And it was a real
chills-up-the-spine moment
for all of us.
# Can anybody find me... #
When he sings the chorus...
# ..somebody to... #
..and he puts the mic out
to the audience.
Come on!
He spun around...
..cos he knew he had the audience.
# Somebody to love... #
I spoke to Anselmo after
the performance and I said to him,
"You know that song was for you."
And he was like, "No, no."
I said, "Anselmo, that was yours."
# Find me, fine me, find me... #
And 11 months later, literally
to the day - we knew it was coming,
of course we knew - he died.
# Anybody, anywhere, anybody find me
# Somebody to love
# Yeah, yeah
# Love! #
Thank you very much. Goodnight.
Take care.
I think there is - I know there is
- one person in the world
that Freddie would be very proud to
have stand in his footsteps tonight.
Ladies and gentlemen, Liza!
She was very emotional about it.
She loved Freddie.
MUSIC: We Are The Champions
by Queen
# I've paid my dues
# Time after time
# I've done my sentence
# But committed no crime
# And bad mistakes
# I've made a few
# I've had my share of sand
# Kicked in my face
# But I've come through
# And we mean to go on
and on and on and on
# We are the champions, my friends
# And we'll keep on fighting
till the end... #
I thought it was
just a wonderful day.
The warmth was sort of infinite.
I remember feeling totally
exhausted at the end.
# ..No time for losers
# Cos we are the champions
# Of the world... #
Freddie opened up his heart
and gave it everything he had.
He lived for his music,
he loved his music.
And he was proud of himself
as a musician above everything else.
# We are the champions We are
the champions
# No time for losers... #
'We are light years in terms
of treatment from where
'we were because we have
the medication'
so I know I'm not going to die
But I still meet people who get
diagnosed, and it's devastating.
I would say to them,
"Know that there is a world
where you will be loved
"and you'll be taken care
of without any judgment."
The antidote to shame is light,
isn't it? Empathy.
So if the secret stops being
a secret and everybody can see it,
and we get some love and acceptance,
that is powerful.
That is powerful.
# Cos we are the champions... #
I wish Freddie could have
seen that outpouring
of love and acceptance.
Thanks, Freddie!
We just wanted to let you know
we were thinking about you.
Stay safe!
# ..of the world! #
MUSIC: A Winter's Tale
by Queen
Yeah, look at that intro.
# Red skies are gleaming, oh... #
When he was in Montreux, he sat
on the balcony and the view
is amazing overlooking
the lake and the mountains
and the chimney tops.
# Smoking chimney-tops... #
# Chimney tops. #
# Am I dreaming? #
# Am I dreaming? #
# Am I dreaming? #
That would have been the last song
that Freddie would have written
before he died.
# The nights draw in... #
# There's a silky moon
up in the sky... #
# Yeah... #
Although his body was failing him,
his voice was so strong.
# Am I dreaming? #
# Am I dreaming?
# Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa
# Dreaming... #
It must have been hard when you know
that you're going to die.
How do you cope with that?
By writing a lovely song, maybe.
And it's lovely that he's left
this legacy for us all.
# Dreaming
# A breathtaking scene
# With the dreams of the world
# In the palm of your hand. #