“I went to Ealing Art School, in London, the year after Pete Townshend left. Music was a sideline to everything we did, and the school was a breeding ground for musicians. I got my diploma and then I thought I’d chance it as a freelance artist. I did it for a couple of months but then I thought, My God, I’ve done enough. The interest just wasn’t there.”
I thought up the name Queen early on. It couldn’t have been King; it doesn’t have the same ring or aura as Queen. It was a very regal name and it sounded splendid. It’s strong, very universal, and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I feel that the name Queen actually fitted that time. It lent itself to a lot of things, like the theatre, and it was grand. It was very pompous, with all kinds of connotations. It meant so much. It wasn’t just one precise label. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.”
For the first time since he had told me of his condition Freddie brought up the subject of his death. He asked me a very odd question, ‘What are you going to do when I die?’
‘I don’t know,’ I said, crying, ‘I can’t handle it all.’
‘Well how do you think I feel?’ he replied. I looked over and Freddie was crying too. He cuddled up to me and we cried quietly together, hugging each other tighter for some kind of reassurance…..
I lay awake crying most of the night, with the thought of Freddie’s illness and his inevitable death racing through my mind. What was I going to do when he died? I had no idea. I often used to cry on my own, thinking about Freddie’s illness during quiet moments at Garden Lodge, but I made sure he never saw me doing it. I’d go to bed and cry myself to sleep. Through the day I tried to put all thought of Freddie’s illness at the back of my mind, but in the still of the night it would come back to haunt me.