Brian May Remembers Freddie Mercury's Final Days: 'He Was Completely Focused'

"I would write a verse down, and sing it to him. And for each line, he did four takes," remembers the legendary axeman.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
27

Queen guitarist Brian May has been talking with Times of Malta (via Something Else Reviews) about the final song he worked on with Freddie Mercury.

As May notes, Freddie was determined to finish the track in spite of his illness:

"I would write a verse down, and sing it to him because the song wasn't really written at that time. And for each line, he did four takes. And then we'd write another verse. And he would be like, 'Give me a vodka.' That gave him his strength. After another shot, he's say: 'Give me more lyrics. More, more more. I want to do this.' He was completely focused. He knew that he wouldn't be there that long."

The track, "Mother Love," would ultimately appear on the band's posthumous 1995 album "Made in Heaven." It was recorded one month before Mercury died:

"That was the last thing we ever did together. Freddie was really quite ill. He would only have moments where he was OK, and he could prop himself up and sing. But he was eager to work. He loved to work. It was the thing that really made him smile."

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Izzy-Sweet
    Can you imagine that? Just knowing that you're gonna die and giving it your absolute best shot before the inevitable end. Lots of respect for Freddie Mercury.
    TomM96
    I thought it was recorded in May 1991, about six months before he passed away? Regardless, I've got a lot of respect for these guys, and Freddie Mercury was probably one of the best rock vocalists of all time
    marcos.napier
    It was not recorded a month before he died. And Freddie didn't care about what the Bible said, as he wasn't a catholic.
    ezralaurences
    Why did people down-vote that, he's right. Freddie was Zoroastrian (but not religious) and the last time he was in the studio was May 16th 1991.
    benjixoath
    i find it slightly amusing that someone who was homosexual and died of AIDS made a posthumous album called "made in heaven" we all know what the bible says about homosexuality now
    alienfarms
    Ahh, the Bible. A book about a loving god who drowns every living creature save those he sent upon an ark. How merciful...
    ElFatso
    We also knows what it says about judging others. See you in hell ****.
    Brands99
    okay firstly, you don't refer to him as "Someone" You refer to him as Sir Awesome Legend The Great
    haifisch234
    The video for "These are the Days of Our Lives" was filmed in May 1991, Freddie's last appearance on screen. Mother Love was recorded about 4-6 weeks before his death, Mercury didn't manage to record the last verse, cause he passed away.
    TomM96
    There is no evidence of any work on Mother Love after the 22nd May 1991, until 13th October 1993 (nearly two years after he passed) when work recommenced at Metropolis Studios London for the Made in Heaven album. He could barely stand up six months before he passed, let alone sing a pretty demanding tune six weeks before, a man's got a limit
    zalant
    Evidence or no, I definitely wasn't there, and therefore I'm not about to call Brian May a liar.
    haifisch234
    They actually recorded Mother Love in September/October 1991, Freddie was living at that time in his apartment in Montreux, he had a small studio there and was recording everything he could. The first verse of ML was the last thing he did with Brian, then moved back to London and we all know what was happening the next month... Obviously the song hadn't been finished and released until Brian recorded the last verse.