As A Star Must Fade
Written by Anja Geenen
Chapter Three : A Legend Lives On
Part One : A Tribution
Brian grinned when he saw John standing and talking like that in the cold november night. "You're talking to Fred?" John looked besides him to find Brian chuckling. Brian took a place beside him and looked up. John felt ashamed and tried to stare up at the sky blankly, but he couldn't help blushing when he thought he saw the star winking again. He looked at Brian, curious: "Did you see that too?" Brian looked at John: "Yeah
" They took the moments and smiled and winked back at Freddie.
After a while they looked at each other and smiled ashamed and shyly. Brian finally decided to get to another conversation. "Hey John, Rog had this idea for a tribute to Freddie." John sighed: "Yeah?" He thought back at the last few days after Freddie's death.
* * *
The world was quiet, peaceful like nothing bad had happened, the day had started. Three men were sitting without any feelings, without words. The death of their friend had left them speechless and feelings were too confused to feel anything. They were at Roger's house. Brian and John were invited by the owner, Roger, to come and talk about the last few months, the last few moments and the last few thoughts and feelings. It seemed there was nothing to talk about, even though they had to tell each other a lot of things, it seemed like it didn't matter anymore by the death of their singer. Brian seemed to shed all the tears he could find, Roger just sat there staring. John felt strange and awful. He couldn't find the right words, he couldn't find any words. He felt empty, everything seemed suddenly so useless. John looked back at earlier that day, the moment he had the phone call.
"G'morning John, I'm sorry I wake you. You probably know why I call, right?" John felt something heavy falling in his stomach, he felt like he could barely talk. "Tell me, what is going on? Something happened with Freddie?" John hadn't got the courage of losing him, not yet. "He's dead John, he died this night." Something blocked John's throat, he felt the ball of heavy fire in his stomach enlighten. "Ooh, god," was all he could say.
His eyes filled with tears again as he recalled that moment. He expected Freddiefs death, but he never had the courage to think about it. It was hard to realise what was happening now.
He looked at Brian who was crying again. It looked like Brian would never stop crying. Another memory, a few hours ago.
Roger had called John in the afternoon: "Come to Cosford, Brian is here already. We want to do something for Freddie, we would like you to join us." John had agreed and came down to Roger's house. He had cried in the car and with red watery eyes he had reached Roger's house. Roger opened the door after John had ringed his bell. John felt something break inside him when he saw Roger's red eyes. Tears were rolling down his cheek and he felt how Roger grabbed him and embraced him. "Thanks for coming John," Roger's voice broken by his tears and his sorrow. John's eyes filled again when he entered the room, seeing Brian sitting, tears streaming down his cheeks. John walked up to him, bending he gave Brian a warm hug and crying with him. Roger joined them, and there they sat, left alone and confused.
They agreed with each other, something had to be done for Freddie. They didn't know what, not yet. Brains started to work again, trying to find out how they could give Freddie the greatest send of in history. Roger had kind of an idea, but he didn't know how to phrase it. "Okay guys, I thought about an idea, I just want your opinion. I figured very much people want to say goodbye to Freddie, now, how can we reach as much people? How can we give them the chance to say goodbye? And how do you think Freddie would want it?" "A kind of a tribute?" Brian guessed. "Yes, let's invite as many people as possible to show the world how much we loved our singer." John just stared at Roger. It had been 5 years since there last tour, he hadn't been on the stage ever since and he even didn't feel much for going back there. "I don't know Rog," his answer was. "I do know, I like the idea, but how are we gonna do it?" Brian thought it was a great idea and joined in with Roger almost immediately. There was one thing: "How are we gonna invite them and who?" John felt left out and forgotten: "Sorry, but WE? I didn't say I wanted to join, did I?" Both Brian and Roger stared at him as if he was going crazy. Finally Roger started protesting: "Why won't you? I mean, it's for Freddie. All we wanna do is to show him how much we still love him. I mean, you can't just forget about him." "I know Rog, but I don't feel like going on that stage again. I like to remember him my way, if you don't care. Can't we try to remember him in another way?" This time Brian gave his opinion on the case: "I think Rog's idea is great and the perfect way to say goodbye to Freddie, completely in style. Freddie would have loved it, I'm sure. Ooh, c'mon John, do it for Fred, just once." John couldn't resist Brian's puppy eyes and had to agree with it: "Okay, I'll join, but only for Freddie and only for once."
* * *
"Let's go inside, I'm getting cold." John immediately headed for the door to go in. Brian looked at him surprised, wondering if John had heard anything of what he had just told him. He could only follow John into the house. Brian knew John didn't like the idea of Roger very much, but he had already agreed on being there and helping with organizing. From now on that day was coming nearer rapidly and a lot had to be done.
* * *
"We should invite many people!" "Like who?" "Like
Bob Geldof!" Roger was most enthused and seemed to know exactly what had to happen. Brian was doubting Roger's organizing, wondering if they shouldn't get some help. "We have to invite some others too." Roger bend over the paper with names he already scribbled down. John stood there watching Roger, wondering if it was Roger's way to cope with the whole situation. Knowing Roger, he needed something to do, he didn't want to be remembered how done it all was, now Freddie was away. He didn't want to look back at a life he couldn't return to anymore, not yet. John sat in a comfortable chair, listening to what Brian and Roger were trying to accomplish. He had agreed to go on that stage and to help a little with the organisation, but he thought just like Brian, they better got some help. They knew the people, the people they always worked with them, they knew what had to be done. "Can I do something?" John inquired when he got the feeling he wasn't really needed. "If not, I'd better go home. Still got a family there." Roger emerged from the papers and thought for a moment, his face thoughtful, as if he had to take a hard decision. Then suddenly: "Okay, you can go." Immediately after that Roger bend back over the papers. John looked at Roger annoyed. He now felt completely left out, Roger's answer had sound just like they didn't need him anyway and that hurt. Brian looked back at John. John could read, Brian was sorry for Roger's reaction. "It's okay John, we see you tomorrow." John nodded and headed for the door. "Bye," was all he said. Brian answered: "Bye John." Roger stayed silent.
The beginning of the end of a long friendship. There was not much left of the friendship John had felt when Freddie was still around. John felt left out more and more. Roger was organizing everything and Brian was just moving along side him. It seemed John and Roger couldn't feel each other anymore and they didn't understand each other's point of views. It was harder then ever to fight for his opinions, Roger waving it away and doing whatever he wanted anyway. Brian couldn't say much, still filled with sorrow and pain, and by the way, he shared the same opinion as Roger, though he was more careful. The whole tribute concert was Roger's own little project, Brian just joining in with everything and John having no choice anymore.
The days of rehearsals
It was hard working, and John had nothing against that, though he didn't like rehearsals. All the artists walking around, doing their things. For him it was acting, acting he was still great friends with Brian and Roger. Acting he really wanted this tribute. Actually, John felt so strange against it, it just didn't seem right. What were they doing? He smiled, he played his bass and he talked. He felt empty and mis-understood. Looking around him, those people who even didn't know Freddie, they never got to know Queen's one and only King. John felt like running away, but he stayed. For the last time, the very last time, for Freddie, for his dear friend Freddie. It was enough reason for now, to stay there and do those rehearsals and to do the concert. Roger was running around talking to everybody, laughing with everybody. Brian was practising the chords of songs with people. John sat down, watching the people working and drinking his tea.
The day came, Wembley was sold out. John stood backstage watching into the crowd. It was not the same anymore, not without Freddie. He still remembered him too clear. How much he wanted to let go of the past, to go on living, but on the other side
How much did he wanted to go back, those beautiful young years. It was strange to hear their own songs performed by others. People were running around backstage, interviewers and the artists. John looked around himself, into the audience, it was busy, very busy.
The big screen with Freddie on it, even on record he was impressive. The reaction from the audience on the big screen was good, shocked somehow, but proud as well. They felt it too, that magic. John had to admit he was impressed as well, he had to watch it. It was different though, he was not behind Freddie anymore, or Freddie wasn't in front of them. John leaned back knowing exactly why it felt so wrong, he didn't want others to steal Freddie's place, and that was it, it was Freddie's place. Strange feelings were running through his body, and he felt a bit ashamed about it. Somehow John was a bit happy when he saw an artist ruining his performance, it showed how good Freddie was, how much brighter his star would shine than many others. Though he was very glad for George Michael to play such a splendid performance. John had to admit that he was impressed, he was really good. Unless bad feelings about performing without Freddie, this tribute gave him a good feeling as well. Their fans came to hear for the last time about Queen, or the still living members. They came to show Freddie they still loved him, and they came to show they still loved the other band members. John was proud of his fans, they showed how social they were. He saw them sharing their food, drinks, banners, their sorrow and their tears. It was touching, after all, to see them like that.
The day wasn't only beautiful, full of tears and joy, somehow, but also very tiring. At the end John was completely empty. Being at the after party, the most strange after party Queen had. All the artists who performed were there, paying their tribute to the band and to Freddie, of course. John though couldn't live it up anymore and he decided to part from the partying people. There was a little room were he found his rest, propped up to the wall, feeling so empty. Now this was really it, now really everything was done and nothing could be said anymore. John stared blankly into the darkness, not feeling his body anymore, not able to think anymore. Surprisingly Brian and Roger had felt the same and joined John not long after. They couldn't speak, the couldn't think. What had happened? What did they do? John felt a pain coming up, the future looked so dark, so scaring, he felt like he had nothing anymore, that he had to rebuild his life. Queen was away, Freddie was away, only a few bricks were left, broken bricks. No-one knew what the future would bring, no-one knew what to do now, it all seemed so pointless and useless. John gave up thinking, cause he couldn't anymore, he would only wait till someone took him by his hand and showed him the path he had to walk, how he had to go on living.
"You gotta live on John." Freddie's voice echoed inside John's head. He stood there, face towards the door, just about to leave. He waited, when Freddie no more spoke John started walking towards the door. "John!" John stopped again, still not turning, afraid of showing his face to Freddie. "Come here John." John could do nothing then obey. He turned and walked back to the bed in where Freddie was. Still he dared not to look up at Freddie, keeping his eyes on his shoes. "John, I want to thank you." John's head tilted, his eyes searching over Freddie's face, they couldn't discover what was meant. "You were there when I needed you John. I'm really thankful you were here all the time." John looked at Freddie shyly. He didn't know what to say, he didn't know how to react. He shrugged and finally said: "That's what friends for, right?" Freddie smiled at this: "Yeah, well
Not all the friends did this to me, John." John stood there like a small child, shyly and slightly uncomfortable. Suddenly Freddie pushed himself up a bit, he raised his arms and grabbed John, pulling him down and embracing him. John was slightly shocked by the gesture but let himself be hugged. After a few moments John dared to wrap his arms around Freddie, feeling the bones, feeling how thin Freddie was. Freddie's embrace was tight but loosen after a while. John felt tears leaving his eyes, Freddie felt them falling on his shoulder. Abruptly he pushed John away again: "Ooh, c'mon, don't cry. You're a big man, you can do it." "Freddie, I'll miss ya." "I'll always be with you Johnnie, somehow I will. And I promise you, we'll find a way to talk to each other." John felt still like a little child, all he could do was believing Freddie. Freddie lay there, in that great and elegant bed, regarding John with thoughtful eyes. "Now go Johnnie, it's okay. You gotta go on without me. Life won't stand still, not even for you. Go!" John stared at Freddie with tears in his eyes. So warm as he was before, so cold he seemed to be now. John turned and walked towards the door again. Pausing before finally leaving the room, waiting for an answer. As Freddie remained silent John left. The last time he saw Freddie
John still stood there. His back propped up to the wall. He waited for Freddie, Freddie promised him he would find a way to get back into contact. John waited for him. Somewhere, back in his head, he knew that it was the end. Freddie wasn't coming back this time. That really was their last conversation.
Part Two : Made In Heaven
Section 1: A Winter's Tale
It made him sighing and wondering if Brian was never getting tired of it. It was another phone call from Brian about some tapes on which Freddie had sung. "We still have to finish it, Freddie would have finished it." John grumbled as he remembered how Brian had persuaded him to come to the studio again. "You should hear it John," he had said and: "It's beautiful, Freddie was absolutely magnificent." Of course Fred was, he always was. His own longing of hearing Freddie's voice again persuaded John again. He wanted Freddie to be there again to make him shiver, and if he closed his eyes it would look like nothing had happened and Freddie was back again.
As he entered the studio he found Brian sitting and grinning as Roger was there telling jokes. The old sight, John could recall this sight, he got used to it in the early years. Though Brian was there and so was Roger, it wasn't complete and John knew it, it was Freddie missing. Not the outcall of Freddie when he entered: "Darling, be welcome!" a hug and a kiss from Freddie, a 'hi' from Brian and a stupid joke from Roger. John stood there watching his former colleagues, Roger with his sunglasses on his head and Brian with still the same hair, some things really never changed.
The old ways of working. First talking about everything that had nothing to do with the work laying there and waiting for them. Then dinner and finally talking about what they had to do. Brian started work, eager to get it done, Roger joining in. "Okay, what are we going to do?" "Finishing those songs." "How many are there?" "Err..I think about 3, I think." "Hmm, that's not really much." "It is all Freddie did after Innuendo." "I see. What songs have we got here?" "Err
" Roger started searching through the papers on which Brian had written already. "Err
'It's a beautiful day'
. 'Mother Love'
and 'Let me live'." Brian nodded: "Okay, that's not enough, how are we gonna fill the holes?" Roger shrugged, playing with the papers. John looked out of the window, his thoughts somewhere else. "We never gonna finish it when we go on like this." Roger sighed and shrugged again. Both Brian and Roger now looked at John. John sensed this and suddenly woke up out of his daydreaming, looking around confused: "What!?" "You followed anything of the conversation anyway?" Brian demanded. "I'm afraid not
..Sorry." Roger looked annoyed and bit back a mad comment. He swallowed and finally said to John: "If you prefer to stay at home, why did you come at all?" "I'm sorry, I was just dreaming a bit
about a few years ago
.about Freddie." "Ooh
.," Brian and Roger both said. "Okay, I'll explain you. We have to few songs for a new album. How are we gonna fix this?" "How much do we have?" John asked and Roger answered: "Three
It's a beautiful day', Mother Love' and 'Let Me Live'." John pulled a thoughtful face: "Hmmm
we should add some more. We should write some more or maybe
" The two men looked at John, expecting a solution. After a few moments silence Brian gave the solution: "Freddie sang 'Too Much Love', maybe we can use that." "And he sang 'Heaven For Everyone'," Roger added. "John, you got something too?" John thought for a moment: "Wasn't there another song which Freddie sang? I think it was called
. 'You Don't Fool Me'. I wrote that one, I think we have it somewhere on tape." Roger flicked through the papers in search for the song. "Nope, nothing. I can't find it." Brian stood there watching Roger searching and thinking where the other papers were. "Brian, wasn't there more than just this, or are you trying to steal the rest?" Brian smiled, then a fake grin: "Damn, you found my secret, now I should kill you." "Try it curly one," Roger reacted while raising his fist and hobbling around Brian. Brian grinned and realised he'd better think of a tactic to rule Roger. John sighed: "If we're not going to do anything anymore today, I'm gone." Roger was still busy with threatening Brian, Brian though looked up: "Okay, you'll be here tomorrow morning again?" "Yeah, sure." John walked out the door leaving the two playing. He went out, time for some sight seeing.
The lake was still quiet and peaceful, like it used to be. John dreamed away, to a time now 7 or 8 years ago.
Red skies are gleaming, oh
Sea gulls are flying over
Swans are floating by
Am I dreaming
Am I dreaming?
The mood was set, simply and warm. The lake was there in all his peace, timeless, ever so beautiful. It should feel like home. Living in a fairy tale, here was the place, here was the lake, with all his magic. So close, you could touch it, you could feel it.
The nights draw in
There's a silky moon up in the sky, yeah
Children are fantasizing
Grown-ups are standing by
What a super feeling
Am I dreaming
Am I dreaming?
Wo wo wo wo
John felt like a child, though he knew this was not a fantasize, this was real. A dream coming through. John felt, he had not to fantasize, it was all more he could fantasize anyway. But if he could bring back Freddie, to this lake, that would be fantastic. Start the dream
(dreaming) So quiet and peaceful
(dreaming) Tranquil and blissful
(dreaming) There's a kind of magic in the air
(dreaming) What a truly magnificent view
(dreaming) A breathtaking scene
With the dreams of the world in the palm of your hand
Freddie stood by him, enjoying the peace and the magic. The dreams in his hand, to let it flow into the tranquil are. The dreams which could make the world pink, which made the world a peaceful place. The dreams flew through the air. With teary eyes he watched them flow away, over the lake, disappearing into the young evening with its red sunset.
(dreaming) A cosy fireside chat
(dreaming) A little this, a little that
(dreaming) Sound of merry laughter skipping by
(dreaming) Gentle rain beating on my face
(dreaming) What an extraordinary place!
And the dream of the child is the hope of the hope of the man
People voices were close by, chatting and laughing, it gave the air a warm touch. John felt Freddie's present so close by, he felt the magic and wondered if it was coming from the lake or from Freddie. His body was getting cold, but the fire he felt inside his heart, warmed his soul.
It's all so beautiful
Like a landscape painting in the sky, yeah
Mountains are zooming higher, mmm
Little girls scream and cry
My world is spinning and spinning and spinning
Sends me reeling
Am I dreaming
Am I dreaming
Oooh it's bliss
For a last moment forgetting about the real world, the work that has to be done. Dreaming away on the chatting and laughter of strangers. Dreaming away on memories and hope.
John felt he got really cold and he figured he'd better go back inside. He left the lake inside the dark, leaving a warm spot on the ground filled with his dreams. He took the memories and hopes with him.
Section Two: Mother Love
When John got back to the studio, Brian and Roger were again trying to find out how to fill the new album. "Hey John!" Roger noticed him first. "You know, we have a problem here. There are not enough songs to include on the album. Solution
..?" "The same problem as yesterday?" "Morning John, had a good night?" Brian, always the social one, inquired it. "Yes, thank you Bri, had a good night. You look fresh as well." Brian grinned: "Montreux nights are the best." Roger suddenly awoke and noticed the conversation: "Oi, what Montreux nights?" "Not for little children." Roger pulled a disappointed face. "Okay, that album." Brian got back to work again, Roger still playing the hurt child. John stood besides him and looked down on the writings. Flicking through the pages didn't give them any ideas about how to fill the album. Brian sighed annoyed and after a moment consideration he decided: "Let's have look back. There are a few great recordings, maybe we should hear them first."
Three men were sitting there, silently listening. Breath got caught, hearts were beating fast. It was good to hear that voice, to feel the magic. John leaned back into his chair, eyes closed and taking in every tone, the so well known voice sang. Strange recordings, only a voice and sometimes a bass, not finished songs. "This one is beautiful. I wrote it." Brian grinned when he realised what he had said and why Roger and John looked at him annoyed and were sharing glances with each other. "Listen to it. Of course it's well written
" another grin: "but I want you to listen to the voice, it's beautiful." Brian started the tapes
Soft sound of the air, the forgotten air from that recorded day
The breath of someone
I don't want to sleep with you
I don't need the passion too
I don't want a stormy affair
To make me feel my life is heading somewhere
All I want is the comfort and care
Just to know that my woman gives me sweet mother love
I've walked too long in this lonely lane
I've had enough of this same old game
I'm a man of the world and they say that I'm strong
But my heart is heavy, and my hope is gone
Out in the city, in the cold world outside
I don't want pity, just a safe place to hide
Mama please, let me back inside
I don't want to make no waves
But you can give me all the love that I crave
I can't take it if you see me cry
I long for peace before I die
All I want is to know that you're there
You're gonna give me all your sweet mother love
Both Roger and John were impressed, they couldn't find the right words to say. Brian waited patiently for a reaction. Finally, Roger gasped, demonstratively weeping away some tears. "Wow," was all he could say. John sat there, still looking for the words to say, trying to understand what he was feeling. Freddie's voice had sound so complaining, so full of pain. John could feel the pain, the pain he knew now for 4 years, the pain he couldn't get rid of. He realised how much he missed Freddie. John sighed and looked down on the shoes, not trying anymore to say something. He couldn't find the words, an if he did find them, his throat wouldn't give him the chance to talk. His body felt like he was filled with tears, like he was exploding. John thought he had his feelings after 4 years under control, he was wrong. For a long time he couldn't even move. He closed his eyes, he swallowed, again and again, trying to swallow the pain with the tears.
Brian had waited, he had waited for a long time. Both Roger and John hadn't reacted very much yet. Brian decided to break the silence: "Uhm
the song is not finished yet
.We have to finish it
I was thinking
I can do some vocals
" Brian gave up. "Maybe we'd better take a pause now
I think we should do that."
Sitting at the edge of his bed, thinking about what had happened that afternoon. So close, Freddie was so close after 4 years, so close it was almost frightening. John stared into his room, remembering the fun they had here in Montreux, the peace as well. Montreux was a beautiful piece of land, John loved to be there. He lifted his legs on the bed and lay down. Thinking and slowly slipping into a dream, he lay in Montreux.
Like always Freddie was magical. He sang his part, he did even more, adding the magic, the only truth it seemed. John could see the tones floating around in the studio. Freddie looked very strong, his dark eyes taking possession of the studio. Brian was sitting besides John, tapping with his hand on the control board, his eyes sparkling. Go on Fred:
My body's aching, but I can't sleep
My dreams are all the company I keep
Got such a feeling as the sun goes down
I'm coming home to my sweet mother love
Day oh (day oh)
I think I'm going back to the things I learnt so well in my youth
John had caught his breath as if he was afraid to blow away the magic. He shivered through the cool clouds, losing every sense of feeling for the reality.
Freddie walked besides him: "Good you came to Montreux again John
It's good you're here
We had to finish this and I appreciate it you're here." John stayed silent, he dared not to say he was thinking of leaving again, that he was tired of the on going Brian and the playing Roger. He was there now for a few weeks already and still nothing had happened, or not much yet. Freddie seemed to sense John's thoughts: "Well, you're not happy I'm here? And we did something very good, didn't we?" "Sure Fred." John felt nervous, he was afraid of what Freddie was going to say. "You can't leave anymore John, I won't let you. We have to finish this first, if you leave now I'll follow you everywhere and I'll let you know." John swallowed, his throat protested, his stomach heaved, sweat was breaking out. Freddie kept on walking, all John could do was following him. John thought of turning away from Freddie, to walk his own way, to find his own way, he had to try it. John stopped and turned, he wanted to walk, but his feet seemed to be glued to the ground. He looked back and saw Freddie coming back to him and reaching for him. Grabbing John's shoulder he pulled, he pulled John off the ground. John felt the ground disappearing, he lost his balance and fell
With a shock he fell back into his bed. He was safe, right? Bewildered he looked around him. The room was dark, there was only light peering through his window. The world was quiet, there was no Freddie, there even wasn't a Brian or a Roger, John was completely alone. He lay there for a few more minutes and then decided to call home. He watched his watch and decided he could do it, it wasn't too late yet.
Section Three: Let Me Live
Finally they got to work, finally they were doing something. Work had started on 'Let Me Live'. Brian had decided to finish it first. Freddie had sang a few parts of the song, but it wasn't enough, there were three parts still unsung. Both Brian and Roger wanted to sing the missing parts, a discussion started.
"Someone has to sing the second part, and the middle section and the last part isn't done yet," Brian was looking through the papers on where he wrote what still had to be done. "I can do that, I can sing that
Brian," Roger offered. Brian pulled a face: "No, hey, I like to sing something too." "You already sang on 'Mother Love'." "Well, but I still want to sing 'Let Me Live'." "That's not fair." John sighed, why couldn't they just decide who what was going to sing? John turned from the two and looked outside. In his head this conversation took place:
"John, why don't you want to sing, huh?" "Aah, you know Fred, I don't sing. I can't even sing." "You should say it, just to see how Brian and Rog would react." John had to smile, it was a funny idea indeed. "Naah, I don't know Fred." "Ooh, c'mon." Freddie pushed him: "Only to point out they're getting nowhere if they go on like this." "Well, you're right, they're not getting somewhere like this."
John turned back to Brian and Roger who were still fighting about who was going to sing the song. They didn't notice John turning back. "Hey, guys, I got the solution for your problem." Now he had the attention, Brian and Roger both turning towards John. "I'll sing it." Brian and Roger stared at him as if he was going out of his mind, their mouths dropping open, their eyes almost falling out of their heads. John grinned: "Why not?" Roger was the first who got his mind together again: "You never sang anything! You always said you even couldn't sing!" John was still grinning. "You know a better idea Rog?" Roger started thinking. "No Rog, don't say you have to sing it, come up with something else." "Well, you have an idea?" Roger shot back. John looked at Brian who was still silent, it was just sinking in that John was joking. "Why can't you sing it together?" Brian's face lit up: "Yes, that's it. Thank you John, you're great." John shrugged and turned back to his window. He heard Roger protesting again and Brian promising he could sing the most of it. Finally they could started recording again.
In the studio it was very busy, the remaining band members were there, Dave Richards and a choir. They started with listening to what Freddie had sang already, the parts they were going to use. Brian, Roger and John had already decided which recordings they were going to use. The choir was instructed and they did their piece
Oooh, take a piece of my heart
Oooh, take a piece of my soul
Let me live, oh yeah
The first part was Freddie's, his voice so familiar sang through the studio, leaving the people in it impressed. Then again the choir, impressive as well, though different.
Why don't you take another little piece of my heart
Why don't you take it and break it
And tear it all apart
All I do is give
All you do is take
Baby why don't you give me a brand new start
So let me live (so let me live)
Let me live (leave me alone)
Let me live, oh baby, and make a brand new start
This was Roger's part. He gave everything he had, impressing Brian most of all, but also the others in the studio. "You did a great job Rog!" was the main comment. Roger grinned proudly.
Why don't you take another little piece of my soul
Why don't you shape it and shake it
'Til you're really in control
All you do is take
And all I do is give
All that I'm asking
Is a chance to live
(So let me live) so let me live
(Leave me alone) let me live, let me live
(Why don't you let me make) a brand new start
And it's a (long hard struggle) yeah
But you can always depend on me
And if you're (ever in trouble) - hey
You know where I will be
Brian's part. He had to show he had to offer something as well. He gave everything, just like Roger had done, maybe a little bit more. Brian got his comments as well, and he did a good job, though Roger stole the show.
Why don't you take another little piece of my life
Why don't you twist it and turn it
And cut it like a knife
All you do is live
All I do is die
Why can't we just be friends
Stop living a lie
So let me live (so let me live)
Let me live (leave me alone)
Please let me live (Why don't you live a little)
Oh yeah baby (Why don't you give a little love)
Let me live
Please let me live
Oh yeah baby, let me live
And make a brand new start
Let me live (let me live)
Oooh yeah (let me live)
Come on (let me live)
In your heart
(Take another piece, take another piece)
(Take another piece, take another piece)
Please let me live
(Take another piece, take another piece)
(Take another piece, take another piece)
Why don't you take another take another piece of my piece of my heart
Oh yeah baby
Make a brand new start baby baby baby
All you do is take (let me live)
(Let me live)
Let me live
The band and the other people helping them were impressed by the results, it sounded magnificent. The choir did a great job, Brian sang great and Roger gave the best he had. Freddie was magical like always, giving the song the touch, the warmth and the last magic it needed, just right.
Now they finished three songs, they weren't ready, there's was still a lot of work to do. Work had started on completing the album, filling it up with songs. There were a few alternatives: 'Heaven For Everyone', 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' and 'You Don't Fool Me'. All songs on which Freddie had sang. "Maybe we can add something of Freddie's album," Brian suggested. It sounded like a good idea, but they had to get permission to use that stuff, it would take a long time till they could finish their album.
The time was moving fast, work had finally started properly. It was a high secret what they were doing, no-one else knew something about it, only the band members and the people who were working with them. In November 1995, the new album of Queen was released.
Section Four: Writer's Note
From somewhere I came and I'm travelling still to where I have to go. I'm taking my ride with destiny and I'm willing to play my part. There's nothing other for me to do. It's really meant to be, deep in my heart. My memories made me this person, losing all the trust but living to love. Living with painful memories, loving with all my heart.
The life I have to live will bring me troubles, but I have to go on. No matter what happens, I'm having to learn to pay the price. People will except things from me, a sudden work, they're turning me up side down. I'll take every opportunity to live up to my goals, my destiny. Waiting for possibilities. Though I have to search, to work my way up, I don't see too many possibilities around.
I learnt from my past, I had my share of pain. But I'm so glad I learnt from it. When stormy weather comes around, it was made in heaven. I had my share of happiness through my periods of depressions, but it was so hard to hold on that feeling. Wishing not to fall, wishing it would stay. When sunny skies break through behind the clouds, I wish it could last forever. I wish it could last forever.
There's that role for me, people will regard me on my travel to find what I'm looking for. I'll get to my destiny, while flying and falling. I'm playing my role in history, looking to find my goal. I have to take the pains, have to go through rough times. I won't ignore it, I'll take it with me. I'll shed my tears in my stories, feeling it with my whole body, my mind. Taking in all the misery but giving it all my soul.
I believe in my strength. I believe in my hopes. I believe in my dreams. I believe in my happiness. I believe in my misery. I believe in my travel. I believe in my truth. I believe in my destiny. I believe in myself. I believe. Made in heaven, it was all meant to be.
They push me and pull me, they support me. They're my lights when my view is misty. They're my guides to my destiny. I can hear their voices sing, the most beautiful of them all. That's what everybody says to me, wait and see. It was really meant to be, so plain to see. Everybody tells me so, wait and see, it was really meant to be, so plain to see. Yes, it was meant to be
.Written in the stars.
Part Three: Only The Good Die Young
John grumbled as he emerged from his car, he was thinking about what he forgot, but he couldn't decide what it was. He closed the door of the car and walked towards the entrance of the studio's. Brian had called him again: "John, I wrote a song and I want to record it with Queen." John had sighed and answered: "Queen doesn't exist anymore." Then it was Brian's turn to sigh: "John, I want to record it with you and Roger, cause I wrote this for Freddie." John stayed silent after that. "You come, John?
John?" John stared at his wife doing the laundry, at the children playing in the living room. Finally he grumbled: "Alright then, I'll come." Now he walked there towards the studio where Brian and Roger already were. They talked about how it had to sound already and who was going to do what? John sticked to bass, like always.
A hand above the water
An angel reaching for the sky
Is it raining in heaven
Do you want us to cry?
Brian started off with singing, his voice thin and breakable. He had troubles singing it, sighing he couldn't do it. Roger showed his soft side and encouraged Brian to go on. Brian's eyes were troubled, thinking about Freddie, still not the feelings under control. They paused a few times before Brian had finally sang everything and it was all on tape.
And everywhere the broken-hearted
On every lonely avenue
No-one could reach them
No-one but you
One by one
Only the good die young
They're only flying too close to the sun
And life goes on
Another tricky situation
I get to drowning in the blues
And I find myself thinking
Well, what would you do?
Yes, it was such an operation
Forever paying every due
Hell, you made a sensation (sensation)
You found a way through (found a way through)
Roger showed his showmanship, he showed everybody he could sing very well, he gave everything he had. Brian was stunned and was very glad with what Roger had done. Brian was mainly proud of them all, it showed him he was no follower of Freddie, he had his own talents as well, and so had Roger and John.
One by one
Only the good die young
They're only flying too close to the sun
And now the party must be over
I guess we'll never understand
The sense of your leaving
Was it the way it was planned?
So we grace another table
And raise our glasses one more time
There's a face at the window
And I ain't never, never saying goodbye
One by one
Only the good die young
They're only flying too close to the sun
Crying for nothing
Crying for no-one
No-one but you
Brian felt like a little child singing like that with Roger, but he enjoyed it very much. He could feel the connection again he had with the two, Roger and John. He was very proud of what they just did, their very own tribute to Freddie. He had said everything he had to say, finally.
Although John didn't really support the idea in the first place, he was glad to be in that studio. They still had it, the magic together, though it was maybe less without Freddie. Finally he felt something of friendship coming back. He had to admit, he missed Queen sometimes. He loved to remember the good young days, he loved to remember the friendship he felt. Now he was so much older, but it still felt good to be there, even though Roger was very annoying and Brian was working on all the time, it was what John was used to. To be honest, he had to admit, Brian and Roger were fine guys, they were great friends.
Part Four: A Memory Of Hope and Friendship
Ten years had passed, ten years since Freddie died. John had a quiet family life for about 3 years now and he enjoyed it very much. Queen couldn't bother him very much anymore and he tried to keep out of it as much as possible, he was only still informed about the financial stuff. "We should organise something for Freddie! It's been ten years now!" John had only sighed when he heard that. Brian had visited him a few times, just to try to get him on that party: "A new celebration for Freddie John, you gotta come!" Brian had enthused. John was wondering how many times more he had to explain he didn't feel like celebrating Freddie's life again and he didn't feel like celebrating Queen or something. He actually hated it when Brian or Roger came to him telling him they were joining forces again. The last time was with Robbie Williams, he grumbled again as he thought about it. Some moron had heard John telling someone he didn't really like it and he wouldn't get the time to even listen to it. He had said he was out of the Queen thing and wished not be bothered with it again. Yes he was a bit irritated by the way Roger and Brian acted, but he had not given the right to someone to write about what he said. The moron probably thought it wasn't cool enough and made up a piece. John never said he thought they ruined the song, he had only said he hated it they wouldn't stop talking about recording together again, that was all. It remembered John why he started to hate that life he used to live when he was younger, because of those morons who called themselves journalists.
"Let's have another Smalltalk John," it was Roger through the telephone trying to persuade John again. "Brian and me and our fans, and YOUR fans, would love you to come as well. PLEASE John!?" "No, I said no, I'm not coming!" "Ooh, c'mon John, do it for Fred." "No, Roger. There's no way I'm coming." "John, are you forgetting about Freddie?" John felt hurt by that comment, how could he say that? He felt blood coming up, his hands grabbed the phone tightly. For a few moments he couldn't say anything, then he burst out in a heavy waterfall of mad words: "How could you say that!? How can you think I don't give a damn about Freddie? For god sake Roger, who gave you the right to say something like that? If you think I'm a useless and arrogant bastard, that's fine with me. But one thing, don't think I don't miss Freddie and don't think I stopped caring for him. I like to remember him MY way. Now excuse me I got better things to do then listening to your mean insults!" With these words John put down the telephone. Veronica looked at him worried: "What's going on John, why were you screaming?" "Nothing," his short answer was. "Ooh dear," Veronica said as she watched her steaming husband. John couldn't understand how Roger could have said that. He also couldn't understand why they didn't leave him alone. He told them many times he didn't want to do it anymore, but it seemed it was all to hard for Brian and Roger to imagine how he felt. Unwillingly he felt tears coming up and remembered a time, yet long ago.
Brian seemed to feel sorry about what Roger had said to John and he decided to call John. "I'm sorry John, he didn't mean it, you know." "He didn't?" "No, of course not. Everything is just very hectic again, he probably had a bad day. Hey, listen, I really respect your stand, you don't have to come, it's okay." "Brian?" "Yes?" "Why this change of point of view?" "Ooh, well, you see. I got married, you know. I finally can live without thinking all the time of Queen and about what we might do if Freddie was still here
Freddie isn't here anymore, I gave it a place in my heart. Anita is now the most important to me. The things I did with Roger was sheer fun, very nice to do, but I too want to go on now. It's time to go on. I'll only close the chapter of pain on the 24th, just to show, for the last time, how much I still miss Freddie. That'll be it, and then it's done." John was happy and surprised at the same time. "I'm glad you feel this way Brian, I'm really happy for you." "You're happy John?" "Yes, I'm perfectly happy." "Great, then everything is okay?" "Yes." "Good, then I won't bother you anymore, and I'll make sure Rog won't bother you anymore." "Thanks Bri, it was good to talk to you. I'll think of Freddie the 24th, promised." "Great, then we will too." "It was good to know you Bri, really." Brian remained silent for a moment, then he answered: "It's good to know you too John."
November 24th 2001
The radio was the only one talking in the house. "Today it's the 24th of November and guess what
Today it's exactly the 10th year since Freddie Mercury's death, the singer of Queen. As you probably all know this man had aids and died because of it
the first of december will be the day of aids. Then we will remember Freddie Mercury and today we remember this great singer
Here's 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives' of Queen." John turned the volume up and listened silently. Freddie's face smiling in his head, he talked, he laughed. John smiled back, after all these years Freddie came back. He stole a place in John's heart years ago, but John was so busy with working and trying to adapt to the band, he didn't notice it. After Freddie's death he didn't notice it because he was drowning in sorrow, ooh pity me. John sighed as the voice sang the years, as he listened to the flowing time. John loved life again, enjoying of all he had, he had more than he realised.
Today was the tribute for Freddie, a lot of people were there, and a lot of artists, and Brian and Roger, John was at home, having made the decision to stop living the life of Queen John and starting living as John Richard Deacon. John was home again. He raised his glass of wine to the air: "To you Fred!"
John couldn't help feeling the tears coming up, this time tears of joy. He turned the card and read: 'To ol' Johnnie, we miss you here. Happy, happy life John! Brian and Roger. P.S. We need to get a drink again (and maybe a stripper? Naughty boy!)' He smiled as he read the card, his old chaps. Whatever they would do in the future, John would love them. They shared a long time together, they shared more then life with each other. Their love was very unique and John was proud of it.
They were sitting at a table, puzzling or reading the paper, while the radio played the music.
"And now the number 2 of the century. Here's Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody." John looked up from his paper, Veronica from her puzzle. She looked him in his face, she saw his eyes dreaming and drifting away. What did he hear? Did he hear the song Bohemian Rhapsody, like everyone hears it? Or did he hear parts of the song? The bass line maybe? Or the things, which were wrong or could have been better? Or did he hear the sessions, the discussions, his colleagues, his friends, or the memories? His face was concentrated, he was listening, he was possibly thinking and dreaming about a time, now long ago. Veronica's eyes scanned his face, trying to understand. "John, what do you hear?" John's eyes focused on her face, friendly and warm, he smiled and said; "Something very familiar."
As I look up I see this star. It sings with a voice so famous, so familiar. This star is bright, it shines brighter since 10 years ago when it found its place, high in the sky. This star is still loved, this star is still remembered. This star is Mercury.