An Instagram fan account dedicated to Queen’s iconic frontman, Freddie Mercury, recently posted a photo of Freddie, and in the caption, they included an interview with Freddie’s personal assistant, Peter Freestone, who recalled one of his favorite memories with the late singer.

Freddie Mercury is without a doubt, one of the most unforgettable rockstars of all time. His contribution to the rock culture and history is undeniable. His four-octave vocal range still amazes his listeners. Also, Freddie Mercury is the person who altered the conventions of a rock frontman with his flamboyant outfits and persona.

Even though Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991 at the age of 45, he still has a devoted fan club that keeps his memory alive. One of the people who are often considered to be good sources to learn about Freddie Mercury’s life is his personal assistant Peter (or as Freddie called him, Phoebe) Freestone.

An Instagram fan account dedicated to Queen legend posted a photo of Freddie Mercury in Rio de Janeiro in 1985 and in the caption, they included an interview given by Peter Freestone. In one of the questions, Peter is asked whether there was an event he would want to relive with Freddie.

To this, Peter Freestone responded that he would like to relive the 3rd of February 1981, when they visited the Royal Opera House for the performance of Un Ballo in Maschera. Peter describes how amazed and excited Freddie was at the end of Montserrat Caballe‘s performance.

Peter says that Freddie looked shocked and that he could not believe his ears and eyes. It was a breathtaking experience for both of them. Freddie said that he had heard the greatest voice in the world. Even though he had heard Pavarotti too, he was ranked second in Freddie’s ears in mind.

Here’s what Peter Freestone said when he was asked about which night he would like to relive with Freddie:

“Very hard to single out just one event, but high on the list would be the visit to the Royal Opera House on February 3rd, 1981, for the performance of Un Ballo in Maschera where he heard Montserrat Caballe for the first time. It was a pure joy to see the wonderment on Freddie’s face after she had finished singing in the trio during Act I. Freddie just couldn’t believe what he had heard and said then he had just heard the greatest voice in the world. You should also remember we had gone to the opera that night to hear Luciano Pavarotti sing, but he very quickly took second place in the voice stakes.”

He continued by saying:

“La Japonaise gave me a wonderful explanation about azaleas. As far as I am aware nobody ever explained to Freddie the meaning of ‘rock azalea’. I find your description quite lovely ‘Suggestion, to tell without saying’. It is true, Freddie did have an azalea garden within the garden of Garden Lodge, with small bushes of different color flowers. As so many of you know, Freddie loved most things Japanese and this did extend to their flowers.”

You can read the full caption of Freddie Mercury Fanpage’s post below:

“Freddie in Rio de Janeiro, 1985.
Photo by: Richard Young.
Some questions answered by Peter (Phoebe) Freestone:

INT: Did Freddie like football?

Peter: Football wasn’t very high on Freddie’s sporting priorities. At school, he enjoyed boxing and table tennis, at both of which he was quite proficient. In later life, he would enjoy watching tennis on tv with occasional games when he was near a tennis court and loved watching rugby, as a friend of his was able to fill him in on all the pros and cons.

INT: Was there something wrong when the band performed “Las Palabras del Amor” at Top Of The Pops?

Peter: There weren’t any more problems than usual at that time, I think is was really down to the fact that none of Queen-like to mime to playback at the best of times and as you mentioned, there was no audience there either. It was really lacking any sort of atmosphere and Freddie felt like he was wasting his time, not being able to perform and give his best to the crowd as usual.

INT: Is there any event you (Phoebe) would like to relive with Freddie?

Peter: Very hard to single out just one event, but high on the list would be the visit to the Royal Opera House on February 3rd, 1981, for the performance of Un Ballo in Maschera where he heard Montserrat Caballe for the first time. It was a pure joy to see the wonderment on Freddie’s face after she had finished singing in the trio during Act I. Freddie just couldn’t believe what he had heard and said then he had just heard the greatest voice in the world. You should also remember we had gone to the opera that night to hear Luciano Pavarotti sing, but he very quickly took second place in the voice stakes. La Japonaise gave me a wonderful explanation about azaleas.
As far as I am aware nobody ever explained to Freddie the meaning of ‘rock azalea’. I find your description quite lovely ‘Suggestion, to tell without saying. It is true, Freddie did have an azalea garden within the garden of Garden Lodge, with small bushes of different color flowers. As so many of you know, Freddie loved most things Japanese and this did extend to their flowers.”

You can check the photo that Freddie Mercury Fan posted on their Instagram account below.