Monday 27 March 2017

'It was pretty hairy' - Queen at Slane Castle: the band's final tour with Freddie Mercury as lead singer

Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, performing at Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, performing at Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)

Sasha Brady

On the 25th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death, we look back at Queen's iconic 1986 Slane Castle concert.

The flamboyant frontman, who was gifted with one of the greatest voices in rock, died on November 24, 1991.

Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)

The 45-year-old passed away from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS, a condition he only publicly revealed hours before his death.

25 years after his death, we look back on Queen's Slane Castle gig in 1986.

Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, performing at Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, performing at Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Lord Henry Mount Charles, Donie Cassidy, Michael Keating TD at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. 5/7/86 PIC MARTIN NOLAN
Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)

It was the band's final tour with Mercury as lead singer.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, the band's drummer and co-songwriter, Roger Taylor claimed the concert was "pretty hairy".

Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)
Fans dancing at the Queen concert in Slane Castle. 5/7/86. (Part of the Irish Independent Newspapers/NLI Collection)

"That one was pretty hairy, from what I remember," he told the newpaper in 2013.

"I mean really hairy. The size of the crowd was incredible. There was so much mud and drunkenness. Freddie stopped the show at one point. People had been there for hours and dehydrated from drinking. Well, it's rock 'n' roll, isn't it?"

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