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Brian May Looks Back on Freddie Mercury’s Final Days: ‘He Was Completely Focused’

Freddie Mercury
Hollywood Records

As the surviving members of Queen prepare to embark on a tour with singer Adam Lambert, guitarist Brian May‘s thoughts still turn to founding vocalist Freddie Mercury‘s final days.

May looked back on Mercury’s struggle in a recent interview, recalling that even toward the end of his struggle with AIDS, Mercury remained creatively vital. Recalling the songwriting sessions for a track that ultimately ended up being recorded as ‘Mother Love,’ May said, “I would write a verse down, and sing it to him, because the song wasn’t really written at that time. And for each line, he did four takes. And then we’d write another verse. And he would be like, ‘Give me a vodka.’ That gave him his strength. After another shot, he’d say: ‘Give me more lyrics. More, more more. I want to do this.’ He was completely focused. He knew that he wouldn’t be there that long.”

‘Mother Love’ was eventually released on ‘Made in Heaven,’ a collection of tracks released four years after Mercury’s 1991 passing. Although each of the album’s cuts required posthumous overdubbing, May recalled that this song had a particularly poignant story. “That was the last thing we ever did together,” he told Times of Malta editor Herman Grech. “Freddie was really quite ill. He would only have moments where he was OK, and he could prop himself up and sing. But he was eager to work. He loved to work. It was the thing that really made him smile.”

Next: Top 10 Freddie Mercury Queen Songs

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