Many have said Freddie Mercury was one of the best vocalists of all time, but a longtime Queen touring musician says the singer was also “The Champion” at something else: Scrabble.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, veteran keyboardist Spike Edney says when it came to board games, Freddie was “very competitive,” adding, “Scrabble was his big thing and still is for [Queen drummer] Roger [Taylor]. They used to have massive Scrabble competitions. Roger enjoys it to this day.”
And Scrabble wasn’t the only game that Freddie enjoyed. As Edney recalled, he was hired days before the band’s 1984 Hot Space tour. At the time, he tells Rolling Stone, Mercury was so popular he couldn’t really go anywhere without being mobbed. That’s why, Edney says, “We would stick around the hotel and go up to his suite and play Trivial Pursuit. Very rock & roll!”
Besides board games, the Spike Edney interview includes lots of cool behind-the-scenes musical details, including the fact that he’s responsible for Queen playing Live Aid.
As Edney tells Rolling Stone, in the mid-’80s, between touring with Queen, he was also touring with the Bob Geldof‘s band The Boomtown Rats. One night on the bus, Geldof told Edney of his plans for Live Aid and said, “I want you to ask Queen for me [if they’ll perform].” Edney thought it was a crazy idea, but he did ask them — and the rest is history.
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