QUEEN legend Brian May has revealed the hidden heartache and fears behind one of the band’s biggest hits when the band thought they were losing Freddie, many years before his untimely death.
Sadness, regret and heartache could apply to any of those final recordings from the Made In Heaven album. It is a beautiful tribute to a unique and beloved star, but May revealed he struggled with a song written decades before Freddie’s death. It was not a major hit at the time but has grown to become one of the band’s most enduring and popular anthems. It is also an undeniably upbeat classic which makes everyone feel euphoric. So, why did it make May rather sad, while Roger Taylor thought it was “hilarious”?
Don’t Stop me now was a solid Number 9 hit in the UK back in 1979 but only reached 86 in the US when the band was enjoying major success over there.
Written by Freddie, it seems a joyous celebration of someone having the time of their life, but for May the sentiment and the lyrics represented a troubling time when Freddie was starting to spiral out of control.
May told Mojo magazine: “There was a definite feeling we were losing Freddie or afraid of losing Freddie, which affected the way I perceived it at the time…I probably thought it was a bit frivolous as well.”
At the time Freddie was starting to explore his sexuality and had split from Mary Austin. May describes how the early 1980s saw the band members become separated from Freddie, with the very real fear they might never have reunited, if it hadn’t been for Live Aid.
May added: “Our personal relationships had all suffered by then.
“Freddie had stepped so far away I thought we might not get him back.
Normally, we’d all go off and do our own things, but we’d stay in contact with the mothership – as we really did call it. But Freddie became estranged for a while.”
Roger Taylor remembers the song a little differently.
Taylor told Mojo: “Don’t Stop Me Now is the one that has surprised us all. It wasn’t a big song at the time.
“Freddie wrote it on the piano and Brian had to find a way to insert himself in there.
“I don’t necessarily think it’s one of our best songs but I love the sentiment, ‘Call me Mr Fahrenheit.’ It’s hilarious and it’s become a sort of rallying cry.”