I’m Going Slightly Mad by Queen: Freddie Mercury is no longer a human being
I’m Going Slightly Mad by Queen is a gothic rock ballad with a very music original video in black&white, with demented outlines. The video was shot by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher of DoRo Productions, directors of other Queen videos as well.
Freddie Mercury, a Count Dracula eager for life
Freddie Mercury is dressed and rigged in the style of Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”. A little long shaggy hair, bleached face, elegant retro clothing.
It reminds us of Count Dracula, especially in the scene where he is lying in a field of white daffodils and rises suddenly.
At the beginning of the video, he is seated on a chair that rotates counter-clockwise. In another scene we see him with a bunch of bananas on his head.
Let’s try to give meaning to these scenes. Freddie Mercury is no longer a human being now. He feels like a kind of artificial puppet like Edward Scissorhand. But he also feels a creature already dead that continues to exist, like Count Dracula. But Freddie did not go looking for blood but for life.
At that time he was aware that his life would be short and sickness brought him to the brink of insanity. The counterclockwise rotating chair represents the desire to go back but also the madness that led him to become estranged from reality.
What does the giant screw upside down represent?
The giant screw upside down upside down can be interpreted in two ways. It can be metaphorically understood as a “screw” of the brain, that is, a missing piece that causes insanity. Or it is a kind of crackdown, that is the existence that is getting shorter, which is coming to an end.
The fate of Freddie Mercury depicted by strange characters and animals
Bassist John Deacon wears a jester hat, plays with a spinning top and turns around the giant screw and then meets with Freddie Mercury. Deacon represents the mocking destiny, which plays with the life of Freddie Mercury and made him a bad joke.
Drummer Roger Taylor wears a smoking teapot on his head. It is Freddie Mercury’s brain that is boiling and about to burst. In a later scene, he turns around himself with an antique three-wheeled bicycle. In another scene it is wrapped in bandages like a mummy.
Brian May dressed as a penguin talks to real penguins. In the video we see a character dressed in black tango orangutan.
All these senseless scenes depict the mind of Freddie Mercury in the grip of strange and bizarre thoughts caused by the disease but also by the awareness of his unstoppable end.
Freddie Mercury is reborn?
In one of the central scenes of the video, Freddie Mercury approaches his companions sitting on a sofa, but they move and he can not reach them. This represents the end of his life, the world that is continuing to move on and he will no longer be able to live it.
In the final part we see colors: it is a cape of blue and red feathers. It could metaphorically represent the tail of the phoenix, the animal symbol of rebirth. According to mythology, in fact, the phoenix is able to come back to life from its own ashes. Maybe Freddie wants to say that he will be reborn?
The video “I’m going slightly mad” ends with Deacon climbing stairs that disappear beneath his feet. He too disappears and only his colorful jester hat remains.