brian's soapbox

JUNE 2019

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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.

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Cheers ! Bri
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**Wed 26 Jun 19**
WHICH WAY IS UP ?!!
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Ever get up in the morning and you don’t know which way is up ?!! Ha ha ! Well, for me, when in doubt ...back on the bike ! My exercise regime isn’t very sophisticated, but it’s fairly regular. Yay ! Today is Wednesday so it’s the day I speak to a very sophisticated audience - including 4 men who walked on the Moon ! Ouch ! But David Eicher is with me @eicher.david - so all will be cool !

Yes ! My T shirt says “ I NEED SPACE !!! “ I wonder why !!

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Brian and David Eicher deliver 3-D talk
Photo: Max Alexander


Tonight at STARMUS - with David Eicher - delivering our 3-D talk on the Apollo missions and the Space Race - in front of the incredible men who actually took the Human Race to the Moon. I had to pinch myself !!! Was this the real life ?! Of course I’m viewing it all through my fashionable interferometric 3-D glasses !!

Bri

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**Tue 25 Jun 19**
MORE STARMUS
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Brian singing at Starmus concert

!!!

Bri singing ‘39 at Starmus 2109 Very crappy quality ! But ... hey ... !

Bri

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**Mon 24 Jun 19**
BACKSTAGE AT STARMUS - FIRST REHEARSAL - STEPHEN HAWKING MEDALS
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A moment to treasure ! Backstage at STARMUS this morning with a posse of heroes.

Starmus - posse of heroes

L to R ... Garik Israelian (STARMUS creator,) Bri, Brian Eno, Buzz Aldrin, Rusty Schweichert, Charlie Duke, Walt Cunningham, Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt.

And now to the serious business of building a show for this night only. But who knows what the future may hold ?!!

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Much electricity in the air ! First rehearsal with my dear old pal and terrifying guitar maestro STEVE VAI - and so exciting to meet this fabulous young ensemble from Lucerne - the 21st Century Orchestra and Choir. Awesome STARMUS moments.

Brian May: At Starmus V first rehearsal 24/06/2019 - https://youtu.be/Vu6_afpRrNQ

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Honoured to be working with these venerable musical warriors - Steve Vai and Hans Zimmer. Bring it on !!!

Brian May, Steve Vai and Hans Zimmer

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Two citations for this year’s Stephen Hawking Medal awards. Delivered ! Now I take a musical step into the void !!!

Citations for Elon Musk and Edwin Aldrin"

BRIAN'S SPEECH as delivered:


BRIAN: May I please deliver this citation - are you ready...

Whereas ELON REEVE MUSK, a technology entrepreneur, investor and engineer, has taken the first bold steps towards space travel and the colonisation of other worlds by private enterprise. And whereas he has re-ignited public belief in the world of innovation and exploration of the Cosmos, and encouraged a whole new generation to look to the Stars, It gives me great pleasure to present - virtually - the 2019 Stephen Hawking medal for Science to ELON MUSK !!!”

[Applause]

Elon makes speech acceptance speech. Garik then announces that there is a surprise new category . . . for Lifetime Achievement and hands over to me…

 

BRIAN: Are you ready for this - a citation - a surprise. Okay.

Whereas EDWIN EUGENE ALDRIN made world history by flying a man-made machine to land on another world - and walk on the Moon. And Whereas he has since that time devoted his life to Science outreach. Whereas he is the ONLY Apollo astronaut with over 1,000 lectures to his name, all inspiring a whole new generation to prioritise missions to other planets. Whereas he is now 90 years old and still tirelessly promoting space science, it gives me great pleasure to award the 2019 - and the very FIRST Stephen Hawking medal for Lifetime achievement to BUZZ ALDRIN.”

[Applause]

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This pic is definitely going on my wall. A proud moment presenting the amazing BUZZ ALDRIN with his Stephen Hawking medal. I’m glad I came to STARMUS !!!

Buzz Adrin with medal and Bri
"Buzz" Aldrin and Brian May - Photo : Nicole Ettinger

Bri

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**Sun 23 Jun 19**
BOUND FOR ZÜRICH - STARMUS 5
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Good Morning Folks ! Early start for me - bound for Zürich - STARMUS 5.

Brian May - Zürich bound

Like all the previous Starmus festivals, this one has had a difficult birth !! But my old friend, Armenian Astronomer Extraordinaire Garik Israelian, once again, has snatched victory from the jaws of the impossible, and I don’t doubt this will be at least as memorable an experience as the others. Astro-Musical Heaven !!!

I’m rehearsing this evening - with maestro Hans Zimmer and a big orchestra. Something very different !

Bri

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**Sat 22 Jun 19**
GOOD TIMING FOR TIME ? - KERRY IS BACK ! - I'M OFF !!! TO STARMUS
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Many of you will have already seen this ad. This new version of Freddie’s take on the theme song from Dave Clark’s 1986 musical of the same name is getting lots of attention.

I see people asking why it wasn’t available until now, but of course it was. The original version is still up there on YouTube, with 3.4 million views ! A lot of people are asking us why this release was done in certain ways, but none of our team had anything to with this remake - so we can’t help you ! It’s not a Queen song, so it doesn’t come under our jurisdiction.



It’s obviously not a Freddie-penned song either - he got involved as a favour to his close friend Dave Clark. Being Freddie, he couldn’t (like me, I guess!) half-do it. He plunged in and did a huge production on a rather featureless song, determined to make it into a timeless epic ! Freddie’s production included a big ‘orchestration’, and loads of glorious vocal harmonies, and the original video had him interacting (visually only) with the cast of the musical.  None of which you get in this new version, because Dave Clark has, for this release, smartly lifted Freddie’s lead vocal and placed it alone with a new piano track - played by Mike Moran. So you don’t get Freddie’s production, but what you DO get is Freddie’s lead vocal almost naked, and clear as a bell. 

And WHAT a vocal - what a voice ! Freddie poured so much passion into it you get the impression he could make you weep singing the phone directory !!!

I hope this does well, because Dave Clark is a very nice man, and a great friend to Freddie.  One thing is for sure - the world has a fierce appetite for Freddie right now. How happy he would be.

One more snippet.  In the new video you see Freddie miming to the track on stage at the Dominion Theatre - where TIME was then playing in 1986 - the very same stage that WE WILL ROCK YOU the musical later was to rock, eight shows a week packed out for 13 years. And the core story of that musical was Ben Elton’s magical legend that Freddie was the key to kids in the future rediscovering Rock and Roll.

Well, it seems to be coming true ! 

Long Live Freddie !!

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A chance to catch the most beautiful voice on the planet in close-up. KERRY ELLIS in concert. A few tickets left for each performance. I’ll be in New Orleans, all being well, but if you’re in or around London Town - don’t miss this ! See Kerry’s website for details or follow @kerryellis79 NOW !

Kerry Pheasantry poster

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I’m off !!! To STARMUS in Zürich ! I will be speaking and projecting in 3-D - commemorating 50 years since the Apollo missions to the Moon. And I will be performing MUSIC !!! It's not in a way anyone expects, I think. It will be VERY ‘experimental’!!!

Still time to get a ticket for the concert night - THIS MONDAY 24th June - or a pass for the whole festival.

You’ll get the chance to see BUZZ ALDRIN (Apollo 11 !!!) speak and maybe give him a hug ! And Apollo astronauts:

CHARLIE DUKE (Apollo 16) !!!
HARRISON SCHMIDT (Apollo 17) !!!
RUSTY SCHWEICKERT !

And see special wonders performed by —-
STEVE VAI !
HANS ZIMMER !!
RICK WAKEMAN !!!
Ouch ! And me ...

This will happen only once in a lifetime.

See you there, folks

Starmus V

Starmus V - a giant leap

Bri

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**Fri 21 Jun 19**
A LAMBERT LEAK !!
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Ha ha ! A Lambert leak !! What are we doing ?! Me, Spike and Neil. In our glamorous rehearsal space !

Brian May: A Lambert leak 21/06/2019 - https://youtu.be/yBY1h6lsXvE

Bri

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**Wed 19 Jun 19**
CAN HARDLY BELIEVE INCREDIBLE ENDORSEMENT...
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Can hardly believe what an incredible endorsement of the movie this news represents. Thank you thank you thank you, dear folks, for taking it to your hearts. This extraordinary figure is just for the UK ! But it’s mirrored all around the world. What a great way to set off on our next adventure. And we do it in the knowledge that we have paid homage to our dear bro Freddie in a style he would have loved. Somewhere out there, Freddie is smiling wickedly !

Bri

Bohemian Rhapsody Home Video sales

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**Wed 19 Jun 19**
BIG DAY ! FIRST DAY OF QAL REHEARSALS
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Big day ! First day of QAL rehearsals. Yep, folks, I’m still alive - a little battle-scarred but but still squaring up for another round. There are half a million folks out there who have bought tickets for the upcoming tours - and they deserve to see nothiin’ but the best. Only complete positivity will make that happen. And a lot of honest hard work !! Funny - how many years have I been doing this ? But this day always feels like the first day back at school !!! We have a completely new production that we’ e been working on for at least 5 months - so this is a very exciting moment. See you out there folks !!

Bri ready for first QAL rehearsal 19 June 2019

Look ! Home !! Time to make some noise !!! These 3 trusty old-school valve-driven monsters will do me just fine. All perfectly set up by the brilliant Mr Malandrone. And a good-luck card from a dear friend. Let’s go ! ! !

Bri and Vox Amps

Vox amps and card

Adam, Bri, Rog, first rehearsal selfie 19062019

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Just foolin’ ... and testing out my sound ... seems to be working !! Thanks Pete ! Ready to rockkkkk ! Video by Malandrone productions !



Brian May: Just foolin' - QAL first rehearsal (by Pete Malandrone) - https://youtu.be/29McN64uZaw

Bri

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**Tue 18 Jun 19**
BIG NIGHT ! FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
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Fidler On The Roof tube ad

Tube advert ! Big night !

Fiddler on the Roof today begins a new chapter in the West End as my amazing lady wife Anita Dobson and the multi-award-winning and truly fabulous Maria Friedman join the brilliant cast. I will be proud to be there tonight.

Get a ticket if you can from the Playhouse box office. Limited run for this cast.

Don’t talk to me about tube trains. I’ve paid my dues, time after time, on the Good ol’ District Line !!! Gotta love it !

Bri

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**Mon 17 Jun 19**
THE 'ARIELLE' NEW PRODUCTION MODEL GUITAR - KING'S DAUGHTERS
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Arielle and Bri with guitars

A new production model guitar - so close to ‘in production’ now. The ‘ARIELLE’. Exciting day ! Lots of other stuff to talk about ... but .. later.

So which is the original and which is the new prototype ? (bear in mind the scratch plate is not yet right.)

Arielle and Bri show guitars

Parallel:

Arielle and Bri show guitars - parallel

Cross-eyed:

Arielle and Bri show guitars - cross-eyed

Have a good day folks.

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King's Daughters with Bri 17062019

Not having fun at all. Yep - just another day in the office ... Them Poor Gals .. sorry - KING'S DAUGHTERS are here (actually at Roger’s delightful gaff, because we’re recording drums). It’s MAJOR fun - a tonic for me - can’t wait to release this happy song to the world.

Bri

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**Sat 15 Jun 19**
BEFORE AND AFTER
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Ha ha ! Indeed ! Before and after many battles ! Thanks Charlotte for this very amusing animation.

You actually created this ‘mature’ doll too ! Now this fits in well with a story I can share from a couple of days ago.

Checking back in to the flight back from Zanzibar (actually mid way in Muscat), I showed my passport, as you do, to the young chap at the entrance, who fancied himself as a bit of a wag. He looked at my passport picture, and then at me, and said “Oh, but the man in this picture has black hair - doesn’t look anything like you!” He added a little snigger, as if he was pleased with his powers of observation and his wittiness. I said, “ Oh - well, you know - it happens. Happens to us all. Do you know - it will even happen to YOU - if you’re lucky !” Whereupon he looked a bit less smug, even a little sheepish.

It’s amusing, but there’s a serious truth here. We are all massively conscious these days that we mustn’t behave or speak in ways that are sexist, or racist, or me-too-ist, or gender binarist. All well and good, as long as we have the sense not to use such ideals to persecute people who are actually innocent. But let me tell you, it’s not generally acknowledged, but ageism is alive and well. Jokes about older folk not being able to cope, or remember what happened yesterday, are just the tip of the iceberg. I hear every day of brilliant mature men and women being rejected for a job they have vast experience in doing, just because they are considered ‘past it’. Funny thing is ... you don’t notice this stuff until ... you get old !!! I’m lucky - in the job I do, nobody can hire or fire me. But then again, maybe Rog will decide that a younger version of me would be preferable for the tour. Gwilym must be a prime contender !! Ha ha !

(PLEASE NOTE- nobody loves Gwil more than me - but this is supposed to be a JOKE !! OK ? Don’t sweat it !)

Bri

PS I thank you very sincerely.. you know - even the name Queen symbolised tolerance and equality for all races, sexes and persuasions. Perhaps some don’t realise that. Bri

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**Thu 13 Jun 19**
SO THIS IS WORK !!!
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So this is work !!! A fitting today for my new stage gear. Don’t worry - this isn’t giving too much away !

Brian and Kimberley tour fitting 14 June 2019


Kimberley Megan (you see here) is making something truly amazing that we’ve been designing together. For our completely new touring show. We’ve been planning and conferencing on it for 5 months now. Next week we’re in music rehearsals in London. Week after we’re in LA for full production rehearsals. Then ... we’re off ! Ouch ! Look out !!

Bri

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PS ANY SPECIAL SONG REQUESTS ? Any other requests ? Oh Lord ... am I asking for trouble ?!!

Ah —-

and just in case you extremists who tried to ambush me on the Bohemian Rhapsody posts are still out there ... if you insult me or my friends, WE WILL BLOCK YOU !!! Got it ?! Cheers folks !

Final thoughts - prompted by a message from someone called Alyssa : Look - I’m not going to block you or delete your comment, because you have a valid point. But I have the right to make my own decisions about what I want to allow on my own IG page. I’ve listened to everybody’s point of view, and I’ve patiently answered many, but life is too short to dwell on negatives when there are a million positives to appreciate. I don’t like doing it, but I will continue to delete and block anything that I consider purely negative or simply unhelpful. There are are plenty of places people can vent their unappreciative opinions - just not on my site. Sorry, guys, neither I nor the vast majority of my pals want to have to waste any more time on this. No work of art can please everybody. There will always be some who don’t like it. The vast majority of people who saw Bohemian Rhapsody loved it and got some lasting inspiration from it. So a very small minority of people didn’t like it. That’s fine. But we all heard it now. And I have more important things to do than argue with people when nothing will be achieved by it. End of !!

Bri

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