brian news

NOVEMBER 2012

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**Thu 22 Nov 12**
MAY AND ELLIS ARE THE CHAMPIONS

Kerry and Brian - Salisbury

SALISBURY JOURNAL
21 November 2012

ROCK legend Brian May needs no introduction and having seen West End star Kerry Ellis blow the socks off the audience in Wicked, I knew this was going to be a very special show. Intimate and acoustic aren’t words you would normally associate with May, who is more often found performing in front of thousands at stadiums, but this gig was both and there was something really beautiful about hearing May’s skill on the guitar shine through.

Ellis’ voice was spectacular and several of the songs – particularly I (Who Have Nothing) and No One But You, which Ellis first performed for May when she auditioned for the part of Meatloaf in the musical We Will Rock You – gave me goosebumps.

Both outstanding performers in their own right, May and Ellis complemented each other perfectly and seemed to really enjoy performing together.

At one point May left Ellis alone on stage so she could keep the Wicked fans happy with a moving rendition of I’m Not That Girl. I was a little disappointed she didn’t do Defying Gravity, as it’s such a great song and really shows off how powerful her voice is, but there were so many other fantastic songs it was easy to forget my momentary disappointment.

Of course, the crowd really came alive when they performed some classic Queen hits. They had everyone singing along to Somebody To Love and ended the set on a high with everyone stomping and clapping to We Will Rock You and then swaying and singing to We Are The Champions.

After rapturous applause they came back and performed Born Free, the Don Black classic, which Ellis and May have recorded as a single.

The performance was accompanied by a video with a poignant message about the decline of wild lions in Africa, as the tour is to raise money for the Born Free Foundation. This show was a rare opportunity to see two astounding performers together and was an experience I will never forget.

Corey Ross

© brianmay.com


**Thu 22 Nov 12**
SATURDAY TELEGRAPH MAG "MY LONDON"

Brian has an interview today for a forthcoming article in the Daily Telegraph Saturday magazine titled "My London". This will appear early December.

© brianmay.com


**Wed 21 Nov 12**
IMPORTANT UPDATE: FURTHER ENGAGEMENTS (REVISED) FOR BRIAN & KERRY

We now have confirmation of dates for BBC Wogan's Christmas Special,
which will include Brian May and Kerry Ellis, to be pre-recorded at the
Union Chapel, London, on 12th Dec, and then broadcast on 23rd Dec.

Brian and Kerry have expressed the wish to bring their music to the more northerly parts of the UK in the New Year, but in the meantime - another couple of outings:

MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION WINTER BALL:
Brian and Kerry will be playing for Make A Wish Foundation Winter Ball at the Dorchester this coming Saturday, 26 November.
www.makeawishball.org

WOGAN'S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - see note above.

NOTE: Kerry is currently rehearsing for Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds Arena Tour, which commences 29 November in Dublin, Ireland, then hits the UK 1 December at Liverpool Echo Arena (Ed - we are going !!! Hurrah!) - through to 10 January in Gdansk, Poland. Tickets on Ticketmaster.co.uk Enjoy interview from OK! Magazine HERE. Michael Falzon (WWRY Australia Galileo), also joining the show.

PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE for further news.

© brianmay.com


**Mon 19 Nov 12**
BRIAN MAY - 5 YEARS AGO TODAY

Brian May and Anita Dobson - LJMU installation as Chancellor 2007Five years ago today, 19 November 2007, Brian was appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

LIVERPOOL DAILY POST
Report dated
20 November 2007

"I have a great feeling for the university and the dedicated people who run it, and I am convinced there is an opportunity here to go where no one has been before.

"I understand Cherie Booth QC was very active in the life of the university, and I hope to be a worthy successor."

When asked if he'll be marking the occasion, he said: "Yes, I will be celebrating tonight. How? With a delicious vegetarian roast, and a glass of choice desert wine!"

More: - brianmay.com/brian/briannews/briannewsnov07a.html
- and - brianmay.com/brian/briannews/briannewsnov07.html#17

© brianmay.com


**Mon 19 Nov 12**
BRIAN MAY - 10 YEARS AGO TODAY

Ten years ago today, Brian received an Honorary Doctorate from Hertfordshire University.

EXTRACT from Brian's SOAPBOX comments at the time: **Thu 21 Nov 02**

"The ceremony involved clapping until our hands hurt - and I was fascinated to wonder how the Vice Chancellor chose which students he would talk to at length ...!

Then one of the Graduates, a girl, spoke very eloquently to wrap up the occasion and thank the participants - she referred particularly to the Bar Staff!

Suddenly it was all over, and, as arranged, I led the procession OUT of the Abbey, all the way down the central aisle, like a wedding! Of course, being in front I found myself wondering if the rest of the guys were still behind me! But soon I found myself stepping into the daylight in front of the entrance, to a little gaggle of photographers and curious onlookers - for this was now public territory. I just held my precious tube holding the Degree certificate, and stood and waited to see what happened next. "

© brianmay.com

BBC NEWS reported:
Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 17:08 GMT
Rock star May gets doctorate

Brian May awarded Honorary Doctorate from Hertfordshire UniversityBrian May, the guitarist with rock group Queen, has been presented with an honorary doctorate from Hertfordshire University. The guitarist, who was an astronomy student in London before Queen became successful, was presented with the doctorate of science at the Hertford campus on Tuesday. May, 55, had a grade of 2:1 when he left his Phd studies to join the band. His Phd was never completed.

Opposite: Brian May swapped his guitar for
a doctorate at the award ceremony

After receiving his award at a ceremony at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans, May said: "I'm just very thrilled. Astronomy is very important to me. I still keep up with astronomy, but only as an amateur."

May was joined by his wife, former Eastenders star and singer Anita Dobson, and a crowd of 1,000 onlookers. He admitted it had been a difficult decision for him to choose between rock and his studies.

Brian May played on the roof of Buckingham Palace this summer

"It was very difficult at the time and I disappointed my parents who wanted me to go along the academic route," he said. "But I don't think I quite had the discipline to be an academic. I'm a much better musician than astronomer. I think the world got the right choice."

Emotional

Dobson, who played Angie Watts in BBC One soap EastEnders, said the couple were touched by the award. "It was really quite emotional. When the procession came in I got really quite teary," she said.

May, whose operatic guitar playing was a lynchpin of Queen's Music, has had a busy musical career since the death of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in 1991. He has released his own albums, released songs with the remaining members of Queen and even played on the roof of Buckingham Palace at the Queen's Jubilee concert in the summer. He also added guitar to two tracks on the latest album by the Foo Fighters, the band led by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl.

© brianmay.com


**Mon 19 Noc 12**
KERRY ELLIS & BRIAN MAY SIGNED WWRY 1ST DAY COVER ON EBAY FOR CHARITY

A chance to own this very nice item - just tone on ebay at http://bit.ly/Wgfw65 - We Will Rock You (Musicals) First Day Cover (Stamped envelope) signed by Brian May and Kerry Ellis before their Born Free Tunbridge Wells Concert, Friday 9 November 2012,.

Signed WWRY First Day Cover

100% of the proceeds of this sale in aid of "Born Free Foundation".

© brianmay.com


** Sun 18 Nov 12**
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DOC & MISSUS

18 November 2000On this day - in 2000 Brian married his beautiful lady...


Brian May and Anita Dobson tie the knot after 12 years

Photo source: Hello! Magazine

© brianmay.com


**Thu 15 Nov 12**
VIDEO: WEST SUSSEX YOUTH CHOIR JOIN BRIAN MAY ON STAGE

WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES
15 Nov 2012 by Mark Dunford

Members of the West Sussex Youth Choir enjoyed the opportunity of lifetime tonight (Thursday), joining Queen legend Brian May and acclaimed singing star Kerry Ellis on their Born Free tour. The 26 youngsters appeared on the Hawth Theatre stage to sing three songs with the stars.

After a few songs and solos by Brian and Kerry, the choir came on to stage to help sing the emotional and poignant No-one But You - a song Brian May wrote for Freddie Mercury. They also helped choreograph the audience in the stomping and clamping for the crowd-pleaser We Will Rock You. And in for their final number they joined Kerry in singing a beautiful version of In the Bleak Midwinter.

This was one of 11 tour dates Brian and Kerry have embarked on.

These special intimate concerts provide a chance to see Ellis and May close-up, and are being especially performed to raise awareness of the work of the Born Free Foundation, the global organisation which works to protect and conserve threatened species, particularly Africa’s magnificent Lions, which across much of Africa, are now in serious decline.

The evening was very informal and a world away from the days when Queen would perform in front of thousands of people in Wembley.

In those days it was Freddie who was the showman and extrovert. But seeing Brian May sitting on a stool playing guitar in candlelight was just as mesmerising.

And his incredible guitar playing was more than complemented by Kerry Ellis’ incredible voice.

Kerry’s most famous West End role was Elphaba in Wicked and she got to sing I’m Not That Girl solo in a quieter part of the evening.

Other highlights included Kerry’s rendition of The Way We Were, Brian’s solo section, Somebody to Love and, of course, Born Free.

However, it was the 26 Sussex youngsters who helped steal the show and raise the roof when they joined in with the aforementioned No-one But You. A truly wonderful song, sung truly wonderfully.

© brianmay.com


**Thu 15 Nov 12**
BRIAN MAY SIGNED GUITAR IN CANCER FUND AUCTION

Icons & Idols Rock-N-Roll Auction

Brian May signed guitarBrian has donated a beautiful signed guitar to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund Guitar Auction!

We've been asked to put out the word to readers that this long awaited Guitar Auction will take place at Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills on Saturday, December 1st at 2:00 PM PST. Online bids are invited. www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2012/icons-and-idols-rock/index.html

All proceeds will benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.

See opposite the guitar signed by Brian and below Brian's signature on the guitar. (How Cool Is That???)

Image opposite
- please click for larger.


Lot 262 BRIAN MAY SIGNED GUITAR - LINK BID HERE
A Brian May custom model electric guitar signed "Brian May 2010" on the body. Serial number BHM10626. May, known as Queen's guitarist, is on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and is also an astrophysicist. May's guitar company, Brian May Guitars, probably built this guitar as a replica to his signature Red Special guitar.

PROVENANCE From the Collection of Brian May

Proceeds from the sale of this item will benefit The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.

Online bidding has started!

Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, was founded in memory of legendary vocalist, Ronnie James Dio, who lost his battle with cancer in May 2010. Stand up and Shout funds cancer research and with the help of Dio’s friends, fellow musicians — and a few elephants — who have donated guitars to this important cause.

This is for a very good cause - so please would you let your friends and networks know about it. Many thanks.

Brian May guitar - signature
Signature on the guitar

Also iin the same auction catalogue and perhaps of interest:

Brian May TrainersLot 214 BRIAN MAY SIGNED AND USED TRAINERS - Lot 214
www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/80/lot/32233/from/find-lots

A pair of worn white Nike lace-up trainers signed on the right toe box "Brian" and on the left "May." The trainers are accompanied by a typed, signed letter of authenticity on Brian May's letterhead and dated August 25, 2010. Reads in part, "These Nike trainers have been a comfortable part of my life for a good few years ... so now it's time to part with them, and like an old friend, they will be sorely missed." Size 10. A Letter of Authenticity can be viewd at the link above.

Proceeds from the sale of this item will benefit Music Rising.

 

Queen Video outfitLot 388 - QUEEN SIGNED VIDEO OUTFIT
www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/80/lot/32407/from/find-lots
/

A white paper suit consisting of a long-sleeve pullover, trousers, and balaclava, signed on the sleeves by Queen members Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. The ensemble was worn by an extra on the video for Queen's 1984 song "Radio GaGa," directed by David Mallet. Pants are stamped "medium." No maker labels. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Tracks Ltd.

© brianmay.com


**Mon 12 Nov 12**
NEXT SHOW "BORN FREE" TOUR - ALBAN ARENA ST ALBANS

BORN FREE TOURTONIGHT:
ALBAN ARENA, ST ALBANS

Brian May & Kerry Ellis Born Free Tour MONDAY 12 November 8PM The Alban, ST ALBANS. Please contact Box Office for availability 01727 844488.

© brianmay.com


**Sun 11 Nov 12**
INTERVIEW - BRIAN MAY & KERRY ELLIS (PT 1 & 2)
WITH NICK COFFER BBC 3 COUNTIES RADIO

Nick Coffer of BBC 3 Counties Radio caught up with Brian and Kerry on 9 November in Corby.

VIDEO: - PART 1 - PART 2

AUDIO:

PART 1 - CLICK HERE TO OPEN WINDOW Difficulty listening go HERE
PART 2 - CLICK HERE TO OPEN WINDOW Difficulty listening go HERE

© brianmay.com


**Sun 11 Nov 12**
UNION CHAPEL LONDON SET LIST- 11 NOVEMBER 2012


UNION CHAPEL, LONDON
SET LIST - 11 NOVEMBER 2012

Born Free
Butterfly
I Who Have Nothing
Dust in the Wind
Kissing Me/I Can See You
Somebody to Love
Nothing Really Has Changed
Life is Real
The Way We Were
Since You've Been Gone
'39
Something
Love of My Life
I’m Not That Girl
NOBY
Last Horizon
Tie Your Mother Down
Can't Be Your Friend
Knocking On Heavens Door
WWRY
Champions

In the Bleak Mid Winter
Born Free
Crazy Little



© brianmay.com


**Sun 11 Nov 12**
BRIGHTON SET LIST- 10 NOVEMBER 2012


BRIGHTON
SET LIST - 10 NOVEMBER 2012

Born Free
Butterfly
I Who Have Nothing
Dust in the Wind
Kissing Me/I Can See You
Somebody to Love
Nothing Really Has Changed
Life is Real
The Way We Were
Since You've Been Gone
'39
Something
Love of My Life
I’m Not That Girl
NOBY
Last Horizon
Tie Your Mother Down
Can't Be Your Friend
Knocking On Heavens Door
WWRY
Champions

In the Bleak Mid Winter
Born Free
Crazy Little



© brianmay.com


**Sat 10 Nov 12**
ARGUS BRIAN MAY INTERVIEW
BRIAN MAY AND KERRY ELLIS: THE BORN FREE TOUR

THE ARGUS
STAGE
10 November 2012 by Duncan Hall

Brian May and Kerry Ellis
Brian May and Kerry Ellis

“I’ve spent the last year and a half talking about badgers. It’s quite refreshing to talk about music again.”

Former Queen guitarist and environmental activist Brian May is back on the road with a new tour combining two of his passions – music and animal rights. He is being joined by singer Kerry Ellis to raise money for the Horsham-based Born Free Foundation, which works to protect and conserve threatened species, particularly Africa’s lions.

“It came about very organically,” says May from his office at Duck Productions. “While we were there we sang to people in small groups out in the jungle, which was quite magical. That’s the feeling we want to bring to these shows. Kerry and I went to Africa to help [actress] Virginia McKenna and join in some of the rescue work."

Inspired after the collapse of a concert in Hyde Park, where they were due to play, May and Ellis have embarked on a series of 11 intimate, acoustic, candlelit concert dates.

“It’s an opportunity to talk to the audience and have a play around,” says May. “The theme is to make it intimate, small and very personal.”

It’s a world away from the bombastic stadium shows and West End theatres both are used to playing.

“I still love big loud rock and orchestral theatre,” says May. “But there is something special about stripping a song back to its basics and listening to the lyrics. Kerry is a great interpreter – she doesn’t embellish for the sake of embellishment, as is very much the fashion these days, when people widdle around. That’s not the way to treat a song. I like to find the inner truth of a song. The song is king. That was what Queen was about.”

May has been working with Ellis since casting her in the role of Meat in We Will Rock You. The pair have collaborated on two solo albums, Wicked In Rock and 2010’s Anthems.

“I was very fortunate to find Kerry,” he admits. “I realised hers was the kind of voice I wanted to work with when I saw her as second understudy in My Fair Lady, taking on the role at a moment’s notice. It was just magnetic, she didn’t just have a wonderful voice, but also an incredible presence and enormous passion in the way she sings. I still get chills hearing that voice.”

When it comes to singers, May knows what he’s talking about, having worked in Queen with arguably the world’s greatest frontman for more than 20 years: Freddie Mercury.

“I feel very proud of Queen,” he says. “It feels almost like another lifetime now. We had a great strength and lots of arguments, but we always kept that side private and presented a coherent face to the world. In a sense we are still Queen – I continue to keep in touch with Roger [Taylor, drummer] and we still have projects which are still Queen, including the new Freddie film.”

Mercury the movie is currently in development, with Sacha Baron Cohen set to take the title role. It’s due for release in 2014.

What could be even more exciting is something the band has found in the vaults.

“With the Made In Heaven album, we only had fragments to work from and it turned into our best Queen album,” he says. "We have done some work on a couple of tracks featuring Freddie with Michael Jackson, which are interesting and might see the light one day. They’re not very well known. One was going to be a Queen song but never quite made it, so it veered off to Freddie to work with Michael, the other Michael initiated and they worked on together. It’s good – it could be great!”

Much of May’s post-Queen career has seen him investigate projects outside of music. Having given up his astrophysics PhD at Imperial College London in favour of a career as a rock guitarist, he completed his thesis A Survey Of Radial Velocities In The Zodiacal Dust Cloud 30 years later.

“It was unfinished business,” he says. “I was always fascinated with astrophysics. It means a lot having my real doctorate, as well as my honorary doctorates.”

He has also explored his passion for stereoscopic photographs – essentially the Victorians’ take on 3D imaging – releasing the book A Village Lost And Found with Elena Vidal on the work of stereophotography innovator TR Williams. While that book was largely images of village life, its follow-up will be slightly more dramatic.

“I’m working on a new book of diableries,” he says. “They are French devil tissues – stereoscopic adventures in hell – which will be out next year. There are lots of subtexts and human meanings.”

READ MORE HERE

The other big part of his life now is the campaign he set up in 2010 – Save Me – a non-profit organisation fighting against wildlife injustice. Most recently he has been vocal about the planned badger cull in an attempt to prevent the spread of bovine TB, but the origins of the group date back further than that.

“I had worked previously in a not very co-ordinated way,” he says.

“Although I was full-time making music, I was always in my simple way trying to make a difference to the world. There was always a message in what I was doing – I just realised I had to be more direct if you want to change the world.

“Queen did change the world in the sense that we opened up opportunities to do things in a more direct way.”

A trio of things came together to help him start realising his dream of working towards a more humane and compassionate world.

“On the internet I created Brian’s Soapbox, which was a blog before the word blog was invented,” he says. “It became a very good way for me to become involved in campaigns. Through that I got involved in saving hedgehogs on the Isle of Uist, in Scotland.”

The hedgehogs, which were introduced to the island in 1974 to kill slugs, had reached record numbers and were being culled to save birds’ eggs. Uist Hedgehog Rescue, which received May’s support, managed to encourage the Uist Wader Project to move the hedgehogs to the mainland rather than kill them.

“I felt I could achieve something,” says May. “At that time the election was coming up, and I realised David Cameron was standing on a platform of bringing back bloodsports. I couldn’t believe it. The policy was pushed back as the election came, but I started a campaign to make people realise what they were voting for. He didn’t get voted in, but ended up being Prime Minister anyway. We just have to be thankful he didn’t get an overall majority.”

May’s campaign has many leading Conservatives on its side – although he describes the Cabinet as a lost cause. He is finding the campaign is continually having to protect animals, with a report in the news that day suggesting many animals might lose their protected status in the future.

"There is a ruthlessness about this particular kind of Conservatism,” says May. “It’s the old arrogant ‘ride roughshod over everything’ philosophy that we are seeing. I hope this is the last time we have a Government like this. If you are disabled, at the lower end of the earning spectrum or an animal, then God help you.”

He does see a ray of hope, though, coming from Brighton’s Green MP Caroline Lucas, who led a recent debate against the badger cull.

“She was the most wonderful person to have representing you,” he says. “If there was a chamber of people like her who were aware, compassionate and articulate, the world would be a better place.”

The Born Free Tour is at St George’s Church, St George’s Road, Brighton, on Saturday, November 10 and The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, on Thursday, November 15. The Brighton show starts at 7pm; the Crawley show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £39.50, call 0844 758758

©brianmay.com

 
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Wildlife Rocks - DETAILS HERE

 

Al