brian news

JULY 2011

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**Sun 10 Jul 11**
JOELY BEAR BLOOD DONOR APPEAL, BOREHAMWOOD

We've been asked to mention this Blood Donor session:

Joely Bear Blood Donor Flyer

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**Sat 09 Jul 11**
FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS - BRIAN TALKS TO TOTAL GUITAR

In July 2011 Total Guitar magazine, Brian gives a video lesson on the cover disk - and this insight into one of his best-known compositions, followed by "Sound Advice" on playing the track ….

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Total Guitar July 2011 - Slash coverTOTAL GUITAR
July 2011, page 126
QUEEN - FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS
[Transcribed by brianmay.com]

Brian May talks exclusively to TG about this peachy slice of drop D sugar. It's cheeky rock at its very best.

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QUEEN may be the only band in history in which every member has composed a single that's ranked No1 on at least one country's charts, but the author of Fat Bottomed Girls is clear. Obviously written on guitar, it has Brian May's 'rock' stamp all over it. In common with other greats, including AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, May often prefers open-position chords to barre chords further up the neck. And listening to Fat Bottomed Girls, you could picture it sung with an acoustic guitar as a sort of folk ditty, although a Cornish sea shanty isn't exactly what May had in mind as he told TG.

 

CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LARGER

"I actually conceived it as fitting the 'swamp; style of the Deep South of the USA," he reveals. "I admired those guys with a Dobro on their knee and a foot stamp, which I saw as organically congruent with ZZ Top and electric southern boogie. But, yes this kind of single chant works in many folk styles - did you hear the brilliant Hayseed Dixie version?"

Recorded at Super Bear studios in Berre-les-Alpes during '78's Tour de France, Roy Thomas Baker occupied the producer's chair and the whole band was there.

"We did the backing track live in the studio, Roger [Taylor], John [Deacon] and myself, with Freddie [Mercury] throwing in comments," says May. "Roger and John instinctively rose to the occasion."

Since the song was recorded en France we couldn't resist asking May if he got his inspiration from a particular derrière?

Total Guitar "Well, that would be telling," he quips. "Actually, I've always thought it was a bad idea to explain songs too much. I remember being so disappointed with what Paul Simon had to say about his writings - it destroyed my mental images. OK, there were a lot of bottoms involved, and not just the ones in my direct experience. You'll have to use your imagination a bit, but I can tell you there was a big glint in my eye, because there were inspirations in both camps on tour. And remember, I was writing a song for Freddie to sing! But my prime inspiration was my realisation that it wasn't just the glamorous beauties who fuelled the rock 'n' roll romance that was 'touring'; in so many cases, it was the unruly kids who devoted themselves to rock bands in a very self-effacing way: the real fans."

Although May has used techniques such as tapping and slide, we don't usually associate him with alternative tunings. But Fat Bottomed Girls takes advantage of its written key and first position chord shapes by lowering the sixth string a tone to drop D. Often this happens as part of the studio production process, but not this time. "No it was written that way, swamp-style," he confirms. "I had most of it in my head so it was one of the easier tracks to make work."

May tells us that the opening section is two guitars, double-tracked, "but a few more as it grows". Often, he would use a home-made transistor amp built into a hi-fi speaker cabinet by bassist, John Deacon, dubbed the 'Deacy'. This time, though, it was his venerable Vox AC30 paired with his legendary Red Special guitar. Pickup selection? Effects? "My usual bridge and middle pickup in phase, no effects."

Die-hard fans will know that the single version has the guitar fills between the verses omitted and the song fades before the end. With the band's history of tracks such as Bohemian Rhapsody breaking the 'three-minute rule', could they not have insisted on the full version being aired? Pragmatism, it seemed, ruled the day. "It's just gut instincts," explains May, "but we felt we wanted it to motor into the main part of the song quicker on the radio."

Another track on the Jazz album, Bicycle Race, not only celebrates the two-wheeled form of self-propulsion, but also cross-references Fat Bottomed Girls in the lyrics. Any particular reason?

Total Guitar Juy 2011 p128"Just fun," Brian chortles. "All this stuff was floating around while the Tour de France was coming through Nice. It gave us a kind of mental focus - the image of naked girls on bikes. We were boys. We wouldn't go into that area now, I would be much too conscious of respect for ladies. But, well, at the time…"

Queen's sound is unmistakable, and producer Roy Thomas Baker knows why. "If you don't have that identifiable sound, you get merged in. If the DJ doesn't mention who it is, then nobody will know who it is, it will just be another band, and nothing is worse than being anonymous."

Brian elaborates on Girls' sound specifically: "Usually, we record my guitars with no EQ. But in this case, the more we mixed it, the more the guitars seemed to sink into the mud, so we kept adding more middle, the middle to high frequencies giving clarity and presence. In the end it worked. A rarity on this track is that Roger double-tracked all the drums - even that insane fill that heralds the final choruses."

Unsurprisingly, the song has become a highlight of Queens hit musical, We Will Rock You, so it's heard every night in theatres in cities across the globe.

"It''s a nice excuse for us to highlight our Killer Queen's vocal prowess and exhibit the attributes of the gorgeous girl dancers in the ensemble," concludes May, "whose bottoms are, of course, anything but fat!" (NM)

© brianmay.com


**Fri 08 Jul 11**
RE-SHOWING OF BRIAN'S HISTORY OF 3-D

What's On on the Sky 3D Channel....

Brian May: The History of 3D
Saturday 9 July, 1.30pm

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**Fri 08 Jul 11**
THE ONE SHOW

Brian May dropped into The One Show studio this evening and had a friendly interview with presenters, Chris Evans and Alex Jones, primarily about his forthcoming Anthems concert at RAF Cranwell on 16 July, where his parents met. Talking (topically) of News of the World, playing Hungry Hippos and eating peas with Jay Rayner.

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**Fri 08 Jul 11**
REVIEWS AND BRIAN MAY INTERVIEW:
WWRY @ BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

Brian May in Birmingham for We Will Rock YouSHROPSHIRE STAR
WE WILL ROCK YOU - AD THEY DID
Friday 8th July 2011
Brian May joins the cast of We Will Rock You at the Hippodrome

We Will Rock You
Birmingham Hippodrome, July 7, 2011

We Will Rock You, promises the title of the musical by Queen and Ben Elton – and at Birmingham’s Hippodrome last night that pledge was fulfilled. Is it camp? Yes. Is it overblown? Yes. It’s a musical set to the songs of Queen. Of course it is.

After a fairly subdued start, the production moves into high gear when huge hits fall over each other, with the likes of Under Pressure, A Kind Of Magic and Fat Bottomed Girls all present and correct.

Plaudits go particularly to Amanda Coutts, as Scaramouche, and Jenny Douglas, as Meat, whose powerful voices tackled each number that came their way with a style and ease that would have made the late, great Freddie Mercury proud.

Mention must be made, too, of lead actor Noel Sullivan, ably backed up by Mid Wales’s Rhydian Roberts as Khashoggi, Ian Reddington of Casualty fame as Pop and Leon Lopez as Britney.

And last night there was a curtain-call appearance by Brian May, wielding his Red Special guitar like he was still a young guy in a Zandra Rhodes outfit.

This led to ecstasy in the aisles and a rapturous end to the night.

Take this show for what it is. A great, fun night out. Seriously, go and see it. It’s a kind of magic.

David Burrows

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EXPRESS AND STAR
REVIEW: WE WILL ROCK YOU AT BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

Review: We Will Rock You at Birmingham Hippodrome
Friday 8th July 2011

With an appearance from Brian May and a stellar collection of hits to choose from, this stage production based on Queen has much hype to live up. But while the songs undoubtedly provided the magic, topping the list of frustrations is Ben Elton’s ridiculous storyline. It’s the future and live music is banned by the Killer Queen.

Cue hero Galileo, played by former Hear’say singer Noel Sullivan, who, with his love interest Scaramouche (Amanda Coutts) sets out to find the music that will save the planet. Convoluted is not a strong enough word.

Large parts of the show are dull, only to be given an injection of life when the next big hit kicks in. For some reason Sullivan adopts an American accent reminiscent of the lion in the 1939 version of the Wizard of Oz.

Queen legend May’s electrifying guitar solo of Bohemian Rhapsody last night was a saving grace. Runs until August 13.

Review by David Lumb

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BIRMINGHAM MAIL
REVIEW AND BRIAN MAY INTERVIEW:
WWRY @ BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
by Alison Dayani
Jul 8 2011

IT’S been almost a decade since this sci-fi musical of Queen hits was launched, but it is still sending the audience ga-ga.

The surprise appearance of the band’s guitarist Brian May only added to the already-buzzing atmosphere. When May did a similar We Will Rock You cameo in Birmingham two years ago, he crashed into the drum kit when colliding with band member Roger Taylor. But this time, the rocker wasn’t to be wrong-footed as he strummed out legendary Bohemian Rhapsody in a show-stopping finale.

May wasn’t the only celebrity on stage with a host of former soap and reality personalities in the cast. The X Factor’s Rhydian Roberts, a former Birmingham Conservatoire student, stood out as a baddie but some of the words were lost from other cast members’ diction.

Written by Ben Elton, the Olivier Award-winning musical is set in a futuristic world where individuality and rock music is suppressed. The two heroes, Galileo and Scaramouche, endeavour to change things to a background of Queen anthems as they try to find the lost mecca of music.

Elton brought his comedy writing to the fore for this fun pantomime that never pretends to be anything else, but it’s always the songs that steal the limelight. With hits like Somebody to Love and Radio Ga Ga, this summer’s show will be a champion with the box office. But that’s because it’s got a kinda magic about it.

Continues until August 13. - VERDICT: * * * *

Brian May stays on his feet this time!

AFTER their collision on stage last time, Brian May revealed his Queen band mate Roger Taylor was banned from Birmingham. The pair helped create a glittering finale to the musical at the Hippodrome in 2009 but they collided.

“That drum kit ploughed into me,” joked May, aged 63. “I’m amazed it didn’t kill me. Roger’s banned this time.”

The rock legend said the sequel had been written by comedian Ben Elton and was much “naughtier” and “wicked”. “There’s a lot more songs to use,” added May. “The Show Must Go On, for example, is begging to be in there. The sequel is written but it won’t be this year as I’m working on the Freddie Mercury documentary.”

May tries to make it to an opening night in each city where We Will Rock You plays as he believes it will outlive the band.

“I keep in touch with the way the show is going and support it like a brother or uncle,” said astrophysicist May. “I think it will see us all out and be around when we’ve all gone. It makes so many people happy.”

© brianmay.com


**Thu 07 Jul 11**
QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY BACKS EMMA NEWTON FUND

EMMA NEWTON FUNDNOTE: Please see previous news item and EMMA'S FUND here.

JOURNAL LIVE
by Paul Tully, The Journal
Jul 6 2011

ROCK legend Brian May is giving his backing to the fund set up in honour of tragic schoolgirl Emma Newton – thanks to a letter from her friends.

The Queen guitarist was so touched by budding stage star Emma’s sad story that he immediately made a “substantial” contribution to the fund set up by her grieving parents Robbie and Peggy. He is also promoting Emma’s Fund on his personal website, www.brianmay.com

Opposite: Amy Warren, 17, and Courtney McRae-Parker, 17,
from Queen Elizabeth School, who helped with event
memory of Emma Newton

Queen fan Emma, 18, of Lowgate, Hexham, died when her car was crushed near Corbridge by a falling tree in gales in May. The budding stage star’s last performance, two weeks before her death, was as Britney in the Hexham Queen Elizabeth High School production of We Will Rock You, the West End musical based on the songs of Queen.

In 2010, 11 of the school cast had attended the London show at the Dominion Theatre, a trip which inspired the 2011 production.

Emma’s schoolfriend Kristen Clawson decided to pool the thoughts of the school cast and send them to May in London – without asking for money or any other favour.

But the rock idol said: “I was so sorry to hear about Emma’s death. She really sounded like a great girl. The idea of an arts fund is a great idea and I’d like to help. I just looked at the news story, what a beautiful girl; I wish I had seen her perform.” May has also pledged continuing support for the fund, which is aimed at helping young performers make their way in the arts world. He added: “Creating a permanent fund to support young people in the performing arts is great. Working to fulfil a talent in singing, acting and dance can be tough."

© brianmay.com


**Thu 07 Jul 11**
NEIL ARMSTRONG QUOTES AND ANSWERS BRIAN AT STARMUS

In his closing address at the Starmus Conference, astronaut Neil Armstrong, quotes Brian, from his talk, and answers Brian's question in great detail. He gets to Brian's question about 10 minutes in. Below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUDsMKQ4hek

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**Thu 07 Jul 11**
BRIAN ON FRIDAY'S "THE ONE SHOW
"

The One ShowBrian will be on Friday's BBC One "The One Show" with Chris Evens (who also happened to be at Goodwood last weekend). Brian will be promoting his live show which takes place on Saturday 16 July at RAF Cranwell.

BBC One and BBC One HD: 7PM.
Alex Jones and Chris Evans present the stories that matter from across the cou
ntry.

© brianmay.com


**Thu 07 Jul 11**
BRIAN MAY SET TO APPEAR AT BIRMINGHAM'S WWRY SHOW TONIGHT

Brian joined the cast for Bohemian Rhapsody and got the audience to its feet.

BIRMINGHAM MAIL
By Diane Parkes
Jul 7 2011

Brian May and Roger Taylor WWRY
Queen guitarist Brian May (pictured with Roger Taylor)

QUEEN guitarist Brian May is expected to be at Birmingham’s Hippodrome theatre tonight for the press performance of the musical We Will Rock You. As first revealed by the Birmingham Mail on Friday, the musician will be joining the audience for the third night of a six week run of the show based on music by Queen.

And audiences are hoping for a repeat performance of Brian’s surprise visit to the show two years ago when he took to the stage with Queen drummer Roger Taylor for an impromptu performance of Bohemian Rhapsody – and famously took a tumble when he backed into the drum kit.

Brian and Roger joined forces with comedian and writer Ben Elton to pen the musical which first hit the West End nine years ago and has now been seen by more than 11 million people. With 24 hits including Radio Ga Ga, A Kind of Magic, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and We Are The Champions, the musical takes us to a futuristic age where rock is banned.

Starring in the Hippodrome run is X Factor contestant Rhydian, Noel Sullivan from Hear’Say, Ian Reddington from EastEnders and Coronation Street and Leon Lopez from Brookside

© brianmay.com.


**Wed 06 Jul 11**
BRIAN ATTENDING BIRINGHAM WWRY !!!

STOP PRESS: Brian only definitely decided to attend late yesterday.....

BIRMINGHAM MAIL
Another One Bites The Dust - but Brian May hopes it's not him
by Andrew Coleman, Birmingham Mail
Jul 1 2011

QUEEN guitarist Brian May plans to be in Birmingham for the opening night of We Will Rock You [7 July] – but hopes he does not bite the dust as he nearly did on his last visit. When the show first played the Hippodrome two years ago, Brian almost took a tumble when he backed into Roger Taylor’s drum kit which was being propelled towards the front of the stage during Bohemian Rhapsody.

‘‘It was a momentous night!’’ recalls Brian who played on Queen hits like Another One Bites The Dust and The Show Must Go On. ‘‘I got ploughed into by the drum kit going at 90mph. ‘‘We did the rehearsal and everything was right but people said, maybe it should happen ten seconds earlier, so we went ‘OK’ and because of that the kit was in a different place to where it was in rehearsals and that’s why we collided. It’s a classic learning thing – rehearse it, do it as the rehearsal, do not change it!’’

Brian says he and Roger are still deeply involved in the show which initially opened in London in 2002.

‘‘We’re very hands on, we audition every cast member and every band member. My dad used to say, if you’re going to do something do it properly. We care about it, it’s an extension of us, our name’s on it. We’re very close to our team, we love ‘em. ‘I try to go to the openings. I like to bond with the cast so I try to be there when they start off.’’

He reveals that there’s still lots of life in We Will Rock You. ‘‘We’re tempted to do the sequel to We Will Rock You. Ben Elton’s written a script for it and he’s written a script for the movie of the show which is on the cards. So we’re busy boys.’’

© brianmay.com


**Wed 06 Jul 11**
WIN TICKETS TO SEE BRIAN MAY & KERRY ELLIS AT CRANWELL

SLEAFORD STANDARD
6 July 2011
Win tickets to see Brian May
Anthems in the Park, RAF Cranwell

LEGENDARY Queen guitarist Brian May and West End star Kerry Ellis are lined up to play at Anthems in the Park at RAF Cranwell on July 16 and the Sleaford Standard has TWO PAIRS OF TICKETS to give away!

Each pair of tickets is worth £50, so it is a prize well worth winning.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning one set of two tickets is answer the question on the coupon in this week’s Sleaford Standard, fill in your details and post it to Anthems Competition, Sleaford Standard, 28 Handley Street, Sleaford NG34 7TQ. Entries must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, July 13, and the senders of the first two correct entries drawn out of the hat will each receive a pair of tickets for the Sleaford area concert of the year. Entries must be on an original coupon from the paper - photocopies will not be accepted. Normal Johnston Press competition rules apply.

Anthems in the Park will be held outside the historic College Hall at RAF Cranwell and will be raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Also appearing on the night are the Band of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell and the Salon Orchestra of the Central Band of the RAF.

Gates will open at 4.30pm and at 6.40pm (weather permitting) there will be a flypast by a Hurricane and a Spitfire, as well as a flying display by the world famous aerobatic team, The Blades. The concert will start at 7.30pm and will end with a firework display at approximately 10pm. Concert-goers are asked to provide their own seating and for those who do not wish to bring picnics, there will be a number of food and drink concessions available on the night, including champagne Pimms and beer tents.

Tickets are £25 for adults and £15 for children - under-5s get in free. Family tickets are £65. To buy a ticket go to www.rafbf.org/cranwell or call 0844 888 9991.

© brianmay.com


**Tue 05 Jul 11**
BRIAN MAY'S BRIEF HISTORY OF 3D REVIEWS

Some excellent review articles following the recent Press screening of Brian's "Brief History of 3D" documentary:

Brian MayDIGITAL SPY
QUEEN'S BRIAN MAY PRAISES "FANTASTIC" 'HISTORY OF 3D' DOCUMENTARY
5 July 2011
Kristy Kelly, Entertainment Reporter

© WENN / Zak Hussein

Brian May has opened up about his new Sky documentary Brian May's Brief History of 3D, which takes viewers on a journey through the evolution of 3D. The Queen guitarist explained that he has been intrigued with 3D since childhood, and said that it was "fantastic" to learn about everything from the early days of Victorian stereoscopic photography through to James Cameron's approach to 3D today.

May commented: "I have been fascinated with 3D since I was a child, and have spent years collecting and studying stereoscopic images. As an enthusiast, making this film has given me an amazing opportunity to take a closer look at the evolution of the art and the science of 3D photography in all its forms.

"The creation of this documentary has been a fantastic journey for all of us, which we're thrilled to share. From the very invention of stereoscopic imaging by Charles Wheatstone in the 1840s, through the newly-discovered first ever (unintentionally) 3D short films shot by George Melies over a hundred years ago, to the highly refined 3D motion pictures of today by James Cameron, Pixar and others, this story is packed with never-before-seen 3D wonders, clips and insights."

John Cassy, Sky 3D's Channel Director, added that May's "knowledge" and "enthusiasm" makes the programme more interesting for viewers. "As a true devotee of everything 3D, Brian brings a unique mix of authoritative knowledge and unfettered enthusiasm to this fascinating show," he said. "Anyone with an interest in the world of 3D is in for a treat."

Brian May's Brief History of 3D will be screened on Sky 3D on Thursday July 7.

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Brian from Sky 3D documentary3D FOCUS
BRIAN MAY'S BRIEF HISTORY OF 3D REVIEW (Sky 3D)
27 Jun 2011

In a new 3D documentary especially commissioned for Sky 3D, Brian May’s Brief History of 3D takes the viewer on a fascinating journey from the gentle 3D of the Victorian era to the extreme out-of-the-screen 3D of the 1980's.

Opposite: Brian demonstrates a modern
reproduction of a Wheatstone viewer.

3D has endured a long bumpy journey. From William Friese Greene simply walking along a Hyde Park pathway in an 1893 3D short to Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling antics in Pirates of the Caribbean IV in 2011, 3D has come and gone several times. Some pundits are arguing that the current 3D era is already coming to an end, pointing to slowing 3D ticket sales; others are saying that there is no going back now and that, for the first time, technology and economics finally make 3D a viable form of mainstream entertainment.

Over the last 100 years, the 3D industry has been scattered with various attempts to lure audiences back into the movie theatres. It is this story that Brian May, ex-guitarist of rock band Queen, explores in the Sky 3D’s latest documentary commission, Brian May’s Brief History of 3D, scheduled for broadcast July 7th.

Brian May at 3D documentary screeningNot only is Brian May a qualified astro physicist, he is also a passionate advocate of stereoscopic 3D, particularly Victorian 3D of which he has accumulated a substantial collection of Victorian 3D memorabilia over the past forty years. Brian May’s lifelong 3D interest has materialised into a book, A Village Lost and Found, published in 2009. The book includes a proprietary 3D viewer known as the OWL, which brings the book’s 2D images into 3D life and was actually designed by Brian May himself.

Produced by Bigger Pictures in conjunction with Widescreen Productions, who also produced Britain from the Sky 3D series, (which is currently being broadcast every Thursday on Sky 3D) Brian May’s 3D documentary is a genuinely fascinating look into stereo 3D right from the very early days of Victorian stereoscopic filming to the digital 3D of today. Clips include the insane film“Coming At Ya!” a 1980’s western film that, as you can probably guess from the title, used 3D as its main selling point with nearly every sequence featuring action jumping out of the screen. This is so rarely seen in today’s 3D movies and television shows. Yes, it is gimmicky, but still really fun now and again!

Brian May’s passion radiates from the screen (in 3D). His interview with James Cameron was especially interesting as he asks the Avatar director what techniques he deployed in the feature to lessen the problems of convergence and focus being on the same plane. The James Cameron interview is one of twenty high profile 3D expert interviews including Phil Streather, Steve Schklair, King of 3D Ray Zone and Phil "Captain 3D" McNally .

What really impressed me about Brian May’s Brief History of 3D was how the producers acquired such a great collection of classic 3D clips and converted them into a format suitable for viewing on today’s 3D TV sets. Although the documentary features some shockingly bad but fun 3D clips from the past; modern audiences should not disregard the quality of all classic 3D experiments and productions – Some of them were just as clever as today’s 3D shows, perhaps not in plot but certainly in stereo 3D quality.

I asked Brian May what aspect of the documentary surprised or shocked him the most and he referred to the section about George Melies and I have to agree. George Melies was a stage magician from Paris who saw one of the Lumiere Brothers first screenings and turned immediately to film. To avoid paying import tax on entertainment materials (and also to reduce the pirating that was common even then) Melies came up with a way to take undeveloped negatives to the US that would be identical to the ones he developed in Paris. He put two cameras side by side on a single crank (they were hand cranked at about 12 frames per second in those days). As a result George Melies inadvertently produced lots of 3D films which were never shown as such. In Brian May’s Brief History of 3D, we get to see a clip which production company Bigger Pictures have put together to create a 3D master. Closing one eye reveals that one of the reels were later colourised, proving that screening the two reels together as a 3D film was never intentional. This is one of several ‘firsts’ in the documentary. One reel was found on the Internet and the other was found on a tape and each side had not been morphed together for many years. It is the first time the general public will ever get to see this 3D footage.

Brian May at 3D screening

Comin' at ya!One sequence that especially stood out (quite literally) was the 1980’s film Comin’ at Ya!, a 3D Western which effectively started the 1980’s 3D era. Comin’ At ya! has been digitally restored and premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this February. Including clips from a film like Comin’ At Ya! in a documentary for Sky 3D was a challenge due to Sky’s very strict depth budget criteria. It is one of the most extreme 3D films ever made, with nearly every shot having something flying out of the screen.

Bigger Pictures spent many days finding ways to show extreme 3D without hurting the audience. They came up with a solution to shrink the image and push it back in Z space.

Bigger Pictures told 3D Focus that if they left it as it was (where it converges between 40 and 70 feet from the screen) you would have to watch it from next door’s telly to be able to see it! Apparently Sky have made allowances for some of these extreme shots and broken the rules a little.

A shot that particularly intrigued me was Lucien Bull’s fly. A close up of a fly was shot at 2000 frames per second in 3D making it the world’s first ever slow motion 3D footage. The camera could only hold 50 frames so Bigger Pictures edited several shots together to give a sense of what Lucien Bull was trying to achieve. The result is fascinating and you really get a sense that you are watching something quite pioneering.

Bigger Pictures and Widescreen Productions worked closely with the BFI to include a sequence from a 1951 public information style film called A Solid Explanation. It is absolutely hilarious as a rather posh gentlemen uses his body to explain how 3D works but in a very typical understated 1950s British way.

In a moment that can’t help but make you smile, Brian May talks about the difference between negative and positive parallax. To show what negative parallax means he puts his hand out of the screen waving it in front of the viewer. I don’t know what that will look like on a smaller screen but it is certainly a nod to the 3D of yester-year with Brian May ending with “Sorry, we just had to do that!”

This is a must see documentary if you are a Sky 3D subscriber. In it a way it flies in the face of current Sky 3D productions in that it is a 3D documentary about 3D. Most 3D commissions for Sky 3D are produced without the third dimension having an influence on the plot or storyline. I can’t imagine this being very watchable in 2D unlike a lot of programmes broadcast on Sky 3D. This is a fun, well researched well paced documentary. I loved the extreme clips which made me ponder whether modern subtle 3D has lost its fun factor. Does it answer the question whether 3D is here to stay this time? Certainly not, but it does prove how mature the industry has become. Great stuff!

PRODUCTION NOTES

Bigger Pictures and Widescreen Productions filmed Brian May’s Brief History of 3D with a range of rigs and cameras, including Sony cameras in 3ality rigs, Red cameras in the Paradise FX rig, Fusion Cameras in the Pace Systems rig (which James Cameron co-owns / designed), the Panasonic camcorder and even the Fuji W3 still camera that also shoots 3DHD video. Bigger Pictures filmed Brian May’s Brief History of 3D late winter into spring this year. Bigger Pictures are currently in talks with Sky to release another documentary to use some of the footage that could not be used this time round.

POST PRESS SCREENING WITH BRIAN MAY

After the screening, a few Journalists got the opportunity to ask Brian May about his thoughts on 3D entertainment past and present. Here are the highlights …

Journalist: How does “multi-screening” fit in with wearing a pair of 3D glasses and concentrating on TV in a different way?
Brian May: It will all be 3D eventually. Have you seen the Nintendo 3DS? There are no glasses with that and it is all 3D. That will be what you're iPhone and iPad will be like and eventually your TV will not require 3D glasses as well; they are already working on that. So I don't worry about that side of it. I wasn't that sure about getting a 3D TV and then I got it and it's got me.

Journalist: What 3D TV have you got?
Brian May: I've got the LG Cinema 3D TV.

3D Focus: With your background in 3D, what really surprised or shocked you the most during the production of Brian May’s Brief History of 3D? Has it given you the drive to create 3D video or combine that with your interest in Astronomy?
Brian May: I'm doing it all the time really. I put out my book A Village Lost and Found,which I designed and manufactured a stereo viewer (OWL) to go with it. You guys are going to have to see it. It is the most amazing 3D and very different to 3D television. It's very pure. It's the Victorian way of looking at 3D. So I've currently been working on some sets of cards to go with the OWL viewer and one of the sets is astronomical. It's quite difficult to do astronomical 3D because you don't have a big enough baseline. Our eyes are only so far apart so to get a nice round picture of the Moon you would have to be a giant with eyes thousands of miles apart. But it can be done because the moon actually wobbles and gives you a virtual baseline. Mars rotates so you can choose your moments and get two different angles. You can actually make pictures of a lot of astronomical subjects which is pretty amazing. I didn't invent that; it was done in the 1850's believe it or not. I also carried a 3D camera around all through the Queen years. I've got quite a good collection of 3D pictures of Freddy, Roger, me and John doing various things on and off stage using a 1950s Stereo Realist.

3D Focus: What shocked you?
Brian May: I was actually amazed by the Melies stuff. I was initially quite skeptical but when I saw it all synced up and working it is undoubtedly true. I think the shock is that he didn't realise he was creating 3D film. I am a fan of Melies anyway. We used some of Melies footage in our Queen videos and I was pretty amazed to see some of the stuff that was unearthed for the documentary.

Journalist: The eye-catching moment in the documentary is when you are talking about the Z-space and then you simply reach out of the screen with your hand…
Brian May: That's what some folks don't like. Everyone's cautious and they have to be because people start complaining about eye strain. But a little bit of what I do in the documentary, is not a strain. Part of the reason it works is because I moved my hand in a certain way so the viewer’s eyes have time to adjust to being drawn a little bit out of the norm. I actually like a bit of that.

Journalist: Your hand didn't actually come that far off the screen…
Brian May: I think it is part of the adventure of 3D. I remember the View-Masters and I remember a particular View-Master slide which was of a space rocket coming out towards you. Everything else was normal but the space rocket nose came out towards you and you could follow it just like my hand in the documentary. It wasn't painful but it was shocking in a rather wonderful way. You felt like you could touch it; I think that is an element of 3D that I love. I think people will stop worrying about it. Of course you don't go to the extreme things with things coming at you; that is horrible. But you can get a little more adventurous when people get used to it.

Journalist: Were the other members of Queen into 3D? Did they understand your passion?
Brian May: Yes, they like it. They weren't into it as much as I was but they all like it. I would film shows in 3D because I had a silver screen and a Stereo Realist projector from the 50's so I project my stereo slides. I used to do that for them occasionally. It was a home thing in the 1950's people like Lucille Ball and many of the film stars documented their whole lives in 3D with this Stereo Realist camera. There is masses of material out there.

---

Another review: A KIND OF MAGIC - BRIAN MAY'S JOURNEY INTO THE WORD OF 3D
HeyUGuys.co.uk

Brian 3D documentarySome of you will be aware of Brian May’s extra curricular activities which he has pursued throughout his axe-grinding antics with 70’s/80’s legendary rock outfit Queen.

A lover of astronomy, he initially abandoned his physics doctorate to forge a career in rock. Throughout the years however, May has co-authored various research paper and publications on the subject and in 2008, he finally completed his PhD thesis in astrophysics.

What is perhaps less obvious is May’s lifelong passionate of stereophotography (3-D imaging). He has been collecting photographs and images from as far back as the Victorian era since he was a child (a 2009 book he co-wrote, A Village Lost and Found, features the work of English stereophotography innovator TR Williams) and is the presenter of a documentary commissioned for Sky 3D, Brian May’s Brief History of 3D, which is being shown on July 7th.

A fascinating glimpse into the world of 3D (which has seen a huge resurgence of late), May talks to a number of trailblazers in the professional, including one of the medium’s biggest advocates, James Cameron. But May is equally enamoured with what has come before, and aside from the aforementioned 18th century stereophotography, we get a peek at the work from an early innovator of cinema like Georges Méliès, who used 3D in more rudimentary form. Later, schlocky exploitation pictures (which did more harm than good in the development of 3D) are covered, including the hilarious-looking 1980 western Coming At Ya! which, in staying true to its title, appears to have objects hurtling towards the audience at every available opportunity.

Alongside a couple of other journalists/bloggers, HeyUGuys were fortunate to be given the opportunity to spend some time in the company of the guitar legend (and some key figures behind the documentary) after the screening.

He [Brian] was asked about the resilience of 3D:
“Yeah, it’s a bouncing ball really isn’t it? It has such a history of being abused that it’s had a hard time, but the magic that you get when it’s done right is just indisputable. When you reach the end of this documentary and you start to feel comfortable with all those images, it’s just a joy and I think you get to a point when you forget about the medium in those sequences and you enjoy that feeling of complete reality.”

Talking about early stereographic imagesTalking about the early stereographic images from his recent book:
“It’s actually more than countryside – it’s a document about the way people lived in harmony with the countryside. The book was a real labour of love and a big part of 30 years research, but that document by TR Williams is about one little village, but its also about the people and their dreams and the way they interact with each other, the animals, and the land. It was a real dream for me to bring that into the 21st century. When viewers see the documentary, they’ll have to use a pause control because the richness of some of those images is astonishing. You could spend an hour looking at one of those village scenes and not get bored.”

On his early dalliances with the medium:
“I’ve got stereoscopic pictures I made at the age of ten. I released if I used two cameras I could create them myself. Much later on I realised there were actual stereo cameras available on the market and I started collecting them, but it’s the images that really get me. I have tens of thousand now mainly from that first flush in the 1980’s, and 40 plus years later on from collecting them, I still find them.”

On whether Brian's ever used 3 cameras to record other aspects of careerOn whether he’s ever used 3D cameras to record events in the other aspects of his career:
“I’m doing it all the time really. Following the book that I put out, which I actually designed and manufactured a stereo viewer to go with it, I’ve currently been working on some set of cards to go with the viewer and one of the sets is astrology. I carried a 3D camera throughout the Queen years so I have quite a good collection of stuff. 3D pictures of myself, Freddie, Rodger and John doing various things, on and off stage. I’m working on getting them released.”

On what surprised him during his journey in producing the documentary:
“I hadn’t seen the Méliès stuff. I was pretty amazed by that. I was quite sceptical initially, but when I saw it all synced up its truly amazing stuff. I was a fan of his work anyway, and we used some of his stuff in our [Queen] videos.

Does he still get that same sense of wonder when watching the latest 3D as he did with the stereographs as a child?
“Totally. I still get that buzz. I think it’s wonderful. One of my favourites on the big screen is How to Train Your Dragon. It’s beautifully shot and technically it’s flawless and everything else like story and plot is handed really well. I think it’s a breathtaking film.”

© brianmay.com


**Mon 04 Jul 11**
BRIAN MAY AT GOODWOOD

Brian May at Goodwood
Brian May, guitarist and a songwriter of the rock band Queen, performs
at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 Photo: RII SCHROER

TELEGRAPH
4 July 2011

EXTRACT: Dougie Lampkin came and wowed us with his antics and during lunch Brian May stopped by and played Don’t Stop Me Now in front of the house.

© brianmay.com


**Mon 04 Jul 11**
BRIAN MAY BIRTHDAY PARTY IN MOSCOW

On 19th July, the bands Anchor Field and Double Martyn, supported by the rock ballet Dance Epoch, will celebrate Dr. Brian May's birthday with a live gig at Moscow's Mezzo Forte Club. The set lists will be comprised of both Queen and Brian May solo songs, with addition of some original material. Photos, videos and reports to follow.

Thanks to Alex Lorias

© brianmay.com


**Fri 01 Jul 11**
VIDEO: BRIAN'S STARMUS TALK

See BRIAN'S SOAPBOX page for Speech Notes

or view at http://youtu.be/BQZBWqhHtRY

© brianmay.com


**Fri 01 Jul 11**
VINTAGE TROUBLE DEBUT ALBUM

Los Angeles-based funk rockers Vintage Trouble are fast becoming big figures in the music industry - and now the band are set to release their debut UK album. Currently touring the UK following their stints with Bon Jovi, Kerry Ellis and Brian May, the band are set to release their debut UK album on the 25th July. Their tour will see performances at the Wireless festival, Sonisphere and the Big Weekend festival.

The Bomb Shelter Sessions

The Bomb Shelter Sessions
(Limited Edition Double CD
)
Vintage Trouble
Audio CD (25 July 2011)
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Vintage Trouble

The Bomb Shelter Sessions
Vintage Trouble (Artist)
Audio CD (25 July 2011)
Number of Discs: 1

Track Listings
1. Blues Hand Me Down
2. Still And Always Will*
3. Nancy Lee
4. Gracefully
5. You Better Believe It
6. Not Alright By Me
7. Nobody Told Me
8. Jezzebella
9. Total Strangers
10. Run Outta You

Overview:
======

Vintage Trouble is a new band from Los Angeles with an electrifying sound steeped in classic soul, blues and rock n roll. This unique musical force is the brotherhood of Ty Taylor (vocals), Nalle Colt (guitar), Rick Barrio Dill (bass) and Richard Danielson (drums). Singer Ty Taylor calls Vintage Trouble s music primitive soul. He says: It s raw, naked and hard-hitting music with the passion of late 50s soul/rhythm & blues and the pulse of early 60s rock n roll . The name Vintage Trouble comes from thoughts of Taylor s late father who lived the life of a bluesman. I come from Vintage Trouble look out if I m the one you found, I ll pop your bubble with my live-wired straight-shootin dirty mouth as the lyrics suggest from the song Blues Hand Me Down . The band formed just one year ago, on February 25, 2010. Key influences include Otis Redding and Led Zeppelin. Handled by legendary band manager Doc McGhee (Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, KISS, Guns N Roses and James Brown), Vintage Triouble are also booked by ITB worldwide (Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Jamiroquai). Vintage Trouble is a band that truly comes alive onstage. We invite people to participate rather than just watch-we would rather it be a party than a performance says the band. We like to make the walls sweat. People come dressy and leave messy. Vintage Trouble is set to release their debut UK albujm on the 25th July 2011. From the juke-joint resonating debut single Nancy Lee to the hard hitting rythm of Blues Hand Me Down , to the provocative call to arms of Not Alright By Me to the soulful Nobody Told Me to the epic closer Run Outta You , The Bomb Shelter Sessions is packed with infectious melodies, timeless lyrics, raw guitars, and proper grooves the perfect soundtrack to the Summer. Consumate live performers, Vintage Trouble are at their vibrant best on stage. Fresh off a full uk tour with Brain May, the band are set to support Bon Jovi across Europe in 2011 and are set to make appearances at Hard Rock Calling and Wireless festivals amongst many others.

© brianmay.com


**Fri 01 Jul 11**
BRIAN MAY & TANGERINE DREAM SET LIST - CD AND DVD IN PIPELINE

CD and DVD of the Starmus Concert will be released as soon as possible !!!!

Brian and Tangerine Dream
Brian May and Tangerine Dream

SET LIST
24 June 2011
MAGMA CENTRE, PLAYA AMERICAS, TENERIFE
as confirmed by Tangerine Dream

1. STAR SOUNDS together with Brian May (Composition with REAL star sounds)
2. LAST HORIZON together with Brian May
3. DEDICATION TO ALEXEI LEONOV (sung in Russian by Iris Camaa)
(A. Leonov was the first cosmo/astronaut who exited into space)

MAIN SET
01. MARMONTEL RIDING ON A CLEF
02. TRAUMA
03. NOTHING AND ALL
04. NUTSHELL AWAKENING
05. SHINING RAY
06. BEAUTY OF MAGIC ANTAGONISM
07. ONE NIGHT IN SPACE
08. NOVICE
09. CALYMBA CALY
10. OMNISCIENCE
11. JANUS PARADE
12. LOVED BY THE SUN
13. FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
14. DARKNESS VEILING THE NIGHT
15. LIVING IN ETERNITY
16. BELLS OF ACCRA

ENCORE:
1. SALLY'S GARDEN - Duet with Linda Spa & Brian May
2. WE WILL ROCK YOU together with Brian May (2 Parts - the Rock & the Spheric Part)

As many of you couldn't participate in this extraordinary event we will release a CD and DVD asap.

PS: The Star Sounds, Shining Ray & Janus Parade are totally new compositions and have never been released before.

© brianmay.com

New York Metropolitan Museum New York Times Arts 23 July 2010 page 1 New York Times Arts 23 July 2010 page 2