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

freddie mercury online - THEME & DESIGN BY lannie d.
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