Freddie Mercury’s teeth might have given him his unique smile, but when the Queen frontman died on November 24 1991, aged only 45, he took nearly all of his secrets to the grave.
This notoriously private man left his mark on many people who knew and met him from his fellow art students in the 1960s to his bandmates from Queen and other rock stars in the 70s and 80s. With the recent Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody lately published, interest from the formidable frontman was revived like never before.
So, here we provide five lesser-known Freddie titbits to quench your desire for Mercury knowledge.
1. Freddie Mercury more teeth than any typical lead singer
Freddie’s distinctive smile was the consequence of having four additional teeth at the rear of his mouth that pushed them forward. He consistently refused to get his teeth fixed, fearing it would influence his vocal capability. Moreover, his frontal teeth were quite big, also known as buck teeth.
2. He began composing Bohemian Rhapsody while he was a student
Friends from school in the late 60s remember Freddie endlessly singing and playing the starting line to Queen’s biggest hit on the school piano. “But he might never get beyond ‘Mama, just killed a man…”’ It had taken him five years to finish the piece.
3. He worked as a life model in art school
Freddie was frequently skint, as a student at Ealing art college in the 60s. Desperate to obtain a pair of Levi’s that he was employed as a model with an evening life drawing class. “We had been given a towel to protect our modesty,” remembers a fellow ex-model. “However, I often think about those elderly women who drew images of a half-naked Freddie Mercury.”
4. He was David Bowie’s roadie
In April 1969, an unknown singer-songwriter named David Bowie played a lunchtime gig at the canteen in Ealing art school. Freddie helped take Bowie’s amp and helped build a makeshift stage for him from canteen tables. Mercury never quite mentioned their first experience when he worked with Bowie years afterwards.
5. He had been accountable for the Sex Pistols
On December 1, 1976, Queen was also booked to appear on the TV series, “Tonight With Bill Grundy,” to plug their new record, “A Day At The Races.” The band had to cancel as Mercury had his first dental appointment in 15 years. Their replacement was that the Sex Pistols. And most of us know what happened.