Why is there a street in Munich dedicated to Freddie Mercury?
Surely many of you have seen the movie Bohemian Rhapsody (Bryan Singer), which shows the most outstanding years of one of the most famous rock bands of all time, Queen.
In it, some important moments in the life of the group’s singer, Freddie Mercury, are also portrayed.
And yes, the artist spent several years living in Munich! However, although it is shown as the darkest period of his life… one would have to ask Freddie how he feels about this way of representing what, for him, were undoubtedly unforgettable years.
Freddie Mercury here could be himself
From 1979 to 1985 he lived mostly between London and Munich. But what did he come to the Bavarian capital for?
Freddie wanted to prepare his solo album “Mr. Bad Guy” with producer Reinhold Mack and his studio “Musicland”, with which some albums of other well-known groups such as Led Zepellin or the Rolling Stones had already seen the light. The studio was located in the Arabella Haus, now the Sheraton Hotel. And although Freddie was housed at Arabella upon his arrival, he eventually moved to Stollbergstr. And he even bought an apartment in Hans-Sachs-Str.
The alternative Munich suburb of Glockenbach was known for its large and proud gay crowd as well as for its crazy parties where everything got out of hand.
Here, Freddie was able to live his life to the fullest, being himself, without having to pretend and without the burden of fame that London brought him. At the same time, he enjoyed privacy, as he was treated like one of the others.
Costume parties were totally frequent and the drag atmosphere was totally normalized, no one had to explain anything and no one questioned if something was “out of place”. That’s why he loved the annual carnival event, known as Fasching, where he could choose to be someone else, but still feel identified with himself, with masks and costumes that would only be an extension of his being.
Among his favorite places to party were Frisco (now known as Padres), the Deutsche Eiche Hotel and the Ochsengarten.
Although, of course and without a doubt, his favorite has always been Mr. B. Henderson (today, Paradiso Tanzbar).
A birthday not to forget
In Mr. Henderson, Freddie celebrated his very famous 39th birthday, for which he asked all attendees, mostly friends from Munich, to be dressed as black and white drags. There was no shortage of legal and illegal substances of all kinds, colored lights, champagne with their glasses in tower, and eccentricities in an iconic party that would remain forever as one of the greatest parties in the history of rock.
But it didn’t end there.
The next day the music video for “Living on my own” was scheduled to be shot at the same club, and clips from the night before were added to the video.
How they got rid of the hangover and endured it all, only those who were there know. The rest of us can get an idea…
Here is the video, so that you can get an idea, even if only in part…
Munich: Escape and doom
The nights that turned into days in that neighborhood and with that atmosphere, but not everything was going to be a party.
He loved to go to the Viktualienmarkt some mornings and watch the locals looking for the best products or enjoying the fast food at the stalls. Not that he was particularly fond of Munich food, but he never turned down a good knuckle of pork.
He played Scrabble with his friends in Munich, by the way, he was quite good at it; table tennis….
He even had time to fall in love. It was in Munich that his relationship with Winnie Kirchberger began after they met at the bar where he worked, the Sebastianeck on Sebastianplatz. And although it is said that Freddie also had a love affair with Austrian actress Barbara Valentin, it was never proven. Mind you, they were great friends. Something that does not appear in Bohemian Rhapsody and that many fans have criticized.
And then, of course, there was the recording of the album, which took two years. Time was passing and the many stimuli around him made it difficult to find a balance between leisure and work.
So one day, as quickly as he had become part of the city, he left.
That the only thing that is emphasized in the film are the disappointments, false friends and low moments that Freddie lived here, is sad and regrettable, because what is true and is told by his closest people, is that Munich occupied a very special place in his heart.
Did you know this part of Freddie Mercury’s life? Would you like to go through the same neighborhood and the same places he went through?
Fortunately, the Glockenbach district is within walking distance of Marienplatz, and is the most youthful and trendy (Munich-style) district of the city. So we invite you to stroll through its streets and have a good coffee or a good beer in one of its bars.
You know that you can always ask our guides for details about the city, different neighborhoods or places to experience the nightlife in Munich.
All this, and more, you can find it in our
our Free Tour of the city
See you in the bars!