Review of the Farrokh Bulsara bio
A privately educated highly intelligent articulate young Zoroastrian from Zanzibar finds his incisor challenged mouth a perfect accoutrement to mellifluous four octave vocal gymnastics. Challenged by racial discrimination in the spiritual home of racism, as a Paki, he developed the means to attract men, peacock style by strutting. Aided by some good friendship choices and an astonishing consumption of cocaine and cigarettes he becomes the enduring love of every popular music fans life since the late seventies.
The same good fortune with sex drugs and rock and roll that propels him to the single greatest moment in rock performance at Live Aid in 85, turns to a bitter tragedy of timing when aids ends his life just one year before the cure arrives. Its a kind of magic. Magic Johnson is still here. Just one more year and medical magic would have saved our Fred.
His support for the girl with the ping pong ball act in the Salambay club transformed her life from peculiar porn artist to artist with peculiar ball skills. One of many beneficiaries of knowing this brave, generous man. One of many stories about those who were paid to entertain the entertainer.
His lovely wife in all but name, Mary Austin, the love of his life who never left him, comes out of the story well. No wonder he left his estate to her. She must be pretty rich by now. She has kept the house as it was when Fred decorated it. Sometimes love pays. Even if the Hollywooding of her role exaggerates and overstates their separation. Which was far less of a surprise to her in real life. (Don;t ask me how I know I just do.)
Many people, born before 1970 grew up, knowingly or otherwise, with profound admiration for his enormous intellect and will find Brian and Rogers handling of his legacy by way of Hollywood treatment to be a reasonable historical account, as told by the victors.
John Deacon is quite a victor too, in the choice of soundtrack inclusion. What a nice man he is. (For real. He played on a track I produced with Spike.)
The fact is, we all have a relationship with Freddy and a position in respect of where he places in the pantheon of musical greats. In that subjective world of opinion and review, Freddy, his story and his music are both widely known. Anyone offering a negative review is identifying themselves as either a blithering dolt. Or a numbnuts who knows no better. There is no way you can criticize this work – unless you have a better grasp of the story than Brian, Roger, John and the Queen team who controlled the story from beginning to end. I have heard there are some bad reviews which I review thusly;
The people most entitled and most qualified to tell it, told it. Who are you to say they did a poor job? Where they have taken Hollywood liberties with precise truth, they are the ones entitled to do so. If they want to pay homage to Wayne for boosting Bohemian Rhapsody with his Wayne’s World car sing along, then, so what if there never was a record executive who was that stupid to say “I’m in love with my car” was a better choice for song for the release.
Its Freddy’s story and Queen music. And the version of that story is told by the (two) Queen members who were right there throughout. If you don’t like it, why would you go see a movie called ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ expecting something else.
Most of all for me this biopic is a tearjerker in which life has mimicked art like no operatic tragedy before or since. Indeed Fred did put a gun against his head, pulled his trigger now he’s dead. Life had just begun. And he threw it all away. A poor boy nobody loved. Died in the converse.
Spared in his life from the monstrosity of social/religious prejudice despite the shameful assortment of mortal sins for which Behelzebub put a devil aside exclusively for him.
Maybe that’s for the best. A life lived at 100 mph. Ended just 45 years after a late start.
No one would have cared to read a homage to a 73 year old Farrokh Bulsara. That story would not have made me weep for almost 90 minutes.
Don’t go see Bohemian Rhapsody unless you have a relationship with the music. Why would you in any event. But if you do, be prepared to emote. In this regard the movie is a blockbuster. Presses more buttons of how Fred touched us all than you could have hoped for in the telling by anyone other than the three who loved him most. And whom he loved most. His brothers in arms.
Goodbye everybody. He had to go. At 45. Hollywood couldn’t make up stuff like this
I have but one criticism for the producers. No mention of Spike Edney?
After all, the Live Aid moment was a Spike kind of magic.
Weren’t you Bob Geldof’s go-between to get Queen to play Live AID?
I was the trombonist in the Boomtown Rats (and) I had done my first tour with Queen in the autumn of ’84. Autumn ’84 was the release of the Band Aid record, “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” The Boomtown Rats toured in December of ’84 and it was during that tour that Geldof said, “I’m planning this show” — he originally said Shea Stadium, not Philadelphia. He said, “We’ll have a simultaneous show in Wembley in London and Shea Stadium.” I said, “Oh, yeah. It’ll never happen.” He said, ‘No, it’s going to happen and I want you to ask Queen if they’ll appear.” I believe Roger Taylor had expressed regret that they weren’t invited to be part of the record. Most of the people who were involved with that record were signed to the same label, Polygram. So Queen didn’t get to be a part of that and, because of that, Geldof said to me, “See if they want to be involved in this.”