Guitar Player Magazine May 2021



Guitar Player (US) May issue is now on sale, featuring Brian May on the cover and a substantial interview with Brian.

The issue also marks 50 years of Queen both on the cover and inside.

In 1971, four young men with dreams of stardom grabbed rock and roll’s crown. Brian May looks back on Queen’s 50-year (and counting) reign and declares, “We’ll just press on with it.”

BRIAN MAY DOESN’T recall particulars about every Queen show. But there is one — almost 50 years ago at London’s Imperial College, where the guitarist had previously studied physics as an undergrad — that sticks with him. Why? For one, it was Queen’s first gig to be reviewed in a newspaper — and if you’re wondering, yes, it was a positive write-up. For another, because,in the 73-year-old guitarist’s words, “We had our full complement — we knew we finally had the right people in the band.” These people, of course, were drummer Roger Taylor, with whom May had previously played in the late-’60s rock-pop-bluesprogressive outfit Smile, Zanzibar-born singer Farrokh Bulsara, who by that time was answering to the name Freddie Mercury, and fresh-faced bassist John Deacon.

“So that was a big deal, for starters,” May says. But beyond the good reviews and winning combination of players onstage, May also recalls that performance being a standout thanks to the audience’s reaction.

“We had our first album coming out, and it felt like, for the first time, people knew what to expect from us,” he says. “The effect was phenomenal, because instead of going onstage and trying to persuade people that they might like what we do, we went onstage to a crowd of people who knew our music and wanted it. And they were giving us the energy to propel us to make those sounds that they’d cottoned on to.

“The feeling was incredible — it was like having your finger in a dam and a little trickle of water is coming out, and then suddenly the whole thing breaks down and you have this great, wonderful flood of energy.” … … … continues


Brian May cover picture - Guitar Player Magazine May 2021