Freddie’s spectacular 30th birthday set the foundation for his future lavish and expensive iconic celebrations…
The one birthday I’d like to recall in some detail was Freddie’s famous thirtieth birthday party bash in 1977 held at the notorious cabaret club Country Cousin run by Christopher Hunter and our dear friend Cherry Brown.
Freddie insisted that I throw the party for him and make all the arrangements. His single material contribution apart from settling the huge final bill was his week long project of writing by hand every single one of the hundred and fifty invitations. The thought of having them printed was overridden by his original whimsical and charming insistence on writing each one personally although it didn’t occurred to him how long this exercise would take.
The guest list who had been exhorted to ‘dress to kill’, included Elton John, John Reid, Tim Curry, Divine, Kenny Everett, Ken and Dolly East, Jim and Claudia Beach and every luminary in London’s music business. Apart from a very lavish banquet which comprised everything from oysters to lobsters, game to sausages, caviar to kumquats all displayed in table centrepieces which looked like cornucopia, I and Pete Brown, their tour manager, had arranged for the evening’s entertainment a cast of conjurors, acrobats, a snake charming stripper and some clothes-less girls.
The most expensive item on that evening’s bill was the flowers. Freddie adored flowers. Christopher Hunter returned from Covent Garden early that morning with about thirty boxes of blooms – irises, lilies, orchids, freesia, gladioli, roses every flower imaginable which was available at that time of year. These decorated the tables, the pillars, the walls, the bar area and the loos.
The whole effect was spectacular and as his first big party, Freddie’s thirtieth birthday celebration opened the floodgates to what became a tide of lavish and remarkable parties which marked the course of the rest of his life.
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