As far as headlines go “When Freddie Mercury sniffed cocaine off a hermaphrodite dwarf’s head at a party” is one of the more berserk that the world of music will offer up. Excesses are an archetype of rock ‘n’ roll, and often they have been purposefully indulged in by stars in the same opulent way of kings of old — the tale of Queen’s infamous album launch party really is the quintessence of that.
A party does not merely earn the title Saturday Night in Sodom for nothing. For the launch party of Jazz, Freddie Mercury descended into decadent oblivion with an event that belongs in the realm of fiction, not fact. The night was one of the wildest that the world has ever seen.
With a coterie of socialites, celebrities and journalists in attendance, guests were greeted at New Orleans Fairmont Hotel with a blowjob or cunnilingus sex from the sex of their choosing. “Most hotels offer guests room service,” Freddie Mercury famously quipped to UNCUT journalist Jon Wilde, “This one offers them lip service.” With a greeting like that, you could hardly just sit down with a pint of bitter and enjoy Whitesnake’s latest album, thus, thereafter the heathenry only ventures further into God-defying delirium.
Parading around the circus of excesses and oddities were a troupe of hermaphrodite dwarves with silver trays strapped to their heads and lines of the highest quality Bolivian marching powder for any chancer to sniff at will. As far as entertainment goes, the famed publicist Bob Gibson used his £200,000+ budget to hire a man who specialised, for want of a better word, in biting the heads off of live chickens and turning their beleaguered necks into bloody fountains.
Not your cup of tea? No problem, there was plenty more on offer. Alongside Zulu tribesmen, fire-eaters and drag queens were naked models writhing in baths of uncooked liver, which no doubt absolutely stunk. There were also magicians in attendance to hold up the rather more wholesome side of things. All while a handful of 300lb+ Samoan women lounged on banquet tables, in the nude, smoking cigarettes… out of various orifices. Pop some transvestite strippers in bamboo cages, and you’ve got yourself a ball.
Guests were asked to refresh themselves on vats of Cristal, and if you somehow retained an appetite, lobsters, caviar and oysters were being served up. It was truly opulence on the scale of a supernova, and not to sound like a fuddy-duddy old cynic, but it is worth noting that the first music to help the poor, Live Aid, was only a matter of years away. How such an evening has faded into obscurity in the years that have followed cover-up in a great against normality as the hedonist’s heaven seems too unreal to be true. Perhaps weirdest of all is that there is no footnote to the tale, it would seem that they simply went up to their rooms and checked out when the weekend was over.