Never-seen Queen photos published by old school pal of Freddie Mercury

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Unseen photos of rock group Queen are being published in a new book - with a foreward from Freddie Mercury’s Bedford-based school friend.

Bruce Murray, who runs The Music Centre, in Tavistock Street, grew up in India, where he and Mercury formed their first band, The Hectics, while at St Peter’s boarding school.

Mr Murray said the remarkable thing about Mercury, who they called Fred Bulsara (his real name being Farrokh), was his talent for playing the piano.

He said: “I remember him as very shy, but very funny in his own way. Fred would listen to a song once and sit down at the piano and play any song we chose.”

The boys were just 14, and 15 at the time, and kept in touch as Queen became increasingly popular.

The last time the pair met was in Las Vegas, several years before Mercury died in 1991.

The book features a collection of images from the personal archive of freelance rock photographer Steve Emberton, who moved to Bedford from America.

Much of his work was featured in former music magazine Record Mirror, but he built up a library of unused photos of Queen from 1975-to-79, now published by Bedford-based Wymer Publishing.

The book is available for £29.99 from The Music Centre.