Freddie had been back in
Many people feared for their lives and quickly left
the country. As the Bulsara’s had two young children
they decided to leave the island for
The Bulsaras settled down in Feltham, a suburb
in the west of
Freddie Bulsara in the 60s:
The Bulsaras worked hard to
integrate themselves in
Freddie decided to aim for
Freddie: “Art School teaches you to be more fashion conscious, to be always one step ahead”
“When Jimmy Hendrix started, Freddie absolutely idolised him. Hendrix was his God. At college, he used to spend a great deal of this time drawing Hendrix and I can remember him miming in the art room, holding a twelve-inch ruler as through it were a microphone, and throwing back his had as he mimed the songs. Hendrix was everything to him and I suspected it ran a great deal deeper than just the music. Hendrix was the Negro from the ghetto who had pulled himself up by his boot straps and had become totally accepted by everyone, white and black, because of the quality of his music. And although Freddie wasn’t impoverished and living in a ghetto, I think now, looking back, that Hendrix represented something to him, a goal that he could achieve himself... and I admire Freddie for what he’s done since. He’s worked enormously hard, and really has pulled himself until now he’s a superstar.” – Tim Staffell.
In his circle of friends, Freddie was known as sociable, witty, charismatic and camp. He was very fashion conscious and already learned how to behave like a star. “With hindsight looking back you think ‘He must have stood out, he must have been the leader of the gang’ and he wasn’t really, because his nature was actually very kind and gentle – actually he was very quiet”, a friend from his college years says.
Brian May: “Even then he realised that he was in the core very shy but … he was already kind of cloaking himself in a persona, being something rather larger than life.”
While attending Ealing, Freddie met Tim Staffell, who was a member of a local band called Smile. Freddie soon began attending Smile’s rehearsals and got to know the group’s other members, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. He often used to come along, make comments on Smile’s appearance and give advice on how their stage presence should look like.
Inspired by his new friends, he began playing in bands himself, such as
Ibex which turned then into Wreckage and finally
Onstage, Freddie had a completely different personality than his otherwise calm, extremely well-mannered character. In front of the audience, Freddie was an extrovert entertainer, who would practise his typical dramatic movements which later became a trademark of Queen’s live shows.
Although in 1969, Freddie left Ealing with a diploma in graphic arts and design, he was on the way to become a legendary performer and show master.
+++ read the article from RECORD COLLECTOR, March 1996 about Freddie’s beginnings +++:
to Freddie’s art:
A “silhouetto of a man”, Freddie at an Ibex-tour:
First concert with Ibex:
Ibex concert poster:
Smile outside the Royal Albert Hall in 1969:
Early Queen with Mike Grose as bassist:
Barry Mitchell, another Queen bassist: