Very nice piece featuring Steve Vai singing Brian’s praises – during an appearance on Tone Talk (see video):
Steve Vai Offers Explanation on What Makes Brian May So Amazing
9 September 2019
(Transcript by UG)
“He has real quality, integrity, rock sensibilities – he has a phenomenal ear for the actual music, you know? His inner ear constructed that amazing tone that he has, and it always sounded great. And just the fact that he was able to build that guitar when he was young… that Red Special was hand-built by him, so it has a myriad of tones to it. “But all these tones and everything in his guitar, in his amp, are just one dimension. It all comes from his fingers and his mind. I’ve played with Brian on a lot of occasions and he always sounds like Brian.
“As a matter of fact, when I first moved out to LA, I didn’t know anybody, nobody knew me, I was working for Frank [Zappa], wasn’t even in the band yet, and I went to the Rainbow.
“I studied Queen. Queen had tremendous impact, it was one of the first bands I’ve seen, and when you find music when you’re an adolescent – when you’re going through those changes, when you’re starting to develop your own independence, your own perspective, the hormones are kicking in – you start feeling pressure against people who are trying to make you be a certain way, and you can get pretty intense.
“… When I heard Queen, and all that great music of the ’70s… it held a special place that never goes away. “And lucky for me, they were all absolutely brilliant musicians. There’s nothing like that, nothing even remotely like it. It was like a paradigm shift, and what Brian was doing, and the way the stars came together with him and the band. And Brian’s whole overview of sound and guitar parts, there was just nothing like it.”
Brian May, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai – Liberty