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

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Radioblabla user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 19:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

CHEVYMAN wrote:

Radio, What part of our lovely world are you from?


Thank you for the welcome. I'm from France, not too far from Paris.

doughnut wrote:

Ah I guessed wrong.
It is awful isn't it. You are lucky to have been able to visit.
French accents are one of my favorites, especially when you speak English , if that makes sense lol



Funny, as us, french, hate our french accent when we speak english and make fun of each others...well mostly of politicians ;)


Lee Kathleen Nolan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 19:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Selfie. I don’t know where the Desert Rose Playhouse is. I’ll have to check it out.
Paris certainly has been through a lot. I love that city.

Rainbow61 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 19:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thankfully, it does not appear anyone has been hurt in the Notre Dame fire. I hope the first-responders remain safe as well as those who live in the area. As a Catholic with ancestors who came from France, it is gut wrenching to see this icon of Catholic history destroyed. I have never been to Paris…but Notre Dame Cathedral is a place I would like to have visited. The damage looks extensive.

CHEVYMAN user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 20:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Doughnut, ,I like any accent but mine.I sound so country.We speak very slow.

koala user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 21:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey all, I'll admit to being slightly inebriated at the moment. and despite only skimming the latest replies in the thread, I'd like to chime in about Ratty's book. As has been pointed out. it is written in a very colourful, tounge-in-cheek way. This applies to both Ratty himself, as well as everyone that was around at the time. The "hangers-on" comment shouldn't be taken as a serious value judgement on your relationship with Freddie - it's just a flippant passing remark from someone who observed it form a distance and doesn't pretend to actually know anything about it. And no, Ratty wasn't in "Freddie's Loves". This is him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwYkl2djKvQ

The Notre-Dame thing is terrible. I've just come home and found out about it. I visited it with my parents in 2000, and it's a shame such a historical monument is being destroyed. But with the world being a constant dumpster fire 24/7 these days, I sadly feel I'm not even adequately surprised or shocked when something like this happens anymore.

Oh, and welcome to the newcomers!

koala user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 22:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Also, I have a question for Lee and Thor: do you think Freddie enjoyed flaunting his gay image in front the ignorant (predominantly straight) audience who didn't pick up on it and cheered him on? What I mean by that is...he clearly couldn't express his sexuality in front of his family and he grew up being ashamed of it. But then he adopted the clone look and performed in heavy leather and wearing t-shirts promoting gay clubs in front of thousands who were, for the most part, none the wiser. It's like he took something that used to be a source of shame and turned it into something he was worshiped FOR, if that makes sense. The "dick mobile" story that appears in a documentary seems an extreme case of this as well. Do you think there's something to that or am I just misinterpreting it? I guess it's more of a hypothesis than a question, really. I don't mean anything negative by this at all by the way, I actually think it was really clever if true. It'd be interesting to hear your thoughts on this.

Villiers2 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 22:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi all, just to add to the Peter Hince book discussion for a second- it's one more book Brian really didn't like. When asked if he had read it and how accurate it was, Brian responded "Oh no! The rather warped view of a disgruntled ex employee. Very disappointed Team Rock are promoting this."

I've read everything there is on Freddie and after reading the trusted sources, it becomes easy to pick the lies from the truth. It's been a few years since I've read Ratty's book, but I don't recall it having much useful Freddie info as it was seemingly just a book about the life of a roadie for Queen. I do remember him mentioning some people asking him whether or not Freddie was a "f*gg*t" and wasn't quite sure at the time what the term meant. Aside from that, I can remember very little.

For anyone interested, I've found the trusted books from firsthand sources for Freddie to be: Freddie Mercury, and The Afterlife by Peter Freestone, This Was The Real Life by David Minns and David Evan's and Mercury & Me (for less info about Freddie and more about his last relationship) by Jim Hutton. For the most part, those books all match as far as storyline and detail about his personality etc. Being that they're also all from people who were very close to Freddie, I feel confident in their info and summarization of his character. None of those books sport 'Saint Freddie syndrome', but they also don't paint him as a monster either. That's a good sign you're getting a well rounded image of the man that includes his flaws. Makes him more human. Very excited to someday add Thor and Lee's book to that list.

By the way Thor, I CC'd you the list of questions to look over when you get the time. I sent it out to Lee early this morning. In a 24 hour period, we received 237 questions for Thor and Lee. I hope the handful that I picked out of those were enough to cover Freddie, you guys and the project effectively.

Villiers2 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 22:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Koala, I hope Thor doesn't mind me cutting in on that but I couldn't help but be reminded of a quote about just that topic from David Wigg. In regards to the public finding out Freddie was gay as he wore his clone look onstage, apparently Freddie's response was "It's all there in my performance. If they don't see it, they're crackers."

But then on the other hand, we know the lengths Freddie went to hide his sexuality from the public offstage. A famous Freddie quote about his personal life comes to mind (I'll try to summarize): "I take risks onstage and in my music that I would never take in my perosnal life." I do believe that in that context he was referring to his music and his attitude, but it's easy to see his hesitation about sharing too much of his personal life offstage. We see that in Freddie still taking Mary and eventually Barbara to press outings and making his actual lovers (men) walk behind them. He even apologized to Jim Hutton for doing that once saying "It has to be this way for the press."

I can't imagine that making him feel very good, and if you've ever read a book titled Queen in Cornwall (another good one but isn't totally focused on just Freddie) you'll see another example of Freddie being afraid to let his homosexuality show outside of the stage. A trusted friend reported that he came to her upset saying "I care about Mary but I'm gay and I can't tell anyone [the band] because it'll ruin everything."

Brian May also mentioned his hesitation to admit he was gay even to them. In a 2003 interview Brian talks about the early days during their first tour to America. He says he saw Freddie take women back to his hotel room on that tour "but suddenly the pretty women stopped and the pretty men started. From then on it was only men. Looking back, I don't think Freddie was ever truly happy until he started living as a gay man." Brian goes on to say Freddie simply told them years down the road that he "made a change to his lifestyle" and that was it.

Something else I found interesting about the women he took back to his hotel- John Anthony their first producer talked about those same early days once, saying "Fred called me up from his hotel room panicked asking me to rush over at once. When I arrived, two girls were there trying to take his clothes off and he screamed he wanted them out at once. After they'd left, Freddie told me he was gay and needed to tell Mary." Which sounds very much like his first girlfriend Rosemary's account of Freddie sleeping with women. She said in her book that Freddie once "halfway through sex, he stopped and began to cry."

This was obviously a man who felt he needed to keep up the appearance of being with women to his bandmates and outside world but it seems it got to a point where he couldn't deny who he was anymore. Perhaps onstage with the cloak of glam rock (which was already pretty feminine and wild) Freddie felt he could safely push the boundaries and "look" as gay as he pleased, while offstage he felt the world could not or would not support his being gay.


I do know of a European female singer named Camellia Todorova who recorded a bit with Freddie in the 80s (the song was never released) but a few years ago she was interviewed and asked about her friendship with Freddie Mercury. The interview had to be translated for me but to summarize she said "Jim Beach was Freddie's manager and asked me to be pretend to be Freddie's girlfriend because Mary who he was friends with in London could not come out to Germany that often. I said no because I wanted to be remembered as a musician and not Freddie Mercury's pretend lover."

So how much of the offstage bearding was really Freddie vs Jim Beach? Who knows.

Oh look, yet another rant nobody asked for from Villiers lmao

The Black Queen's Kid user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 22:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Spreadwingsgirl! I am loving it! Welcome, sister! Sorry dear Thor. I have played a male role in stage before. I can slip into "drag" if it helps with the balance on the forum. I'm willing to "take one for the team". LOL

mika251 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Villiers2

I´m not going to defend Peter Hince anymore, but it was quite rude from Brian to call him "disgruntled ex-employee". Peter left on his own request to become a photographer. He stayed in contact with Freddie after that and many of Freddie´s most famous photograps are made by him. Freddie appreciated his loyalty very much and he persuaded him come back as his roadie for the Magic tour in ´86. Maybe Brian didn´t like the book because he practically didn´t appear there, LOL :D
And Roger loved the book!
Btw. Brian became very hostile towards Peter Hince after the interview where P.H. said he doesn´t like Queen+ AL very much.
I´m not judging anybody, just bringing little bit more light into it.

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Villiers2

I´m not going to defend Peter Hince anymore, but it was quite rude from Brian to call him "disgruntled ex-employee". Peter left on his own request to become a photographer. He stayed in contact with Freddie after that and many of Freddie´s most famous photograps are made by him. Freddie appreciated his loyalty very much and he persuaded him come back as his roadie for the Magic tour in ´86. Maybe Brian didn´t like the book because he practically didn´t appear there, LOL :D
And Roger loved the book!
Btw. Brian became very hostile towards Peter Hince after the interview where P.H. said he doesn´t like Queen+ AL very much.
I´m not judging anybody, just bringing little bit more light into it.

Villiers2 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That could be true, who knows. I'm not friends with Brian lol. I am however friends with Chris Taylor and according to him, Ratty burned a few bridges within Queen. I'm not entirely sure what that means or what the details were but Chris is not a fan of Ratty's for whatever reason.

CHEVYMAN user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It was all over Freddie's music.And folks like I said some dudes you cant tell they are gay.I seen Freddie for the first time and I said to my self that sweet good looking fella is gay.At the time I didnt know he was.So even Mary said women would follow him home even when they suspected he was gay.

mika251 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Villiers2

and that is very interesting, thank you very much!
Chris should write a book too :) There are some stories by him somewhere on the internet and I couldn´t stop laughing for ages. He and Roger were apparently born for each other /at least for some time/. And he seemed to be very fond of Freddie too. Nice guy.

The Squirrelly One user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mika no offense intended but unless you know Brian and his reasoning for saying that you really have no right to call it anything. The reason Brian doesn't talk to Ratty and the reason he said what he said was not because Ratty peacefully walked away to do his photography. I see he conveniently left out all his paid interviews and negative comments about Queen and accusations about abuse he received via the band. I knew Ratty for a very short time but in that time I saw a man who drank his weight in booze and had nothing kind to say about the band that he later wrote a book about. And let's be perfectly honest. Without that Queen name in his book nobody would have picked it up. Let's just say you shouldn't take his word for it.

The Squirrelly One user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ratty also spent years trying to sell his Queen items he took from shows and music videos over the years. When people didn't jump to buy some random mics he claimed were Freddie's for a few grand he ended up coming out with a book. Could be a coincidence but I doubt he's making a killing with his photography. A recent auction house held a cardboard cut out Ratty took from the Great Pretender music video. Sold for a few grand. He had offered many of us that cutout for years. To Brian...and anyone else with common sense (admittedly) his book reeked of "I need cash and it's been a few years since anyone offered to pay me for a Quewn related interview".

mika251 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There you go, there are so many versions of one story, therefore the life is so colourful and nothing is white or black. Thank you for your insight. As I mentioned I don't want to judge anybody.

The Squirrelly One user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Apr 19, 23:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh dear...excuse the typos!

CHEVYMAN user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 16 Apr 19, 00:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie's Loves that should have been removed It"s a joke.Leslie Ann Jones forgot what lie she told and who she told it too.

emdee0809 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 16 Apr 19, 00:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Villiers mentioned a book by Rosemary - Freddie's first female relationship - is that book still in print and how much insight does it give on Freddie?

Notre Dame burning is tragic - during Holy Week - just so sad - what a beautiful treasure lost.