Not all people know that Freddie Mercury, one of the biggest rock stars, lived in Munich. I was a groupie of Freddie Mercury at the time and know a lot about his life in Munich. Even some of the places he used to visit are still open.
Let’s check Freddie’s life in this city, why he chose to live here, and what he did during his stay.
Life in Munich
Freddie Mercury lived in Munich in the period between 1979 and 1985. One of the main reasons he chose Munich over some other cities is to record music. Reinhold Mack, a famous producer of the time, was his number one choice to work with.
He wanted to record in the Musicland Studios in the basement of the Arabella Haus. Other famous bands of the time, Led Zepellin, Rolling Stones, and Iggy Pop did recordings in this studio.
Another reason to live in Munich was its peacefulness and quietness. It wasn’t as busy as London or some other larger city. There were also fewer paparazzi bothering him.
He could focus on what he wanted most, recording music and enjoying life. He used to take a stroll down the street and party as much as he wanted without paparazzi.
During his life in Munich, Freddie stayed in a few places. One of the places was the Arabella Haus, the place where he lived while recording Mister Bad Guy. Soon, he found another apartment near Sebastians Platz.
One more address where Freddie used to reside was on Stollberg Strasse above the Oyster Cellar. This was the apartment of a close friend Barbara. Freddie and Barbara soon decided to buy an apartment on Hans Sachs Strasse.
Unfortunately, they never got to move into the apartment together because Freddie moved back to England for good.
The party scene
Freddie Mercury enjoyed Glockenbachviertel, the quarter in the heart of Munich. The party scene here was extraordinary. There are still some bars here that Freddie used to visit frequently.
People could very often see Freddie in Frisco on Blumenstrasse. This bar is now known as Padres. Freddie loved to come to Frisco as The Frisco Girls performed at midnight!
During the shows, he would stand in the corner, drinking his vodka, and enjoying the show. Aside from Frisco, there were some other places he was a frequent guest. He also frequented Die Deutsche Eiche on Reichenbachstraße and Ochsengarten on Müllerstraße.
Die Deutsche Eiche was one of the most famous gay bars, an institution in the gay scene. The bar is still open, though nowadays its customers are mixed. It’s no longer a bar for the gay population only.
Old Mrs. Hendersen and Freddie’s 39th birthday party
Old Mrs. Hendersen was a pub where people would go dancing and partying. It’s a place with a long tradition and history, a place of disco and many drag shows. Nowadays, the place is known as Paradiso Dance Bar.
Freddie threw a spectacular party for his 39th birthday at Old Mrs. Hendersen. People say it was legendary. There are even some videos available online, since the party was, luckily, recorded.
For this party, Freddie wanted his friends to dress in black and white drag. It was a wild, hedonistic, extravagant night and one of the most notorious parties in rock history. It was not just the celebration of his birthday but also the celebration of Queen’s famous Live Aid performance.
There were even a red carpet and television station broadcasting vans. Guests came in dressed as Queen Elizabeth or Maria Stuart.
You must have watched Living on my own video. Guess what? This iconic video was filmed at Old Mrs. Henderson the day after this party. There are also some clips from the party included in the video.
If you are interested, you can watch this video and see how it all looked like.
Some close friends of Freddie stated that he didn’t learn much of German despite living there for a few years. He only mastered some swear words. Here’s a link where you can hear Freddie speak ‘’some’’ German.
During his stay in Munich, Freddie loved eating pork knuckles. Winnie Kirchberger, his favorite Munich beau, frequently prepared the dish for him. Freddie also often visited a Bavarian restaurant Zum Alte Markt, which you can still visit in Viktualienmarkt.
Friends in Munich
Freddie Mercury’s years in Munich brought him many new friendships and acquaintances. I have already mentioned the two most important ones earlier in this post.
One of his favorite friends was Winnie Kirchberger. I’ve heard stories that Freddie had a habit to throw roses at his window. Another very special thing he did for his favorite beau was giving him a brand new Mercedes Coupé with a huge bow wrapped around it as a birthday gift.
Another very important person in his life was an Austrian actress, Barbara Valentin. As mentioned before, he used to live with Barbara and bought an apartment, but they never moved in together. His relationship with Barbara was a special one.
It is still not sure whether it was just a special friendship or a romantic one. No matter what kind of relationship they had, everyone agrees on one thing. Barbara’s role in his life was not portrayed well in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
My Show in 2015
Back in 2015, I did a radio show about his life and his stay in Munich. I lived in Munich at the time when he lived here and followed his career and events in his life closely. I was a bit disappointed after watching the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
To be honest, I don’t like the movie. Not at all. In my opinion, it was a hetero-wash about homosexual life that condemns a person for never being a heterosexual. It didn’t portray his acceptance of his true nature.
What is your opinion about the movie? Do you think it portrays Freddie’s life and that period accurately?
Would you like to visit some of the places Freddie once used to live in? Walk the streets he used to walk? Or maybe visit the bars where he had parties with his friends? Or come with me in A Beer Tour in Glockenbach.
I encourage you to take that trip. These are still some great places to spend time in, places with many interesting stories and people to meet. I would be more than happy to accompany you and tell you more stories about Freddie’s life in Munich and the places.
Resources used, aside from the ones sent: