Today in Globetrotting Grandpa we have a guest post from my friend David. David visited Montreux, Switzerland that was the home away from home for the band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury.  The group loved Montreux, Switzerland and recorded seven albums there. The band’s studio is now a museum honoring Queen, and the city has a magnificent statue of Mercury down by the shores of Lake Geneva.  


The statue of Mercury is actually black, but I ran it under a blue filter for effect. The figure is located near the heart of the city by the Lake Geneva shore. The statue faces out toward the lake and depending on the time of day casts very dramatic shadows. 
Freddie looking over Lake Geneva


The Mountain Studios in Montreux were a favorite recording studio for the band. The recorded seven albums there between 1979 and 1996 including their last album “Made in Heaven.” The recording studio is now a museum called “Queen: The Experience” Much effort has been made in keeping the studio the same as the band would have used and there is also memorabilia from the group including costumes, gold records, and some hand-written lyrics.

The square that features Freddie’s image is also where the Christmas market is located. 
It is easy to understand why the band enjoyed this spot, but Montreux has been a haven for artists and musicians for well over a hundred years. The peaceful setting and mild year-long temperatures make the area a great place to relax and prepare for your next opus. 
Freddie’s leotard. Several of Mercury’s lavish stage clothes are on display


The album “Jazz” featuring “Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle race” was recorded in the studio as well as six others.
A mural featuring the four members of Queen, from l to r John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Brian May, and Freddie Mercury
Band equipment from the time of the band recording at Mountain Studios
There are a couple of original lyric notes, the band liked to improvise and create music together, but many of the songs were written by a member of the band and the others would add to it. 

There is a tribute wall where fans from all over the world leave messages for the band. Some are in English, but there are also Italian, German, and Spanish messages as well.

Here’s the kicker: the museum is free! I’ve been to Graceland, Liverpool, Paisley Park in Minneapolis and the Abba Museum all of which charged a pretty high fee to see their respective exhibits so this is very nice. A donation is requested but well worth giving something especially if you are a Queen fan. The exhibit is located inside a casino and you will need your passport to get in there, but you would most likely be carrying that anyway. The casino and museum are on the promenade not far from Mercury’s statue. If you are a pop culture movie fan, about three or four miles from Montreux is Vevay which was the home of Charlie Chaplin and has a statue of the tramp and a nice exhibit there too. Thanks for reading cheers, David. 



2 Replies to “Mercury in Montreux”

  1. Absolutely great post. I was at Lake Geneva but sadly way before the statue and museum. Incredible place of calm and beauty.
    Thanks for this one. Well done David, and thanks to our GG for inviting David to share.

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