10 Fabulous and Fantastic Facts About Freddie Mercury and Queen

Ibiza was known throughout Europe for its tolerance for excess, and Freddie took full advantage. Wikimedia

The Ibiza birthday party

When Freddie Mercury planned his 41st birthday party, he selected the Pikes (pronounced pee-kays) Hotel on the island of Ibiza for the site. Ibiza and Pikes had a noted reputation for hedonistic behavior, which his party did nothing to reduce. The party thrown by Freddie was the most lavish, and expensive, ever thrown at the site, leading the proprietor, stunned by the size of the bar bill being run up, to wonder if the rock star could afford to pay up.

Freddie had thousands of helium balloons, colored black and gold, prepared for the party, which took three full days for them all to be inflated. The hotel owner, Anthony Pike, was a close friend of Freddie’s, but even he was unprepared for the size of the celebration. A cake in the shape of a Barcelona cathedral was prepared but it collapsed under its own weight, and was replaced with a six foot sponge decorated with the notes of Freddie’s recording Barcelona.

Flamenco dancers were hired to perform throughout the event, as well as other dancers and professional models to enhance the mood. The guest list read like a who’s who of film, music, and the arts, and included Anthony Quinn, Tony Curtis, Boy George, Julio Iglesias, and Spandau Ballet, to name just a few. Freddie opened the festivities by ordering 350 bottles of chilled Moet et Chandon champagne for his guests.

The party was well lubricated by champagne and other beverages and the partiers fortified with drugs of their choosing, if they chose, as well as freely distributed cocaine, served up by waiters and waitresses, many flown in from the mainland for the event. Its climax was a fireworks display, launched on Ibiza, which was so lavish that it was reported as being seen in Majorca, over 100 miles away. The bill for the extravaganza was sent to Jim Beach, to be paid by Queen.

Numerous urban legends emerged over the behavior of guests and their host at Queen’s parties, involving different ways of consuming cocaine using orifices other than the nasal passages. These tales are often linked to other rock stars and celebrities, and recycle from time to time, and should not be taken too seriously. Freddie’s parties were extravagant enough that they don’t need to be embellished with stale rumors and myths.