Hall of Idols #60: Brian May


Sixtieh installment in a series exploring very important people in my life.

Let me start explaining how this will work: I listed 65 idols of mine. Every Friday (with the exception of those reserved for the Rock Chain posts) I’ll draw one of the names (following a system that it’s really not important to be explained here) and talk about it.

Therefore, the order in which the names will appear doesn’t necessarily shows where they rank in my preference.

As a final introductory note, this is also not a biography article. I’ll just write how I feel about people represented in it, their talent and their importance in my life.

We tend to think that talented artists and sportsman are born to do what they do and nothing else, and a good portion of time we are right. I mean, a guy can sing and also conduct biology researches? That’s impossible, right?

Well, probably most of the time yes, but there is one glaring and wonderful exception.

He is Brain May, Queen guitar-genius and also a phenomenal astrophysicist!

Brian Harold May was born 19 July 1947 in Hampton, London, England. He is the only child of Harold and Ruth May and attended Hampton School where he attained three A-levels graduation: Physics, Mathematics, and Applied Mathematics. In college he studied Mathematics and Physics and graduated with a BSc in Physics with honor.

However, Brian’s academic career had to wait a little because also in college he formed a band called Smile with vocalist Tim Staffell. After parting ways with Tim, the band recruited one of their greatest fans as a vocalist. He was a young man called Farrokh Bulsara – recently emigrated from India, but born in Zanzibar (modern day Tanzania) – who had changed his name to Freddie. They changed their name to Queen and the rest as they say; is history.

Playing his Red Special, built together with his father from the wood of their fireplace, Brain managed to have a sound of his own, different of what anybody had done before or since and together with his partners in the band, completely revolutionized Rock music.

Not only Brian plays wonderfully, his writing skills are second to none. Queen staples like “We Will Rock You”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “I Want It All”, “fat Bottomed Girls”, “Hammer to Fall”, “Save Me”, “39” and “Who Wants to Live Forever” were all penned solely by Brian.

And how about his singing? It’s actually quite good. Not only doing those wonderful backing vocals along Roger Taylor, but the songs he sing sound wonderful: “Misfire”, “39”, “Long Away”, “Teo Torriate”, “All Dead, All Dead”, “Sleeping on the Sidewalk” and that heart-wrenching live version of “Too Much Love Will Kill You.”

If all his musical accomplishments weren’t enough, he is also an activist for animal rights and since 14 May 2008, a PhD in astrophysics from the Imperial College of London.

He is definitely in my Top 10 list of favorite guitar players of all time and it’s one of the few people in the world that I always love to know what he has to say.

For all that Mr. May, let us cling to together in the Hall of Idols.

Current playlist:


The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – Stephen King

Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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