BRIAN May unveiled a memorial to Freddie Mercury in front of 2,000 screaming fans in Feltham today.
The big-haired rocker and Freddie's mother, Jer Bulsara, visited the town to open the 2m by 2m Hollywood-style star outside the library.
Today was the 18 th anniversary of the death of Feltham's most famous musician and Mrs Bulsara choked back the tears as she told of her pride at her son being remembered so fondly.
Freddie, who fronted rock band Queen until his death in 1991, lived with his family in Gladstone Avenue after moving to England from Zanzibar in 1964. The family remained in that same Feltham house until shortly before he died.
Today the sounds of Queen tribute band, Mercury, reverberated around the town from 11am before fans packed into Feltham's main square for a glimpse of Queen guitarist Brian May, who gave a speech before spending more than 20 minutes signing autographs for fans.
He paid tribute to his bandmate, told how he used to fish in the Longford River and recalled the pair's early days listening to music at the Gladstone Avenue house.
"This is my home town too. I grew up in Walsham Road about 200 yards from where he lived but we never met until later," he said. "Freddie invited me around to his house and we sat listening to Jimmy Hendrix. I will always remember him shutting me up and saying 'now listen to this, listen to this.'
"Freddie, we pursued your dream, our dream and we love you and we always will. We are very happy to honour you in this way."
Freddie's 87-year-old mother Mrs Bulsara also received a warm welcome from the crowd as she spoke before unveiling the red, white and yellow plaque.
She said: "Feltham was his first home in England and it was a place he began to explore his musical future. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to see so many of you here today to honour his memory."
Brian May speaks to the Chronicle - see page 2
Speaking later to the Chronicle, Brian May considered what Tuesday's events would have meant to his friend and colleague.
He said: "Feltham didn't look like this in our day. It was just one little high street so it isn't really the Feltham I remember. When I was born there were cows down my street. It's changed quite a bit.
"He would have loved it here today. He would have laughed. I don't know what he would have said – he wasn't a great speech maker. He was very shy as a young man and that stayed with him until the end."
Mrs Bulsara, who now lives in the Midlands, remembers the youthful exuberance of her son when they first moved to Britain.
"We moved here when he was 17 and had all these artistic ideas," she said. "He used to write all these little scribbles and hide them under his pillow. He would listen to music and I sometimes used to tell him: 'You need to think about the neighbours.'
"He never forgot us – he always used to ring and visit. What stuck out for me was that he always used to come home for birthdays.
"It really makes me proud that something has been done for my boy who was here for a few years. He would be very pleased and honoured."
Best day ever says fan - see page 3
"THIS is the best day ever," said 15-year-old Michael Wilson as he clutched his electric guitar signed by Brian May.
"I love Queen. My stepdad gave me all his old CDs – that's how I got into them. I've got a couple of mates who are in a band who are going to love this."
Michael, who lives in Sparrow Farm Drive, had only popped down the road to see his idol but others had come from much further to get a glimpse of the Queen guitarist.
Dirk Meyer travelled from Frankfurt in Germany to see the Freddie Mercury memorial unveiled. He said: "I heard about it and I just had to come. I saw them in concert more than 15 times and I just love the music. I love Freddie and it's great that you are remembering him in this way."
Howard Beverington, from Yorkshire, said: "I got Brian's autograph so that makes the four hour trip well worth it. It's been a great event and it's fantastic that Brian spent so long meeting all his fans."