Queen drummer Roger Taylor recently told Classic Rock that he and Freddie Mercury would go out and meet women at bars.
He also discussed meeting Freddie, “It was at my flat in Shepherd’s Bush. He was a mate of Tim [Staffell, singer with May and Taylor’s pre-Queen band Smile] from Ealing college. He was on the periphery, just a mate, really. He had musical aspirations, but we were quite good players and we weren’t really sure if he could sing.
But his drive, and determination to write original stuff, was great. And of course, we became huge friends because we had the stall. We were living in each others’ pockets, scrubbing together to eat.”
What was a night out with Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury like in the early days? Were you hanging out at the trendy clubs?
“Oh no, we couldn’t afford stuff like that. We’d be in a pub, and then we’d probably meet some girls and try to get some drinks off them.”
Queen’s first gig was on June 27, 1970, in your hometown of Truro. What do you remember about it?
“My mother put on the gig. It was for the Red Cross. People did not know what to make of the not-quite-fully-formed Freddie, who was fairly outrageous.”
Would Queen still exist if Freddie was alive?
“I can’t give you a definitive answer, obviously, but I’d guess it would still be together in some form. I don’t think Freddie would have wanted to do it in the same way. I don’t think we would be performing live. I think we probably would still have been making music – because that’s what we did. And Freddie was obsessed with music.”
Is it true that you appropriated the statue of Freddie that stood outside the Dominion Theatre in London after We Will Rock You finally ended its run there?
“Yes, absolutely. You can see it from here. It was in a warehouse, costing money, so I said why don’t they just put it on a lorry and bring it here, and we’ll put it in the garden.”