The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Happy May Day …
July 19, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Birthday, Childhood, Comment, Queen

Today is Brian May of Queen’s birthday.

He will be 74.

SEVENTY FOUR.

Given he recently had a heart attack, it’s amazing he’s alive.

But what’s even more amazing is that he is still touring … still playing massive venues all around the World and still has a career in contemporary culture.

I love Brian May.

Specifically his guitar playing.

In many ways, he was the inspiration for me picking up a guitar in the first place. He’s also the reason I desperately wanted a Gordon Smith guitar one Christmas because it sort-of resembled his Red Special.

When I was in my teens, I was sort-of obsessed with Mr May.

His songs.
His softly spoken voice.
His curly hair and curly guitar lead.
Even the way he held his guitar, let alone played it.

He was my favourite member of Queen – not just because he was the guitarist, but because he was the only one in the band that kept writing rock songs – and while the years have helped me pull back from full stalker status, I still felt a ridiculous thrill when I finally bought a copy of his own handmade guitar.

He is one of the few guitarists out there who truly has a distinctive sound.

And in his youth, he was also one of the most inventive guitar players that ever lived.

He remains ridiculously humble … which is why one of my favourite videos of him is from 1991 – 6 months before Freddie died – where he finds himself in a very small club in New York with the infamous Les Paul [inventor of the guitar that shares his name] playing the blues.

Here he is – one of the world’s most successful, well known and highly regarded guitarists – slightly overwhelmed to be playing with Les and his band.

It’s nice thing to witness, especially knowing that at the time, he was not only facing the challenges of seeing his friend and band mate die, he was entering a bout of depression that he said made him contemplate taking his own life.

Mr May is one of those souls who appears to be quite vulnerable. Having read so much about him, it seems his childhood – while happy – was also one where he was expected to conform to the expectations of the times. Or more specifically, to the times his parents grew up in. His father in particular had very strong views of how his son should behave and was apparently mortified when he heard he had given up the chance to have a career in science to become a rock star.

Fortunately, in the end, he got it.

Apparently it took seeing Queen perform at Madison Square Gardens – after being flown on Concorde – but he got it. Bizarrely, I would imagine that was better for Brian than the fact he was playing Madison Square Gardens in the first place.

So happy birthday Mr May. I hope you have a special day.

You will forever be a special person in my life.


16 Comments so far
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fuck me campbell, youre obsessed.
who knew anyone could be so enamoured with a fucking guitar playing poodle.

Comment by andy@cynic

The sort of compassionate response I would expect from you.

Comment by Rob

Nothing shows you’re getting old like wishing a pensioner you are not related to happy birthday.

Comment by DH

Though in a few years, you may experience people doing that to you Rob.

Comment by DH

I love how ‘younger’ people always say this sort of thing, thinking they’re immune to growing old. Which just makes the pain of age on your face making the rest of us laugh that little bit louder. Hahahaha.

Comment by Rob

Not a harsh response at all.

Comment by DH

Hahahahaha … you bastard.

Comment by Rob

He’s got a flooded basement so I’m guessing he’s had better weeks.

Comment by John

youre not a sad may groupie fucker too are you doddsy?

Comment by andy@cynic

Hell no. I just googled him because I the last thing I heard about him was that he wrecked his arse while gardening and this basement story emerged.

Comment by John

I would possibly face an HR investigation if I was to google “Brian May wrecks his arse.”

Comment by George

I was paraphrasing – what he actually said was “I managed to rip my gluteus maximus to shreds in a moment of overenthusiastic gardening”

Comment by John

Your commitment to Mr May is unshakeable.

Comment by George

Loser.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Me … Mr May … or, as I suspect, both?

Comment by Rob

[…] while my loyalty will always be more towards Brian than Rog … the fact he is the drummer of my favourite band, has the same name as my wonderful […]

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