Volume 14, Number 11
December 4, 2007

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isil kutluayThe Crying Tree of Mercury

Kerouac's miserable, but legendary hero, Sal Paradise, chased the world on the coattails of unusually charming man named Dean Moriarty. Why? The "only people for him are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle, you see the blue centre light pop and everybody goes 'Aww!'"1 "On the Road" kisses a sorrowful goodbye with an uncertain ending. You can't help but wonder whether there will be a Dean Moriarty that will "beatify" your life, hitchhike into the unexplored roads of your perceptions, and show you a mad-world that you didn't know existed! I wonder, if Kerouac hadn't chosen a death-path that followed a river of excessive alcohol, would his image of Dean be replaced by one Farrokh Bulsara - more famously known as the invincible, irreplaceable, irresistible Freddie Mercury?

The unforgettable Queen front man ran across massive stages in outfits that appeared to have been stolen from a masquerade ball, smiled devilishly, showed off his god-blessed charisma, and helped to redefine music with remarkable and unearthly vocals that bloomed like a weird flower whenever one of his songs made the journey through my ears. He freaked me out when he declared that "I can fly, my friend!"2 He sent shivers down my spine when he taught me how I could be anything I wanted to be!3 He left me speechless with a description of a "crazy little thing called love."4 In a world of burdened and restricted order, he was a rainbow, showing the hidden beauties of love and life. Unfortunately, Freddie Mercury bowed from the stage for the final time on November 24, 1991, leaving the world a little more black-and-white, without his full-blown-Technicolor persona.

Sixteen years have passed, babies have been born, others have said goodbye, battles have been won (if you can truly call them victories), politics has become a little uglier, music has transformed into nothing more than a soundtrack for "shaking ass" and providing long strings of lyrics filled with absurd-clichés, art and literature have practically dissolved in a chaotic world of apathetic-masses. Not a single Freddie Mercury reincarnation has managed to be born - as if his genetic genius could be transmitted through ordinary DNA anyway. For us, the ones more in tune with proper music and decent philosophy, the ones who once witnessed a very extraordinary vision by an even more extraordinary man, November 24 has come to mean something more than cold winter weather, and a flowered and smiles filled Teacher's Day.

On November 24, we, the fans, cherish a music that was given birth by his presence; a life that brought the world some style, and a human being whose vision was sketched by his voice. We sigh, we cry, like the hopeless waiting near the deathbed of a beloved. We think of lifting our thumbs up for a trip to Kensington. We revel in our remembrance of days gone by. We think of Freddie Mercury.

Farewell and stay tuned.

1 Kerouac, Jack. On The Road. New York: Penguin, 1985.
2 Queen. The Show Must Go On. Innuendo. CD. London, England. Produced by Queen, David Richards. Parlophone, Hollywood Records, 1991.
3 Queen. Innuendo. Innuendo. CD. London, England. Produced by Queen, David Richards. Parlophone, Hollywood Records, 1991
4 Queen. Crazy Little Thing Called Love. The Game. CD. Munich, Germany. Produced by Queen, Mack. EMI, Parlophone, Elektra Records, 1980.

Işıl Kutluay (ECON/II)

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