brian's soapbox
JANUARY 2016

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

Reference:
- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes
- Help with Stereo Viewing (LSC)

Brian and Kerry dates

COPYRIGHT NOTE:
Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages WITHOUT PERMISSION. And if you do, please give us credit (brianmay.com)!! and a LIVE link. `
Cheers ! Bri
- Also applies to FOREIGN LANGUAGE sites,
'NOT' for FACEBOOK or SOCIAL MEDIA

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**Wed 27 Jan 16**
THANKS BANKSY - NEW ARTWORK
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Banksy's wonderful message screams "We are the foul perpetrators of the demonisation of refugees".

Shame on us.

THANKS BANKSY.

THE GUARDIAN
Hannah Ellis-Petersen
Sunday 24 January 2016 18.21 GMT

At least there are SOME who see the foul mind tricks being played on us by this merciless government

Bri

Banksy's Calais artwork

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**Wed 27 Jan 16**
WHAT GETS ME THRU THE NIGHT ? / DARK SIDE SHARKERS
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Someone asked me what gets me thru the night ? The perfect dairy-free energy-giving snack partnership!

Apro Almond and Monster Puffs

Yum !

---

These people really hardly deserve to live, do they ? There seem to be ass-holes everywhere.

FACEBOOK - Dark Side Sharkers

Bri

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**Tue 26 Jan 16**
PLANNING OWL VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEM - CRINOLINE FIRST COPY
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Great meeting with Red Sheep man Phil Hansen [Red Sheep Communications] today planning to launch our OWL VIRTUAL REALITY system.

Phil Hansen

---

SO happy with how this book turned out. Credit to Denis Pellerin. BEAUTIFUL. Available soon. www.londonstereo.com

Robin Rees wrote:

The first copy of CRINOLINE in our little production office in Bristol. It's been flown ahead of the bulk stock.

Crinoline - first copy

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**Mon 25 Jan 16**
BREADMAKER BRI !
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OK ! With great pride ! Loaf 5 !

My lovely daughters thought I needed a hobby this Xmas so gave me Bread Maker !

Loaf 5 - stereo
Loaf 5 - in stereo

And ... the proud baker ! ha ha ! I sure got a rise !!!

Brian - proud baker

Bri

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**Sat 24 Jan 16**
IT TAKES A CHILD
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Ban Blood Sports -
It takes a child, with no blinkers on her eyes ....

Bri Dr.


BAN BLOOD SPORTS
"Please Stop The Hunt": 10-year-old girl calls on Irish Government to stop cruel foxhunting...

Child's letter

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**Fri 23 Jan 16**
FRIDAY THOUGHTS
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The Secret Poisoning of our Countryside. Are you angry yet ?

SOIL ASSOCIATION

Ban Neonicotinoids

Are we really going to let this awful Government get away with killing the BBC ?

TELEGRAPH
BBC Four and News Channel facing axe as BBC eyes cuts of £550m

---

How the ugly truth is hidden from us by the Government

THE GUARDIAN
Taking out the trash: how spin doctors wrangle the news

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Thanks so much, folks, for voting for my Pluto stereo as favourite EPOD. Honoured !

While we're at it ... check THIS out. Reminds me how much I LOVE this uniquely innovative Freddie song.


Queen - Mustapha - Metal Cover by Shinray - Movember Edition
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZRe_0L5qiU

Bri

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**Mon 18 Jan 16**
RIP BUFFIN AND GLENN FREY
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RIP Buffin [Dale Griffin] and Glenn Frey.

So now our old comrade Buffin - from Mott the Hoople - is gone.

And Glenn Frey from the Eagles ?

My God. The sound of our own wheels.

Some great days - in our memories for a little while longer.

I'm finding this month pretty sad.

Bri


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**Sat 16 Jan 16**
BRI's 3-D NEWS - CRINOLINE !!!! [EXCLUSIVE]
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Well, we’re finally about to release the CRINOLINE 3-D book, promised from last year. It’s all about the most outrageous fashion of all time, something Denis has researched for years, and I’ve learned a lot from the project. Crinoline is something a lot more significant (and dangerous!) than you might imagine … and there are great resonances from this 1860s phenomenon to the present day, as you’ll see. The release of the book is timed to coincide with the V&A – Victoria and Albert Museum – exhibition on the History of Underwear – called "Undressed” ! SEE HERE. Our title is much less sensationalistic than theirs ! ha ha ! We have contributed some stereos to their exhibition, which looks like it will be sensational, so plan to visit the V 'n' A next month ! OK ?

Here’s the Crinoline slipcase cover (exclusively to Soapbox readers and LSC pals !) … to look out for in, hopefully, a couple or three weeks time.

Crinoline front cover

 

And the back of the slipcase gives a but more idea about what the book contains. Hope you’ll all get as fascinated as I have been.

Crinoline slip case back cover
An early layout - since amended.


Yes ! There is some humour in it ! Now that this weighty tome is at the printers, we’re hard at work on the next one … which will be all about that old group Queen, seen in a new way … “ QUEEN in 3-D ? ” You think ?

Well, more of that very soon.

Cheers !

Bri

---

Crinoline ROCKS !!! Believe me ! Launching imminently !

First trade announcement !

THE BOOKSELLER
Brian May and V&A to release 3D Crinoline book
14 January 2016 by Katherine Cowdrey

Check out the V&A UNDRESSED Exhibition.

Bri

Bri with Crinoline book

Brian and Crinoline Book

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**Thu 14 Jan 16**
BACK IN THE SADDLE
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One Voice Tour clothing


Kerry Ellis wrote:
Great rehearsal with @DrBrianMay today for our @pizzapheasantry performance next wk xx


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah !!!!!!! Back in the saddle !!!

Bri

Kerry:
Yes we are

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**Wed 13 Jan 16**
MORE: BASEMENT BUILDING BASTARDS
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Monstrous selfishness again stalks the streets. Basement building bastards. May they go under.

Bri

SEE: MUSICIANS FIGHT TYCOON'S BASEMENT PLAN

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**Wed 13 Jan 16**
SEE ASTRO 3-D !! - ASTROFEST !
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Brian and Pluto stereo

Come and see Astro 3-D !!

http://europeanastrofest.com

ASTROFEST !

Bri

- and BRIAN NEWS

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**Wed 13 Jan 16**
SOON TO BE UNLEASHED
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Soon to be unleashed on Italy and Eastern Europe ! One Voice !! Kerry Ellis !

Kerry and Brian

Well, ONE of us looks fabulous here ... ha ha. I guess I look ... erm ... real. ;-)

From Feb. Anyone fancy a trip to Rome ? Or Zlin ? Or maybe just the shirt ? ha ha.

 

Brian and One Voice tour shirt

Bri

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**Wed 13 Jan 16**
BULGARIA IN SIGHT
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Today - had a great talk with Georgi. Bulgaria is now in our sights !!

Bri

Brian with Bulgarian BTV
Georgi Toshev – Producer and journalist, Bri, Adriana Nachev - Executive producer,
Rumen Vassilev - Cameraman

BTV, National TV station in Bulgaria

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**Tue 12 Jan 16**
TOXIC LEAD SHOT PETITION - CHRIS PACKHAM
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Chris Packham and Brian
Chris Packham and Brian

Inspiring discussion with great animal advocate Chris Packham today.

This is a man you can believe in.

Chris Packham wrote:

Can I ask @WWTworldwide if you have suggested that your members sign this petition to ban lead shot ? https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/111533

 

WHAT ? Toxic lead shot still being sprayed all over the countryside ? Unbelievable. SIGN petition please and please share.

Petition:
Ban toxic lead ammunition
Lead is a poison. Its continued use in ammunition poisons tens of thousands of birds each year and puts human health at risk. Safe, non-toxic ammunition is used in countries across the world. The UK supports an international agreement to ban lead ammunition. We should ban its use immediately.

Petition passes 10,000 signatures ! Help us reach 100,000 - lead shot is poisoning us all. STOP IT !

Bri

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**Mon 11 Jan 16**
HOW QUEEN AND DAVID BOWIE WROTE 'UNDER PRESSURE' - EXCLUSIVE
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My piece for the Daily Mirror (11 January 2016)...
[They are devoting an entire souvenir issue to Bowie, Tuesday. Bri]

Roger Taylor, Brian May and David Bowie
Source: www.mylespaul.com

David Bowie and we guys from Queen came from the same country, of course … and quite close by, in London, at that. But we only hooked up properly because of a coincidence. We all happened to be in a sleepy little town called Montreux in Switzerland at the same time. In the 70s we worked at the small studio there, Mountain Studios, with David Richards, and liked it so much we bought it, and continued to work there until Freddie’s passing many years later. David Bowie had actually settled in Switzerland to live, very close by, and since we already knew him a little, he popped in to say hello one day while we were recording.

Now time dims the memory a little, but the way I remember it we all very quickly decided that the best way to get to know each other was to play together. So we all bowled down into the studio and picked up our instruments. We had fun kicking around a few fragments of songs we all knew. But then we decided it would be great to create something new, on the spur of the moment. We all brought stuff to the table, and my contribution was a heavy riff in D which was lurking in my head. But what we got excited about was a riff which Deacy began playing, 6 notes the same, then one note a fourth down. Ding-Ding-Ding Diddle Ing-Ding, you might say. But suddenly hunger took over and we repaired to a local restaurant for food and a fair amount of drink. (Local Vaux wine as drunk in Montreux is a well-kept secret).

A couple or three hours later, we’re back in the studio. “What was that riff, you had, Deacy?” says David B. “I was like this”, says John Deacon. “No it wasn’t, says Bowie – it was like this”. This was a funny moment because I can just see DB going over and putting his hand on John's fretting hand and stopping him. It was also a tense moment because it could have gone either way. Deacy did not take kindly to being told what to do, especially by physical interferences while he was playing! But he was good-natured, and it all went ahead. Then we began playing around – using the riff as a starting point. Now normally, if it had been just us, we probably would have gone away and thought about it, and started mapping out a song structure.

David said something like “We should just press on instinctively. Something will happen.” And he was right. It did. I put a little tinkling guitar riff on top of John’s bass riff (David later was adamant it ought to be played on a 12-string, so I overdubbed that later at some point). And then we all mucked in with ideas to develop a backing track. The track had something that sounded like a verse, then a quiet contemplative bit, which built up ready for a climax. I managed to get my heavy riff in here. I remember saying … "cool – it sounds like The Who!” At which point David frowned a little and said “It won’t sound like The Who by the time we’re finished!”

Now at this point there is no song … no vocal, no words – no title, even – no clue as to what the song will mean – just an instrumental backing track. But it really rocked. Born completely spontaneously, it was fresh as a daisy. Stop there? Go away and write a song for it ? “No” – says David.

He’d been working with a bunch of people who developed a technique for creating the top line by ‘democracy’ as well as the backing track. The procedure was each of us went into the vocal booth consecutively, without listening to each other, and, listening to the track, vocalised the first things that came into our heads, including any words which came to mind, working with the existing chord structure. At this point Freddie laid down his amazing De Dah Day bits, very unusual, which actually made it to the final mix.

The next step was to cut up everybody’s bits and make a kind of compilation ‘best of’ vocal track – which would then be used as the template for the final vocals. It came out pretty strange, but very different. We all went home that night with a rough mix which was provisionally called ‘People on Streets’, because these words were part of the rough.

The next day we reconvened, and I think I was prepared to try some new ideas out. But David was in there first, and told us he wanted to take the track over, because he knew what he wanted it to be about. So, to cut a long story short, that is what happened. We all backed off and David put down a lyric which now focussed on the ‘Under Pressure’ part of the existing lyric. It was unusual for us all to relinquish control like that but really David was having a genius moment – because that is a very telling lyric. And the rest is history?

When it came to mixing the track, I, (uncharacteristically, since I was usually the last one left in the studio of a night), opted out altogether, so that there were fewer cooks to spoil the broth. Roger hung right in there – and Roger, who had been a fan of Bowie from way back, was very instrumental in making sure the track got finished. In fact it didn’t get mixed until a few weeks later in New York. That’s a whole different story, but I wasn’t there, so all I know is that Freddie and David had different views of how the mix should be done, and the engineer didn’t completely know how the studio worked! So it ended up as a compromise … a quick rough monitor mix. But that was what became the finished album track, and a single too, which made a mark all around the world.

Now Roger stayed close to David from then on. We all frequently bumped into each other in Montreux at the Jazz Festival, at Claude Knobs’s house (creator of the Festival) or at the house of Charlie Chaplin, close by in Vevey – his last wife was a friend of David’s and very hospitable. So the links were there, and I remember David was always very patient with my small boy Jimmy … playing with him on the floor with Claude’s toys.

But the next time we really spent serious time together was at the rehearsals for the Freddie Tribute Show, which Roger and I put together after we lost Freddie. There was one bizarre moment, when I looked around in the rehearsal room and realised that, on some makeshift chairs, in a line waiting for their rehearsal spots, sat Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, George Michael, and David Bowie. David, as I remember, was very mellow by then, and made a wonderful contribution to the show, including a literally show-stopping moment when he went down on one knee and recited the Lord’s Prayer. If you look at our faces on the video for that moment, you can see that it was just as big a surprise to us as it was to the audience!! David’s duet with Annie Lennox that night is legendary. But pretty much everything David did was legendary.

Never predictable, never classifiable, immensely lateral thinking and fearless, he stands as one of Britain’s greatest musical creators. I’m certainly proud to have worked with him.

RIP David.

Bri

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**Mon 11 Jan 16**
RIP DAVID BOWIE

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I woke up late, after a long night, to shocking news. David Bowie gone.

I don’t know if I can react immediately.

He was a fearsome talent, and the loss to Music and Culture from his passing is inestimable.

In and out of our lives, always challenging and innovative, and … shocking.

But this news is hard to take in.

I had no idea he was close to death. Would like to have said something …

Very sad. Sincere condolences to his family.

But what a life.

All hail, David Bowie, Star Man, Hero. RIP.

Bri

 


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**Thu 07 Jan 16**
MY SPEECH NOTES FOR COZY PLAQUE UNVEILING
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Brian May

Brian May - Cozy Plaque unveiling

It was a great day in Cirencester - a great turn-out and a great showing of love for our dear pal Cozy Powell. Along with my best mate Tony Iommi and Suzi Quatro and an impressive bunch of his old colleagues we unveiled a blue plaque, permanently honouring this son of Cirencester.

After this there was a reception and lots of speeches - from people who knew him at all points of his life. I had written some notes - but of course I didn't stick to them when I spoke. Here's my text of stuff I intended to say !



Cozy.

Cozy was one of those people who never had a moment’s doubt about who he wanted to be. He was a drummer through and through. He never knew his real Mum and Dad, so perhaps made his own role-model. Grew up listening to every drummer he could … many of them Jazz, but had a vision in his head of what kind of drumming HE wanted to create.

I’m a guitarist, so in a sense I have a different point of view from a drummer. But the first place a guitarist looks for to anchor himself to is a great drummer. So it’s a great vantage point.

Many of today’s young musicians quote US as influences now .. but I know Roger would endorse me saying that Hard Rock Drumming was defined by a generation just ahead of us. Similar age actually, but they got stuck in professionally at an earlier age !

The backing to early Rock and Roll records was actually quite light and syncopated … like Elvis Presley records, Bill Haley … it was quite Jazzy … drum sticks were held loosely with the thumbs --- lots of wrist action. The body stayed still.

But with the second wave, led quite largely by the British, a new feeling about ALL-OUT High Intensity drumming – along with all-out high intensity guitar playing - was forming in the air. Most of our generation were inspired by the new LOUD hard hitting style … largely defined by Carmine Appice, John Bonham, and COZY POWELL. The style is epitomised by actually hitting the drums hard and moving a lot of air, the sticks are held in a firm embrace by the whole hand, and the WHOLE BODY is brought to bear on the action that makes the hits on those drum skins.

There’s a kind of unstoppable rhythm that you can see in the evolved Rock Drummer’s action. There is so much movement, and it’s so cyclic, that it’s almost impossible for him to hit something NOT in time. You can see it in Roger Taylor, my own colleague in Queen. You can see it in Matt Sorum in Guns n' Roses, Chad Smith in Chili Peppers, and in Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. The drummer becomes a machine, but more than a machine, a vehicle for the all-out passion of someone living and breathing the song. It’s not just about how hard the drums are hit … it’s a physical magic that comes from passion and commitment. Cozy was an immensely PASSIONATE drummer.

My own association with Cozy starts properly backstage with Queen at Hyde Park, 1976. He surprised me by saying I was one of the musicians he’d most like to work with. So when I organised a Guitar Legends concert in Seville a while later, it was Cozy that I called to do drums. We had an amazing time. He was totally inspiring as I had hoped … for all the guitarists.

And when we lost Freddie, and I plunged into touring with my own band, it was Cozy I called – he’d made me promise I would. We did loads of shows together, and we recorded together with great joy and creativity. He was a wonderful friend and ALWAYS a boost for my sometimes failing confidence. “Fabulous ! We’ll nail it – loud .. hooligan ! Just roll it !” I can hear him thundering away in Resurrection in my head. In fact I think I’ll head off and watch it on YouTube right now !!

Cozy was a lot more than a drummer … he was a fine human being. Always considerate, generous and compassionate, he dealt fairly with people and with other animals too.

One of my favourite images of him is from his own proud accounts … him dealing with the Hunts when they attempted to trespass on his property. He was out with his gun, and stood defiantly with the cry “Get Orf My Laaand !” And they did !!!

Born in Cirencester, it’s very fitting he has a proper memorial here … a trigger to focus people’s memories and love for the man.

I loved him like a brother. And still miss him greatly. He had a wonderfully focussed life … played with a whole catalogue of Rocks’ greatest … From Ritchie Blackmore to Tony Iommi, to Jeff Beck … from Rainbow to Black Sabbath to his own solo hit, Dance with the Devil. Did I mention he was a brilliant demon race driver ?

THANKS FOR doing this … Mark - Mr. Mayor - Town Council – Rosella Amadori – and the Civic Society.

He was a son of Cirencester, a brilliant soul – a fantastic passionate Drummer, and a shining soul … Let him always be remembered here !

Bri



Bless ya' Cozy ! Great Man !

Bri

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**Tue 05 Jan 16**
PHOTOGRAPHER PETER NEUTKENS FROM AMSTERDAM
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Help ! Anybody know the whereabouts of this guy? 3-D photographer Peter Neutkens from Amsterdam.

We're putting together our 3-D book on Queen. This guy took some great live pics of us but we need the negs.

Email to: brians.soapbox@clara.co.uk

Peter Neukens

Peter_Neutkens_02_ste.jpg
Peter Neutkens and Brian

Bri

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**Sat 02 Jan 16**
KERRY AT BARBICAN
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Magnificent performance by Kerry tonight [afternoon performance] at Barbican. So proud of my dear Pal.

Bri

[Sound of the Musicals, Barbican, London, 2 January]

Sound of Musicals

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**Fri 01 Jan 16**
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS

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Brian May


A VERY Happy New Year Folks.

Planning to do some more of this in 2016.

See ya' all out there.

Love

Bri XXX

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