At the age of 17, Mercury and his family fled from Zanzibar for safety reasons due to the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution, in which thousands of Arabs and Indians were killed.The family moved into a small house in Feltham, Middlesex, England.
Mercury enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic (now West Thames College) in West London where he studied art. He ultimately earned a diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College (now the Ealing campus of University of West London), later using these skills to design the Queen heraldic arms. A British citizen at birth, Mercury remained so for the rest of his life.
This footage was filmed by one of Freddies friends at Isleworth Polytechnic (now West Thames College) in West London during Freddie’s first semester there.
Following graduation, Mercury joined a series of bands and sold second-hand clothes in the Kensington Market in London with girlfriend Mary Austin. He also held a job at Heathrow Airport. Friends from the time remember him as a quiet and shy young man who showed a great deal of interest in music. In 1969 he joined the Liverpool-based band Ibex, later renamed Wreckage.
He lived briefly in a flat above the Liverpool pub, The Dovedale Towers. When this band failed to take off, he joined a second band called Sour Milk Sea. However, by early 1970 this group had broken up as well.
In April 1970 Mercury joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor who had previously been in a band called Smile. Despite reservations of the other members and Trident Studios, the band’s initial management, Mercury chose the name “Queen” for the new band.
He later said, “It’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid. It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.”At about the same time, he changed his surname, Bulsara, to Mercury. Mercury designed Queen’s logo, called the Queen crest, shortly before the release of the band’s first album.
The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leo (Deacon and Taylor), a crab for Cancer (May), and two fairies for Virgo (Mercury). The lions embrace a stylised letter Q, the crab rests atop the letter with flames rising directly above it, and the fairies are each sheltering below a lion.
There is also a crown inside the Q and the whole logo is over-shadowed by an enormous phoenix. The whole symbol bears a passing resemblance to the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, particularly with the lion supporters.