Brian May at Red Special Book Launch – and Competition


Brian May’s Red Special – The Book Launch –

Brian May’s Red Special – The Book Launch –

In 1963, Brian May and his father Harold started to hand-build an electric guitar. Brian dreamed of a guitar that would outperform any of the existing commercially-made electric guitars and his father had the technical skills to make the dream come true. Brian then played that guitar on every Queen album and in all of Queen’s live shows around the world.

On Wednesday 1st October, Carlton Books celebrated the launch of Brian May’s new book, published to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of the world’s most iconic guitars, Brian May’s Red Special.

Video by Neil Foster


The Red Special Book Launch

“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


Win A Signed Copy Of Brian May’s Red Special Book

Simply answer the question below by watching the feature above.

According to Brian how many guitars does he own?

To enter-mail your answer to with your name, address and phone number.

(Note: Winners will be chosen at random. Entries must be in by Monday 17th November 2015)

Order: Brian May’s Red Special Book

More info 

Check out more Red Special Launch videos and photos HERE.