Guitarist of Queen – Brian May. Story of success.

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In today’s article we will highlight the success of Brian May, the famous guitarist of Queen. Who he is? How he became successful? What’s his signature guitar? These are only a few questions that we’ll find answers to. Trust me, you will find out a lot of new facts about this remarkable guitarist if you keep on reading. Ready? Let’s rock!

Brian Harold May – an incredibly talented Queen guitarist

Brian Harold May is a musician from in England. He was born on July 19th 1947 in a nursing home at Hampton Hill, Twickenham. One year before his birth, his Scottish mother married his English father. At the age of 21, Brian formed a band called Smile along with Tim Staffell, a vocalist and bass player. What’s interesting, Roger Taylor, who also went on to play with Queen, was also join this band. Two years later in 1970 Brian and Roger joined forces with Freddie Mercury and John Deacon and founded Queen. The rest is history.

What’s interesting, Brian is also a passionate astrophysicist. In fact, he was awarded the astrophysics PhD degree from Imperial College London. He started his work in 1971 and finished it in 2007. What a legend. He was still trying to finish his degree even when his musical career kicked off. Another interesting fact is that Brian collaborated with NASA on their Pluto Mission. He even has an asteroid named after him. Pretty good for a rock star, huh?

Queen – One Of The Biggest Rock Bands In History

I’m sure that we’re all aware that Queen is one of the most famous and legendary bands in the history of music. The story of their band is also really special. Although still a lot of people, when they think of Queen, think only of Freddie Mercury. Of course, he was a remarkable and gifted artist. Nevertheless, Queen consisted of four band members who equally contributed to their success. In my opinion, without Brian May this band would never be the same. If you haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody, you should definitely take some time to watch it. The movie focuses mostly on Freddie, although it sums up the history of the band in a very good manner. See the trailer below if you haven’t seen it.

Bohemian Rhapsody

The band was extremely successful. Their global presence and exceptional success resulted with over 300 million sold records worldwide. That number makes them one of the best-selling bands in the history of modern music. The band recoreded dozens of top hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody, “Love of My Life”,”We Will Rock You”, “We Are the Champions”, “Radio Gaga” and many, many more other songs.

Guitarist not only of Queen

What’s interesting, Brian May was involved a lot of other projects apart of Queen. In 1983, several band members started exploring solo work and side gigs. For example, in April 1983 Brian met with Eddie Van Halen in a studio, with no plan to record music. Nevertheless, the men got really creative and their collaboration resulted with a release of Star Fleet Project at the end of year 1983. Although this mini-album consists of only three songs, it really unique. On top of that, not many people remember about it these days. You can hear the album below. Sounds pretty good, right?
Star Fleet Project

Apart from this record, Brian May collaborated with Steve Hackett (Genesis) on his solo album called Feedback 86. What’s interesting, Brian also recorded guitar solos for Black Sabbath. We can hear his work in the song called When Death Calls from their 14th album called Headless Cross. Other collaborations from the 1980s include work with Anita Dobson and Living In a Box.

Handmade Guitar

What’s interesting, the guitarist of Queen and his father built his guitar completely on their own. They called it The Red Special. In fact, it’s one of the most iconic guitars in the music industry. Here’s a great video from the interview with Absolute Radio in which Brain shares more details about the history of that guitar. I highly recommend checking it out!

In fact, he decided to create a brand called Brian May Guitars. His guitars are available exclusively on their website. There is quite a few different models available in his shop. Moreover, the guitars offer top quality and amazing tone without breaking the bank. Apart from guitars, the company also produces guitar effects and guitar accessories, such as guitar straps, capos and gig bags. If you’re interested, I highly recommend checking out the official website of his guitar store. This gives a great opportunity for Queen fans to purchase a glimpse of Queen’s tone. If you’d like to find out more about the Red Special, I know a really good book about this. Feel free to check it out below.

Red Special Guitarist of Queen
Brian May’s Red Special

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What’s interesting, apart from being one of the best guitarists in history, Brian May is also a really good vocalist. Here’s a great video of his performance of ‘Love of My Life’ from Brasil in 2005. What a voice!

Brian May – Love Of My Life

Guitarist of Queen – My Thoughts

As you can see, the history of Brian May is really interesting. It’s amazing that he wanted to pursue his career in astrophysics even after Queen became so successful. Brian is definitely a passionate and truly gifted musician. He achieved everything thanks to his hard work and persistence. His guitar tone is absolutely remarkable. I’m really sure that without him Queen wouldn’t be that extremely successful. On top of that, the fact that he built his guitar completely on his own with his dad still amazes me.

Although I never met him and I’ll probably never meet him, he seems like a really cool guy in person. I’ve seen a lot of interviews with him and he’s definitely the kind of guy you could totally hang out with. I’d love to get a beer with the guitarist of Queen. Brian, if you’re reading this article – let’s go for a pint of beer in London sometimes. The beer is on me!

If you liked this article, feel free to check out my other articles of the most influential guitarists of all time.


Dave, the author of this blog is an advanced musician with years of significant experience within the music industry. The aim of this blog is to educate beginner guitarists, promote the best ways to learn guitar playing and highlight the best guitarists on our planet. Thanks for checking out our blog! Feel free to share this article and spread the word about Best Guitars Now.





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