Brian May

Brian May


7/19/1947, Hampton, Middlesex, England, UK

Birth Name

Brian Harold May



Also Known As

Brian Harold May CBE
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Many Guitarists look back at Brian May's incredible career and praise him higher than Clapton and Hendrix. This talented man has been playing his electric guitar and writing songs since he was a child. Brian is best known as the guitarist and song writer for the band Queen.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • He is 6' 1" (1.85 m) tall.

    • His trademark Red Special guitar was constructed essentially from old junk. Among the components that make up the guitar are motorcycle valve springs, a knitting needle, mother-of-pearl buttons, and a discarded fireplace mantle.

    • He shares a birthday with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux and Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon.

    • He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to music.

    • He used to teach Mathematics at Stockwell Park Secondary School, in Stockwell, South West London.

    • Two of his riffs were voted into the Total Guitar Magazine poll of the 100 greatest riffs; "Tie Your Mother Down" was 84 and "One Vision" was 60 on the list.

    • He opened the Queen's Jubilee concert by playing "God Save The Queen" from the top of Buckingham Palace (2002).

    • As a member of Rock Against Repatriation, Brian collaborated with fellow star guitarists Steve Hackett, Phil Manzanera and Steve Rothery and many other rock stars for the charity single "Sailing" (1990).

    • Brian made a guest appearance playing with rock band Marillion at the Mungersdorfer Stadion, Cologne, West Germany on July 19, 1986.

    • He has performed with the SAS (Spike Edney's All Stars) Band.

    • He attended Imperial College, London University where he completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in physics and mathematics. He commenced a Doctorate in astronomy, but dropped out to join Queen.

    • After much experimentation, he found the best guitar sound came from using an old English sixpence coin as a pick. These coins went out of circulation in the early 70s, and in 1992 he had the Royal Mint make up some more with his likeness on them.

    • Brian May and his ex-wife Chrissie have three children: James (aka Jimmy), born in 1978; Louisa, born in 1981; Emily, born in 1987.

    • He left his wife Chrissie for British soap-actress star Anita Dobson.

    • He is #39 on the Rolling Stone's List of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

    • In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Queen.

    • His favorite beverage is Guinness.

    • He is the Composer for the musical Moulin Rouge! (2001)

    • His Astrological sign is Cancer.

    • Brian is 6 feet, 1 inch tall.

  • Quotes

    • Brian May: I had this big thing about guitar harmonies. I wanted to be the first to put proper three-part harmonies onto a record. That was an achievement.

    • Brian May: I had one dream not long after he died where he kept saying, You've got to be there Brian, and I woke up in a daze thinking, Where have I got to be?

    • Brian May: I go through major crises every few months, but then I have great peaks of belief and creativity. I'm a weird kind of animal.

    • Brian May: I don't think anybody comes close to The Beatles, including Oasis.

    • Brian May: I don't surf the net in general. I have someone do it for me instead, because I find it sluggish.

    • Brian May: I despise the Lottery. There's less chance of you becoming a millionaire than there is of getting hit on the head by a passing asteroid.

    • Brian May: From the beginning of Queen there was such momentum that I never had any time to do anything else. My energy was 95% focused on the band.

    • Brian May: For a time I didn't want to answer any questions about Queen. I'd like to be viewed as something alive and relevant, not some fossil.

    • Brian May: Everybody thought I was a bit of an eccentric for wanting to be out there looking at the stars, but I still do.

    • Brian May: Einstein got most of the things right about black holes. I'm not an expert, I must admit.

    • Brian May: Each gig should be unique. You're always treading that line between keeping yourself fresh and giving people something they want to hear.

    • Brian May: Doing "Made In Heaven" was like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, but I wouldn't have put my seal of approval on it if I hadn't thought it was up to standard.

    • Brian May: At the moment the Queen stuff does sell really well, but there's no guarantee it'll go on forever.

    • Brian May: Astronomy's much more fun when you're not an astronomer.

    • Brian May: A Queen track has those big, thick, block harmonies.

    • Brian May: A good video can make all the difference.

    • Brian May: I do think that maybe now people are looking at more depth to what we did. Yes, we were pretty flashy and we were pretty loud and at moments we seemed very outrageous, but there was a lot of honest craftsmanship that went on behind that. (Speaking in 2003)

    • Brian May: I don't think anyone has epitomised riff writing better than Jimmy Page - he's one of the great brains of rock music.

    • Brian May: I'm the world's biggest Led Zeppelin fan. The music, the way they conducted themselves, their whole management structure - they were the blueprint. Queen always used to play "The Immigrant Song" in sound checks just for the glory of the sound.

    • Brian May: I've never been fashionable and I never will.

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