I used to play it with up- and downstrokes, but he was all downstrokes. Thankfully, Mary Austin eventually found a job at a boutique in the fashionable London neighborhood of Kensington. Mary Austin hugs Freddie Mercury during his 38th birthday party in 1984. We just weren’t as close as we had been in the past.”. Photo by Terence Spencer/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images. Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesMary Austin hugs Freddie Mercury during his 38th birthday party in 1984. Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar City, Tanzania on Thursday, September 5, 1946 (Baby Boomers Generation generation). The rather introverted and “grounded” teenager seemed to be the complete opposite of the “larger-than-life” Mercury. Then, check out some amazing photos of Freddie Mercury’s life and career. For over 20 years years, Freddie Mercury performed with Queen until his tragic death in 1991 at the age of just 45. The couple was able to upgrade to a bigger apartment, but it wasn’t until Mary Austin saw her boyfriend perform at his former art school that she realized their lives were about to change forever. Although their relationship had changed, the singer still had nothing but fondness for his former girlfriend, explaining in a 1985 interview that “The only friend I’ve got is Mary, and I don’t want anybody else…We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.”, Mary Austin eventually went on to have two children with painter Piers Cameron, although “[Cameron] had always felt overshadowed by Freddie,” and eventually disappeared from her life. Mary Austin, still stunned, but happy nonetheless, agreed. All evidence to the contrary, including Mercury's humble response, it appeared that the frontman could indeed play for considerably more than nuts, as he often played guitar on stage, specifically when Queen performed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." He would come in late. Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesMary Austin pictured in London in January 1970. amazing photos of Freddie Mercury’s life and career. He not only considered her his closest friend and continued to be accompanied by Austin in public, but also left most of his wealth to her. Her mother and father came from a poor background and struggled with being deaf, making it difficult to support the family. As she explained, “It took about three years for me to really fall in love. As Austin herself described, “Being a bit naive, it had taken me a while to realize the truth.”. One day, the singer finally decided to tell his fiancee that he was actually bisexual. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesAlthough their romantic relationship ended, Mary Austin remained Mercury’s closest friend until his untimely death. At the time, there was no cure for the illness and both Austin and Hutton nursed him as best as they could. Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty ImagesFreddie Mercury and Mary Austin in 1977. Freddie Mercury eventually confessed his sexuality to Mary Austin, but their relationship only grew closer. The same night she saw him perform at the school, she attempted to walk out and leave him with his adoring fans. He would wake up and smile and say, ‘Oh it’s you, old faithful.'”. As Austin herself recalled in a 2000 interview, “He was very confident, and I have never been confident.” Yet despite their differences, there was an instant attraction between them and within a few months, they had moved in together. Queen guitarist Brian May spoke highly of Mercury's guitar skills to Guitar World, albeit calling Freddie's technique "unorthodox. Their romance at this time had hit its peak. I wanted to sound as good as Freddie did on that record, which was damn good. Both Mary Austin and Jim Hutton were by Freddie Mercury’s side when he contracted AIDS in 1987. At first, she thought this new coolness between them was due to his newfound fame. In fact, the Englishman could play fairly confidently, as seen in this recording of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" posted to YouTube. Perhaps that's the reason Mercury rarely played guitar during concerts, but it certainly wasn't due to the fact that he couldn't play. ", "He was very good on the guitar, very unorthodox — all downstrokes," May told Guitar World.
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