In a remarkable revelation, previously unseen draft lyrics of one of Queen’s iconic tracks, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” shed light on the creative process of the legendary Freddie Mercury. The alternative title, “Mongolian Rhapsody,” scribbled and later crossed out, unveils a fascinating glimpse into the song’s evolution.
As reported by BlabberMouth, Although Freddie Mercury was a genius, he still did make a lot of changes to his work. While I’m sure either title would have worked for the song, something just seems off with the alternate title.
These captivating insights, along with tons of other cherished possessions, are now being offered for sale by Mary Austin, Mercury’s close friend and caretaker of his estate for over three decades. The upcoming auctions, organized by Sotheby’s, are poised to captivate fans and collectors alike, with an estimated total worth exceeding £6 million ($7.4 million).
The decision to part with these cherished items marks a poignant chapter in Austin’s life. In a heartfelt statement, she expressed her gratitude for having the privilege of being surrounded by Mercury’s treasures but acknowledged that the time had come to close this special chapter. The impending exhibitions, commencing in April, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for the world to celebrate Mercury’s multifaceted persona, both publicly and privately. Austin hopes that these events will help the global community gain a deeper understanding of the exceptional and beautiful spirit that was Freddie Mercury.
Among the most intriguing artifacts up for sale are Mercury’s handwritten working lyrics for the timeless anthem “We Are The Champions.” These nine pages of meticulously crafted harmonies and chords offer a window into the maestro’s artistic process. Equally captivating are the previously unseen working lyrics to “Killer Queen,” penned by Mercury himself in 1974, with his distinctive black Biro script gracing a single sheet of paper. These lyrical gems provide a rare glimpse into the mind of a musical genius, showcasing his creativity, rethinking, and reformatting.
For Mary Austin, parting with these precious pages and musical notes has proven to be an arduous task. She aptly describes them as the artist’s journey, a tangible representation of a work in progress. The crossings out and the rethinking serve as a testament to Mercury’s unwavering commitment to perfection. Austin’s decision to sell the entire collection, despite the sentimental attachment, demonstrates her courage and desire to share these treasures with the world.
The upcoming exhibitions are scheduled to tour the globe, with stops in Sotheby’s New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, before returning to its origin in London. The London gallery, which opens on August 4th.