Even though he would appear before an audience again in 1990, Mercury’s last live performance with his beloved bandmates was in August 1986.
Queen gave a massive concert at Knebworth Park, a famous venue in Knebworth, England. It is reported that over 160,000 people attended the event.
Freddie Mercury vs. Sid Vicious
Ironically though, a few months after this happened, in 1977, Mercury and Vicious had a less-than-friendly encounter. Queen was recording their album, News of the World, at Wessex Studios in London, when Sid Vicious suddenly came in and mockingly asked Freddie “Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?”, and drunkenly tried to pick a fight.
What’s funny, though, is that Freddie was never in the least bit bothered by this. In fact, he would say that “he wasn’t going to get into it” with ‘Simon Ferocious’, as Mercury nicknamed Sid (his middle name was Simon). Mercury liked to tease Sid, answering “What are you gonna do about it?” every time he was told to not use that nickname anymore since Vicious hated it. The Sex Pistols hated Queen’s entire image and unparalleled fame.
Freddie Never Tied His Own Shoelaces
We’ve heard about some rock stars having weird requests before a show, quirky obsessions, and just overall insane behavior. Freddie was no different, except that his obsession was with not tying his shoes.
Yup, you read that right. Freddie believed that tying your own shoelaces was “just not the thing done in rock and roll”. In fact, one time in 1977, when the band was getting ready for a show, Mercury is seen relaxing in a chair while a crew member tied his shoelaces! When asked about it, he replied, "Oh no, I never tie my own shoelace, I mean never!”
The Last Time
In 1990, Queen won the ‘British Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music’, and as it turned out, this was to be the very last time Freddie Mercury would appear in public. By this time, Freddie’s illness had taken over; he looked pale and emaciated, and he was oddly quiet, in comparison to his normal flamboyant self.
After Brian May spoke on behalf of the band, giving a short acceptance and thank you speech, Freddie gently leaned into the microphone and just said, "Thank you…good night.” No one would hear from Mercury again, until November of 1991, when he issued an official statement, confirming he had AIDS. One day later, he died.
A Secret Resting Place
Unlike other legendary rock stars that passed before their time, whom you can go and pay your respects to, Mercury’s resting place is unknown until this day. He was immediately cremated after passing away on November 24th, 1991, and his best friend and ex-wife, Mary Austin, kept the ashes.
Two years after, Mary left her house one day, making sure to avoid paparazzi, and took the ashes with her. She then said that Freddie had always wanted to be laid to rest in a secret place where nobody would disturb him. Not even his family was told.