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18 March 2021, 12:41 | Updated: 18 March 2021, 13:07
Private pictures of Freddie Mercury relaxing backstage and at home has been released by his Queen bandmate Brian May to celebrate the latest edition of the book, Queen in 3-D.
The images come from Brian May's private collection of photos he took while travelling with the band and form part of a book, the first published with an intimate view from the inside by a founder band member.
From an early age Brian would travel with a stereo (3-D) camera in hand, so on Queen tours and during recordings he was able to capture rare behind-the-scenes moments of one of the world’s greatest rock bands.
Some of the photographs had not even been fully processed until the book was in the making and initially thought by Brian to be a quick job, this project turned into a labour of love for May and his team which spanned three years.
For the ultimate 'virtual reality' experience, the images in the book can be viewed through its accompanying 3-D lens and every photo's context is explained intimately by Brian May himself.
“The whole process of writing this new kind of book was almost subconscious," Brian May says.
"As I looked at the 3-D photos, memories were triggered and the stories poured out. It’s the 3-D element that makes it so evocative.
"I believe each image will draw readers in deeper, like me, inviting them to immerse themselves in a scene in a scene, to share a previously unseen Queen moment.”
Each time the book seemed to be close to completion, more 3-D photos were found in forgotten hiding places, prompting further memories and filling in the gaps in the narrative.
Queen in 3-D eventually became a compelling set of snapshots of Brian’s life and the life of Queen, over more than 50 years and according to The Bookseller is “The closest thing to an autobiography May has written."
Brian narrates the stories behind each of his photographs and while often he is light and conversational in tone, at other times he can be intensely reflective and philosophical, drawing the reader deeper into the image, the time and the space.
Some of the pictures were taken on stage; others behind the scenes, including informal shots taken on the road and during leisure time, giving close-up glimpses of the band as never seen before.
Queen in 3-D by Brian May, £30 is available to buy from The London Stereoscopic Company