Well, now the news is out there, I thought I should share a few words. Freddie’s Mum, Jer Bulsara, passed away a few days ago [13/11/16], very quietly and peacefully in her sleep. She was 94. It’s the wish of the family that the funeral and subsequent arrangements remain private.
Jer was a warm and devoted Mum to Freddie, and, like Freddie, always had a strong twinkle in the eye. Although she was also devoted to her husband Bomi, and lived in the Zoroastrian faith as a good Parsee, she had an independent spirit and a strong sense of humour. Of course I knew her for over 50 years, and when I first used to go around to Freddie’s parents’ house in Feltham, only a few yards from where I lived, in our student days, Jer was a busy Mum, full of life and optimism. And even then, fiercely proud of her children, Freddie and Kashmira. It’s probably true to say that Freddie’s father, strongly committed to the Parsee faith, didn’t find it easy that Freddie took the path he did, as a Rock musician, and a fairly irreverent one, at that. Nevertheless the support was always there. But Jer was always a keen follower of our progress as a band, and always came to see us when we played nearby, always with huge enthusiasm. Freddie was very close to his Mum, and, I think, took a mischievous pleasure in trying to shock her.
Roger and I remember one night before a show in London (Wembley Arena, I think) when Freddie announced .. “Mother’s in the audience tonight. Better throw in a few extra ‘f—ks !” There was never any sign that she was shocked. After Freddie’s passing, Jer stayed close to us - To Roger, Jim and myself. We always consulted her in our work that continued after we lost Freddie - the Tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, the Made in Heaven album, which encapsulated Freddie’s last gifts of vocals and was a two-year labour of love for us, the single No-one But You, our tribute to Freddie, which I wrote at the inauguration of the Freddie statue in Montreux, an occasion we shared with Jer. We talked to her about the remastering of tracks, the appearance we made at the Bejart Ballet with Elton singing, which was also John’s last live appearance with us, and later the work with did with Paul Rodgers, and latterly with Adam Lambert. She was with us all the way. She loved the fact that Freddie’s spirit lived on so strongly in the work we were doing, and that Freddie was always a physical part of our live shows.
In private moments with us, away from the glare of the spotlights, in latter years Jer was always ready with a cup of tea when we visited, and we were always able to speak about ‘My Freddie' without shyness, feeling that he was not far away.
This is a very hard time for Kash, of course, and we all hope she will be able to move through this quietly and find her peace.
Much love and respects.