Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury
Born: September 6, 1946/5:10 AM/Zanzibar, Tanzania
Freddie Mercury was the lead singer of Queen, one of first Arena rock bands and one of the best-selling bands of all time. Queen rocked numerous musical genres including gospel, rockabilly, pop, opera, Caribbean, heavy metal and blues rock. Mercury was best known for his versatility, impressive four-octave vocal range and power, sex appeal, and energizing stage presence. He remains one of the most beloved frontmen of all time. Actually, that’s an understatement. He’s a fucking legend.
Freddie Mercury was not only a singer and frontman- he was the main songwriter for Queen, a ballet dancer and a pioneer for stadium rock. Mercury’s Sun is in Virgo. In fact, many great songwriters and lyricists were born with Sun in Gemini or Virgo, which are both naturally ruled by Mercury (the planet). Mercury rules communication and thought processes. His Leo Ascendant shades his whole birth chart with magentism, regal presence (take a wild guess who thought of the “Queen”) and grand gestures.
Additionally, Mercury had his Mercury (planet) and Sun in the 1st house in Virgo, which tells us that he is a calculated leader and initiator, bound to be in the spotlight at some point, and that his methods of self-expression are very unique to him. His stellium (3 or more planets) in Libra and his Midheaven in Taurus, which are both ruled by Venus, show where his artistic talent and appreciation come from. His Moon in 5th house in Sagittarius indicates his studious musical background (studied piano and formed music bands in his childhood) and his ability to expand upon his creative interests.
Kurt Donald Cobain aka Kurt Cobain
Born: February 20, 1957/7:38 PM/Aberdeen, Washington, USA
Grunge started in Seattle, Washington in 1986. When Grunge originated, American media was focused on larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles. Because of that, Seattle bands had room to play around with different rock sub-genres such as punk, hardcore, heavy metal and blues rock. This cornucopia of influences resulted in music with highly distorted guitar and heavy feedback; and lyrics filled with angst over issues such as social alienation, societal indifference and everyday frustrations. Taking societal indifference into fashion, grunge also ended up popularizing flannel shirts, thrift store finds and an unkempt appearance. Grunge built up slowly in Washington and California in its early years. Then in 1991 – BOOM – Grunge became a national sensation, catapulted by a song called “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from Nirvana’s major label debut album Nevermind.
Kurt Cobain, the lead singer and frontman for Nirvana, was regarded as the spokesman for Generation X, which refers to people born from the early 1960s to early 1980s. Cobain composed all the songs and lyrics on Nevermind and Nirvana’s next and final album In Utero, except for two tracks in which other band members contributed. The majority of the lyrics in Nevermind were written angrily about his dysfunctional relationship with his ex-girlfriend. The lyrics in In Utero were more not taken directly from Cobain’s life, but from very dark subjects that lingered in his psyche. Cobain’s music and lyrics were also influenced by his heroin addiction, disdain for the media, physiological and mental illness, human anatomy and religion. Much of his career was spent in frustration over his feelings of being misunderstood by the media and his own fans.
Astrologers looking at Cobain’s natal chart would notice the kite formation, which usually denotes luck, and points to the planet at the apex of the kite to denote what type of energy ensues from it. In Cobain’s instance, Uranus is not only the apex of his kite, but it also conjuncts his Ascendant. When a planet conjuncts the Ascendant in the natal chart, the persona is characterized by this planet. In Cobain’s case, Uranus gave him a non-conformist and rebellious attitude, lone wolf tendencies and unorthodox views. Uranus is in the 12th house (House of subconscious and undoing) and is the ruler of his 6th house (Cobain’s House of health and daily routine is ruled by Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus), which denotes that he embraced his own uniqueness, but felt that no one else really understood him. It ate away at him mentally – made him question why no one understood him the way he understood himself, and physically – led him to drug abuse and eventually suicide. The 6th house, housing his Sun (identity) and being ruled by eccentric Uranus, explains his complex fascination with human anatomy – take note of the lyrics in In Utero and you’ll get what I mean. I could go on forever about his chart, as fascinating as it is.
James Paul McCartney aka Paul McCartney
Born: June 18, 1942/2:00 AM/Liverpool, England
In 1960 in Liverpool, England, The Beatles were formed by four young, mop top haired gentlemen. In their early years, The Beatles were mainly influenced by 50’s rock & roll and skiffle, which was folk music influenced by blues and jazz. The craze known as “Beatlemania” began in 1963 shortly after their manager Brian Epstein gave them a more professional image and Ringo Starr replaced their previous drummer, Pete Best. By 1964, their international popularity led the “British Invasion” in the U.S., a time in which British music culture became a part of American culture. The Beatles’ lyrical content and musical styles grew in sophistication with their drug usage, which widened their inspiration from other genres such as classical, Indian classical, country and western, and Celtic.
Dubbed “the cute Beatle” by the press, Paul McCartney was co-frontman and main lyricist along with John Lennon. Although McCartney and Lennon dominated song-writing for most of The Beatles’ career, eventually George Harrison and Ringo Starr had their share in songwriting. Due to quite a few band and business-related situations, The Beatles often suffered bouts of anger toward one another and overall feelings of hopelessness. McCartney was the one who came up with refreshing ideas to revive them, such as the creation of the alternate persona and album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as a way for them to move past the musical confinements their reputations had in place. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ended up impacting music so much that it is often referred to as the most influential rock album of all time. In fact, it made Number One on the Rolling Stone list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” McCartney was also known as a finicky workaholic to his bandmates because he wanted things his way, and drove everyone when they relaxed too much for his comfort.
McCartney has 4 planets in Gemini, which rules the hands and follows its natives with all types of curiosity. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which is the planet of communication and thought processes – many Geminis become musicians at some point because music simultaneously fulfills their needs for creative self-expression and challenging mental stimulation. Although McCartney is a Gemini, his chart ruler in Pisces and his midheaven (axis point that points to career inclinations) in Sagittarius are both natural homes for the planet Jupiter. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, exploration, good fortune and long-distance travel; and it happens to be conjunct his Sun, which adds optimism that others may not be able to match. Although strong Jupiter influence can lead to laziness because it loves leisure, McCartney’s Venus in Taurus and Mars in Leo conjunct Pluto counteract that possibility. Venus in Taurus usually lends a decent singing voice and gives a strong devotion to anything Venus-related, which includes love and music. Moon and Mars in Leo are highly creative and ambitious placements – put them in conjunction with Pluto, and you have someone with command, power, assertion and stubbornness.
George Roger Waters aka Roger Waters
Born: September 6, 1943/time unknown/Cambridge, England
The Pink Floyd Sound was founded in 1965 by four students in London, England. The band name was spontaneously created by frontman, lead singer and guitarist Syd Barrett, who was inspired by the names of two blues musicians in his record collection: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. When in 1966 they were discovered by their first manager Peter Jenner, he suggested them to drop the “Sound” part of the name. Pink Floyd made their mark on the underground London music scene when they played light shows along with their music. Their reputation quickly rose among LSD users, as word spread that they specialized in psychedelic music. At that time, Barrett was apparently the only LSD user in the band. During the early development of Pink Floyd, Barrett led them through the composition of their heralded debut album Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Barrett was with Pink Floyd for 3 years until a psychotic break, possibly LSD-induced, caused him to become physically, musically and verbally inactive during performances and television appearances.
Roger Waters was a founding member and bassist for Pink Floyd. After Barrett’s departure, he led, conceptualized and wrote the majority of Pink Floyd’s music between 1978-1985. Waters almost completely composed two of the best-selling albums in history, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Dark Side of the Moon addressed passage of time, greed, insanity and death. If you haven’t listened to Dark Side of the Moon front to back, stop reading this right now and go do it. Like right now. The Wall is a rock opera that follows a character named Pink, who was largely inspired by his life and by Barrett’s mental demise. Pink faced and overcame issues of social isolation and abandonment, which were symbolized by a metaphorical wall.
Pink Floyd’s success came from their philosophical lyrics and use of sound effects and tape loops that resulted in the psychedelic sound they were known for. Waters kept that theme going when he led the band’s direction, but he expanded their reach by artistically representing the dark side of the average human mind. I personally have not heard insanity sound more beautiful than it does in Dark Side. Waters was born with his Sun and Venus in Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury. This gives Waters the patience, mental capacity and passion for verbal and musical expression to compose music that manages to be beautiful and disturbing at the same time. Adding onto the Mercury theme, Mercury is conjunct Neptune in Libra, which inclines Waters towards creativity, artistic story-telling and being able to see multiple sides of situations. Mercury is also trine Uranus and Mars, which denotes that Waters has endless creative energy and loves to think outside the box. Waters’ Scorpio moon tells us that he sees the human experience on a deeper emotional level than many others would, and prefers to see through peoples’ facades to their emotional core.