UPDATE: As of Sept. 6, Google’s home-page Freddie Mercury “Doodle” is now viewable in the United States.



“Tonight I’m gonna have myself a real good time...”

Google has just upped the creative ante tonight with its latest timely animation.

“I feel alive and the world it’s turning inside out ... Yeah!”

Viewers around the world are seeing a cartoon video set to the driving, lively 1978 Queen hit “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

“I’m floating around in ecstasy...”

The newest Google Doodle celebrates what Monday would have been the 65th birthday of the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury, picturing the flamboyant, golden-throated performer at the piano, on a throne and surrounded by mustachioed bears, as well as floating through the atmosphere.

“I’m a shooting star leaping through the skies...”

Mercury died in 1991 — of bronchopneumonia after announcing he had AIDS — at just age 45.

“Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity...”

Mercury — born Farrokh Bulsara and raised partly in Zanzibar and India — was hailed as England’s “first Asian rock star.”

“That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit...”

One of rock’s great vocalists, Mercury burned up the charts with such other enduring Queen hits as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You”/”We Are the Champions,” “Killer Queen” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

“I‘m having a ball don’t stop me now...”

The animation suggests the epic scale of Queen’s performances. Mercury — who once said of the band’s elaborate stage show, “We’re the Cecil B. DeMille of rock and roll” — is depicted in various costumes in the Google video, including his Harlequin outfit. (The video also notably leaves out the lyric “I am a sex machine ready to reload” — though it does seem to pay visual tribute to the Queen tune “Bicyle Race.”)

“Like an atom bomb about to / Oh oh oh oh oh explode...”

One of Mercury’s most memorably supercharged performances was at the binationally staged famine-relief concert event Live Aid in 1985.

“I’m trav’ling at the speed of light...”

The nearly 100-second animation — designed by Google’s Jennifer Hom — reportedly is the California company’s second-longest moving ”Doodle” after its Charlie Chaplin. Previous Google animations have honored such rock greats as John Lennon and “playable” Les Paul.

Google invited “friend and bandmate” Brian May (co-founder of the HIV/AIDS charity Freddie for a Day) to share some of his memories of Mercury. (The guitarist, by the way, performed last week at the VMAs with Lady Gaga, whose stage name is said to have been inspired by the Queen hit “Radio Ga Ga.”) Wrote May, in part:

“Freddie was fully focused, never allowing anything or anyone to get in the way of his vision for the future. He was truly a free spirit. There are not many of these in the world. To achieve this, you have to be, like Freddie, fearless ...

“To create with Freddie was always stimulating to the max. He was daring, always sensing a way to get outside the box. Sometimes he was too far out ... and he’d usually be the first to realise it. With a conspiratorial smile he would say ‘Oh ... did I lose it, dears?!’ But usually there was sense in his nonsense—art in his madness. ...

“Even though physically he is not here, his presence seems more potent than ever. Freddie made the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected. ...

“Happy birthday Freddie!”

TOP GOOGLE DOODLES: Our Fave Five logo animations so far

Note: Out of respect for Labor Day, Google says, the Freddie Mercury animation will appear on its home page in the United States on Sept. 6 — a day later than elsewhere.


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