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“I don’t think Freddie would have fitted in this world today” says Queen’s Brian May

Queen
(Image credit: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

Queen’s Brian May says that his friend and bandmate Freddie Mercury would not have fitted well into the modern world.

In a new [paywalled] interview with The Telegraph, the guitarist admits to feeling a certain amount of discomfort adjusting to the ever-evolving modern world, and says, “I don’t find it easy living in this world today.”

“I think Freddie [Mercury] would have been the same,” May adds. “Freddie was very outspoken and, in common with [late English astronomer] Patrick Moore who was a very good friend of mine from a previous generation, the kind of way that people spoke in those days is not allowed these days. I don’t fit in very well and I don’t think Freddie would have fitted. Patrick Moore wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.”

May’s interview with The Telegraph was conducted before his reported comments about ‘cancel culture’ at a recent ITV television event caused a certain amount of controversy. The guitarist was reporting to haver expressed his fears that, in the current cultural climate, Queen “would be forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person].” In an Instagram post on November 28, May sought to clarify his remarks, claiming that he was “ambushed” and “stitched up” by “predatory Press hacks”.

“Yes - I was ambushed and completely stitched up by a journalist at the recent ITV event,” May posted. “And it’s led to a whole mess of press stories making it look like I’m unfriendly to trans people. Nothing could be further from the truth. My words were subtly twisted. I should have known better than to talk to those predatory Press hacks. Sincere apologies to anyone who has been hurt by the stories. My heart is open as always to humans of all colours, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all shapes and sizes - and all creatures. We all deserve respect and an equal place in this world. And my grateful thanks to all of you who stepped up to defend me in the last couple of days. It means so much that you have faith in me.” 

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Queen will resume their postponed Rhapsody tour in Belfast on May 27, and play shows in Europe - including ten nights at London’s O2 Arena - through to July 25.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.