brian news

JULY 2009

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**Fri 31 Jul 09**

Red Special Forum RoadshowWe posted earlier this month, notice of the Red Special Forum Roadshow meeting, which was taking place on Saturday 18 July 200.

The meeting was well attended, successful and informative.

Readers may like to see some photographss from the event and short report, courtesy of Mark Reynolds, and Maki who has posted up HERE.

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**Sat 25 Jul 09**

Celebrity Avatars: Brian May, Joanna Lumley, Ricky Gervais, Chrissie Hynde
Celebrity Avatars - Brian May, Joanna Lumley Ricky Gervais and Chrissie Hynde
(The Sun)

Please join the virtual march to Make Animal Testing History

(On that page, click the up arrow top left to find Brian
playing his guitar to spur on the marchers.

In May an innovative campaign was launched called 'Make Animal Testing History'. It's a first for animal protection campaigning, the first ever web-based virtual march for laboratory animals. The campaign focuses on using the revision of Directive 86/609 to enable Europe to lead the world in humane science. Through targeted, constructive and detailed policy work the aim is to strengthen three main areas in the new law

- improved protection for animals in laboratories
- transparency, accountability and enforcement
- the ultimate replacement of animal experiments with non-animal techniques

The online virtual march to the European Parliament is in full swing. The campaign is now operating in no less than 13 European languages including Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian and Hungarian. Citizens from across Europe are now being invited to get e-active by signing an on-line pledge and creating their own personalised avatar marching character to join a mass cyber parade through Brussels towards the European Parliament building.

Thanks to Wendy Higgins
- supported by
   Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research
   Four Paws
   and Human Society Internatiomal


Brian's very cute avatar has now joined the celebrities cheering on the marchers.

Brian supports virtual marchers

Brian's quote:

Queen's legendary
guitarist and songwriter.

"Humans do not have the right to abuse other animals in any way whatsoever. What on Earth makes us think we are that important? If we want to call ourselves civilised, a change is long overdue. No animal should ever be subjected to indignity or discomfort, far less a painful death, in the name of Science. Let's make this despicable behaviour History."

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**Fri 24 Jul 09**

Brian's Air Tattoo Birthday CakeBBC NEWS
Friday, 24 July 2009

The cake had been originally intended for Queen guitarist Brian May

Residents at a care home have tucked into a birthday cake intended for pop sar Brian May. The treat had been prepared to present to the Queen guitarist when he visited the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in Gloucestershire. But when he was unable to attend Sunday's event - which coincided with his 62nd birthday - organisers decided to donate the cake. It was given to the 42 residents of Hyperion House in Fairford.

Katie Boyce, of Hyperion House, said: "This is a very nice surprise, and it's lovely to have it brought in to us. "Only one of our residents had actually heard of Brian, most of them prefer Vera Lynn and Glenn Miller, although one of the younger ones likes The Beatles.

"We'd like to wish him a belated happy birthday and extend an open invitation to him to call in when he's next in the area, as we always like to see new faces."
Edna Mervyn-Smith,
90, who calls in for lunch every day, added: "I don't know who Brian is, but his cake is lovely. I like classical music, particularly very old music."

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged each year in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.

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**Fri 24 Jul 09**

Brian plays guitar at LJMU media centre opening

By Laura Sharpe
Daily Post Staff
24 July 2009 p10

LEGENDARY guitarist Brian May was in Liverpool yesterday and picked up his famous Red Special guitar for an impromptu performance.

May, the chancellor of John Moores University, wowed students with his strumming techniques as he officially opened a new media centre at the Byrom Street campus.

Best known as the lead guitarist of rock group Queen, May signed the guitar and amp before having a go himself.

It was at the age of 17 that he first crafted the now famous guitar with his father.

Made using hand tools, it took two years to finish and became May’s main instrument throughout 30 years of live concerts and featured on all the Queen albums.

Handing over the signature guitar, the physicist and astronomer said he was happy with the guitar and it played well.

After touring the School of Engineering’s media suites and recording studios, May took time to answer questions from students from the BA Media, Cultural Studies and Pop Music Degree.

He also gave an insight into how he learnt to play and how music had evolved over the years.

He said: “In my school, pop music was a dirty word, in rebellion we had to go and play our guitars behind the cycle sheds.

“What we saw as going to get out guitars and rebelling is now modern culture.”

When asked how he improved his playing and created his individual style, he said: “Everyone needs to find their own style and where they’re heading. As an artist, nobody can create a vacuum and try and figure out what you can do.

“I’m not a person for practising for hours a day to improve my technique.

“Although many guitarists are, I’ve never been able to do that. My aim is to play what I feel and connect with my emotions and passion.

“I don’t really know where it comes from, but music is about how you feel.

“Music is a language. It’s not about practising in a locked room, if you don’t communicate, you can’t create music.”

Leaving the centre to return to congratulating graduates at ceremonies at the Anglican Cathedral May gave his verdict on the new centre.

He added: “It’s wonderful I had no idea to expect this, it’s a great facility and such great people.

“ Equipment is great but more importantly it’s filled with teachers and you’ve all got each other as you head out into life.”

Students on the university’s new BSc Audio and Music Production, and BSc Broadcast and Media Production degree will be taught in the centre.

Rock legend Brian May did an impromptu performance at the opening of John Moores University's new media centre.
He also signed one of his signature Red Special guitars and an amp which will go on display at the centre.

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**Fri 24 Jul 09**

Thursday 23nd July - Morning Ceremony
School of Business
School of Business

Brian stayed on in Liverpool and attended a second ceremony of Graduation, Thursday morning.


on occasion of the Liverpool John Moores University Graduation Ceremony
Thursday 23 July 2009 (morning ceremony)
at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

After the initial addresses, Brian was introduced by Professor Sanderson.

PROF FRANK SANDERSON:  I call upon the Chancellor to address the assembly.


Thank you very much.  I didn’t expect a round of applauds before I spoke.  That’s wonderful. 

It’s great to see a full house as well.  There’s nothing like playing to a completely sold out audience.

This is a great day.  I’m very very happy to be here with you.  I should do this formally - Vice Chancellor, esteemed colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.  It is a great pleasure for me to continue as Chancellor of this fine University, this unique  University, and it gives me even more pleasure to be part of this celebration with you today.

Graduands.  Graduands.  Yes this is all about you, and so it should be after all the work you’ve put in, but also mothers of graduands, fathers of gradunds, spouses of graduands. potential spouses of granduands. Children of graduands, I see – this is your day too. A great day to celebrate.

Graduands – I stand in a sense the other side of the fence, but I know exactly what it’s like to be a student, and very recently too.  It’s only last year that I collected my PhD from Imperial College, having gone back there as a very mature student, after an absence of 30 years and completing my Astrophysics research.

And I’m here to tell you that it reminded me very forcefully that it’s not very easy being a student and it’s not always pleasant.  You have a lot of demands made on you and your constantly being judged by people really who take your control away, it’s  a tough journey to be on, and I’ll tell you for myself there were quite a few times when I thought really, “I really, really don’t want to do this any more.  I really want to give up at this point.”   And I know, I would say most of you have been to those points as well, but what you did was gather yourself up, pull your courage together, get back on the horse, and the reason you’re all here today is because you did actually make it to the finish line.  So I congratulate you from my heart.

You’ve heard ‘Dream, Plan, Achieve’.  You haven’t got to this point in your careers without hearing that many times from this University.  It’s a motto that I heartily endorse, and I’ve lived it in my own life I think.  I think I was selected for this job partly because I have done, you know.  I’ve had many dreams.  Many varied dreams actually in Science, also in Music, recently in Stereo Photography, many things, and I’ve been fortunate to have made the right plans.  I’ve been fortunate to achieve many things.  I have many trophies on my wall, but what I would like to tell you, what I want to give you is to say that this is only a beginning and most of the days when you will carry this motto with you, which I hope you will, you’ll have had your dream.  You have your plan and you won’t get have achieved your aim.  It will be one of those days where you’re just working away at it and you’re solving problems.  Some of them might be difficult problems.  But I would say to you the real joy in life is to be found on those days when you’re on the journey.  And my message to you is – enjoy the journey.  Don’t look for some Nirvana at the end, where you will have achieved and everything will be fabulous, because it’s not gonna come.  Every time you achieve something, it’s the doorway to something else.

So my message to you really is ‘Dream, Plan, Achieve and Enjoy’. 

Enjoy every moment.  Take the time to have a balanced life, to look around you, to look at the sky, to look at the trees, to enjoy the interaction with the people around you.  All these things are precious.  And in a sense to me, the journey is everything.  I’m still on my journey and I will be until the day I die.  I hope that you’ll enjoy every moment of your journeys.

I look forward to shaking every one of your hands, looking into your eyes and personally congratulating you.

Talk about ‘enjoy every moment’, THIS is a great moment to enjoy, and we’re a little different from other Universities.  I’ve been to many graduation ceremonies where we’re instructed we shouldn’t really clap too much because we don’t have time.  I gotta tell you, I have permission from the Board to tell you that we DO have time in Liverpool John Moores University and when your son or your daughter or your spouse or your steps up to the plate over here, please DO feel free to clap and cheer and do whatever you feel like.  If you wanna get up and  have to get up and dance and punch the air as well, I think we can accommodate that as well.

This is to be enjoyed.  This is a proud moment which we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.

And if I could just add one other thing, when it’s all done and you’ve thrown your hats in the air, Graduands, it’s a good moment to make contact again with your family and go up to them and give them a hug and say ‘Thanks Dad’, ‘Thanks Mum’, because I can tell you I am also a father of Graduands.  I am a father of three children, one of whom has just got her First Class Honours from Imperial College in Biology – YES ! [punches air] – and


I know the pride that we feel as parents and I know that also families of students suffer.  So if you have time give ‘em a little hug and say ‘Thanks very much’.

That’s it from me really.

My final message is – I salute you, all you Graduands, and God bless you in your future journeys in life.


© brianmay.com

**Thu 23 Jul 09**

Wednesday 22nd July - Afternoon Ceremony
School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operation:
General Engineering Research Institute:
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences:
Astrophysics Research Unit

Dr Brian May LJMU 220709 pm
LJMU_220709 LJMU 220709

After the intial addresses, Brian was introduced by Professor Sanderson,


on occasion of the Liverpool John Moores University Graduation Ceremony
Wednesday 22 July 2009 (afternoon ceremony)
at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

PROF FRANK SANDERSON:  I call upon the Chancellor, Dr Brian May, to address the assembly

DR BRIAN MAY: Vice  Chancellor, distinguished guests and distinguished members of the Board.  Graduands.  Mums and Dads of graduands.  Spouses of graduands.  Potential spouses of granduands. Children of graduands. Welcome to you all

It’s with great pride that I speak to you as Chancellor of this great university, and I have to say I’ve been doing it a little while now, but I get a huge rush still, standing up here and being a part of this – this ceremony of celebration.  Because that’s what it is.  It’s total celebration.  That’s what we’re here for.

It’s not so long since I got my own PhD from Imperial College.  I went back as a mature student after an absence of about 30 years doing other things, and I was very proud to get my PhD on that day, and so the memory of actually being a student is very fresh in my mind, and it’s actually not a very nice place to be .

As a student you’re subject to immense pressures and immense demands are made of you, and you’re constantly being judged by people, who you can’t judge back.  It’s a difficult place to be, so I really appreciate what you've been through, and I know that we all get times when we think “My God, I really, really don’t want to be doing this any more”.

And the achievement really is getting through those times - getting back on the horse - taking up the challenge - and I’m very happy to celebrate with you the fact that you actually did get to the finishing line.  I congratulate you all.

Michael has talked to you about the motto of the University, dream, plan and achieve - and if you’ve got this far this won’t be the first time you’ve heard those words.

I completely endorse them and that's the way I've run my life, but I would like to add a little bit to it.  Michael has added ‘Integrity’.  I would like to add another word which is ‘Joy’.   I would say add enjoyment to what you do, and without enjoyment, without appreciation of life as it is in this moment, life is not very much really, no matter what you’re achieving.

So I would say, dream plan, achieve and enjoy. Look around you constantly, and ask yourself are you grateful?  Are you feeling joy in what is happening to you at this moment, ‘cos if you’re not, there is probably something wrong.

We all achieve best if we are loving what we’re doing.  So to me, I would add that in

This is a time for rejoicing, of course.  It’s a very special time and we should enjoy this particular occasion – this particular moment.

My graduation ceremony was very stiff, ‘cos not all universities are like this.  You know, we were told that we mustn’t applaud; we mustn’t make a noise. Let’s just get on with the ceremony.  Well, I’m here to tell you with the full permission of the Board that this occasion, when your spouse or your son or your daughter or your dad is getting the award, it IS an occasion to rejoice and it will be completely appropriate to clap and cheer and make a noise, and, if you absolutely have to get up and dance and punch the air, I’m sure we can accommodate that as well.

Enjoy!  This is a great moment.

Graduands, I'm very proud to be amongst you.  I look forward to shaking your hands and looking into your eyes individually.

Congratulations all.  God Bless


© brianmay.com

**Sun 19 Jul 09**

Brian playing WWRY Las Vegas Partys Vegas

A favourite photo from WWRY Las Vegas 2004 - and to wish our man Many Happy Returns.

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**Sat 18 Jul 09**

18 July 2009

Queen is one of those rock bands so rippled into what we consider that genre at this point that it seems too small a thing to call them "influential." From strict radio fare to the more outré mélange of Howlin Rain, of Montreal and My Morning Jacket, there's Queen smiling out at us, all art spangled and power chord sweet. They are hard rock and tearful weepers, brainy concept makers and silly song slingers – an incongruous, unapologetically massive swirl of elements that didn't exist before them but surely survives in myriad permutations today.

This Sunday, July 19, is guitarist Brian May's 62nd birthday and we couldn't let the weekend pass without raising a glass to him. The Caucasian afro-ed picker is muscle and grace, so tough yet so tender and right up there with the greatest riff architects in history. Without May there'd be no Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani or many others – or at least they'd play with a certain significant part of their vocabulary stripped out. Since Queen's self-titled 1973 debut, May has been nudging the genre in potent directions and we hope he gets the full measure of whatever birthday wish he makes this year when he blows out the candle.

Read more or their Queen article and videos HERE.

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**Sat 18 Jul 09**

Brian spoke of seeing the International Space Station when he was up on his roof at night or two ago.

Passing on a link to receive satellite pass prediction reports from NASA. This link will let you set up notification by email from them for up to 10 satellites. http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/JPass/PassGenerator/

It's a nice thing to receive, as you have a heads up on when they will be visible in your own local area.

Thanks to Sally (Sara) in Oregon

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**Fri 17 Jul 09**

We'd like to re-alert readers, in view of Brian's postings about fox cub rescue, and previously against a badger cull as ineffective for contaning bovine TB.  Now Wildlife Aid has now appealed for support in the BBC Countryfile Poll...


The link shown below will take you to a BBC Countryside website/questionnaire. There are two questions in which we are particularly interested:

- Was the government right to rule out a badger cull in England?
- Five years after the hunting ban, do you support or oppose hunting?

Please help us by immediately voting and forward this e-mail to all your contacts, asking them to do likewise. The fate of Britain's badgers is hanging in the balance and we must ensure that the opinion of those who abhor the slaughter of badgers is taken into account. Every vote will count, so don't delay, do it now.

VOTE HERE: http://www.bbccountryfile.com/polls


The poll page contains other issues, which you might want to vote on - just click the buttons - but please scroll down to the badger and fox hunting question. 

Current results on line now are

Was the government right to rule out a badger cull in England?
Yes - 78% (2466 votes)
No  - 22% (711 votes)
Total votes: 3177

Five years after the hunting ban, do you support or oppose hunting?
I support hunting - 56% (5553 votes)
I oppose hunting  - 42% (4155 votes)
I don't know         - 2% (150 votes)
Total votes: 9858

We need to send a clear message to those in the Conservative party who are threatening to overturn the ban.

Thanks to Mairi Hayworth
for reminder

© brianmay.com

**Thu 16 Jul 09**

Red Special Meeting

Ther will be a Red Special Meeting this Saturday, 18 July 2009, at St John's Community Centre, Hugglescote, Leicestershire. LE67 2BR 11am till late.


11:00 12:00 Arrival / Setting up of tables.
12:00 12:30 Meet and Greet Walk around.
12:30 14:00 Guitar , Amp and Booster Blind Test.
14:00 14:30 Red Special Restoration Seminar
14:30 15:00 Special Guest
15:00 15:30 Mike Hill Rig ‘Exploration’
15:30 16:00 Attenuation Attack
16:00 17:00 Free for all band
Anytime 2nd Room RS Guitar Set-up Clinic.
Anytime 2nd Room Song Tutorial

© brianmay.com

**Thu 16 Jul 09**

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landings in July, Jodrell Bank in Cheshire is hosting a celebratory event for members of the public and prominent space scientists to recognise the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. There select members of the public will have the chance to bounce their audio messages off the moon – with the Lovell telescope receiving the message from the moon and playing it out to the audience. This event takes place this Sunday 19 July in the daytime.

Both Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore are contributing moon bounce messages to the event – of what they might have said in Neil Armstrong’s place.

It is hoped to get the public more interested in Jodrell Bank’s vital work, by engaging them with the competition.

Not to spoil the surprise - we will hold off their messages here till after the event.

© brianmay.com

**Thu 16 Jul 09**

London Stereoscopic CompanyFor those interersted, please take a look at the London Stereo website

We're trying to canvas opinion about which of the 2 Transposable Image Viewing Formats readers prefer (Parallel Stereo Viewing or Flat Viewing) and we have the 2 versions shown near the top of the Brian May Stereos page [at the link above].

Your feedback appreciaed.

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