Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Little Ignorance Can't Hurt

The inherent danger of reading a biography of someone you admire is that you will learn too much. More than you need, in fact. And then whenever you hear that person's music, or whatever it is they created that you liked, you will remember such things as, "He was afraid to go to the bathroom alone, someone always had to go along," or "He had sex with dozens of men each week," or "He spent money wildly on things he didn't need, including houses and apartments."

Sadly, that has just happened to me. I read a book called Mercury, a biography of Freddie Mercury, the brilliant lyricist and magic-voiced lead singer of the British rock band Queen. Fascinated by several things about him, among them that he never fixed his buck teeth (caused by having four extra teeth at the back of his mouth) although they were a constant embarrassment, fearing the procedure might alter his voice, and that he was born in Zanzibar and raised in India, and that he had a lifelong love affair with a woman to whom he left his fabulous fortune, even after dying of AIDS with one of his many gay lovers by his side, I ordered the book. Now I'll have to suffer the consequences whenever I hear "Bohemian Rhapsody," my favorite song of all time. I mean really, who can't go to the bathroom alone? (Freddie Mercury.)

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