The renowned house Sotheby's has just published this Thursday a selection of a thousand articles -including several iconic- of Freddie Mercury, the singer and leader of Queen. They will be auctioned in London on September 6.
The singer's exotic list of items is varied. It ranges from handwritten manuscripts of several of the classics of the English band, through a minicomb that the composer used to comb his mustaches, to the crown he used at the closing of the emblematic Wembley concert in 1986.
All the pieces that will be auctioned are part of the singer's personal collection of his London home in Garden Lodge, in the exclusive neighborhood of Kensington, a Georgian style building with 28 rooms famous for its legendary parties and because it was also his last resting place, in 1991.
The Adidas that the former leader of Queen used in Live Aid, in '85, other objects that will be auctioned. AFP Photo
There is everything. The appetizer of Mercury's huge collection of personal belongings includes objects closely associated with the image of the exuberant artist: there are the tall Adidas sneakers that still retain the stains of the only time he wore them, at the Live Aid concert in 1985, for example.
The black and red leather jacket with which he recorded one of the clips of the album The Game of 1980, aviator glasses and the silver bracelet in the shape of a snake will be part of this mega auction.
To get in tune with the prices, there are plenty of examples: the silver minicomb of just 2 centimeters designed to comb the mustache has a starting price of $ 900.
Part of Mercury's items on display in New York. AFP Photo
"Although they do not appear in the selection exhibited in New York, the collection 'Freddie Mercury: A world of his own' will include clothing of the singer -often designed in part by him-, accessories of all kinds, books and paintings or objects acquired in Japan, a country whose culture Mercury particularly admired," said Cassandra Hatton, vice president of Sotheby's.
Freddie's entire collection has been preserved since his death in 1991 and carefully catalogued by his close friend, Mary Austin, whom Mercury said was "his only friend".
One of the writings that will be auctioned leaves the question about the title of Queen's biggest anthem, "Bohemian Rhapsody", released in 1975 on the album "A night at the Opera".
"A Night at the Opera," the iconic 1975 album that catapulted Queen to worldwide fame.
In Mercury's handwriting role, the song described has a strikethrough in the title. There, Mercury changed "Mongolian" to "Bohemian".
The song was also going to include other disjointed words added to the "fandango", "Galileo" or "Scaramouche" that star in the operatic part of the song. Words such as "matador" (thus, in Spanish), or "belladonna", which were finally not played during the recording, are crossed out.
There are other handwritten compositions that will surely leave good dividends to the auction house. There are the compositions of "We are the Champions", "Somebody to love", and "Don't stop me now", among others.
Manuscripts on a defunct airline pad
There are more manuscripts that attract attention. They are sheets with the letterhead of Britisth Midlands, a now-defunct airline, and are written in a disorderly way, sometimes above letters or calendars printed on the original sheets.
"He was the kind of person who grabbed the first thing he had on hand when an idea came to him," explained Hatton, who clarified that this supposed "disorder" can translate "misleading ideas."
The manuscript of "Somebody to Love," which will be auctioned in London. Photo: AFP
The idea for "Bohemian Rhapsody" consists of 15 pages. There, Mercury wrote – and sometimes crossed out and corrected – the different vocal and musical parts of the masterpiece that catapulted Queen to fame.
Or that when writing "We are the champions", Mercury already predicted that the song could acquire "anthem character" and pointed out the places where the audience would repeat rhythms and words of the theme.
There are more details, of course. For example in "Somebody to Love" the notes are written with different colors to clearly mark the different harmonies.
The 15 leaves of "Bohemian Rhapsody" will be the manuscript that will start higher in the price: one and a half million dollars as the base price.
The items presented this Thursday in New York will have a toll in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, to finish where they will be auctioned on September 6 in London.
The amount that Sothesby's can obtain in this auction is incalculable. What is certain is that this house will extract oil from the Mercury collection.
With information from EFE