Freddie Mercury's kindness revealed in heartwarming story from Gary Numan involving a Big Mac in Tokyo

1 April 2021, 17:21 | Updated: 7 April 2021, 10:15

Gary Numan met Freddie Mercury and Queen in Japan
Gary Numan met Freddie Mercury and Queen in Japan. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

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.

In his recent autobiography (R)evolution, Gary Numan shared amazing stories from his 40+ year career, including a particular highlight when he shared a memorable evening with Queen in Tokyo.

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.

Read more: Remembering Freddie Mercury's incredible final performance with Queen - video

"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’.”

Read more: Freddie Mercury unseen photos: Brian May releases new-found private images of Queen bandmates

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.

Read more: Hear Freddie Mercury’s spine-tingling acapella voice in backstage video from last Queen concert

“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.