I’m very excited about today’s interview. I feel very blessed to be talking with Mr. Peter Freestone, who was Freddie Mercury‘s personal assistant for about 12 years! As you know I’m a HUGE Queen fan- they’re one of the reasons why I started making music!
I remember sitting with headphones on listening to Queen’s ‘A Night At The Opera’ at 8 years old being blown away with what I was hearing. That feeling is why I get up every day to make the best music I can!
Peter and I were connected by one of our mutual friends, Gordon McNeil!
Peter Freestone found himself as Freddie Mercury’s personal assistant, best friend, and eventual biographer. In his own words,
I was Freddie’s chief cook and bottle washer, waiter, butler, secretary, cleaner, and agony aunt. I travelled the world with him, I was with him during the highs and came through the lows. I acted as his bodyguard when needed and in the end, of course, I was one of his nurses.
After university, Peter found part-time employment at the Royal Opera House in London. By 1977, he had full-time work in wardrobe for the Royal Ballet, where he would eventually meet Freddie Mercury in 1979. The two formed an effortless friendship, in which Peter became Mercury’s personal assistant the next year, up until the musician’s passing in 1991. He eventually authored Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Memoir by the Man Who Knew Him Best.
Notably, Freestone acted as costume designer for Queen’s 1982 live concert release, We Will Rock You. Most recently, he served as on-set advisor for the brand new film, Bohemian Rhapsody. Freestone spent months visiting each production department and answering questions for the staff. The goal of the film was to depict Mercury and Queen as authentically as possible, in which Freestone’s expertise was invaluable.
The filmmakers had initially requested access to Mercury’s former “Garden Lodge” home for shooting, but were denied. As such, part of Peter’s job was to describe to the staff what certain rooms looked like so they could be recreated in the film. They even went so far as to ask what Freddie had in the shoulder bag he frequently carried. Freestone ran down the list of items, including cigarettes and a “birthday book,” and the production team precisely replicated its contents. The bag would never actually be opened on camera, but painstaking attention to detail was part of the lengths the production crew went in making Bohemian Rhapsody.
We hope you enjoy this conversation with the wonderful Peter Freestone!
If you haven’t had a chance to see Bohemian Rhapsody this weekend, go check it out asap! It’s currently the #1 film at the box office worldwide!