Freddie Mercury was a rock legend whose legacy was immortalized through being the lead singer for Queen. The British singer looked up to many icons himself, including John Lennon. Freddie Mercury once said John Lennon was the one person who he regretted never getting the chance to meet.
Freddie Mercury believed John Lennon was the ‘greatest’
Mercury was a massive fan of Lennon, enjoying his music during his time with The Beatles and his solo career. In 1980, Lennon was assassinated outside of his home in New York City by Mark David Chapman. Following his death, Mercury performed “Imagine” at a concert to honor his memory. The “Bohemian Rhapsody” singer said he would never want to be compared to the former Beatle because there were some things he believed Lennon did better.
“He just had that magic… to be honest, I would never like to put myself on a par with John Lennon at all, because he was the greatest, as far as I’m concerned,” Mercury shared via udiscovermusic.com. “It’s not a matter of having less talent, just that some people are capable of doing certain things better than anybody else, and I feel that I’m not equipped to do the things that Lennon did. I don’t think anybody should, because John Lennon was unique, a one-off, and that’s the way it is. I admire him very much and that’s as far as I want to go. When I heard that Lennon was dead, I was shocked and dumbfounded.”
Mercury once said Lennon was the one person he would want to meet, living or dead
Many people are often asked who they would love to meet, whether the person was living or dead. This is an opportunity for someone to express their admiration for someone they only know through their art or history. In a 1984 interview with MTV News (shared by Louder Sound), Freddie Mercury selected John Lennon as the one person he would have loved to have met before he died.
“Living or dead, the only person I wish I had met was John Lennon,” the Queen singer replied. “‘Cause he’s the one that I did idolize. And I just thought that he was a very beautiful human being, and I’m sad to say that I didn’t get to meet him. He’s the only one.”
In the same interview, Mercury responded with Marie Antoinette when asked if there was a historical figure he wishes he could’ve met. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during a meeting between these three figures.
Mercury wrote a song dedicated to the former Beatle
In 1982, Queen released “Life is Real (Song for Lennon)” on their 10th studio album, Hot Space. According to Alternative Nation, the song was a welcome change of pace on an album not beloved by fans due to its more dance-sounding songs. The song originated on a plane and was written by Freddie Mercury as a tribute to John Lennon. The song is rare for Queen due to its lyrics being written before its musical composition.