Freddie Mercury was never one to do things conventionally – even when it came to arguments.
The music icon managed to rub punk icon Sid Vicious up the wrong way in 1977 by revealing his stinging nickname for the The Sex Pistols’ frontman – to his face.
Sid had earned a reputation for his crazed and unpredictable antics but that did not stop Freddie from standing up to him at their very first meeting.
The Sex Pistols shot to fame at breakneck speed in the late 1970s, riding a wave of controversy that stunned and horrified the British public.
Their sudden popularity threatened to usurp the success of long-standing bands including Queen, and the attention had not gone unnoticed by Freddie.
So when the two bands found themselves recording at the same Wessex Studios in London on the same day, sparks flew.
Queen were working on their album next door to The Sex Pistols, and according to the band’s roadie Peter Hince, Vicious tried to stomp on Freddie’s turf by pulling the eccentric star to one side for a chat.
The former roadie opened up about the showdown in his book Queen Unseen.
Hince recalled: “Sid Vicious stumbled in, the worse for wear, and addressed Fred: ‘Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?’”
In a bid to take his competition down a peg or two, Freddie barked back by using only two words which immediately sent Sid into a fit of rage.
“Fred casually got up, walked over to him and jibed: ‘Aren’t you Stanley Ferocious or something?'”
Not stopping there, Freddie then gabbed Sid by the collar and threw him out of the room, said Hince.
Freddie told a slightly different tale to the one Hince remembered when he spoke about the incident.
The music legend said in a TV interview: “I called him Simon Ferocious or something, and he didn’t like it at all.
“I said, ‘What are you going to do about it?’”
Freddie continued: “He was very well marked. I said, ‘Make sure you scratch yourself in the mirror properly today, and tomorrow you’re going to get something else.”
“He hated the fact that I could even speak like that. I think we survived that test.”
Freddie later accused Sid of ‘purposely interrupting’ the recording of Queen’s sixth studio album.
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