After my rendezvous in New York with Freddie, he invited me to Queen’s next gig

After my rendezvous in New York with Freddie, he invited me to Queen’s next gig at The Spectrum in Philadelphia (22nd of August, 1980). I can’t go because it’s last minute, what about my job?!……

After we ate our breakfast, we continued chatting.

Freddie divulged the alias he travels under, “Alfred Mason.” My brother and father were both named Alfred, what normally May have been forgotten, stayed alive in my memory.

We parted ways and Freddie was very gracious. I went home to the West Village and told my roommate of the night’s (or should I say, day’s) adventure. When I told him the part about me being invited to a Queen concert as a guest of Freddie Mercury, but I had to decline because of work, he said, “What? Are you CRAZY, call in sick!”

I thought about it and called my job and told them I was sick. Since I turned down the invite, I had to come up with a plan. I knew where Freddie was staying in Philadelphia. I quickly showered, packed my overnight bag and I was off to Philly! It was a two hour and fifteen minute drive. I was excited as hell!

I arrived at the hotel, parked my car, pulled myself together and proceeded with a false sense of confidence to the front desk. “I am a friend Mr. Alfred Mason. He instructed me to check for his room number at the front desk as I am visiting him from New York, his room number wasn’t yet established at the time I last spoke with him.” The lie worked, they gave me his room number (this wouldn’t happen in today’s world!) I located his room and Peter Freestone came to the door. He was surprised to see me, he said, “Freddie is sleeping.” I told him I would wait in the lobby. I heard Freddie asking Phoebe who he was talking to. I was then invited in to see him. Freddie said, “Darling, what a pleasant surprise, let me sleep for about an hour.”

Phoebe took care of all of my arrangements. A backstage pass, a ticket, and a limo ride to The Spectrum! The concert was unbelievable! My first Queen concert blew me away. The lighting, the sound, the songs, Freddie’s amazingly talented stage presence, and the cheering crowd made for the best concert ever. Peter made sure I didn’t get lost and escorted me backstage. He was sincerely nice. When Freddie finally came out of the “cool down” room, I said, “My god, aren’t you exhausted?” He replied, “No, darling, I’m just getting started. Let’s go out on the town!”

After going out to several bars, we landed at “Equus” a place we were told was the best club in Philly. There was a moderate line of waiting patrons (Freddie called it a queue). Peter was going ahead to make sure we got in immediately, but Freddie insisted, “ No, we will wait our turn, darling.”

I thought to myself, “Wow, what a decent, down-to-earth superstar this Freddie Mercury is.” Oddly, I noticed that no one recognized him at the entrance. I remember hearing, at that moment, “Another One Bites The Dust” billowing down the staircase from the dance floor. The doorman said he needed to see our IDs, I immediately showed my drivers license. When he got to Freddie, Freddie said, “I don’t have an ID, I don’t carry it with me.” The doorman continued to refuse to let him in. He hesitated and then I heard Freddie emphatically state, “OKAY, it’s time to PULL RANK! That is MY FUCKING SONG you’re playing.”

Peter explained to the doorman who Freddie was, and we were quickly ushered upstairs.

Thor Arnold

Freddie Mercury – Don’t Stop Us Now! In New York

***What a fantastic story!

The picture of Thor, Freddie and Peter was taken at the Houston International Airport

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