Here's What Freddie Mercury Actually Thought About The Sex Pistols

Before his death in 1991, the legendary frontman of Queen spearheaded a musical movement that the everlasting dynasty of rock 'n' roll won't soon forget. Freddie Mercury is still considered to be one of the greatest vocalists and performers to ever live, and nobody agreed with that more than he did. 

"I always knew I was a star, and now the rest of the world seems to agree with me," he once said (via Kidadl). Queen's unprecedented sound fused operatic vocals and melodies with heavy guitar riffs that carved a new, unconventional pathway into the musical landscape. Today, the world remembers Mercury as an unparalleled talent who refused to be anything but his true, unapologetic self on and off the stage. 

However, around the same time that Queen was claiming their crown, there was another musical movement storming stages and sound waves across the world that posed a not so "minor threat" to their reign. It was a movement that took no prisoners and pulled no punches — punk rock. Punk channeled crazed, chaotic energy into a piping hot semblance of sound that was hardly comprised of any semblance whatsoever, but it worked. It sounded good, and it wasn't going anywhere. Leading the punk pack was the ornery, snarling, spiky-haired Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols), a man whose mangey and unruly reputation was something he wore like a badge of honor. It wasn't long before Freddie Mercury got an up close and far too personal look at that reputation (per Showbiz Cheat Sheet).

God save the Queen

In 1977, Queen found themselves in the studio recording a new record. As chance would have it, The Sex Pistols were in the next room over doing the same thing on the same day in the exact same place. If it'd been any other band in any other neighboring room, there's a good chance that Sid would have kept his vicious words to himself, but fate had other plans. When the punk rocker caught wind of who else was in the building, he sauntered on over to give them a proper greeting. Unannounced and uninvited, Vicious appeared in the doorway like a twisted pariah from the outskirts of Hell (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). 

Peter Hince, a former roadie for Queen and vigilant observer, recalled the scene in his 2011 book, "Queen Unseen: My Life With the Greatest Rock Band of the 20th Century": "Sid Vicious stumbled in, the worse for wear, and addressed Fred: 'Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?'" The scathing inquiry simmered in the air for a moment. A pot shot like that is liable to get under anyone's skin, but Mercury seemed to have a rebuttal holstered at his side like a loaded six gun. "Fred casually got up, walked over to him and jibed: 'Aren't you Stanley Ferocious or something?'" Hince shared. As if his words weren't emasculating enough, Mercury took it upon himself to get a little physical with the deranged Pistols frontman (per Mirror UK).

Freddie Mercury physically threw Sid Vicious out

After Sid Vicious decided to spit a wad of not-so-subtle vitriol in Freddie Mercury's face, the Queen singer demonstrated how his chiseled physique wasn't strictly for show. Apparently, he seized the Pistols frontman by the shirt collar, dragged him across the room, and tossed him out himself. Pete Hince later recalled the moment of instant karma, though Mercury never mentioned it as part of the exchange. "I called him Simon Ferocious or something, and he didn't like it at all," he once shared in an interview (via YouTube). "He hated the fact that I could even speak like that. I think we survived that test."

Mercury also cosigned his deliberate mistaking of Vicious' name with a jab at his countenance. "He was very well marked. I said, 'Make sure you scratch yourself in the mirror properly today, and tomorrow you're going to get something else,'" he said in the same interview. In Freddie's mind, the regency had triumphed over the pesky anarchist rebels, but the latter got one last little gesture in before it was all over with. As long time Sex Pistols manager Bill Price remembers it, one of the members of Queen pulled him aside and said, "One of the [Sex Pistols] just crawled on all fours across our studio up to the side of the piano, said, 'Hello Freddie,' and left on all fours. Could you make sure he doesn't do it again?" (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).