So Freddie Mercury’s road to musical greatness began when he met drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May in London. Indeed, the pair belonged to a local band named Smile in the early 1970s. And inspired by watching his new pals, Mercury started performing in rock acts himself such as Sour Milk Sea. Critically perhaps, when an opportunity to join Smile came up, Mercury grabbed it with both hands.
Then known as Freddie Bulsura, Mercury decided to adopt his more familiar moniker when Smile rechristened themselves Queen. And taking influences from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and David Bowie, the band soon caught the attention of EMI Records. Furthermore, after adding bassist John Deacon to their line-up, they released their eponymous first studio effort in 1973.
Mind you, even during these early days Mercury was keen to make a name for himself outside the band. For instance, shortly before Queen’s debut LP hit the shelves, he released a single under the guise of “Larry Lurex”. However, double A-side “Going Back”/“I Can Hear Music” failed to connect with audiences. Undeterred, Mercury began cultivating the stage persona that would soon make everyone sit up and take notice.