Brian May is the lead guitarist of legendary rock band Queen. His home-built electric guitar, called the Red Special, sets the stage for the rest of his gear. Every amp, pedal, and additional guitar act as supporting tools to his incredible tone and versatility. Originally from Hampton, London, this singer-songwriter/astrophysicist studied Mathematics and Physics at Imperial College London, graduating with a BSc. in Physics with honors. Before May was playing tremolo style for “Bohemian Rhapsody”, he started out in a band called Smile with fellow ‘Queenmate’ Roger Taylor. From there he went on to harmonize with the infamous Freddie Mercury, and built some pretty impressive gear cred, including his two AC30s, TC Electronics G-System, and a Dunlop Cry Baby to name a few.
While recording Queen’s albums, May applied his knowledge of physics in the recording studio. Using what he knew about sound waves, he created echoes that amplified the stomping and clapping section of a song, creating the illusion that the sounds were coming from a huge crowd of people. A prime example of this is with the song “We Will Rock You,” where May achieved his desired effect at concerts, as crowd members stomped, chanted, and clapped along in synchronicity.
- Members of:Rock Aid Armenia, Queen, Queen + Paul Rodgers, Smile, 1984, Rock Therapy, Queen + Adam Lambert
- Instruments:Guitar ukulele vocals
- Birth name:Brian Harold May
- Born:(1947-07-19) 19 July 1947 (age 70) Hampton, Middlesex, England
- Years active:1965–present
1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, present
- Labels:Hollywood, Parlophone
- Associated acts:Smile, Queen, Queen + Paul Rodgers, Robbie Williams, Queen + Adam Lambert, Foo Fighters, Kerry Ellis
- Spouse(s):Christine Mullen (m. 1976; div. 1988) Anita Dobson (m. 2000)