The Roman god, Mercury, was believed to be the patron of travelers, merchant (god of commerce), rogues and thieves, as well as the wind deity. He was the messenger god, moving swiftly from place to place. To be “mercurial” is to be volatile, unstable, fickle, flighty and erratic.
Today is the 65th birthday of one of rock and roll’s most beloved performers, the former Farrokh Bulsara, who took the stage name Freddie Mercury. He helped form the mold of the rock and roll frontman of the 70’s and 80’s, and wrote some of rock and roll’s classic hits of Queen’s era.
In thinking about his life and impact, I wondered if there was a connection between his stage name and his personality, at least as he saw it. Maybe it was as simple as picking a cool name. There is certainly evidence that his personal life had its fair share of volatility and instability. To those fans that loved his music most, he was certainly a rock god.
I don’t consider myself much of a Queen fan. I have an album or two. I like a lot of their songs; hardly listen them, though.
But, as real guitar-driven rock and roll seems to continue its steady decline toward extinction, the appeal of bands like Queen (along with AC/DC and the mammoth Led Zeppelin) becomes more and more apparent. If you’re a rock fan, you can’t help but notice the absence of guys like Freddie Mercury. It’s hard to beat songs like this.