brian's soapbox

MARCH 2019

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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.

- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes
- Help with Stereo Viewing (LSC)
- Brian May's IG Stereo Template - zip
  Click link above to Download (may open PhotoShop)
  or Ctrl_Click and choose Download Linked File As...
- Brian May's IG Stereo Template - pdf
  Click link above, choose Save Link As... open in PhotoShop

Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages WITHOUT PERMISSION. And if you do, please give us credit (!! and a LIVE link. `
Cheers ! Bri
- Also applies to FOREIGN LANGUAGE sites,





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**Thu 28 Mar 19**
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Once upon a time this happened. A monumental moment at the Albert Hall on Remembrance Day 2010. Kerry triumphs here, in partnership with some guitarist bloke, who did the arrangement.  You can see Kerry perform this great song - Anthem from Chess - live on tour right now as special guest of Collabro.  Check Kerry’s website for dates list.

And if you want to see the whole of this performance:


Giant Boulder on the Asteroid BENNU. The NASA OSIRIS REX mission today (27 March) released this stereo capture of part of Bennu’s surface.

I’m proud to have been adopted as a collaborator on the Osiris Rex team, along with my colleague Claudia Manzoni. Our passion is producing stereoscopic (3-D) images from the astounding data that the OR mission has been collecting. Special thanks to mission PI, Prof Dante Loretta, for making this possible.

These stereo images can be enjoyed in various ways - as Anaglyphs, for which red and green spectacles are needed, or, as here, configuring the two images side my side, for either cross-eyed free-viewing (as here) or parallel free viewing, or, for the most immersive experience, using a stereoscope such as our own LondonStereoscopic Company OWL.

More information on all this is at

Giant Boulder on Asteroid Bennu - 2 stereo pairs

The technique used for making astro stereo images is to find two images captured from slightly different angles of view, giving just enough of a ‘baseline’ between viewpoints to enable our brains to perceive a stereoscopic experience. This is achieved by presenting the two images separately to our left and right eyes. The most difficult part is then ususally trying to deal with the fact that the twe images have different illuminations. To solve this problem, this pair was skilfully assembled by Claudia, the two images being chosen from two occasions on separate orbits when the angle of view was different, but the phase angle of the Sun was the same. This means I had much less work to do to polish the stereo image into a form which pleases the eyes. 

Enjoy Bennu in 3-D. And the boulder, which the team have christened BenBen. 



**Wed 27 Mar 19**
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Sidmouth - mono

The lovely Victorian town of Sidmouth in Devon. I always feel grateful to be back here for a moment. Fond memories of childhood holidays with my Mum and Dad. And I don’t think this giant pain in my heart was there in those days. These days we come here - as Save-Me - to continue the battle to eradicate the mycobacterium Mbovis from cattle and wildlife. It’s bitterly frustrating now to know that we have the solution in front of us, yet we cannot yet swing Government policy around to employ it. However we are thankful that two top DEFRA officials will be joining us at the farm today. Things are changing - now there is an open dialogue between all points of view, with a genuine will to break through to victory over Bovine TB. We’re grateful. And ... some day ... all this will be history - viewed from a humane and TB free future world.

Sidmouth - stereo

A rather unsatisfactory stereo - but hopefully you’ll get the gist ...! That’s Salcombe Hill above the red sandstone headland - where sits the famous Norman Lockyer Observatory. I hope to be visiting again soon.



**Mon 25 Mar 19**
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Signed New Horizons single

It’s a nice sunny day for signing stuff. Lots of signed BM guitars going out today (from the last tour !), some fine Queen Items for Jacky for the Fan Club auctions etc.

... and I’m making a present of some of the limited edition Vinyl 12 inch NEW HORIZONS singles to my esteemed colleagues in the NASA NH mission team.

But this one is for the winner of my ‘Inspiring Post’ challenge. The winner is @martian.marshmallow whose post was simple but has stayed in my head ever since - it sums up the way I feel things ought to be perceived. “NO BORDERS - JUST HORIZONS”.

So as soon as I can get an address for Martian, this record will be on its way over. (My dear office manager Sally is trying to make contact through DM with a few of you out there so I can send this and other gifts.)

To be honest it was Hellish hard choosing the most inspiring post. Some of you were beautifully complimentary to me, as a person who inspired you - much appreciated. Some of you told such heart-wrenching stories of the hardships you’ve faced I was deeply moved and inspired. Some of you told how our music got you through hard times. I just wanted to thank you ALL for trusting me with your inner thoughts - amazingly inspiring for me. And I selected a few special messages which I just had to reward as ‘runners up’, so I’ll be attempting to send you all a signed glossy QUEEN programme from the most recent USA - as a way of saying ‘special thanks’. Phew ! Cheers folks - I hope it’s sunny down your way.


Bottle Feeding time ! One of 7 babies ! Seven orphan fox-cubs, rescued from a building project in Surrey.

My dear pal, CEO of Save-Me and Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, Anne Brummer, is on call 24 hours a day along with her volunteers, to get these little creatures through their babyhood and give them a chance in the wild, of a decent life, and the chance to bring up children of their own.  They need feeding every three hours, until they open their eyes and learn to feed themselves.  Just another day in the Rescue. These are the first rescue cubs of this year. Any ideas on names for them ?!?? Go !!!

Brian May - Seven baby foxes 25/03/2019


The seven new fox-cubs. THANKS for your great response !! OK - we liked YOUR idea - @v.andbooks - of Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, and Te (sorry - “Ti”) ... these babes will make sweet music ! Cheers all ! Bri.

Yes - these are Red Foxes, but they won’t begin to get their red fur and long noses til they’re about a month old. Shall we give you updates ? Check out Save Me Trust  for lots of rescuee info.

A Good Morning stretch !! Our Sol-Fa family of fox cubs woke up this morning cuddled up in a ball. They have yet to open their eyes - of naturally they would still have been in a dark hole in the ground - their home ‘earth’ so seeing wouldn’t have been be necessary. Our Save-Me volunteers are looking after them tonight because Anne and I are back down to farming in Devon, on the quest of #TBfree in cattle, and an end to the futile badger cull. More later. Happy Spring, folks.

Check out to see these guys learning (not) to chew their own paws !



**Sat 23 Mar 19**
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A timeless clock, I thought. I hope you have time, dear folks.

Timeless clock


Thanks @charlyragdoll for a perfect custom paint-job !!! - I think you can go into business !!! Folks - if you want one of these, you will have to ask Charly - or petition Funko to make these officially! 

Charlyragdoll Bri doll

And in perfect stereo too !

Charlyragdoll Bri stereo


YES !! I will be inducting the fabulous Def Leppard musical group at the Hall of Fame ceremony this coming Friday in Brooklyn, New York.

We go back ! These photos show how far ! The first one is when we first met, in 1983, at their epic debut shows at The Forum, Los Angeles. I make that a good 35 years ago. Since then, the boys have done quite well! second shot is (I think ) in Las Vegas last year. Third is Joe and I rehearsing for the Freddie tribute show at Wembley Stadium, 1992. And the last pair are recent - me playing to open the Oscars 2019, and Joe on tour in the USA. I’m happy I got the chance to honour them.

Def Leppard 01

Def Leppard 02

Def Leppard 03 - Joe and Brian

Def Leppard 04 - Joe and Brian



**Fri 22 Mar 19**
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I want you to know that I regard this as the crowning moment of my career ! Thank you Funko !


Funko Bri

Funko Bri in a box

Funko Queen Collection


**Thu 21 Mar 19**
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Spoon and Dish.


Brian May: Spoon and Dish -


Thanks for all your great comments, folks.

Of course I’m not going to tell you why I did this. But I can tell you a couple of related things.

Yes, this is a cat dish, but I use it for feeding the wild animals in our neighbourhood, to help them get through the winter and stay healthy. I don’t leave the food in the bowl out there, because that gets complicated. Instead, I tip out the tasty snacks on to a flat stone, and bring the bowl back inside for cleaning. But, on the way back, I tap out a message to the local population, to alert them to the refreshments available. And I took to making it distinctive and hopefully tuneful, to convey the right message. This is the form in which it currently sits.

Of course, some of you noticed that I’ve settled upon the motif for my New Horizons track. Now the beeps which make up that motif on the NH track were made by sampling the sounds made by a life support heart monitor machine on a visit to a local hospital. And at the time I was astonished that they were able to supply me with the root note of the piece I was writing, and a fifth note above it. So, delivering dinner to my local wildlife, I was astonished to find that this instrument, too, could deliver me a tonic and a fifth in almost exactly the right key as well. So I’m sure this fuelled my curiosity. Once this post was up, I was surprised to find references to Roger and percussion. Amusing, but I had never regarded this as a percussion instrument. I suppose in my mind it was something more like a simple xylophone. But perhaps a xylophone is a percussion instrument after all ? My dear friend and mentor Sir Patrick Moore was an ace player of the xylophone. He made it talk ! So perhaps the influence was there ! 



**Wed 20 Mar 19**
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In a very tiny studio set up in rehearsal rooms in New Haw, Surrey - a town I’m sure we played around 1968 as a group called 1984 - today [19 March] we filmed a piece for a video for a heavy third party - an excellent group, as you will see in due course. Did we have fun ? I think so !

This is one of those pictures that looks like a jumble, viewed as a ‘flat’ mono - but if you take a moment to free-view it in 3-D, relaxing your eyes so their axes are parallel, a whole world of detail will be revealed !

Studio set up - stereo - parallel
Parallel view

Studio - parallel - large
Parallel view - large

If that doesn’t come naturally, try viewing cross-eyed instead.

Studio stereo - cross-eyed
Cross-eyed view

Studio - cross-eyed - large
Cross-eyed view - large

Let me know what you prefer. Okay? Parallel free viewing, versus cross-eyed free viewing. Or for the optimum experience, you could bring it up a bit bigger on your laptop and use one of my patent OWL stereoscopes ! Available at

Try an OWL VR KIT, which will turn your smartphone into a stereoscope! Any road up .... enjoy !

I used the i3DSteroid app to make this 3-D picture. Look for it on the App Store - for iPhones or the Other Kind ! It’s a wonderful app. You don’t need a stereo camera. All you need is a smart phone and the app. And preferably an OWL VR kit to help you view YOUR 3-D photos DIRECTLY ON YOUR PHONE.



**Tue 19 Mar 19**
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Bri selfie with Old Lady

A quick selfie with one of my oldest pals. In a film studio today going for Blue on Black. What does that mean to you ?

Cheers Folks



**Mon 18 Mar 19**
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Tune in now to the planetary conference - New Horizons team speaking now.


The Grand Ultima Thule Flyby - Also

The Grand Ultima Thule Flyby ! 

Here it is ! Perhaps the shortest full-length movie in the world !! It’s also packed with real science and astro technological achievement. To produce this movie, it took 13 years of space travel, about 700 million dollars, and the expertise of hundreds of NASA engineers, navigators, astrophysicists and rocket scientists.

The core team of the mission, called New Horizons, is under the direction of a genius called Alan Stern, who has driven the whole project since around 2010, when he began convincing the whole World that Mankind needed to find out what Pluto was like in close-up. The New Horizons Mission succeeded in the incredibly difficult task of directing a probe roughly the size and shape of a grand piano 3 billion miles to an accuracy of a couple of hundred, achieving the first flyby in history of what we all knew in our childhood as the ninth planet - PLUTO. I was lucky enough to be adopted as a guest at that time, and made some great friends in the team.

A couple of years and another billion miles later, the NH probe was set to perform a flyby of an object even more remote - a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO). Alan Stern asked me along again for the occasion, and invited me to make music for the mission. The rest is history I guess. My New Horizons track premiered in NASA TV on New Years Day 2019, is about to be released on vinyl for Record Store day, and can be found on our YouTube channels.

And today I’m proud to reveal this very short movie which depicts completely faithfully the whole approach sequence - plus the glimpse the probe captured looking back towards the Sun at the ‘crescent’ view of the KBO after the encounter. OK ! The star of our film is a KBO called 2014 MU69, or Ultima Thule. Shall we start courting the Oscar nominations now ?!

Enjoy !


PS. This piece of music was planned to provide the conclusion (the coda) of the incomplete video which already exists for the full-length New Horizons track. If this sounds confusing, I’ll explain later !!! Meanwhile special thanks to the brilliant Harpist Maria Banks - for a special uplift !!

Planetary Conference screenshot 18/03/2019

Planetary Conference Panel 18/03/2019
Planetary Conference Panel


**Mon 18 Mar 19**
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R.I.P. Dick Dale - Father of the Surf Guitar. We all owe you. Rock on.

Dick Dale
Dick Dale - credit unknown

Look how his guitar is strung ! He’s left-handed, but plays essentially a right-handed guitar - except for the controls and ‘horns’. So his heavy bass-end strings are at the lower edge of the fretboard. This means his fingers could never fall in the same shapes as the rest of us. Maybe this led him to use those low notes more often and more forcefully than everyone around him. But his highly distinctive sound comes from his very fast up-and down action in the picking hand (sometimes confusingly referred to as ‘tremolo’, in reference to the similar-sounding traditional Flamenco Spanish guitar technique, which is actually done in a very different way, with multiple fingernails). And a lot of echo effect. And thick strings. And a lot of energy !!!

Check out his early hit ‘Miserlou’. Wild !!! I wish I’d met him. But truly we all benefit from his trailblazing.

Miserlou - Dick Dale -



**Sun 17 Mar 19**
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New Horizons Ultima Thule spoof

Don’t press ‘Play’ !!!

Early warning ! NEW HORIZONS Scoop to be unveiled tomorrow Monday, 6pm London Time (GMT), 2pm EDT.

This special release will be premiered as the climax of the New Horizons Press call at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at the Woodlands Waterway, Texas.

I’m advised you can see it live as a webcast at

... or you could look on the NASA New Horizons website. Or you could check back here !


PS. Sorry - I know. That was mean. You HAVE to press it ! We’re all conditioned ! Apologies ! But it will be worth the wait - I promise ! Bri


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