brian news

APRIL 2012

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**Sun 15 Apr 12**
2012 OLIVIER AWARDS

 
Brian May and Anita Dobson arrive at The Royal Opera House, London,
for the 2012 Olivier Awards - 15 Apr 2012

Opening with a performance of Bohemian Rhapsody by Brian May and the cast of We Will Rock You, the event continued with awards interspersed with performances from this year’s new musicals. Later, Brian, together with Elaine Paige, presented The Audience Award to Les Miserables.

BBC
Musical hit Matilda was the toast of this year's Laurence Olivier Awards, winning seven prizes at a ceremony held at the Royal Opera House in London. They included one for best actress in a musical, presented jointly to the four child stars who share the title role. Special awards were presented to lyricist Sir Tim Rice and to Dame Monica Mason.

Check out Winners List HERE.

 

Brian and Noel Sullivan - Bohemian Rhapsody

©brianmay.com


**Wed 11 Apr 12**
MY WEEK - BRIAN MAY IN THE BIG ISSUE
The Big Issue

THE BIG ISSUE - THE MIX
27 Feb - 4 March 2012 No 989

INTERVIEW BY JASPER HAMILL

Queen legend, astronomer:
"I THINK ABOUT FREDDIE MERCURY EVERY DAY"

My week is full of all kinds of stuff you wouldn't believe.
I have lived my whole life without a timetable so I don't take very kindly to that kind of discipline. A typical week will have a lot of astronomy, a small amount of stereoscopic photography, a bit of music and lot of animal welfare stuff. I divide my time between those things and trying to be a family person.

On Monday, my day might start with a call from Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, who are Tory Party members fighting for good treatment of animals.
The government has announced a pilot cull of badgers, which is horrific. They are calling themselves a green government, but they are the opposite. David Cameron has just said he thinks the Hunting Act should never have been brought in, criminalising fox hunting. Well I'm sorry Mr Cameron, maybe you don't want to criminalise abusing children either?

I'm not proud of this, but I don't spend a lot of time practising the guitar - but I do pick it up every day, because it's my friend and keeps my fingers supple.
One day a week I'm in the studio, playing and producing with this wonderful singer called Kerry Ellis. That's probably my favourite day of the week, when I can turn off my phone and just play music.

On Thursdays, I try to do a bit of astronomy.
I'm co-writing a book with Patrick Moore. We've already published a book called Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, a modest title, and we're now working on a sequel, The Cosmic Tourist. It's very populist, because I believe what you write has got to be understandable by anyone who has an interest in the topic.

I don't go dancing with my wife.
Dancing's not me, bit it's very much Anita [Dobson]. I don't really get it.

I watch The X Factor occasionally, but I don't like this business of judging people.
Nowadays, judging is all you see on TV. Next year I plan to put on Strictly Come Bricklaying, because I think its underestimated as a sport.

I am a depressive kind of person, so the way I deal with it is by keeping busy.
Depression is a strange black animal that sits on your shoulder and is waiting to get you. It's never very far away and when it hits, it can be like fighting through black treacle.

I think about Freddie Mercury every day, because he always comes up in conversation.
You can't live with someone all that time, longer than any of my relationships, without him being a big part of your life and your thoughts. And he was a very large person, in spirit. I don't feel maudlin about him. Some things will upset me but generally it's a good feeling speaking about Freddie and I'm very glad we shared all that stuff

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Brian May's exhibition, A Village Lost and Found, runs at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol until March 4. www.rwa.org.uk

©brianmay.com


**Wed 11 Apr 12**
BRIAN MAY'S GUITAR TONE - MY LES PAUL FORUMS

How does he get such a rich sound? I know a ton of it has to do with his own hands and playing ...

Check out discussion on Brian's tone - or join in discussion here:
www.mylespaul.com/forums/squawk-box/192796-brian-may.html

© brianmay.com


**Tue 10 Apr 12**
ANITA DOBSON ON DAYBREAK (10TH)

Brian's beautiful and talented wife, Anita Dobson, will be making an appearance on the ITV1 ‘Daybreak’ today (10th) - approx time 8:04 or 8:40am. Also the tour for ‘Bette and Joan’ heads to Richmond in Surrey from today until Saturday 14th. It’s a fabulous show try not to miss it.

www.theanitadobsonfanclub.com

© brianmay.com


**Mon 09 Apr 12**
STRAT PACK CONCERT 2004 ON SKY ARTS (MON & THURS)

 
Albert Lee and Brian May

On TV in the UK this week: Strat Pack Concert [50th Anniversary Of The Fender Stratocaster]

In 2004, some of the world's greatest performers, inclucing Queen [Brian May], Free, Amy Winehouse and the Rolling Stones, gathered at Wembley Arena to celebrate 50 years of the Fender Stratocaster guitar

Sky Arts 1
Mon 9 APR: 11pm - 1:40am
Thu 12 Apr: 10:20am
  Sky Arts 1 HD
Mon 9 Apr 11pm - 1:40am
Thu 10:20am

Brian May and Paul Rodgers "All Right Now"

Brian plays on tracks:

Oh Boy! - Sonny Curtis vocal
Maybe Baby - Brian May vocal
Love You More Than I Can Say - Sonny Curtis vocal
Every Day - " " "
Peggy Sue - " " "
I Fought The Law And The Law Won - " " "
That'll Be The Day - Brian May vocal
All Right Now - Paul Rodgers vocal
Stay With Me - All Star cast

Available on DVD and BLU-RAY

 

 
Strat Pack DVD

© brianmay.com


**Tue 03 Apr 12**
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE: A PLANET UNDER THREAT? - PART 1 PT 2
QUEEN LEGEND ON ANIMAL WELFARE

The Witness - March 2012 cover ( Exeter University)Transcribed by Brianmay.com

THE WITNESS
March 2012 p4-5
EXETER UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE

THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE: A PLANET UNDER THREAT?
UNDER PRESSURE

Legendary Queen guitarist Dr Brian May explains why animals are just as important to him as music.

How did you come to be involved in animal rights?

Animal rights is a phrase which has been sullied, and I think deliberately so by certain elements of society. Animal rights ought to be a very positive thing but we're made out to be a bunch of extremists. So the phrase that people tend to use is animal welfare which is how we generally describe ourselves. I always had a feeling that people didn't quite understand what was going on with animals in relation to humans. I've always felt that there is actually very little difference between the rest of the mammal kingdom and human beings, so why would we have this humano-centric view that the only creatures that matter on this planet are human beings? It's been a lifelong thing.

How likely do you think it is that the Conservatives will eventually overturn the fox-hunting ban?

I think it's fairly likely they will try but of course we don't have a Conservative government, we have Lib-Dems in government too, I should call it the ConDem government. Although they say they're green it's a very bad time for animals, it's a time when animals are condemned - unfortunately a whole population of badgers is now condemned by this government.

Do you think the government would have public support in overturning the ban?

There's a lot of public support against it but they've ignored it all. I mean they went through this whole business of a public consultation on the badger cull and overwhelmingly people were against it but they ignored it. It's plain they've been absolutely set on killing badgers since way before they were in power, in fact all the quotes are there. It's a mistake and it's not going to work and farmers are going to be very disappointed. The rest of the country, who actually do care about animals, are going to be more and more incensed. i think we're going to see an awful lot of unrest because of the way the government is treating wild animals and trying to call themselves 'green' at the same time.

In your experience from all your years of campaigning what would you say is the most successful way of attracting people's attention and promoting change?

Well we try to work on various levels. Obviously we try to lobby within Parliament; we have lots of people who are very concerned and they're across all parties, which is great because it frees me from this feeling that I might be a party political animal, which I'm not in any sense whatsoever. We at 'Save Me' (the campaign Brian set up to support animal welfare) will support anybody who is working for the welfare of animals, so for instance I work with Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, I work with various elements of the Labour party and recently I've been talking to the Bow Group which is also in the Conservative Party. I have a very good relationship with the Green Party because really they're the only party who have a thought-out agenda with regards to improving things in animal welfare.

Moving onto wider environmental concerns, what would you say are the biggest environmental problems facing the UK and the world?

It's a thorny area isn't it? Among the scientific community that I am in touch with there is still a split of opinion as to whether we are responsible for global warming. I know recently there a been a change in the data that I've seen, so we don't seem to be looking at warming anymore but a slight cooling effect. I find it difficult and I don't think anybody can lay down the law definitely as to what's going on. To me the important issues are the welfare of humanity and of animals, and those issues are directly affected by the health of the planet in general. I think the global warming issue, although it's been a nice thing for people to jump on to has in a sense obscured the waters because they think if they get the CO2 levels right everything's going to be fine but unfortunately it's not. There are so many issues but I suppose the primary cause that I feel is responsible for these problems is overpopulation of humans. And actually there are all sorts of things we could get away with as a race if there weren't so bloody many of us. Nobody's advocating getting rid of human beings but it's a major, major problem for this planet that there are too many people on it. We're becoming a plague.

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CONTINUED
=========

PART 2 [BRIAN MAY IN 'THE WITNESS' MAGAZINE'
March 2012]

You've alluded to anthropocentrism in the past. Where do you thing our human-centric attitude originates?

Well, being an astronomer it's very plain to see. If you go back to Ptolemy's universe we were at the centre of it! The earth was at the centre and the sun went round us, the planets went round us, the whole universe went round us. Gradually we were able to discover through Copernicus, Galileo, etc. that we're actually not at the centre of the universe and even our sun isn't at the centre of the universe. In fact the sun's not even at the centre of the local Milky Way galaxy which in turn is not the centre of the greater universe.

So it's a familiar concept to me this kind of strange arrogance that we have, that makes us assume we are the most important thing. Maybe it's a sort of deep-seated need in human beings, but to me it's based on absolutely nothing. There are many creatures, many wonderful creatures on this planet, who think in a rather different way to us but to say we have the right to cover the world in concrete and get rid of anything that gets in our way is the root of much of the evil in our society.

Four years ago you were appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. What are your thoughts on the difficulties universities face at the moment in their relationship with the current government?

Where do I start? To be honest I think whichever government we had at this moment there would still be difficulties but I do think that many of the problems are being attacked at the wrong end. If you attack the basis of education in this country eventually you are weakening the whole country. To me education should be more of a priority on the government's agenda than it is. And they can get away with it for a short time but in the long term the cracks will really start to show as education starts to fall to pieces. I would advocate not making many of the cuts that are being made in the academic sector.

You previously told the BBC you would rather be remembered for your animal welfare campaigning than for your music. Do you stand by that statement? What makes you consider animal rights campaigning more important?

It's hard to compare passions, but this is where my heart is now. I love to make music and really I think music is what keeps me going - it still gives me great joy. I'm working with a lady called Kerry Ellis at the moment on a new album and we will be doing a bit of Queen stuff later, in fact we've just announced a concert in Knebworth. This is what keeps me going, but the whole business of how we treat creatures on this planet disturbs me so deeply and it's become more and more a central part of my life. I would like to go to my grave thinking that I've made even a small difference in the way we treat the rest of the creatures with which we share this planet.

I believe you've had an asteroid named after you?

Yes it was Patrick Moore who made that happen and it's a very nice compliment. it's not something that I get up and think about every day but it is out there.

Transcribed by © brianmay.com


**Tue 03 Apr 12**
BRIAN, KERRY AND VIRGINIA - SOUTH AFRICA PRESS CALL

Brian May and West End award-winning singer/actress Kerry Ellis, together with 'Born Free' founder, Virginia McKenna, appeared for a Press Call at Granger Bay in Cape Town. The occasion was the launch of 'Pride of Cape Town' - an initiative to help the endangered lion population, by Born Free, in conjuntion with Land Rover.

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PRESS RELEASE:
LAND ROVER LION KICK STARTS THE PRIDE OF CAPE TOWN WITH QUEEN'S BRIAN MAY

Queen guitar-legend Brian May CBE and acclaimed West End and Broadway singer Kerry Ellis made a special appearance at Granger Bay, Cape Town to launch the Pride of Cape Town – in aid of Land Rover's Global Conservation Partner, the Born Free Foundation.

Land Rover and Born Free collaborated together for the Pride of Cape Town - a major public arts event that will see a colourful pride of fifty life-sized, 30kg lion sculptures located in South Africa's popular V & A Waterfront.

The pride of creative lions will be released to 'prowl' the streets of Cape Town in March 2013, followed by an auction in May of the same year, with the proceeds supporting the international wildlife charity.

Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May said; “We’ve had the honour to be part of an amazing initiative called the ‘Pride of Cape Town’ here in South Africa, in aid of the Born Free Foundation. You can help too – via the People’s Lion - you can sponsor this special lion with as little or as much as you’d like and you can donate directly at www.bornfree.org.uk. In return, your name will be painted on the People’s Lion and along with the rest of the pride, the People’s Lion will be auctioned off in May 2013 in Cape Town, to raise vital funds for helping to save African wildlife. It could well be the most expensive lion ever! Special thanks to Land Rover for supporting the launch event with a mixture of Range Rover, Defender and Discovery vehicles in Cape Town.”

In September 2011, Land Rover had helped Born Free raise a grand total of £75,000 GBP in the Pride of Bournemouth, featuring Born Free Foundation ambassador and actor Martin Clunes. Proceeds of the event went to two charities; Born Free Foundation and a local Bournemouth charity.

Mark Cameron, Land Rover Global Brand Extension Director said; "We are proud to be working with our Global Partner Born Free Foundation and supporting of the launch of The Pride of Cape Town, in South Africa.

The relationship with the charity is a historical one – stretching back to the 1966 film when Land Rovers were used in the original and classic ‘Born Free’. In the present day, we support a wide range of Born Free projects stretching from Kenya to Ethiopia, Sri Lanka to South Africa, as well as within the UK, where both organisations are headquartered. The renowned capability of Land Rover vehicles is an important enabler to the fantastic wildlife conservation work undertaken by the Born Free Foundation.”

Virginia McKenna OBE and Founder of Born Free Foundation said; "Since 2002, Born Free have worked closely together with Land Rover, helping hundreds of animals worldwide. I sincerely hope that the Pride of Cape Town will not only highlight Born Free’s international conservation efforts, but provide a special focus on the plight of lion numbers which have dramatically dropped due to persecution, loss of habitat and unsustainable trophy-hunting. Their position has never been more perilous and there may be as few as 25,000 left across the entire continent and it’s crucial that we act now before it’s too late.”

Born Free has long-established links with South Africa and operates both the Big Cat Rescue and Education Centres at the Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, with the help of a Defender 130 vehicle.

Born Free Foundation's partnership with Land Rover forms part of an integrated approach to sustainability and is one of six Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners within Land Rovers' sustainability strategy called Our Planet.

© brianmay.com


**Tue 03 Apr 12**
MUSICIANS SET TO FANFARE THE FLAME - WITH KIT FROM BRIAN

Brian has donated kit, including an amp, effect pedals, plectrums, cablea and strings to this venture - reported in Northants Evening Telegraph.

NORTHANTS EVENING TELEGRAPH
3 April 2012

YOUNG musicians in Corby are set for the experience of a lifetime when they provide the fanfare for the Olympic Flame coming to the town. Talented teenagers are being recruited to line the flame’s route and perform the iconic music from the film Chariots of Fire.

And some will be playing using equipment donated by legendary Queen guitarist Brian May.

The flame will be passing through the town on July 2 and will be played in by the Oakley Rangers youth group and pupils from Corby Business Academy, Brooke Weston Academy and Lodge Park Technology College. Further schools may also sign up before the big day.

The event is the brainchild of Oakley Vale author and musician Paul Balmer, who runs the Oakley Rangers group. He is applying for a Lottery grant to help fund the event.

Mr Balmer said: “For me it is about building self-esteem. What a great feeling to be there when the Olympic flame comes to your town and you will be fanfaring it in. I would hope they would remember it all their lives. It is about taking the feel-good factor and experience. Having that connection with something as big as the Olympics is really great.”

But before the event, Mr Balmer is having to explain the significance of the film to the children. He said: “I have got the DVD and I’m going to sit them all down at the Connaughty Centre and show it to them.”

Brian May and Mr Balmer share a publisher and were put in touch with each other, as Mr Balmer is writing his latest book on how to build a guitar. Mr May is one of rock’s most famous players of a self-built guitar.

Mr Balmer visited his mansion in Ascot and talked to him about the Oakley Rangers group – and he donated kit including an amp, effects pedals, plectrums, cables and strings.

© brianmay.com

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