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1 April 2021, 17:21 | Updated: 7 April 2021, 10:15
Gary Numan has shared a lovely story about how Freddie Mercury went the extra mile to be a friend during a difficult night in the early 1980s.
The 'Cars' musician found himself with nothing to do in Japan, and had bought a ticket to watch Queen perform live.
“What I hadn‘t realised was that I’d become quite successful in Japan,” Gary said. “I’d only been big in Britain for a year or so… it never even occurred to me that it would be an issue here.
"In the end, the staff had to rescue me and take me backstage. I met the band and explained to them what had happened, and they took me under their wing.”
After the gig, Queen invited Gary to join them out for dinner at a popular sushi restaurant. However, Gary explained that he has "very plain tastes" and didn't really want to eat sushi. But he didn't want to cause any fuss.
“After a while,” Gary said, “Freddie Mercury came over and said, ‘Love, you’re not eating, what’s the problem?’ So I said, ‘Don’t worry about me, I’m just blown away to be here. I’m a massive Queen fan.’
"He asked me what I’d like to eat, and I told him, ‘McDonald’s… but don’t worry, I’ll get one afterwards’.”
He continued: "Anyway, 15 minutes later, this limo turns up outside, and the driver gets out with a McDonald’s bag! Freddie has a quiet word with the manager, bungs him a few yen, and there I am – having McDonald’s in a top-end Tokyo sushi restaurant with Queen!
"I was massively star-struck, but they were all such lovely, down-to-earth people.”
Gary went on to become good friends with Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who also joined him on a future record by the electronic legend.
He also revealed that he’d first met the band as a 16-year-old fan hanging at the stage door of the Rainbow Theatre, in London’s Finsbury Park back in the 1970s.
“Other bands would always rush past to their limos and ignore everybody, ” he said, “but Queen were different. They invited everybody up to their dressing room, chatted to everybody and signed everything. It was a lesson in how to treat those who support you – I’ve always tried to emulate that wherever possible.”
Gary Numan releases his new album Intruder in May, and his book (R)evolution is out now.