Freddie Mercury and Montreux
Freddie Mercury and the band Queen loved to stay on the Swiss Riviera, a peaceful and beautiful place they discovered in 1978. They especially appreciated the famous recording studio, at that time one of the best in the world: the Mountain Studios.
After having stayed many times at the Montreux Palace as well as in the house adjoining the famous "Duck House", Freddie Mercury bought a magnificent apartment on the top floor of a residence in Territet-Montreux. This apartment is located about 10 minutes walk from the Mountain Studios where Queen will record no less than 7 albums.
Queen also performed in concert twice in Montreux, during the Golden Rose Festival in 1984 and 1986.
When Freddie Mercury recorded the vocal tracks for the album "Made in Heaven" in Montreux in 1991, he was already deeply affected by the disease: "It took us longer than usual to record the vocal parts because Freddie needed to take breaks. But he also wanted to be more precise, more accurate, because he knew there would be no other opportunities for him. His final recordings had to be perfect," commented David Richards, their sound engineer.
It would take a few years for the other members of the band to dare to work on finishing the songs, which would lead to the release of "Made in Heaven" in 1995.
The cover of "Made in Heaven" naturally features a view of the lake and the mountains opposite Montreux, as well as one of Freddie's favourite places in Montreux, the "Duck House", where he spent many happy moments of inspiration and relaxation.
On November 25, 1996, exactly 5 years after his death, a bronze statue of him was inaugurated on the Market Square in Montreux, in the presence of many personalities, including his parents, Brian May, Roger Taylor, Monserrat Caballé, Jim Beach, Maurice Béjart and Claude Nobs. Admiring the lake and singing to it forever with songs of love, struggle and hope, Freddie Mercury is now part of the living memory of Montreux.
Every day, many fans from all over the world come to honour the deceased artist by placing a flower, a candle, a letter or a photo on the base of his statue.
"Freddie Celebration Days", an annual event in Montreux around September 5th, Freddie Mercury's birthday.