THE personal notebook of Freddie Mercury, the legendary lead singer of Queen, which featured lyrics for some of the band’s most emotional songs, is expected to sell for £70,000.
The handwritten book was used by the famous frontman to write down the words for hits including ‘I Want It All’, ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’, and ‘The Show Must Go On’.
He used the notebook between 1988 and 1990 while battling HIV, which tragically led to his death in 1991 at the age of 45.
‘The Show Must Go On’, which was mainly written by Brian May, chronicles Mercury’s efforts to continue performing despite his illness.
When the band got round the recording the track, Mercury’s illness was so advanced he could hardly walk.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said: “I said, ‘Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing. And he went, ‘I’ll f*****g do it, darling’ - vodka down - and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal.”
The song was released in the UK in October 1991, just six weeks before Mercury died, although it only reached number 16.
Further songs featured in the notebook include ‘I Want It All’, which reached Number 3 in the UK.
Bonhams announced on Thursday it will be selling the notebook at its Entertainment Memorabilia sale, which takes place in Knightsbridge on June 29.
The auction house has given it a guide price of £50,000 to £70,000.
Katherine Schofield, Bonhams head of entertainment memorabilia, said: “Freddie Mercury was a brilliant musician, lyricist and performer.
“He once said of himself, ‘I am not going to be a star. I’m going to be a legend’, and indeed that’s what he became.
“The notebook was used by Freddie for writing his own songs, as well as noting down the words to songs written or co-written by guitarist Brian May.
“The lyrics, such as for ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’, and ‘The Show Must Go On’, are both beautiful and sad, as on reflection, we know Mercury was battling HIV at the time. This knowledge makes the words all the more poignant.”