brian news

JULY 2012

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**Fri 13 Jul 12**

13 July 2012 by Charlotte Meredith

Brian May is a passionate animal welfare advocate

BRIAN May has spoken out today, after a High Court bid to halt the culling of thousands of badgers failed. The Queen guitarist and animal rights advocate described Government plans to cull thousands of badgers in the hope of reducing tuberculosis in cattle as entirely unethical. His comments follow the news that The Badger Trust lost its judicial review of the government's plans in the High Court yesterday, with culling now likely to go ahead later this year. The Badger Trust, representing around 60 badger groups, said it may appeal against the ruling.

West Gloucestershire and west Somerset will be among the first sites where the cull will be implemented, with as many as 40 areas to be licensed eventually. The first two pilot sites will be approximately the size of the Isle of Wight with an estimated 3,800 badgers being killed in each of the four years of culling.

May, who founded the Save Me animal welfare campaign, named after the hit Queen track, said:

"We are obviously very disappointed with this decision, though we realise that it was made purely on points of law. The issue is not closed. We still regard the Government's plan to destroy thousands of native badger families as entirely unethical, scientifically unsound, contrary to public opinion, and, ultimately, bound to fail," he added.

May finished by saying:

"We will continue to fight against this cruel and hopeless cull, and for decent treatment of the precious wild animals of Britain."

Badgers are usually protected under UK law, but exceptions are made for disease prevention, however, Badger Trust have argued that vaccination is a more humane disease deterrent. Plans to begin culling in Wales were recently abandoned in favour of a vaccination policy.

The High Court had previously heard that the proposed cull is "legally flawed," but the ruling was welcomed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the National Farmers Union, the British Veterinary Association and British Cattle Veterinary Association.

Badger Trust chairman David Williams said: "Despite a constant stream of evidence that culling will make matters worse and growing consternation from many farmers, the coalition Government intends to press ahead with its expensive and pointless policy."

© brianmay.com

**Thu 12 Jul 12**

Tangerine Dream Tenerife 2011

Edgar Froese, leader of the group, Tangerine Dream, confirmed to Sacramento Bee in a recent 2012 email interview:

"A concert performance together with Brian May which took place recently on the Canary Islands will be released in autumn" Read ful interview HERE.


Live in Tenerife 2011 Featuring Brian May [Import]
Tangerine Dream (Artist) | Format: Audio CD
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Import
Label: Eastgate Music & Art

Live in Tenerife 2011 Featuring Brian May
Tangerine Dream (Artist) | Format: Audio CD

© brianmay.com

**Thu 12 Jul 12**

Badger TrustFollowing a closely fought two-day judicial review in June, the High Court this morning decided not to quash the Coalition Government’s proposals to kill badgers in England. The proposal attempts to marginally reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle, at a net cost, over nine years. Although the Judge refused an oral request, the option is still open for a written application and Badger Trust, together with their legal advisors, are considering an appeal.

Importantly, Mr Justice Ouseley’s verdict is restricted to the law; it was not within his remit to decide on whether culling could work or not. He recognised the controversy surrounding the science underpinning the cull plans. However, at the hearing it was agreed between the parties that culling would spread the disease to more herds and that even with free-shooting, culling may lead to a net monetary cost to farmers.

In his judgment Mr Justice Ouseley described bTB as a “slow-moving disease” and explained that culling was “associated with an increase in confirmed bTB herd incidents in the 2km ring surrounding the cull area”. This ring is called the perturbation ring “caused by disruption to the behaviour of the groups of badgers within the culling area”. He recognised that bTB also spread from cattle to cattle and cattle to badgers.

The Badger Trust will now study the judgment closely and consider the next steps in its campaign to protect the badger from a pointless cull. The Badger Trust will do everything in its power and within the law to minimise the harm caused by this thoroughly unnecessary killing. But the likely method of free shooting is cut-price expediency risking a cruel and brutal outcome for a protected species and increased outbreaks for farmers both within and around the culling zone.

The judgment demonstrates that the legislation in this area has not kept pace with developments in the understanding of how TB works; the spread of disease due to perturbation; badger social behaviour or TB vaccination possibilities.

At the hearing, it was accepted that the costs might increase tenfold if free-shooting was ruled out for being inhumane to badgers, unsafe to the public or ineffective in terms of killing 70% of the resident badger population. However, the judge pointed to the fact that after the first year of trialling the cull in two pilot areas, DEFRA would review the cost- benefit analysis in those areas to see if the scheme should be rolled out more widely. Given the massive cost and marginal benefits anticipated, Badger Trust will call for detailed disclosure of the costings and findings if the pilots go ahead so that Parliament can decide whether or not it can actually be justified.

The Badger Trust has acted entirely alone in mounting and financing this legal challenge, as it did in its successful appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2010 which resulted in the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision to kill badgers being quashed.

David Williams, Chairman of the Trust, said: “The Badger Trust emphatically did not ask the court to adjudicate on the science around culling. That remains exactly the same as it has been for a decade. Although the Secretary of State has tried to interpret the science to her advantage nothing has altered the basic finding that while badgers are implicated, killing them can make no meaningful contribution to tackling the disease, and cattle measures in themselves are sufficient if properly applied.

“The court was asked to decide whether the Secretary of State’s decision was based on a correct interpretation of the law rather than whether the science was right. The court does not make such findings of fact but only whether a decision was taken lawfully, and in his judgment Mr Justice Ouseley said almost all of the contentious part of the scientific evidence was irrelevant to the issues.

“We did not embark on this litigation lightly and England now faces the prospect of 40,000 badgers being slaughtered over the next four years. We act on behalf of local badger groups, their members and our many supporters across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. We have always seen it as our duty to use all legal means of persuasion to overturn unjust decisions such as the Coalition Government’s and we shall continue to publicise scientific facts so grievously distorted by the cattle industry.

“Scotland is officially bTB-free and the Welsh Government has decided to vaccinate badgers and step up its cattle-focussed measures rather than kill badgers unnecessarily. However, despite a constant stream of evidence that culling will make matters worse and growing consternation from many farmers, the Coalition Government intends to press ahead with its expensive and pointless policy.”

Jack Reedy

© brianmay.com

**Thu 12 Jul 12**

Kerry Ellis

Kerry Ellis in concert (guest include Brian May_
Friday 13 July 2012, 20:00 on BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night presents a special concert starring Kerry Ellis, with special guests Brian May (Queen), Ramin Karimloo (Phantom of the Opera), Jonathan Ansell (G4), and the 60-piece BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Steve Sidwell.

Four multi award-winning artists come together for a once in a lifetime event. In musicals, on concert stages, and on television they have entertained millions. Now Kerry Ellis hosts this special concert featuring classic songs from Wicked, We Will Rock You, Love Never Dies, Cabaret, The Way We Were, My Fair Lady and many more.
It first broadcast on Radio 2 in April 2012.

© brianmay.com

**Sun 08 Jul 12**
- SAT 1 SEPT 2012

Wildlife Rocks 1 September 2012

Duck Fox cub

Wildlife Rocks is an event that celebrates wildlife. It's a fantastic day for families and friends to share wildlife experiences with celebrities and wildlife enthusiasts through music, talk and fun.

BOOK NOW and join us for the best day of 2012. Come and join in the celebrations as a wildlife rocker, a stall holder, or a sponsor and let us show you just how cool Wildlife is.

Rock God Brian May will be talking about his passion for wildlife and teaming up with West End superstar and chart topping recording artist, Kerry Ellis, to perform (a few songs) at this unique event.

The RSPCA's CEO's Gavin Grant and Will Travers CEO from Born Free will share their wealth of experiences and their views on wildlife through informative and entertaining talks.   World-renowned Wildlife Artist, David Shepherd, and founder of the Foundation bearing his name, will talk of his extraordinary life as one of the UK's finest artists and his unique relationship with African Wildlife. 

Duck Fox cub

We have  bouncy castles, climbing walls falconry display, children's activities, and much much more....

from  11AM - 4.30PM 

Duck Fox cub

SEE www.wildliferocks.co.uk


© brianmay.com

**Tue 10 Jul 12**

Reminder that the 'Imagine' programme, 'Just One Falsetto', will be broadcast tonight at 10.35pm on BBC1 - with interview footage from Brian.

© brianmay.com

**Tue 10 Jul 12**


Brian May has made quite a name for himself as the guitarist for Queen, but when it comes to legacy, he’d like to be remembered for something else. The rocker told England’s Sunday Times,

“I would much rather be remembered for attempting to change the way we treat our fellow creatures.”

Brian has turned his estate in Surrey, England into a wildlife rescue where orphaned and injured animals can stay until they are ready to be released in the wild. In the meantime, Queen are touring overseas with singer Adam Lambert on vocals.

· TIDBIT: Among the animals on May’s estate are 36 hedgehogs, seven badger cubs and two tawny owls.
· TIDBIT: Brian also said, “I suppose I’ve lived a crazy life and watching wildlife brings back a sense of tranquility.”
· TALKING POINT: Did you know Brian was such an animal lover?

© brianmay.com

**Mon 09 Jul 12**

Premier GuitarThe August 2012 issue of of Premier Guitar magazine includes a feature on The Queen Extravaganza, in an interview with guitarists Brian Gresh and Tristan Avakian, and includes Brian May's advice to the two guitarists - see below.



Work for the Greater Song
Queen guitarist Brian May took a hands-on approach to mentoring Brian Gresh and Taylor Avakian as the two pickers prepared for the Queen Extravaganza. We asked May what it was like to see his music through new eyes (and fingers).

What sort of input did you have on the selection process for the Queen Extravaganza?
This is Roger’s baby, but because he’s hiring guitarists I can’t stray too far. [Laughs.] I went through some of the videos and made notes on the players that I really liked and felt could do the music, tour, and overall production at a high level.

Queen Extravaganza is a much more stripped-down, band only endeavor compared to We Will Rock You. Is this what you thought it would be?
We Will Rock You tells a different story and is part of a bigger overall production of music, dance, and visual stimulation. I think with Queen Extravaganza the music is the central focus since the songs will be played in their entirety. In the very beginning, I thought it would be very interesting for it to be big and orchestral - it would still rock with a traditional band, but with a full-scale orchestra bringing all of our compositions to life … [laughs] much more extravagant if you will, but Roger became very infused with the idea that the band would be like us in the early days.

What was it like for you when you saw Tristan and Brian playing the riffs and songs that you spent countless hours creating and recording with Queen?
I just enjoyed it thoroughly. In the beginning of We Will Rock You, I tended to worry quite a bit about how the songs and guitar parts were not done right. I actually would get quite nitpicky about the details and how every note needed to sound. I’ve learned over the past 10 years that it’s good to have a light touch when dealing with art and music.

Brian MayDid you give them any specific advice beyond that when they perform Queen’s music and your riffs?
What I tried to drive home to Tristan and Brian is that I wanted them to bring themselves to it - I didn’t want them to be carbon copies of me or my playing. Another thing I was keen on was encouraging and making sure they felt comfortable in letting the band organically evolve as a whole throughout the rehearsal process and eventually on tour. If and when I’m giving advice to guitarists in the situation of Tristan or Brian, one of the things I always say is if you’re in any way doubting what to play, listen to the vocals because everything revolves around the voices and harmonies. Even when I was coming up with these songs and writing these licks I would always ask myself, “Does this make sense? Does this work for the greater song?” In those periods, I learned restraint - a great tool for guitarists and writers.

Were you able to talk with the guys about gear or give them any suggestions on their setup for the tour?
[Laughs.] For me, it’s simple - if it sounds good and sounds right then it is right. Both those guys have their sound put together already, so it’s not something I worry about terribly, but we did all play through new handwired AC30 amps for the rehearsals and the American Idol performance, which was a first for me. No matter what, you get something special out of any Vox- especially an AC30. They’re just made different - even to this day - from most any other amp as a class A, valve amp that’s hi-fi sounding. With the negative feedback taken off that it creates a real rich, smoothness that edges its way into overdriven tones or distortion.

What are you goals and expectations that the Queen Extravaganza does for you, the music, and the band?
I would like to see it become a thing of itself - maybe like my orchestral idea years ago. For me, the most exciting part is seeing what these fine musicians and singers will do with our music and compositions because it’s inevitable that they’ll put their own stamp and thumbprint on it. I hope they absorb and take enough of our legacy - if there is such a thing as a legacy - and do their own thing with it and form their own identity that’s new, exciting, and that has to be seen and heard.

© brianmay.com

**Mon 09 Jul 12*

Astronomy Magazine logoThe USA-based magazine Astronomy are to run a feature piece on Brian for their September 2012 issue.

This will be previous interview material, but might be new to many people.

© brianmay.com

**Sun 08 Jul 12**

8 July 2012 by Danny Scott

Inside Brian May's wildlife sanctuary

The Queen guitarist Brian May's estate in
Surrey has become a wildlife refuge.  He tell
Danny Scott why saving animals means
more than hit records.


What might you expect to see as you arrive at the 7 acre Surrey estate of one of the world's most successful rock stars?  A fleet of vintage sports cars, perhaps?  Maybe a guitar-shaped swimming pool or a freshly tarmacked helipad?

Brian May, of Queen, greeted me with … a trio of badger cubs. Little V is scampering across his shoulders, almost tangling herself in that famous mass of curls, while Bright Eyes and Chunky scuttle between his feet.

The perfect host, May, 64, hands me a badger, sticks on the kettle and laughs when I tell him he's not exactly living up to the rock-star image.  "Queen is a huge part of my life, but I do have other interests", he explains.  "People know about the astrophysics, but I love gardening, too, and I've always been passionate about the welfare of our wonderful British wildlife."

Snnday Times p20Anyone doubting his commitment need only take a stroll around those 70 acres.  Hidden on the other side of the orchard is a complex of cages, fox and badger runs, and a huge deer shed, that forms the heart of May's Save-Me organisation, for which he received an International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Award. Save Me works with the Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, a local charity run by Anne Brummer, who has also won an IFAW award.  His grounds are a home to a dizzying array of injured and orphaned animals, including 36 hedgehogs, six roe-deer fawns, seven fox cubs, seven badger cubs, a buzzard, two tawny owls and a selection of cygnets, goslings and ducklings.

"It's no a private zoo," he insists.  "I prefer to call it a refuge.  The animals stay here until Anne eventually releases them back into the wild.  She uses what's called soft release, where the animals slowly get used to the natural world.  Eventually, they head back to the wild, where they belong.

"Sadly, some are permanent residents, like poor Percy the hedgehog.  You might have read about him in the papers.  He was being used as a football.  Despicable!  Percy will never be able to feed himself so this is his home."

May and his then wife, Chrissie, bought the estate more the 30 years ago, when Queen were at the height of their fame, as a refuge from the stresses of London life.  "My son was still young when we first saw it.  He started running in and out of the trees, shouting, 'Dad, we're going to have lots of adventures here!'  That kind of clinched it for me."

The house itself is not as lavish or vast as you'd expect for a man worth a reputed £90m.  Built in 1896 by one of the Hookers, a renowned family of botanists, it looks like something you might see in an episode of Poirot, owned by one of Hercule's country chums.

May declines to reveal how much it cost - or to have it photographed - but insists it was not bought as an "investment".  "How much it's worth doesn't interest me in the slightest," he says.  "This house is meant to be a home.  It's not here to bump up my bank account."

That said, turning it into a home took a lot of time and effort.  The previous owner, referred to by May as "an actress", had painted everything cream, removed the original windows and turned the grounds into "an over manicured, over poisoned garden of disappointment".

"We replaced the windows and scraped all the paint off the woodwork," he adds, "but I focused most of my efforts on the garden.  Three was no wildlife in this bloody garden!  It was silent . . . dead.  Mowed to within an inch of its life. Borders full of marigolds, all surrounded by slug pellets.  If you spend that much energy killing things, there’s something wrong with this world."

Sunday TimesMay, who studied maths and physics at Imperial College, in London, before finding fame with Queen, admits he had no idea how to create a wildlife-friendly garden, and has always had gardeners: at present two full-time and two part-timers.  "The first job was getting rid of all those poisons," he recalls.  "And if anyone ever asks me how to bring wildlife back to their garden, that's what I tell them.  Go into your shed and get rid of your pesticides, pellets and herbicides.  If I were prime minister for a day, I'd ban the lot.  Does it really matter if you carrots get nibbled a bit?  They'll taste better."

As we head down to the fox run - anyone who saw Channel 4's recent '"Foxes Liv"' will know that May is especially fond of the animals - he describes how he first fell in love with wildlife.  "I grew up in a small terrace in the Feltham suburbs.  Like most men in post-war England, Dad had a vegetable patch, and I used to love playing in the garden.  Even as a kid, I felt tremendously privileged to share our back yard with birds, butterflies and the occasional fox, if we were lucky.  I felt conscious that Dad's little garden and the countryside around us were there for the animals, too.

"As I got older, attracting wildlife to my garden became a kind of therapy.  I suppose I've lived a crazy life, and watching wildlife brings back a sense of tranquility.  After my divorce in the late 1980s, this house, the garden and the wildlife became a sort of haven."

At the fox run, May falls silent.  A smile spreads across his face as he listens to the growls and grumbles from inside the end.  "Can you hear that?  Isn't it wonderful?  My favourite time of day is the early evening, when the wildlife starts to stir.  You can walk around the ground and suddenly find yourself face to face with a deer or a badger.  The foxes are my favourites, though.  They make me happy.

"Unfortunately, there's a real smear campaign against foxes in cities.  In reality, they are incredibly harmless.  If you want an animal to share your life with, you are statistically much safer with a fox than a family dog.  You get hundreds of attacks by family dogs, but almost none by foxes.  It's as if we're condemning them to death for nothing more than disturbing our dustbins."

May says his love of animals is inspired by a spirituality akin to Buddhism; while he does not practise it as such, he is attracted to the faith and has many Buddhist friends.  None of these seems very rock'n'roll - which makes me wonder whether, at the height of Queen's fame, Freddie Mercury and the rest of the band didn't rib him for worrying about baby badgers.

"Not at all!  Freddie was a huge animal lover," he says.  "He loved his cats more than anything.  He hated that awful lack of respect we have for each other and the animals we share this word with.

"When I'm gone, people will no doubt remember me for Queen, but I would much rather be remembered for attempting to change the way we treat our fellow creatures.  That would be something to be proud of."

Information: save-me.org.uk, harperaspreywildliferescue.co.uk, brianmay.com

For a full guide to attracting wildlife to your garden, visit thesundaytimes.co.uk/pets

© brianmay.com

**Sun 08 Jul 12**

8 July 2012 by James Hall, Consumer Affairs Editor

Foxes in cities are victims of a vicious “smear campaign” and are being condemned to death for “disturbing dustbins”, the rock star Brian May has said.

The Queen guitarist, who has keen interests in astrophysics and wildlife, keeps dozens of injured and orphaned animals including hedgehogs, badger cubs and foxes in the grounds of his Surrey estate. He said that many of the animals have been mistreated by members of the public.

“Unfortunately, there is a real smear campaign against foxes in cities. In reality, they are incredibly harmless. If you want an animal to share you life with, you are statistically much safer with a fox than a family dog. You get hundreds of attacks by family dogs, but almost none by foxes. It is as if we are condemning them to death for nothing more than disturbing our dustbins,” said Mr May.

Speaking to a newspaper over the weekend, Mr May said that many of the animals live in his grounds permanently to save them from attacks by members of the public.

“Sadly, some are permanent residents, like poor Percy the hedgehog. You might have read about him in the papers. He was being used as a football. Despicable. Percy will never be able to feed himself properly, so this is his home,” said Mr May.

The guitarist has been a passionate campaigner against the culling of badgers, who have been blamed for spreading bovine TB among cattle. He said at an anti-culling meeting in June that if the cull goes ahead then the countryside will be “saturated in blood”. He has said: “Badgers have been in this country longer than we have, they've been here for literally millions of years minding their own business... we think that we're the only species on the planet that matters, which is obviously self evidently not true.

"We are animals and we're obviously quite important - but the rest of the animals are quite important too. I don't think we have the right to treat animals the way we do."

The guitarist runs the Save Me animal welfare organisation.

Mr May said: “Queen is a huge part of my life but I do have other interests. People know about the astrophysics, but I love gardening too, and I’ve always been passionate about the welfare of our wonderful British wildlife."

© brianmay.com

**Sat 07 Jul 12**

Check out tomorrow's Sunday Times Gardening Section for an interview with Brian

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**Sat 07 Jul 12**

Imagie - Just One Falsetto

Brian was interviewed by Alan Yentob for this"Imagine" programme a short while ago. It will be broadcast this Tuesday at 10.35pm on BBC1.

© brianmay.com

**Thu 05 Jul 12**

38TH NATIONAL STEREOSCOPIC CONVENTIONBrian May will be a Keynote Speaker (as well as signing books beforehand), when he brings his Brief History of 3-D to:

The 38th National Stereoscopic Association Convention
July 25th-30th, 2012 • Costa Mesa, California

Come immerse yourself in some spectacular 3D over six action-packed days! This is the place to find cutting-edge stereo theatre, informative workshops, a stereoscopic art exhibition, image competitions, room hopping, a 3D auction, a large trade fair and a technical exhibit of new equipment and displays. Enjoy excursions to unique attractions in Southern California. For a glimpse of past conventions see this 3D Con slide show, courtesy of Susan Pinsky.

Saturday Night Keynote Speaker

Brian May presents his "Brief History of 3-D" Saturday night 7/28/12. Earlier in the day, he will sign books at the Trade Fair. Dr. Brian May, guitarist, songwriter, singer, founding member of "Queen," astrophysicist and author, has had a lifelong interest in Victorian 3-D photography. In 2009 he published his third book 'A Village Lost and Found.' He is currently working on his next book 'DIABLERIES - Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell' (working title) expected out next year. A 2005 Planet Rock poll voted May the 7th greatest guitarist of all time. For his work in 3-D see the website: www.londonstereo.com.

Full details of the event and other Keynote Speakers can be found: HERE

is the Official site of the National Stereoscopic Association

© brianmay.com

**Tue 03 Jul 12**

Greatest Guitarist of all timeMonday's matchup in Guitar Worlds elimination poll saw Brian May (63.26%) defeat Jeff Beck (36.74%). Feature page

View the full bracket. This seems to indicate that Brian will be up against George Harrison in the next round.

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**Mon 02 Jul 12**

Greatest Guitarist of all timeGuitar World are holding a Poll for The Greatest Guitarist of All Time - where you can vote in the daily rounds. Today is Round 2, which sees Brian May pitted against Jeff Beck.... currently Brian is in the lead. Friday's matchup saw Jimmy Page (80.96%) defeat Lindsey Buckingham (19.04%). View HERE.

2 July 2012
Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time. We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host of incredible guitarists (dead and living) — players chosen for their technical ability as well as their importance and creativity, not to mention how influential they've been. We asked you to vote in the final four names, which you did. Now the 128 slots are filled, and we're already well into Round 2.

ROUND 2 - Today's Match: One uses a sixpence as a guitar pick. The other doesn't use one at all. Will Brian May or Jeff Beck prevail in today's Round 2 matchup and earn a spot in the third round? You can keep checking the overall results.

Readers Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time — JEFF BECK Vs. BRIAN MAY - VOTE HERE

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