The Reason Freddie Mercury Put A Musician In A Headlock Backstage

The rock music scene is highly suitable for verbal feuds that have sometimes even turned into physical fights. Hence, numerous musicians are known for being total troublemakers. The long list includes Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, Oasis’ Noel Gallagher, the Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards, and many more. Queen legend Freddie Mercury also found himself entangled in similar situations.

However, the singer always stood out with his music career, flamboyant stage persona, and entertaining personal life. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that Freddie could still handle himself in a physical fight, even though he wasn’t a bully. In fact, there was one time when he put a fellow musician in a headlock, which he couldn’t escape.

Freddie Mercury Confronted Francis Rossi

During Queen’s unforgettable Live Aid performance on July 13, 1985, the band members encountered the Status Quo members backstage right after they opened the Wembley leg of the concert. According to many sources, Freddie Mercury hit on Bono as a joke, and frontman Francis Rossi inappropriately made fun of Freddie’s sexuality.

The Queen frontman, with his famous joking manner, grabbed Rossi and put him in a headlock. To the singer’s surprise, he couldn’t move at all as Freddie was incredibly strong. After proving he isn’t a person to be underestimated, Mercury let Rossi go, and the two laughed it off.

Status Quo Later Opened For Queen

Clearly, Freddie Mercury was never a violent person but wanted to show he was physically capable of defending himself, especially when mocked about his sexual orientation. Francis Rossi himself said years later that he deserved to be put in a headlock after the way he behaved, and it was a fun lesson.

Both sides proved there weren’t any real hard feelings between them as Status Quo opened for Queen on tour in 1986. During their ‘The Magic Tour,’ which was the band’s final tour with Freddie Mercury and bassist John Deacon, Rossi’s band shared the stage with Mercury and other artists such as Gary Moore and The Alarm.