Arts Entertainments

Freddie Mercury’s ‘extraordinary’ treatment of David Bowie shared by bodyguard | Music | Entertainment recently spoke with Walt “Wally” Versen, Queen’s Head of Security during their US tours of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Fans will know him for being the strapping young man who famously dressed up as Darth Vader, carrying Freddie Mercury on his shoulders for a rendition of We Will Rock You during concerts.

Promoting Queen Rock Montreal, which is out now globally in IMAX for this weekend only, he shared an “extraordinary story” from his time hanging out with the late rock legend in private.

Walt admitted: “Fred gave me my first lessons in how stars treat each other.”

The story begins when Queen were on a plane to perform in New York for the first time and David Bowie – who Freddie had known before he was famous – was starring in The Elephant Man on Broadway.

Walt shared: “I had become the sort of assistant assistant tour manager. So I said, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And Fred gently put his hand on me and said, ‘Nothing yet.’ I looked at him bewilderedly and he said, ‘David knows I’m going to be in town. When David calls to invite me to the show then…y’know.’

“And that happened two days later. There were rules. And then I was able to make that happen. This how is how stars treat each other. It’s like working in the White House.”

He added: “David will invite and when David invites, then you call David’s guy. Instead of me calling David’s guy, David had to invite first. Extraordinary. That kind of stuff happened a lot.”

Walt is producing an upcoming documentary called Play The Game: A Jock ’N’ Roll Story about him and fellow American football players who were hired to be Queen’s security. To find out more about the upcoming film, click here

Meanwhile, Queen Rock Montreal is screening in over 400 IMAX cinemas worldwide from January 18-21 and tickets can be booked here.

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