Ritchie Blackmore’s Freddie Mercury Observation About ‘Milking The Audience’
Being an unforgettable frontman requires a lot of attributes. One needs to be musically talented and gifted with leadership. However, in most cases, this isn’t enough. A charming look and a natural talent for performing on stage are almost necessary. While some bands handle things democratically, many rely on their frontmen — so the artist must be a problem solver and a spokesperson as the one who is constantly under the spotlight.
Freddie Mercury had all of these at their finest — he was the definition of a rock and roll frontman with his theatrical stage performances, four-octave vocal range, astonishing stage persona, and showmanship. Freddie shone brightly in the spotlight throughout his career with Queen and is still remembered among the most successful frontmen in the rock music scene. Apparently, Ritchie Blackmore was also aware of this, as he once argued Freddie Mercury was pretty good at milking the crowd.
Almost every music act in the rock music scene has a thing or two to learn from Freddie Mercury. Although the Queen icon passed away nearly three decades ago, he still remains in everyone’s memories and has a place in every rocker’s heart. In a 2018 video Deep Purple shared on their YouTube channel, Ritchie Blackmore revealed his thoughts on Queen’s and Freddie Mercury’s legacy. Apparently, he was pretty impressed with Mercury’s showmanship.
“Queen, I first heard them doing a song about a train,” Ritchie Blackmore said, remembering the first time he listened to the rock icons. “This is about 1974 or 1975. I can’t remember the title, but I was very impressed with the guitar playing and, of course, the singing. I’ve noticed that Freddie Mercury has a cross between Ronnie James Dio and almost an operatic type of voice. To me, he was a true star; he knew exactly how to milk an audience, what a musician.”
So, Ritchie Blackmore first met Queen around 1975 and admired Brian May’s guitar playing and Freddie Mercury’s singing talents. According to Blackmore, Mercury’s voice was a hybrid of Ronnie James Dio and an opera singer. Moreover, he stated that the late Queen vocalist was a rock star who knew how to impress the audience and receive their approval. There is no doubt that Blackmore was right, as Mercury is a timeless icon in rock history.