I guess it was late 1975. John Reid had just taken over as Queen’s manager and Peter Straker and I went together to the Christmas Eve concert at Hammersmith Odeon. A week later, Freddie came with Mary Austin to Straker’s then regular New Year’s Eve party. That’s when we first met. I seem to remember Freddie spent most of the time sequestered in the kitchen. He was a little shy, to some extent, rather than aloof. I was mostly in the front room and wound up chatting with Mary for quite a while. Freddie would occasionally come in to see that Mary was OK and eventually he and I wound up talking too. We found we had a couple of interests in common — we were both Japanophiles and we both loved antiques. I was living just outside New York at that time but I returned to London every Christmas to spend a week with my family who all made the pilgrimage to London for the annual reunion. Freddie suggested he and I get together to do a little antique shopping next time he was in New York and so a few months later he called me and off we went on a buying spree and that was really when our friendship started.

James Arthurs
Long time Friend of Freddie’s from New York

The picture is Freddie with James in Manhattan 1977

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