One who gave way to Olympus Freddie Mercury: Tim Staffel
In 1964, two students, Brian May and Tim Staffel, created a musical group in London, which for the most part played cover versions of popular songs at that time. The dentist student Roger Taylor responded to the announcement that the guys hung at Imperial College. He liked to play drums in his spare time. A little later another student really wanted to get into the team – Farrukh Bulsaraoy. So began the path of the group, which today is called “cult” and one of the most successful in the history of rock music.
The guys took the first name for their offspring from the author, who at that time were read out. George Orwell’s dystopia “1984”, which struck their imagination, was the first inspiration, and this is what the group was called. A few years later, however, the name was replaced with a less gloomy and slightly more understandable one – “Smile”. Music in the style of rock blues, performances, mostly free, on student evenings – the group followed the usual path of young bands, which usually eliminated 90% of all who want to conquer the big stage.
Nevertheless, the team gradually “untwisted”, he even managed to perform at the “opening act” at “Pink Floyd”, and in February 1969 the guys felt that they were close to success – they were invited to play in the famous “Royal Albert Hall”. True, they got good tools for this performance almost by accident – Tim Staffel somehow miraculously agreed with the owner of the music store. Gradually, from cover versions, they began to come to their music, which Staffell and May wrote together, but then the group had one very active fan, which significantly influenced her future fate.
Roommate Tim Staffel Farrukh Bulsaray also sang, dreamed about the stage, and gradually became eager to join the band. The young student constantly went to rehearsals and concerts, talked about how he sees the future of the band … However, the ensemble already had a soloist, so for some time the impulsive Freddie (as Farrukh liked to call himself) the guys did not take seriously. However, in the end, the young man waited for his moment. In the spring of 1970, the founder of the group and its ideological mastermind Tim Staffel left Smile. He could not stand the double voltage – study took a lot of time, and the group practically did not develop due to the lack of sensible management, so he freed up a place at the microphone. Of course, Freddy did not miss this chance and very quickly joined the team.
Yes, he really saw what can be done from this team – the first thing he proposed was a new name and logo. Further it was necessary to decide on the creative style. Bassist Mike Grose, who was playing in the band at that moment, later recalled:
“The guys were hoarse arguing about where to go to the group: Brian and Roger each defended their point of view; I expressed some thoughts. But Freddie was considered the main ideologist. His head was full of grandiose plans. ”
It was Freddy who suggested the new name, he said, it sounded simple and solemn. For himself, he also chose a stage name, turning to Roman mythology – the messenger of the gods Mercury seemed to him a suitable figure. So on stage for the first time appeared the group “Queen” with the lead singer Freddie Mercury. They were waiting for a quick and grand take-off to the very top of the musical Olympus.
Tim Staffel, who, of his own free will, remained “overboard”, probably thought a lot later about the intricacies of fate and the elusive Fortune, but he consciously made his choice at that moment:
“I was 100% sure of the correctness of my choice. I’m tired to death of this rumbling rock. So I had my reasons to leave Smile. Was Smile the forerunner of Queen? Honestly, I don’t know. In a way, I gave them the green light: Queen was inevitable. ”
By the way, Queen’s debut album included one song written for “Smile” – “Doing All Right”. Then Tim Staffel himself tried to continue his musical career – he worked with a couple of little-known groups, then abandoned the dream of the stage and decided to recall his artistic education. He realized himself as a fashion designer, designer, animator and director of commercials.
In 2001, ten years after Mercury’s death, Staffell returned to the music industry by founding a new blues-funk group called aMIGO. In 2018, the 70-year-old musician took part in the creation of the film about Freddie Mercury, and for this, the old members of the Smile group “shook the antiquity” by recording soundtracks together. Today, Tim Staffel is already working on his third solo album and continues his musical career.