“Freddie was hugely talented. He was a natural musician. And he had an amazing voice. He could sing anything – from rock ’n’ roll to classical music. For example, apart from the Hectics, he was also part of a Western classical music group at school, where three boys would sing in three different keys. And that is probably one of the reasons for the eclectic sound he created for Queen in later years. By the way, his voice never changed over the years. If you listen to a Freddie Mercury CD, it sounds just like the young Freddie did back then, singing for the Hectics in Panchgani.
After school I lost track of Freddie. And given the very different kind of life that I led in the army, I’d never even heard of Freddie Mercury. It was only after he died, in 1991, that someone sent me a magazine cutting about Freddie, which happened to mention my name as one of the Hectics. It was only then that I learned his whole story. I went out and bought a couple of Freddie Mercury CDs, I remember. I could hardly recognise the face on the cover, but the voice sounded exactly like the Freddie I knew from our Hectics days.”
Victory Rana, member of The Hectics and Freddie’s friend at boarding school
In the top picture, Victory Rana is to the left, Bruce Murray and Farrokh (Freddie),