Since his death on 24th November 1991 virtually every aspect of Freddie Mercury’s life has been scrutinised in print and on screen, in documentaries and big box-office biopics. What is seldom referred to however, is that his musical journey started in 1969 with a Liverpool-based blues-rock band called Ibex and that for a few months he lived in a flat in Dovedale Towers , 60 Penny Lane L18.
Ibex had gone south searching in vain for a record contract, they did however bump into Freddie Mercury (then of course still Farrokh Bulsara) who was not slow to tell them "You do realise I'm exactly what you're looking for. You've just got to make me your singer." They seemed to have been convinced and when they headed back north Freddie came along with them. Ibex’s roadie was Geoff Higgins and his parents ran Dovedale Towers and were happy to let him have a room upstairs where he lived for a few months. (In accounts of his stay Dovedale Towers is often referred to as a pub – which it is now – but my recollections of the time was that it was the sort of place which was hired for functions like wedding receptions and dinner dances.)
On September 9th 1969 Ibex performed at the Sink Club on Hardman Street and for the first time Freddie Mercury was joined on stage by his friend Roger Taylor, along with Brian May, the two of them then being with the band Smile. Within a few months Freddie had joined them as Smile’s vocalist and the rest, as they say, is history.
Location of Freddie Mercury's lodgings during his short stay in Liverpool.
The band Ibex - Freddie Mercury seated second from left.
© Liverpool Footprints