There’s a saying that being older (i.e. Baby Boomer generation) carries perks such as living at a time that allowed you to see all of the really cool bands in concert. I’ll own it. I have many priceless concert memories from the 1970s — like seeing The Who when the ticket price was $12! For me though, the real coupe was seeing Queen live in concert on each of the Night at The Opera, Day at The Races, and News of The World tours, and twice when they toured in support of their 1978 release, Jazz. For this then-teenage Queen fan, my fervent ardor for Freddie Mercury and company moved beyond ‘favorite band’ status to being more like a religion, or a way of life. I wouldn’t trade that time in my life of anything.
Freddie Wearing the Catsuit (Image Source)
So maybe you can image how surreal it was for me to be wandering through a lifetime’s collection of Freddie’s personal belongings at Sotheby’s in London for the pre-auction exhibit, Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own. Seriously, it was just insane. Maybe the most personally impressive and sentimental items were Freddie’s stage costumes, like this Silver Sequined Catsuit which I saw him perform in on the News Of The World and Jazz tours between 1977 and 1979.
Sotheby’s auction catalog describes the Catsuit as follows:
A silver sequin-encrusted catsuit with three-quarter length sleeves, slashed to the waist, the neckline, leg hems and cuffs hand-stitched inside with a band of white cotton. The sequins [are] applied to a ground of white stretch cotton, unlabeled. This silver sequin catsuit is a partner to Freddie’s red sequin short-legged stage suit which was a late addition to the News Of The World Tour wardrobe.
This silver sequin catsuit, believed to be the only one made for Freddie by Natasha Korniloff, was worn for the concert encores, and was also worn for Freddie’s remarkable appearance at the Royal Ballet Gala performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” at the London Coliseum, October 7th, 1979.
The Silver Catsuit recently sold to a private collector for the sum of 139,700 GBP!
Photographed as Part of Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own at Sotheby’s Auction House in London, UK.