Freddie Mercury: Freddie Mack opens up on their relationship
The producer was Reinhold Mack, who also worked on the Flash Gordon soundtrack with them the following year. He also produced Queen albums Hot Space, A Kind of Magic, and The Works, as well as Freddie’s solo album Mr Nice Guy.
Freddie was based in Munich for the next six years, a reprieve from the relentless press and public attention in the UK. He certainly enjoyed the hedonistic German gay scene and threw his lavish Black and White drag ball birthday party there in 1985 as one last hurrah. But the city also gave him the chance to enjoy real family life as well.
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Freddie Mercury and the family of Queen producer Reinhold Mack
Freddie Mercury’: Queen recorded It’s A Hard Life in Munich
The record was taking so long, Reinhold’s wife famously bet the band they would all have to become godfathers if the baby came first. Freddie and John Deacon honoured the bet.
When she gave birth, Freddie emptied a flower shop to fill her hospital room with blooms and remained devoted to the family for the rest of his life.
Reinhold said: “He would swim in the pool and play table tennis with the kids. He was really good at table tennis. Many times they went shopping with him.”
On movie nights Freddie curled up on the couch (Amadeus was a favourite film) with hot cocoa and told them, “Oh, this is actually like a real family.”
Freddie Mercury’s 39th birthday party in Munich
His godson Freddie Mack spoke to the BBC for the new documentary Freddie Mercury: A Life in Ten Pictures.
He said: “Freddie was there quite a bit during my childhood. He was around our house a lot. Even when he was in London he would fly over… It was a place where he could retreat and be himself and be comfortable.”
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Friend David Wigg said: “He never ever became close to his parents. I remember him saying to me, ‘You know, my parents never cuddled me.'”
Throughout his life, he built his own family of friends around him but in Germany the star found great comfort, affection and peace with the Macks.
Freddie Mack added: “We were the surrogate family. We gave him that glimpse of domestic family life, free of having to perform. Even to this day, we talk of Uncle Freddie every time we sit down.”
One brilliant day, in particular, was the perfect example of how devoted Freddie was to the children’s happiness.
Freddie Mercury’s relationship with parents discussed by David Wigg
When Freddie asked Julian Mack what he wanted for his 12th birthday he demanded the star come to his party in his outfit from the It’s A Hard Life video.
Brian May and Roger Taylor have openly called it their least favourite video, due to the ludicrously OTT costumes. Freddie, of course, loved his own – a bright salmon pink bodysuit covered in giant eyes with huge feathers for a tail and a massive wig.
But would he wear it to a suburban home for a children’s party where nobody else was dressed up?
Freddie Mercury at Julian Mack’s birthday party
Freddie Mercury with godson Freddie Mack
Indeed, Reinhold said: “He didn’t come to the door in the costume. I heard him changing in my bedroom muttering, ‘I can do this on stage. I can do this at this party…'”
The children were thrilled but now Freddie had set a dangerous precedent…
Freddie Mack said: “When Gaga came over I was actually disappointed a lot of the times because I was expecting those costumes and crowds cheering and he would always say, ‘Sorry, darling, I’m actually quite boring. This is me, this is it.”
Freddie Mercury loved the leather scene in Munich
Freddie Mercury life and death dates
Freddie Mack said: “I knew he was ill, he kind of put up a safety barrier, not for him but for us as a family. He wanted to basically preserve the memories we had and not see him go through this transformation.”
So, how does he remember the star?: “Ein stolzer godfather – a proud godfather.”
Freddie would have loved that.
FREDDIE MERCURY: A LIFE IN TEN PICTURES IS AVAILABLE ON BBC IPLAYER