Brian May

When Brian May's father started work in 1963 building a home-made guitar out of a discarded mantelpiece, he couldn't possibly have predicted the incredible journey the guitar and his son would eventually take. Brian May, born July 19, 1947 in London, and the homemade guitar he calls The Red Special would end up as the cornerstone of one of the world's biggest rock bands who in their heyday played to over a quarter of a million fans when Queen, the band he founded with Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, headlined the Rio Rock Festival. Using his distinctive guitar May developed an instantly recognizable style and sound. With his use of powerful chords, carefully structured harmonic layers and ingenious use of effects he has created some of the most memorable riffs in rock history. Aficionados of the guitar cite the five minutes and eight seconds of “Brighton Rock” on Queen's third album Sheer Heart Attack as one of May's finest performances. The track showcases May's extraordinary talents and became one of the highlights of Queen's live performances throughout their career. As a member of Queen, May achieved 23 top 10 albums and the same number of top ten singles. The band ceased after Freddie Mercury’s death, but Brian May had already scored a top 10 album with his solo debut, 1992’s Back to the Light, which included the UK top 10 hits “Driven by You” and “Too Much Love Will Kill You”. 1998’s Another World and 2000’s La Musique de Furia maintained his status as a guitar god. In 2005 May was awarded a CBE for services to the music industry and charity work and in 2007 he attained a PhD in astrophysics which led to him becoming a collaborator on NASA's New Horizons Pluto mission. Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about Freddie Mercury brought Queen a new generation of fans and led to Brian May and a reformed Queen opening the 2019 Oscar telecast. In 2021 a remastered release of Back to the Light returned Brian May into the top 10 of the UK album chart.

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