Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Thoughts on Thor Arnold and Lee Nolan's eleven year friendship with Freddie

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SimonaFromItaly user not visiting Queenzone.com

Be Gentle, I'm a newbie: 5 posts
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Posted: 19 Feb 19, 21:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So, this thread finally convinced me to get social again, after several (happy) months away from Facebook and forums ^_^
Nice to virtually meet you all.
Quick intro: I live in Italy, I'm 43 and I share the odd job with Dr. Brian May. No, I can't play any guitar: I'm an astrophysicist.

I've always been pretty fond of Queen's songs, but - as it has been happening to so many - a new interest sparkled thanks to the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, which ignited an amazing rollercoaster of emotions and questions.
Because yes, I did enjoy the movie (trying to ignore the pure Hollywood-style Freddie&Mary cheesiest parts), carried away by the songs and by the pretty impressive impersonations. But then no, my thirst of knowledge led me to read, watch, listen and thus discover how inaccurate many details were. And again yes, I accepted the fact that historical accuracy might not be so important in a movie, yet disappointment remains in understanding how the script chose to focus on the Freddie&Mary relationship and on a cherry-picked selection of aspects, getting to the point of inventing pretty unnecessary things and dismissing others.

I can totally relate to the dilemma May and Taylor had to face. The film industry could as well have gone ahead without them, and things would have likely gone way worse, considering it is seldom respectful of the source material. Business is business.
And how do you cope with someone writing about your own life, and the life of a person who represented so much for you and for so many people? It would be torture, to me.
So, all in all, even taking into account the many flaws and limitations of the movie, I'm glad it was produced and I can see it has triggered the audience to perform a lot of research. Which is good.

It led me here, in the end, where it is delightful to be able to read information coming from people who really were involved, and who don't feel the screenwriter's need to shape history into a staged story.

I'm not a nosy person, and I have the most sacred respect for other people's private lives. I'll be very glad to read your memories, as I'm hopeful it will not be a kiss-and-tell book.
It's just understandable that real-life friends of Freddie feel the urge to share their memories. It is a tribute, but also a way to shed light on facts they witnessed, and many others might have gotten wrong - or manipulated on purpose.

I've already gone too verbose, sorry.
Thank you, everybody here, for your precious time and contribution. I'll stay tuned, and I might even post a couple of questions.


NotQuiteAShilling user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 19 Feb 19, 23:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Welcome SimonaFromItaly! Did you work on the New Horizon Ultima Thule project? What an amazing accomplishment that has been!

I for one have such conflicting feelings for the movie. On one hand I am so happy and grateful that it was finally made and has brought Queen, their songs, and Freddie back front and center where they belong! I also love that Brian and Roger were heavily involved (and Peter Freestone) to make sure it was done to honor Freddie and the band. (and Jim Hutton - yay!) I also love and respect the acting of Rami Malek and I love how he absolutely reveres Freddie and Queen.

That being said I have a hard time watching it because of the portrayal of sad, lonely, drug addled Freddie.

Katydyd5 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Feb 19, 01:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Welcome to the newbies who have been dropping in! It's wonderful to see that the film is bringing in more people all the time.

Villiers, thank you for creating a YouTube channel! I set up an Instagram account but I'm still trying to figure it out, so the fact that you made a YouTube channel made your chats so much more accessible for someone like me. I listened to your first Live Chat and thought it was very informative and fun. I sometimes have trouble staying focused on audio presentations, but you kept the pace quick and interesting. I look forward to listening to as many as you can post.

Villiers2 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Feb 19, 04:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey thanks guys! I'll be uploading more of them in the next few weeks. Every week we do a live, i'll have it recorded and uploaded within 24 hours (barring any tech issues). This weekend will be David Minns, I believe. I'm just awful with tech stuff, so please excuse the slow upload times.

Also I know I wasn't the one being asked about Crystal but here's his Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008351164325
To find his thoughts and opinions of Lesley Ann Jones and Barbara, you'll need to go back a year or two on his posts. Around the time that John Blunt channel 5 thing came out. He was pretty annoyed by the inaccuracies on that lol. He also talks about articles and interviews with Lesley about Barbara and tore into Lesley for the lies. If memory serves, she blocked him online. But then, she blocks anyone who confronts her about her lies on Freddie or any of the other celebrities she's lied about.

DCQueenLuvr user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Feb 19, 13:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Villiers2,

Thanks for the link to Crystal Taylor's FB page. It doesn't seem as if he's accepting any more friend requests or follows however. Is anyone else able to send a request?

Also, will it be possible to upload any of your old podcasts to your YouTube channel, or are they lost for good? I'm looking forward to the one on Minns. :)



Annie65 user not visiting Queenzone.com


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Posted: 20 Feb 19, 23:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Villers2 .....thanks for the You Tube link. I thoroughly enjoyed it and subscribed!

Blenkolove user not visiting Queenzone.com
Blenkolove
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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 00:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

SimonaFromItaly......Welcome!! And Greetings from Florida!!
Sooooo....You're an Astrophysist, and a female to boot!!!! Girl, You Rock!!! Lol
I hope you contribute to this forum....i am certain your inquiries and comments will contribute greatly to "Our Love of Freddie 'Quilt' " we are all partaking in here!!!!
Have you ever met Dr. Brian May???
Do you have a Favorite Queen/Freddie song?? Book??? Interview???
Glad you joined....and so nice to Virtually meet you!!

Rainbow61 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 02:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Fastidious&Precise and SimonaFromItaly. Welcome to Queenzone!


doughnut user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 13:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

newbie here, although I have been lurking for a while reading all of the posts on this thread and the previous one dating back to 2017. Loved hearing Thor and Lee talk about Freddie with such fondness along with the other members of your group. So sorry that you both lost so many friends the same way.

I was brought up with Queen in my life having an older sister who had their albums, in particular as a youngster the News of the World cover used to scare me.
My love of their music kick started again after watching the film . Like many of you I started to watch videos of queen performing along with interviews At this point I became intrigued by Freddie as I couldn't relate the man in some of his interviews to the man on stage, his speaking voice was so lovely.
Regarding the film I wish that they had shown the fun Freddie instead of someone who appeared lonely and sad and I wish that they didn't portray Freddie having AIDS in 1995 at the time of Live Aid.

Since the film I have looked at many sites and I am unable to believe the hatred towards Jim , he is being called a gold digger, just a gardener and some believe he didn't have a relationship with Freddie at all. Then there are the ones that have hatred towards Mary because of how she treated the garden lodge family after Freddie's death. (I myself find this subject difficult as I feel Freddie would not have wanted them to have been treated the way they were,). I have read Jim's book and Phoebe's books and I took from them that the Garden Lodge family were very close but after Freddie's death they were disregarded . Such a shame.
I also read Lesley Ann Jones book but thanks to this site I now know a lot of it is made up. However, I did see some photo's online of Phoebe and Jim at her book launch.
I also noted from Peter's book that Barbara attended the Magic Show and was included in the coach that Freddie had arranged. You must have met her Thor and Lee.
She did seem close to Freddie so it is a shame she has said the things she did after Freddie died.

Anyway what a wonderful talented man Freddie was , I so wish he was still around today to see how much he continues to be loved .

Katydyd5 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 13:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Welcome Doughnut!

NotQuiteAShilling user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 23:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Welcome Doughnut!!! So glad you are doing the web searches to find the "real" Freddie! It's what I felt too after watching interviews - but we have it first hand from his friends Thor and Lee that he was a happy, funny, smart ass - LOL!

Yeah the Jim vs Mary fights out there are CRAZY. I also find them upsetting since he clearly loved them both very much...

Having lost loved ones myself in the past 5 years (too many!!) I can share this - people get REALLY REALLY crazy around death. I've had experiences of people acting in ways I never ever expected them to. It's heartbreaking. I know that everyone grieves in their own way but man it can be so painful. Then others just go numb (myself included) and don't (or can't) fight for themselves. I know Jim said that he would stand up for himself more if he could go back. But really, at that moment, we just are who we are...

On a better note, Jim's friend was recently on social media saying that Jim and Mary made up - I think he said in 2000. I truly hope that is true. I have so much love for Jim and I hate the pain he had to go through being marginalized in addition to losing the Love of His Life...

Sweetandtenderhooligan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 23:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey Villers, loved your live today on instagram!

Sweetandtenderhooligan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Feb 19, 23:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

notquiteashilling:

who is Jim's friend on instagram?

NotQuiteAShilling user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 04:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sweet - His name is Patric

Rainbow61 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 05:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi doughnut and welcome to Queenzone. There have been so many new people coming to this thread over the past couple of months...it's great!

As many people have already stated, it's too bad that Freddie's joie de vivre did not come out in the movie, nor the fact that he enjoyed many close and warm friendships. I am pleased that the film has prompted legions of new fans to learn more about Freddie and has reignited the interest in older fans. I love the passion that Rami brought to the role and the genuine reverence he has for Freddie. He is deserving of an Oscar and I will be wholeheartedly rooting for him at the Academy Awards this Sunday. In addition, I am beyond excited that Queen will be playing!!!

@NotQuiteAShilling....Sorry to hear that you have lost so many loved ones over the past few years. That's really tough to deal with.

I truly hope that Jim and Mary did find a way to reconcile considering how important they both were to Freddie.

SimonaFromItaly user not visiting Queenzone.com

Be Gentle, I'm a newbie: 5 posts
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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 15:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To those who asked (quoting is not working on my device, sorry): no, unfortunately I have no part in any space exploration mission. They're the coolest things ever, but ground-based stuff is exciting, too ;)
Brian May did achieve his Ph.D. here in Italy, though. I haven't met him, but If I'm correct he used the Italian "Galileo Telescope", installed on the Canary-Islands, for his research. Too bad I was not involved.

Back to Queen and Freddie.
One thing that strikes me when watching Freddie's interviews is seeing how uncomfortable he often looked. His shyness was perceivable; he seemed to need something to mask his nervousness - I guess that's why he smoked and drank so frequently during the interviews. The press can be horrible; I have myself experienced - due to my job, although I'm luckily very far from being famous - how often journalists can be trivial and pushy, and how frequently they like to bend the truth to their needs. I can only imagine how unpleasant most of such interviews might have felt to a person like Freddie, and how much he might have disliked intrusive questions.
He seemed so self-conscious about his teeth. Which is something that really makes me sad. He was one of the most talented persons in his professional field, and a lovely human being as so many people have testified, so who the hell should have ever cared about the shape of his teeth? Anybody considering that as an issue to belittle him was simply an idiot. He was Freddie effing Mercury, anybody else should only have bowed their heads.

I find it interesting how a rock star like him supposedly was a quite traditional person. If I'm correct, Jim Hutton described how traditional their Christmas gatherings were, and how much Freddie liked the old classics, when it came down to watching movies. He even said that Freddie was a convinced royalist. This testifies how different the stage persona and the creative artist can be from the private man. Human beings are complex and intriguing, it's fascinating.

As for my favourite song... Well, this is a tricky task! If forced to chose, for sentimental reasons I'd go for "Somebody to love". It brings particularly nice memories to my mind :)





Sweetandtenderhooligan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 17:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He seemed more relaxed when people he knew interviewed him, like David Wigg and Rudi. Those interviews are quite nice, as he calls them "Darling" and "Honey" and I feel like it's a better glimpse into the real him.

Sweetandtenderhooligan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 17:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am super impressed at how the main cast of the film now love Queen so much. They all have deep wells of knowledge and can name off what tracks are on what albums, they've seen every single youtube video in existence, etc. I appreciate that and I'm rooting for them.

I also think Joe NAILED Deaky

doughnut user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 18:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

thank you for the lovely welcome, I was a bit nervous posting but having lurked for a while I noticed it has been rather lovely recently.

I also have a soft spot for Jim after reading Mercury & Me . I was left feeling rather sad for him, it is clear that he loved Freddie and so loosing him must have been so hard especially as it appears to me that certain people in Freddie's life seemed to have wanted to brush their relationship under the carpet and continue to hide the fact Freddie was gay. What I also found sad was their relationship in public having to be hidden and therefore having Mary take on that role whilst Jim had to hang behind. I think he must have been amazing to have accepted this was the way it would have to be. When I read the part in the book where Freddie was messing him around it did seem like Jim came running back each time easily . I hope that he gave Freddie what for, especially when he caught another guy coming out of Freddie's flat. It did seem that Freddie could mess around but not the other way around.

I do hope that Jim and Mary did make up as Jim said he made a promise to Freddie that he would look after Mary.

Regarding Lesley Ann Jones....today I saw a blog where she claims she knows where Freddie's ashes are buried, who infected Freddie and that Freddie told her he had aids in Munich.

I've also seen photo's of her posing with Brian so its all very confusing.

today I have been listening to the Hot Space album which I like. Body Language is so not queen . I really like the live version of 'action this day' as Roger sings sections of it which work really well.

I also received the Brain May book yesterday Queen in 3d. It has some lovely photo's in of their early touring days.

Rainbow61 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 19, 18:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@SimonaFromItaly. I agree that Freddie often seemed uncomfortable during interviews. For the most part, I think he considered them a tedious job requirement. Like Sweet said, the interviews with David Wigg and Rudi are pretty good. One of my favorite Freddie interviews is the one done by Mary Turner. Freddie is very relaxed and seems to open up more with her than with most other people. She even asks him about his birthplace. This is an audio only interview...but really interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPboTnYe7D4