15 Jan Interview with Peter Freestone: The Magic of Queen Lives On
Towards the end of last year, I was lucky enough to be given tickets to see the incredible Queen- It’s a Kind Magic. PE tends to have a tribute show every other week and while I am all for supporting local acts, this was like nothing I have ever seen before. This was not just a tribute show, it brought the spirit of Queen back to life and had me believing that I was in the presence of Freddie Mercury, himself. I cannot begin to express how insanely awesome the performance is. The entire crew was so unbelievably talented, the little touches made the show seem all the more authentic and the passion that oozed from the performers made this one of the best shows, that I have ever attended. If that wasn’t enough, I was given the unique opportunity to interview Peter Freestone, Freddie Mercury’s best friend, employee and biographer.
Admittedly, I had never done an interview before and spent a good few hours trying to come up with questions that I thought would be appropriate and perhaps different to what he usually gets asked from press and media. I loved every bit of his responses which gave me a tiny glimpse of what it was like knowing the handsome, witty, humorous and passionate Freddie Mercury.
How did you first get involved with It’s a Kinda Magic?
Many years ago I was asked if I would come and see a Queen tribute band and see if there was anything I could say that might improve it.. I was a bit doubtful until I read the rest of the email and found that I would be watching the show in Singapore! I did go and while I was in the audience I had the chance to watch the crowd. Their response was great, on their feet cheering and clapping, so I thought the band must be doing something right…. and they were!
Did you ever imagine that you’d still have such an important role in sharing the magic of Freddie?
I mentioned only a few days ago that my life seems to belong to Freddie. I worked for him for 12 years and have been helping fans, and others, with information about Freddie for the last 24, which means Freddie has been part of my life for more than half my lifetime so far.
What is it like having someone bring Freddie’s shows back to life and being taken back to the days of Queen performing?
For me it is a chance to relive some wonderful memories from my past. Of course, there are times when there is a little tear in my eye, but most of the time they are very happy thoughts.
With Queen’s popularity, there have been many tribute shows before and there’ll be many more to come, but you’ve been quoted saying that this is the best you’ve ever seen, what makes it worthy of such praise?
Not only are there four very talented musicians/performers on the stage, the producer has spared no expense with the lights and sound. Technology has advanced to a stage where so much more is possible now and the production crew fully understand what they are dealing with. Queen was so much about ‘the show’ and that is what you get.
What do you think fans of Queen can look forward to the most, from It’s a Kinda Magic?
I think that the older fans who saw Queen perform with Freddie, will be able to glimpse part of what they experienced back then, and for the newer ones, they will understand what all us oldies keep going on about….. Queen shows, with Freddie.
What is your fondest memory of Freddie?
An everlasting memory of Freddie is him at home, relaxed, with friends and throwing his head back and really laughing. Freddie loved laughing, but usually, on screen he always covered his teeth with his top lip or raised his hand to cover them. He was self-conscious about them. At home, he didn’t have to care.
I honestly believe that Queen’s music lives on to inspire, what do you think this generation can take from Queen, the music and Freddie’s life?
Really, the thing anyone can learn from Queen, their music and Freddie’s life is to have faith in yourself. Don’t let others pull you down, believe in yourself and keep on striving to do your best.
Through this entire experience from being Freddie’s employee, best friend, biographer and now helping recreate the magic, what lessons have you learnt and what impact has he had on your life?
I know not to try to make concrete plans for the rest of my life, you never know what is around the next corner. Never have regrets. You will waste precious time, thinking about something that has already happened and you can’t change it so just learn from all the things that you do and try to avoid the same mistakes from happening, again.
Which song is your favourite to watch be performed, in It’s a Kinda Magic?
I love hearing and watching ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ as this was the first song I heard of Queen way back in the early 70’s.