Thursday, 9 October 2014

Brian May's Red Special Book - Review - featured on

Brian May's Red Special Book - Review

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The first time a comprehensive look at how the famous Queen guitarist built his home made guitar the Red Special

A fully illustrated book viewing the history and background of the famous guitar.
First section contains pictures taken in the early 60's as the guitar was being built.

Greg Fryer in the 90's restored the red special which is fully documented.

Photographs from Queen up until On The Roof where Brian May played on the roof of Buckingham Palace during the Queens jubilee

At the end of the book pictures of all the different Red Specials that have been produced




Published in hardback, Carlton, 1st October 2014

A celebration of the iconic guitar that Brian May built with his father and has treasured and played all over the world for the last 50 years.

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“This book about my home-made guitar has been waiting in the wings for a very long time….Why the name ‘Red Special’? It goes back a long way. In the early days, she was always just ‘The Guitar’, and I think it was Jock, one of my first guitar techs, who, in a moment of what one might call over- familiarity, likened his burden of taking care of it to taking care of a spouse, referring to my treasure as the ‘Old Lady’. The appellation had an appeal, and kind of took root for a while. But, to me, this very personal instrument, with her humble beginnings in the minds and hands of my Dad and me, was worthy of a bit more respect than that. I remembered that at the time we finished the top coat of varnish, my Dad had wanted to christen her as the Brian May Special, and I had poo-pooed the idea; now I realised that it wasn’t so uncool to give her a proper name. So one day in a radio interview, when someone asked me what I called the guitar, the words Red Special just tumbled out before I’d had time to think. And from then on, that was her name. There are now a few thousand Red Special replicas in the world, but my first love still keeps some of her mystery. She is, after all, a one-off!” Brian May

Brian May and his father Harold started to hand-build an electric guitar in 1963 – a project that would take over a year to complete. Brian dreamed of a guitar that would outperform any of the existing commercially-made electric guitars; his father had the technical knowledge and skills to help make the dream come true. The book describes in detail the creative lengths father and son went to in order to construct the guitar. They were incredibly resourceful, using any materials they could get their hands on; the neck of the guitar was constructed from wood from an 18th-century fireplace mantel that a friend of the family was about to throw away and each of the position inlays was hand shaped from a mother-of-pearl button. Previously unseen original sketches, diagrams and notes accompany the text.

For the last 50 years The Red Special has been the guitar that Brian played on every Queen album, in all of Queen's live shows around the world and on the most special of occasions, including his legendary appearance on the roof of Buckingham, Live Aid and the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. In the book Brian talks about these incredible moments he shared with The Red Special and the world.

The book contains fascinating, previously unseen photographs of The Red Special in every stage of its creation as well as shots of Brian in action on stage and behind the scenes with his treasured guitar. It is fitting that the world’s greatest guitarist has a signature guitar as unique as The Red Special, with its own story that fills a book!

About the authors

Although best known to the world as the lead guitarist of supergroup Queen, Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics and is an expert in 3D photography. He co-wrote Bang! The Complete History of the Universe with Chris Lintott and Patrick Moore, A Village Lost and Found with Elena Vidal and Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell with Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming.

Simon Bradley has been a guitar journalist since 1996 and he has written hundreds of articles and interviews on all aspects of the instrument, for many magazines and websites including Guitarist, Total Guitar, What Guitar? Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Future Music,,, and many more.

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

There Must Be More To Life Than This - Queen - Guitar Tutorial chords

How to play on acoustic guitar There Must be More To Life Than This from the new up and coming Queen album Queen Forever. 

Originally from the 1985 Freddie Mercury album Mr Bad Guy.

In this lesson we look at the chords taken directly from The Mr Bad Guy songbook.

Begun in 1981 as part of the Hot Space sessions, this track is an anti-war and anti-racism song and was also to be recorded with Michael Jackson. A demo version of Jackson singing and Mercury playing the piano exists

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Love Kills - Freddie Mercury - guitar tutorial (chords)

How to play Freddie Mercury - Love Kills on acoustic guitar.

In this video we look at the chords needed to strum and play the track Love KIlls which is soon to be released as a remix on the forth coming Queen album Queen Forever

"Love Kills" is a song by Freddie Mercury, and his first song recorded as a solo artist. It was originally used in Giorgio Moroder's 1984 restoration and edit of the 1927 silent film Metropolis, as part of the film's new soundtrack. In 1985, the film was nominated at the 5th Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Musical Score, and the song itself was nominated for Worst Original Song.[1] Nevertheless, the single reached number ten on the UK Singles Chart.

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How To Play Queen - Let Me In (Your Heart Again) - guitar tutorial chords

How to play on acoustic guitar the soon to be released Queen track Let Me In (Your Heart Again)


In this video we look at the guitar chords to strum this new Queen song.
Chord progression is on screen to make following easier.

Originally recorded as part of the 1983 The Works sessions "Let Me in Your Heart Again", recorded in Los Angeles in 1983, would also be included on the new album. The song was previously recorded and released by May's wife Anita Dobson on her album Talking of Love in 1988, featuring May on guitar.

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