Throwback: How Queen Began


Before my great obsession with David Bowie; there was Freddie Mercury— the lead singer of Queen. In fact, without Queen’s hit “Under Pressure” (featuring David Bowie), I may have never even listened to David Bowie. Queen was a British rock band formed in London in 1971. Everyone knows what “Bohemian Rhapsody” is (even if they don’t know the real lyrics). Queen has been popular from the start, and will most likely be a band that lasts the toll of time; always being a favorite in the music world.

In 1968, guitarist Brian May, bassist Tim Staffell, and drummer Roger Taylor formed a band which was called Smile. In school Staffell became friends with Farrokh Bulsara (also known as Freddie). Bulsara became a fan of Smile, and shortly after a member, as well. Eventually, Staffell left to join a different band. Bulsara encouraged the remaining Smile members to continue working together and to change their name to “Queen.” When asked about the name, Bulsara explained, “I thought up the name Queen. It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid. It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.” Throughout 1970, the band had various bass players. In 1971, they finally found John Deacon, who would become the main bass player for Queen. As the band began the creation of their first album, Bulsara decided to change his surname to Mercury. The name came about while he was writing the “My Fairy King” from the line, “Mother Mercury, look what they’ve done to me.”


Queen went on to become hugely popular, with a total of 18 number one albums. They are one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. Sadly, in 1991, Mercury died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS. In 1997, John Deacon decided to retire as bass player.  The band now consists of only Brian May and Roger Taylor, whom are still making music and collaborating with various other artists.

Video for “Don’t Stop Me Now”:

for more info on Queen and their music:


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