Queen's story actually begins pre-Freddie Mercury. Guitarist Brian May and his friend Tim Staffell started a band called Smile while attending London's Imperial College; the pair added drummer Roger Taylor, who was surely attracted to the act because he was studying dentistry, and Smile became a full band. Their first gig was at the Imperial College Student Union in 1970, which was a progressive performance space, even then: Jimi Hendrix had played the same stage earlier.
Tim later left the group and a young student named Farrokh "Freddie" Bulsara joined in his absence, renaming himself Mercury and the group itself Queen. Their eventual success took them far away from campus, but apparently, even international rock gods can recognize the power of higher education: May re-enrolled some 30 years later, finally earning an astronomy PhD. in 2007.