What is the most unlikely place to meet a husband? Answer: At a Queen concert in Stockholm, Sweden, 1986, amongst 36,000 people! Was it fate? I’m not sure. After all, I had been a Queen fan since I was 12 years old.
I absolutely love Queen’s music and have always done. I used to sit next to the turntable in my Helsinki childhood home and play their records until they were grey instead of black. I loved the fact that their lyrics were printed on the album sleeves and I used to decipher them with the aid of my mother’s English dictionary. There was something different about Queen and their music and I revelled in the fact that my music taste was far more sophisticated than my friends who were Bay City Rollers fans. I used to wear black nail varnish on one hand, just like Freddie Mercury, and I had a mega crush on the drummer, Roger Taylor, who with his good looks and flowing blonde locks, was setting my heart a flutter.
Fast forward to Live Aid in 1985, my crush on Roger Taylor had petered out since discovering real boys, but never my love for Queen’s music. I was a young airhostess living in a small studio flat in Helsinki, when I arrived home from a short-haul flight, put on my TV and discovered Queen were on next. And they were utterly brilliant, totally stealing the entire show! It was then that I made the life changing decision that I just had to see them live, even if it was just the once! June 7th 1986 came my opportunity, Queen were touring and going to appear in Stockholm, only a (free) 40 minute flight away!
It was the most miserable, rainy, freezing June day in Stockholm. The denim dungarees I was wearing were covered in mud up to my knees, even before the final warm up act of Gary Moore, who was singing so many encores that my patience was totally running out. “This is my last song” said Gary Moore, and without thinking I found myself replying out loud in English: “Thank God for that! We don’t want to see you; we want to see Freddie Mercury and Queen!” That is when I heard a male voice behind me reply: “That’s what we were just thinking” and I turned around to see two English chaps grinning at me. Little did I know at that point that I was going to end up marrying one of them and move to England!
I kept in contact with one of the young Englishmen after he moved back to England later that autumn and subsequently a couple of years of long-distance dating followed (thank God for the free flights!). This was not an ideal situation for me as I was not only working but also simultaneously studying for a Masters degree with most of my spare time supposed to be spent studying rather than travelling to London! Seriously, we were at a point that Heathrow personnel were on first name basis with me! So thankfully in 1989, the young Englishman relocated to Helsinki so that I could finish off my degree. We got engaged in June 1990 and married in April 1992, a few months after Freddie Mercury’s death.
“I should have sued him for damages” hubby commented when we got married, “but the bugger went and died before the wedding”.
Yep, “It’s a Kind of Magic” when you find that “Somebody to Love”, even if he is just a “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy” and I’m nowadays a “Fat Bottomed Girl” !