The colorful, high-spirited music video by Freddie Mercury, “Living On My Own” was shelved for over 30 years but has now been released…and it’s incredible. The footage which was taken at Mercury’s 39th birthday party in Munich, includes over 300 guests who wore (mandatory) black and white outfits which were nothing short of elaborate. They took to partying at the infamous Mrs. Henderson’s transvestite club. The guests included, Mary Austin, Boy George, Steve Strange, Jim Hutton, Brian May, former manager John Reid, Freddie and Queen’s then manager Jim Beach and entertainers, singers and cross dressers with famous paparazzi photographer Richard Young dressed in full drag taking the photos.
While watching the video, you can only wish that you were actually at this party because it looks so incredibly fun. The intro of the song starts with lyrics, “Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry. Nowhere to go, nothing to do with my time. I get lonely, so lonely. Living on my own.” The guests dressed in drag have gone all out and Mercury is exuding his energy, singing lyrics to each and every movement in the song. The guests attire are stylish with painted faces and large Victorian hairdos and dresses, each outfit as unusual and fun as the next. Mercury is wearing black and white checkered tights with a padded jacket that has gold fringe from the shoulder pads. The dancers bust out in an all out champagne fight all the while dancing and at one point jumping into the splits.
Shot on a revolving ceiling mounted 35 mm camera throughout the entire night, the footage was shot by Austrian director Rudi Dolezal which shocked Freddie’s record company boss Walter Yetnikov when it was delivered. So much so, he promptly banned the high-spirited footage from being seen on television on the grounds of its ‘perceived promiscuity’. The video was instantly shelved and the single stalled at No. 50 on the chart.
Tying in with the upcoming October 11 release of the Freddie Mercury ‘Never Boring’ solo box set, “Living On My Own” is now in high definition and enhanced sound. The ‘banned’ party footage has since become the source of Freddie’s most popular and most seen solo video. The album, Never Boring is one of three within the box set in a newly mixed 11-track special edition. The package also includes a new 12-track compilation of many of Freddie’s greatest solo performances and a nine-track 2012 special edition of the “Barcelona” album.
It wasn’t until the single’s No More Brothers’ remix re-release on EMI in 1993 that the video finally saw the light of day. The single this time reached No.1 and became the biggest selling single of the year in Europe. In 1994 Freddie posthumously received an Ivor Novello Award for International Hit of the Year.