One place on the North American Queen tour of 1982 that I will never forget was Vancouver. First of all, the audience was incredible. The hotel was too. We stayed at the Four Seasons. Vancouver, British Columbia, was a very beautiful city, period. It was different for me because we stayed on a higher floor than usual. I wasn’t one to complain – not that it would have done any good anyway – but I wasn’t crazy about staying on the twenty-fourth floor. I’m one of those ground floor kind of people.

We had a sold-out concert of seventeen thousand people. We did the show. Queen put on an incredible show. Freddie had a lot of friends there, people he hadn’t seen in a while. After the show, we went out, which was nothing unusual. This was one of the nights we came back with a lot more people than we had left the hotel with, as far as friends, the manager, and a personal assistant. We came back with three cabs and a limo following us; the limo was packed. I even had people sitting on my lap. I was sitting in the front seat, which was a no-no, but unfortunately, my boss was Freddie Mercury. When he wanted his friends in the limo, they got in the limo. As long as it was a situation in which I couldn’t get out of the limo to get with him quickly, I was okay with it. I could keep an eye on him so we were good.

We all got back to the hotel, and after about an hour, I decided to retire and go to my room. They were having a party. Freddie’s mate was there, and sometimes when his mate had a few too many drinks, the jealousy that he carried all the time got worse. His mate decided to create a situation with another one of his friends, and it got really crazy, so people started leaving.

Now, it was like 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning when I got a telephone call. I was asleep, it was Freddie, “Get to my room as fast as possible.” I was thinking somebody was trying to kidnap him or something really bad was happening. I got there, and his mate was throwing things and acting really crazy and stupid like a drunken person would. I had to escort his mate out of the room and away from him, he wanted him gone.

By that time, there were only a few people left because hotel security had also come up to the room. The next day, the damage was fully visible. Freddie’s room had a very nice mural on the wall. His mate had thrown a champagne bottle through it, and screwed up the whole thing, and of course, that’s not the reputation that you want your boss to have. Management definitely had to do something to fix it. It cost a nice little chunk of money to be able to keep that one under control.

That was really my craziest experience on the road with Freddie and Queen. I was just glad that it wasn’t worse. The next day, it had to be cleaned up, so things like this didn’t leak out to the press. You’ve always got people who don’t mind sharing things with the press, including some of your friends. I’m not saying that Freddie had a lot of friends or people around who were just there to get out information, but it was never good to be in that kind of situation.

The other band members weren’t real cool on his mate anyway, and it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. It was pretty uncomfortable for a while when we took off, and that was one of the reasons why they didn’t want his mate on the plane. Freddie and I used to have conversations, and I would mention to him some of the downfalls of having his mate be out and about with us, but he was paying me so I couldn’t really tell him what to do when it came to his life. I just tried to do the best that I could do to protect him each and every day that I was with him. It was the most phenomenal tour that I had done.

Victor “Vic” Robinson – “Never Say Never”
Security Detail for Freddie during the “Hot Space North American Tour”

The picture was taken by Peter Hince