It’s Freddie Friday
“Now I’m here,” Freddie Mercury sang in 1975. Sadly, the Queen lead vocalist bit the dust in 1991, dying of AIDS-related bronchopneumonia. But today he’s here again, thanks to Queen fans worldwide, and an initiative called Freddie For A Day.
It’s the brainchild of Liz Swanton, a Londoner who works at the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS awareness charity founded in 1992 in the singer’s memory. On 11 May this year, Swanton decided to dress up as Freddie to raise funds for the charity.
She did so well – ultimately appearing on stage with Roger Taylor, Brian May and the cast of We Will Rock You – that the idea was extended to 3 September – around the date of Freddie’s 5 September birthday – so more people could take part.
The trouble is that it takes real commitment to dress as Freddie Mercury in a way that would get the thumbs-up from the man himself. If you are going to do Freddie Mercury cosplay, for heaven’s sake do it properly! If you get it wrong, you end up looking like Chopper Read or Super Mario Bros.
Swanton plumped for a “Live Magic Freddie” ensemble with sad, ill-fitting jacket and trackies. The same outfit is available to buy for $85 from the Mercury Phoenix Trust website, with the money going to the charity, but unfortunately it seems to come in just two sizes: baggy and extra-baggy. Freddie would never have worn pants so loose.
Still, this is pretty much the iconic ensemble for people who want to dress up as Freddie. Of course, they enjoy varying levels of success. The idiots at eHow even provide suggestions on how to achieve the look, including “false buck teeth” and “poofy yellow jacket”.
Those who favour a cleaner aesthetic might enjoy the famous “Live Aid Freddie” outfit, with white racer-back singlet, pale high-waisted jeans with a studded belt and armband. This guy pretty much has it nailed, although again, that is quite mean with the teeth. This guy has a less convincing moustache.
It would also be pretty easy to replicate Freddie’s Zandra Rhodes poncho from Queen’s 1975 tour – just put your head through a full, pleated skirt. But it’s a bold Queen fan indeed who attempts “Harlequin-print Onesie Freddie” or “Stripy Lederhosen Freddie”. If we had the time and courage, we’d do it properly and plump for this batshit-insane eyeball jumpsuit.
If Freddie For A Day hasn’t satisfied your hunger to commemorate moustachioed singers, The Enthusiast has further good news: Frank Zappa Day is coming up.
Zappa’s hometown of Baltimore has declared 19 September “Frank Zappa Day” – on this date in 1985, Zappa famously testified against music censorship at a US Senate hearing held by the notorious Parents Music Resource Center committee co-founded by Al Gore’s (now ex-) wife Tipper.
There’ll be a full program of events, including the dedication of a sculpture of Zappa, a free-form Q&A session with Zappa’s wife Gail, and a free outdoor concert at which Zappa’s son Dweezil will perform with his recent, Grammy Award-winning Zappa Plays Zappa project.
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