The sticksman met guitarist Brian May and the late charismatic frontman at college in London in 1968.
Taylor and May were originally in a band called Smile with bassist-and-singer Tim Staffell. When Staffell decided to leave, Mercury asked to join the band.
“He was so extreme, one was tempted to laugh at first, because he hadn’t developed his voice; he didn’t have the control he had later,” Taylor told The Daily Telegraph.
Freddie Mercury and Brian May (Picture: Getty)
“But he had this thrusting energy and zeal for everything. And, really, a massive array of hidden talents. We were big pals.”
Taylor continued: “We had a stall in Kensington Market and he was so delightful, just great to be around, with a tremendous lust for life. He sort of invented himself.”
The charismatic frontman, who died of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS in 1991, was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946, in Stone Town, Tanzania.
“He would still be saying ‘Oh I need to do my solo stuff’, but he would be coming back to the family to do what we do,” May told Simon Mayo on Greatest Hits Radio, before adding: “The funny thing is I feel more and more that he is kind of with us in a way, maybe I’m getting to be an old romantic, but Freddie is in my day every day.”
He continued: “He’s always in my thoughts and I can always feel what he’d say in a certain situation, oh what would Freddie think, ah he’d like this, he’d laugh at this or whatever. He’s so much part of the legacy we created, that will always be the case.”