“My first impression of Freddie was that he was strong-willed, gregarious, very ambitious, charming and striking. He was very aggressive about what he wanted and very much the fight in the band. They were one of the few groups that made an instant impression on me. They knew they’d be big, it was just a question of finding the way. In my experience that’s not normal, but it’s a huge advantage for a publicist when a group has that depth of belief in themselves, that’s what would make them stars. Catching one of Queen’s live gigs only confirmed my professional instincts about them and marked the start of a profitable working relationship.
Although Freddie invariably stood out from the others, he looked for no special preference, he never lorded himself as the star of Queen, it was always a group and from the start we were all made very conscious of the importance of treating them equally. He understood everything in this (journalist’) game and didn’t want to allow them to make him ordinary. He also didn’t want the whole attention to focus only on him and the rest of the band to be in his shadow.
He emphasized their band is not Freddie Mercury and his three-membered escort, but four equal partners. And he succeeded in it. Queen could have easily become “Freddie Mercury and Others”, but we never think of them in any other way than as a band.
Over the years a myth has grown around Freddie, that from the start he rarely gave interviews but that’s not true. In the very early days, of course he did, tons of them. He’s wave and throw around a few, “my dears “ and really gave out his great fruity laugh. One of the things I remember most about Freddie is his rich resonant laugh. There were no preconditions, but every time Freddie was asked about his background he’d toss back an answer, without really answering. For a long time no one in the press had a clue even what his real name was!
There was one thing I couldn’t understand. They had an incredible number of people with them and they weren’t just their contemporaries. You could see mothers and grannies among spectators. And when you’re just a beginner in a more refined version of a heavy metal band, it is truly amazing to have this kind of spectators. It is really incredible they had so many fans right from the beginning.”
Tony Brainsby, publicist, he followed the work of Queen from beginning2