Three things we learned from Mark Blake's new Queen biography, 'Is This the Real Life?'

By Clark Collis
Updated March 25, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Scaramouche! We’re still not sure what the lyrics of ”Bohemian Rhapsody” are all about. But here are three things we did learn from Mark Blake’s new Queen biography, Is This the Real Life?

1. Before he became rock royalty, a young Freddie Mercury worked as a baggage handler at London’s Heathrow Airport. Meanwhile, Brian May planned to become an astronomer. As one of his college professors recalls, ”Brian was first and foremost a bright physicist…. There was no question of him becoming a rock star.”

2. In the early days of Queen, Mercury wore white satin pants so tight that he had to unbutton them in order to sit down.

3. The most infamous Queen legend — that dwarves were hired to dispense cocaine from trays attached to their heads at a 1978 party in New Orleans — is untrue. According to record-label executive Bob Mercer, ”The story is apocryphal. As far as I know, I was the only one there that had any blow.”