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Brian May Denies ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Was Freddie Mercury’s ‘Coming Out’ Song

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Queen’s Brian May denies accusations that the late-Freddie Mercury came out as being gay within the lyrics of the band’s classic 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The Independent reported biographer Lesley Ann-Jones and legendary lyricist Sir Tim Rice “suggested that the words to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ symbolize Mercury ‘killing off’ his heterosexual self to accept his homosexuality in the public eye. They drew particular attention to the lines: ‘Mama, I just killed a man/ Put a gun against his head/ Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead.'”

Brian May refuted the claim, telling the BBC, “What’s it about? None of us know. Freddie never talked about it to my knowledge and didn’t want to and that’s the way it should be. He had something in his mind and he loved to spin these little pieces of magic. . . A little bit of reality and little bit of fantasy. If anyone tries to unravel it, they’ll never manage it because they’ll never know what went into those lyrics.”

May went on to say that the band loved the ambiguities of the song’s lyrics: “I do think Freddie enjoyed the fact there were so many interpretations of the lyrics. It’s an outlandish song. I think it’s beyond analysis. That’s not me trying to be evasive. I just think that’s why we love songs — they can do something to us that a piece of text can’t. I have my own ideas and feelings about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ — but I hate talking about it, and I generally refuse.”

Although Queen’s career continued on successfully worldwide until Freddie Mercury’s 1991 death from AIDS, the band — with Mercury and bassist John Deacon — never toured North America following their 1982 trek in support of that year’s Hot Space album. Drummer Roger Taylor recalled the band ignoring the States due to what they felt was a backlash against Mercury’s homosexuality: “We perceived, I mean, I think when it became obvious that Freddie was homosexual, we perceived a noticeable dropping of interest. And also this coincided with the sort of, we did a couple albums which weren’t that great, to be honest. That really was probably the major factors.”

The long-awaited Freddie Mercury biopic is seemingly back on track, according to The project, which was originally slated to star Borat’s Sascha Baron-Cohen, will now be written by The Theory Of Everything scribe Anthony McCarten, with actor Ben Whishaw the front runner to portray Mercury. Whitshaw has gained recognition for playing Q in the last two James Bond movies, Skyfall and Spectre.

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