20 May 1977, ‘The Queen EP’ is released in the UK; ‘Death On Two Legs (Dedicated to…)’ is on the A side, accompanied with ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy’
“You suck my blood like a leech, You break the law and you preach” ♥️😖
Freddie Mercury’s mean ‘hate’ letter:
Queen’s legal troubles in the latter part of 1974 and most of 1975 were well publicized at the time.
Despite their successes, the hit records, the tours, the band was virtually broke as they received hardly any of the money from their previous albums as Trident Studios placed them on a 60 pound per week wage, unbelievable. The band signed a publishing contract with Trident Studios who then sold their records to a record company. Brian May recalled in a documentary that “it was the worst decision they ever made.” Queen were making hits and not reaping the rewards while their management team were riding in expensive cars and wearing fur coats. It was so bad that Roger was told to not drum so hard as they couldn’t afford to purchase new drum sticks. Trident also denied John Deacon an advance for a deposit on a new home he wanted to purchase.
The band said as they were preparing to record ‘A Night At The Opera,’ they were on the verge of bankruptcy.
With their next manager on board, John Reid, he spent a lot of his initial time working with the band clearing up their finances and resolving the bad deals they had gotten themselves into. He told them to go and make the best album they could and he’d deal with the financials.
Freddie was so angry, he wrote this scathing song!
“Now then…’Death on Two Legs’ was the most vindictive lyric I ever wrote. It was so vindictive that Brian felt bad singing backing vocals on it. No-one would ever believe how much hate and venom went into the singing of that song, let alone the lyrics themselves. Just listen to the words carefully, kiddies. It’s a nasty little number which brings out my evil streak.
I don’t usually like to explain what I was thinking when I wrote that song, but it’s about a nasty old man that I used to know. The words came easy to me. I decided that if I wanted to stress something strongly, like that, I might as well go to the whole hog and not compromise. I had a tough time trying to get the lyrics across. I wanted to make them as course as possible. My throat was bleeding – the whole bit. I was changing lyrics every day trying to get it as vicious as possible.
When the others first heard it, they were in a state of shock. When I was describing it, they went, “Oh yeah!” but then they saw the words, they were frightened by it. But for me the step has been taken and I was completely engrossed in it, swimming in it. I was a demon for a few days… the song has made its mark!”
In His Own Words
Although, the song makes no direct reference to Norman Sheffield, he sued both the band and the record label for defamation. This resulted in an out-of-court settlement, with a £100,000 severance and one percent royalties on Queen’s subsequent six albums. Mercury said that his lawyer had cautioned him against discussing the lyrics, but that it was written from a “very emotional” place for which he felt music was the best outlet.
Don’t cross Freddie ♥️🌹
“I did see Freddie once, in the years following our fallout, in 1986, when I took the family to their Knebworth concert. He was friendly, as if the rows of the past were forgotten. It turned out to be their last live concert, which meant I was at their first and last.
Years later, after his death, I went to the Freddie Mercury Memorial Concert at Wembley, where I saw the three remaining members being photographed.
John Deacon pointed at me and said: ‘And if it hadn’t been for that man we wouldn’t be here.’
Brian and Roger looked at me and nodded. That gesture went a long way towards exorcising the ghosts of the past.”
Norman Sheffield (1939 – 2014)
‘Life On Two Legs’
Here’s a clip 👉👉 https://youtu.be/kqVpk0qxmfA