Mercury Rising in Liverpool
by Shannon MacDonald

Farrokh Bulsara was born a long way from Merseyside; 7,000 miles away, as fact would have it. He was born on the 5th of September in Zanzibar, an island off the East Coast of Africa. He spent most of his youth living in India with his parents. Eventually, he moved to Middlesex, England where he graduated with a Design degree.

Farrokh joined a series of rock bands, whilst making a living selling second-hand clothes at Kensington Market in London. In 1969, he joined a Liverpool band named Ibex (later becoming Wreckage,) who were moving back up north to perform. Not happy about the move to Liverpool, Farrokh made his way up north without much of a fight. Ibex was Mike Bersin, John ‘Tupp’ Taylor, Mick Smith, and Bulsara on vocals.

Farrokh found himself at Dovedale Towers (a pub off of Penny Lane). It is rumored he actually lived somewhere on Penny Lane, the street made uber-famous by Liverpool’s very own moptops, The Beatles. With Ibex, Farrokh played a few gigs in the “City of Fab”. One notable gig was on September 9, 1969, at a Liverpool venue called The Sink Club. As only luck would have it, Brian May and Roger Taylor, from a band called “Smile”, were in the audience. They eventually went on stage to join Ibex. This tidbit of history claims its “stake in the ground” as the first public performance by Roger, Brian, John, and Farrokh Bulsara.

More important to our story… This young man, Farrokh Bulsara, while having a stroll around Liverpool and onto Dale Street, looks up to see this massive and wonderful structure with its bold name underneath. The rest, as they say, is musical history.

If you are confused about who the hero of our story, Farrokh Bulsara, is – this statement could help you find your way… “God Bless, Freddie Mercury. Long live Queen.”

Ibex posing in St Helens in August 1969
Queens Above Business