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Roger Taylor: ‘I just wish I’d got to say goodbye to Freddie’

Queen's Roger Taylor names the band's late singer Freddie Mercury as the person he wishes he could have one more conversation with.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Image: Lola Leng Taylor

Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Image: Lola Leng Taylor

Queen drummer Roger Taylor was on the way to see Freddie Mercury when he got the call telling him he’d died – and he wishes he’d got to say goodbye.

Taylor told The Big Issue’s Jane Graham: “I was literally on my way to see him, less than half a mile away, when they rang me in my car and told me he had gone. 

“I just stopped the car on Kensington High Street, in a kind of shock. Because even when you know somebody is going to die, it’s still such a shock when they actually do. 

“I just wish I’d been there to give him moral support. That’s what he wanted. He liked his friends around. I think [the subsequent outpouring of love for him] has been terrific. 

“He would have been so happy about it. But I just wish I’d got to say goodbye.”

The Taylor named the late singer as the person he wishes he could have one more conversation with in a new interview in the latest edition of The Big Issue.

Taylor also talks about Queen’s success, which he never expected, and lays bare the gap missing band mates have left behind as he reflects on their collective success. 

“Freddie had a natural exuberance, which then turned into flamboyance. He was a breath of fresh air to be around,” he explained.

Taylor, who penned the hits Radio Ga Ga and A Kind of Magic, says it was Mercury who had the most belief in the band.

“Making it in music was unlikely but you have to believe – when I look back the odds were impossible, almost insurmountable,” he said.

“We had faith but we didn’t expect to become so completely immersed in the sort of musical wallpaper of the country.

“Obviously I feel very grateful about that, very lucky to be one of just a few bands that really seem to transcend the generations. 

“But it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while before you realise, bloody hell, we have actually kind of made it. We didn’t suddenly get big headed, I don’t think. It took years to get big headed.” 

Taylor’s latest album, Outsider, was released on October 1.

This article is taken from an interview in the latest edition of The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach local your vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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