According to an article in People, legendary singer and frontman for Queen Freddie Mercury showed up in full stage regalia at a kid’s birthday party when the band was at the height of its fame. As a favor to a friend, German producer Reinhold Mack, Mercury agreed to attend Mack’s son’s birthday party in costume to fulfill the child’s birthday wish. Mack’s son Julian wanted only to have the singer there in the wild, red spandex, eyeball-bedecked costume from the band’s video for the song “It’s a Hard Life.”
Mack, who produced five albums for the “Bohemian Rhapsody” rock legends starting in 1979 when Queen went to Munich to record, had befriended Mercury over beers when he first arrived in Germany for the recording session. When the pair left the Munich “biergarten” and returned to the studio, Mercury played for Mack a sketch of a song he was working on, which became “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
Over the years, Mercury served as kind of a de facto godfather to Mack’s three kids, one of whom was called “Little Freddie.” Mack says Mercury frequently called, offered homework advice to the boys, and even hung out for family movie nights with the Macks when he was able to. But the ultimate test of his devotion to Mack’s brood came when Mercury asked Julian what he would like for his birthday.
“Julian said to him, ‘All I want is for you to show up to my party in the costume from the ‘It’s a Hard Life’ video.’ And he did!” said the elder Mack. “Well, 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…’”
Mack says the family remained close with Mercury over the years, and that when Mack was in London for work, Mercury always insisted he stay at the singer’s opulent Kensington estate, Garden Lodge.
“He was a good friend. He was totally normal, no star thing,” Mack says.
Mack went on to co-produce “Crazy Little Thing” as well as the band’s next big hit, “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Queen and Mercury have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts this year with the enthusiastic reception for Rami Malek’s star turn as the singer in the Oscar-nominated biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. At Sunday night’s award show, Adam Lambert is slated to perform with the surviving members of the band in a tribute to their beloved, deceased singer, who passed away in 1991 due to complications from the AIDS virus.