Queen guitarist Brian May considered taking his own life after the death of bandmate Freddie Mercury, he’s revealed.
The musician admits he faced mental and emotional breakdown when Mercury died of AIDS in 1991 – partly because his father had recently passed away too. May tells the Daily Mail: “I regarded myself as completely sick. I was wounded and very much in pieces. I went into a serious depression – I was subsumed by feelings of loss. Being in a touring band puts your friends and family on hold. You’re focused on one thing: the band. When that finishes you’re out on a limb. The band finished, so there was a terrible feeling of loss. The band was my family. We lost Freddie and my dad died at almost the same time. I didn’t want to love – I’d lost myself completely.”
May checked himself into a health farm in Arizona to help him deal with his issues. He explains: “I had to go into this place where I was isolated and removed from my life. Gradually the suicidal feelings went away. The problem had been me – once I started to fix me, life started to work again.”
Mercury only told the world he had AIDS the day before he died. May admits his friends and family all “lied through their teeth” to protect the singer’s privacy: “Dave Clark of Dave Clark Five fame was the only person with Mercury when he passed away. Freddie had tried everything,” he says. “He had special new medications flown in by Concorde from America. He said the next generation will be the ones to beat this. And the sad thing is if it had been twelve months later he might have been okay, when combination drug therapy came in”.
“But he was getting frail – and he decided to come off all the medication apart from painkillers. Freddie loved life. He lived it to the full. And towards the end, when he realised it was no longer fun, he decided to come off medication. He was suffering and sadly there was no way out. We made everything as comfortable as we could. His bedroom had an adjoining lounge and looked out onto his beautiful garden. He was grateful for everything.”