Break out the pocketbook, Queen fanatics: A notebook used by the late Freddie Mercury from 1988-1990, two of the last years of his tragically-short life, is set to be auctioned off this June.
The auction will take place June 29 at Bonhams auction house in the U.K., where the very personal momentum of rock history will be offered as part of an entertainment memorabilia sale. Early estimates put the value of the notebook, which contains the lyrics of almost 20 songs from the albums The Miracle and Innuendo, as high as $100,000, according to The Guardian.
A personal journal which includes handwritten lyrics and ideas for songs, the notebook offers an interesting snapshot into the world of the legendary vocalist and songwriter, who was extremely ill due to complications from HIV/AIDS during the time.
“It is a poignant record of that period, but it also struck me that it is a testament to the creative energy in the band,” said Bonhams consultant Stephen Maycock to The Guardian. “Despite his illness and increasing frailty the ideas were still there. His performance on that last album was remarkable considering how frail he was, his vocal powers on some of the tracks are just extraordinary … he did have this incredible drive.”
Mercury passed away in 1991 from bronchopneumonia brought on by his disease, which helped to bring the AIDS epidemic into the public spotlight. He has been lauded by the music world as one of the greatest singers of all time, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
For fans, the opportunity to purchase a personal item which lived so close to the famed singer is one that comes around once in a lifetime. Mercury was notorious for his desire for personal privacy, rarely giving interviews, and even his close friends and family have been reluctant to speak about him since his passing.
“There are plenty of collectors out there who I’m sure would love to have this,” said Maycock, “Because it is so personal, he had it there with him for nearly three years. It gives you a really close connection.”