Although he cultivated a flamboyant stage personality, Mercury was shy and retiring when not performing, particularly around people he did not know well, and granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: „When I’m performing I’m an extrovert, yet inside I’m a completely different man.” While on stage, Mercury basked in the love from his audience; Kurt Cobain’s suicide note mentions how he both admired and envied the way Mercury „seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd.”
Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle.
During his career, Mercury’s flamboyant stage performances sometimes led journalists to allude to his sexuality. Dave Dickson, reviewing Queen’s performance at Wembley Arena in 1984 for Kerrang!, noted Mercury’s „camp” addresses to the audience and even described him as a „posing, pouting, posturing tart.” In 1992, John Marshall of Gay Times expressed the following opinion: „[Mercury] was a ‘scene-queen,’ not afraid to publicly express his gayness, but unwilling to analyse or justify his ‘lifestyle’ … It was as if Freddie Mercury was saying to the world, ‘I am what I am. So what?’ And that in itself for some was a statement.”In an article for AfterElton, Robert Urban stated: „Mercury did not ally himself to ‘political outness,’ or to GLBT causes.”
While some commentators claimed Mercury hid his sexual orientation from the public, others claimed he was „openly gay.” In December 1974, when asked directly, „So how about being bent?” by the New Musical Express, Mercury replied, „You’re a crafty cow. Let’s put it this way; there were times when I was young and green. It’s a thing schoolboys go through. I’ve had my share of schoolboy pranks. I’m not going to elaborate further.” Homosexual acts between adult males over the age of 21 were decriminalised in the United Kingdom in 1967, only seven years earlier. In the 1980s, he would often distance himself from his partner, Jim Hutton, during public events. In October 1986, The Sun claimed Mercury had „confessed to a string of one-night gay sex affairs.”
During the 1970s, their friendship became closer, with Everett becoming advisor and mentor to Mercury, and Mercury as Everett’s confidante, helping him to accept his sexuality.Throughout the early-mid 80s, they continued to explore their homosexuality, as well as experimenting in drugs, and although they were never lovers, they did experience London night life on a regular basis together. By 1985, they had fallen out over a disagreement on their using and sharing of drugs, and their friendship was further strained when Everett was outed by his biographer Audrey Lee „Lady Lee” Middleton, with Mercury taking Lee’s side.With both suffering from failing health, Mercury and Everett started talking again in 1989, and they were able to reconcile their differences.
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form „an unforgettable skyline”. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant’ Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The „Historic Centre of San Gimignano”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.
Radio DJ Kenny Everett first met Mercury in 1974 when he invited the singer on to his breakfast show on Capital London. As two of Britain’s most flamboyant, outrageous and best-loved entertainers, they shared much in common and instantly became close friends. Everett would play a major role in Queen’s early success, when, in 1975, armed with an advanced copy of the single „Bohemian Rhapsody”, Mercury went to see Everett. While privately Everett doubted any station would play the song due to its length at over 6 minutes, he said nothing to Mercury and placed the song on the turntable, and after hearing it he enthused: „forget it, it’s going to be number one for centuries.” While Capital Radio hadn’t officially accepted the song, the anarchic Everett would talk incessantly about a record he had but couldn’t play, before the song „accidentally” started playing, with Everett stating: „Oops, my finger must’ve slipped.” Capital’s switchboard was jammed with callers wanting to know when the song was going to be released – on one occasion Everett aired the song 36 times in one day.