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PART 1 (Previously shared April 2017) - continues with remainder below..
I feel like it’s Christmas because yesterday [23 April] the first copy of Golden Days came along and we were able to actually unwrap it. The album that me and Kerry Ellis have made over the last couple of years.
Today [24 April] arrives in the post this, which is also a very long term project. At least three years we spent on this and I must say I’m thrilled to hold this. It’s very heavy but there’s a lot in here folks. This is “Queen In 3-D” and really it chronicles in snapshots the whole of our history – and in fact almost the whole of my history back to being a kid when I first found the 3-D cards in Weetabix.
Unwrapping the Queen in 3-D book
So it’s a story of 3-D and stereoscopy, but also of the band that we called Queen and we worked in this band for more years than I can count really.
Finally I can unwrap it, so I thought I would share the unwrapping with you and show you how it works. Okay, no batteries needed.
You can see there’s more than one thing in here. There’s more than just a book. There is an OWL envelope in here and I’ll show you what that all means.
You can see there’s more than one thing in here. There’s more than just a book. There is an OWL envelope in here and I’ll show you what that all means.
So using the fingernail carefully, see if I can get into this thing. There we are. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Feels good, smells good. All shiny and new.
Front cover has a lenticular picture of Freddie on, and that’s one kind of 3-D. Doesn’t need any batteries. Doesn’t need any viewer and you can probably see, even in mono, the fact that it’s, well, 3-D, so should look good in the book shops and this lovely foil stuff is great. You would swear this is embossed because it looks very 3-D in itself, but our lovely people in China have managed to do this on foil.
So let’s see what’s in the box. Okay. Will it come out? Yes it will. This is the slip case which we can now discover some stuff with the back telling you all about it, but I’ll tell you all about it, okay.
So first of all I’m gonna show you this thing. This is the OWL stereoscope and many of you will know what this is because we’ve recently, well not recently, but over the last few years put out some books on various Victorian subjects like “Scenes In Our Village” and the “Diableries”, which are these amazing French devils from the 1860s. I was gonna say from France, but they aren’t. No, no.
This an OWL. Same kind of Owl. This particular one has been moulded in spectacular 1986 Freddie Mercury jacket from Wembley Stadium yellow and.. but it works the same as the previous ones have. You find your crest on top - London Stereoscopic Company crest on top. Fold it up and clip it like this. We might give you some close-ups of this later. Fold the eyepieces up in the same way and clip ‘em on like this. (Clip them) together, and there you have your OWL, which you always hold at the back. You never hold it at the front, okay. Hold it at the back and then the thumbs go in these thumb holes here and that’s how you focus. So this will work for pretty much any kind of eye sight. Let’s hope so.
So here’s your OWL. What do you use this for? You use it for perusing this unique stereoscopic book about Queen through the ages. Here it is, and you’ll find lots of normal kinds of illustrations here. Now I’ve never opened this before in my life.
<Smells book> Something about the smell of new books, like smell of new vinyl (your nose?). You know smell is a very important sense, so is touch, so is hearing. Thank God for our music but so is visual, and I’ve always been, I think. equally obsessed with the visual as well as wit sounds. Hence I was always carrying a stereo camera.
Here we go. This is not stereo. So far this is just showing you kind of what’s in the book.
Here we have Contents - through the years starting off with How To Use This Book, but I’m going to tell you and you get a picture me as a boy with a camera slung around my neck. I don’t know if you can see that. The camera’s not a stereo camera, but I used it to make stereo pictures because I twigged how it was done with the Weetabix.
So, working through the book - pretty soon you’re gonna come to the first stereo picture that I ever took. My Mum and Dad and stuff… me on a bike, but moving swiftly through, you can see that I was always carrying one of these cameras, with two eyes - the stereoscopic cameras. Hope you can see that - and the the rest of the book is showing you what was captured with those kind of cameras.
Starts off with the early days of Queen with us rehearsing and then the first tour of the USA - Freddie in his Zandra Rhodes outfit - and it works pretty well without the viewer, but you’ll notice that here’s a stereo picture down the bottom. I don’t know if you can see that. This is where your OWL comes in handy. So what you do is - I hope I can show ya’ - you squarely situate your OWL over the top of the stereo picture like this. I can show you - you have to hold it in this position - and you would be holding it by the back and focusing with your thumbs. I can assume you’ve done that, otherwise I can’t hold it up. Can you see that? And then once you focus the viewer, look through and you’ll see a pretty good window opening up on the world of, in his case, about 1974, and here's Freddie. And I think you’re gonna feel like you’re there. It’s quite amazing.
There’s something very special about a snapshot in 3D rather than in 2D. You always feel like you could walk through and touch things that are in it. You would speak to people who are in the picture.
Here’s Freddie, looking very unglamorous. I don’t know what he would think really, but I think, you know, with the benefit of time we all have a sense of humour. Here he is, after a gig, looking very - very wet, because he’s been working very hard and he’s looking at some of these toys that the Japanese fans brought to us.
So the book goes on through the years and here, a little self-portrait, so you can see what I’m doing. Again the stereo camera is here. But we go through the days - we do Japan - we do Europe - we do England - we do Australia. Lots and lots of stuff - and some nice onstage pictures in 3D of course, and some nice offstage pictures. Some of my favourites are things like this, where we’re in a photo session and playing about basically, but here’s Freddie looking very relaxed and the quality of the illustration is as high as we could get it in a print - it’s much higher than the normal artwork book you’ll fine, so hopefully you will enjoy and be able to forget the fact that you’re looking at a picture at all. You’re just looking through a window at something which happened long time ago.
I’m gonna find one of my favourites of Freddie here. There’s some good onstage stuff captured, in this case, by a fan who had a stereo camera at the time. Pretty lucky that. It’s quite an interesting collection. And here’s some more. These were captured by more professional people, photographers that I lent the stereo camera to. Particularly nice one of Freddie here. But some of the offstage stuff is equally - ah here’s the cover shot - you see that, … you can see - the offstage shots of Freddie are really nice and of all of us. Some of John and we don’t hear much about John, but you’ll hear about him in this book. Roger playing around… us on a boat trip in Scandinavia someplace, and again nice to just flick through the book like this, but even better with your OWL because the OWL will bring it to life. And there’s Freddie as large as life.
So that’s about it really. Here’s the book, “Queen in 3-D”. It’s out May the something-or-other.. About a month’s time. May the what? - 25th or something - something like that. I’m being prompted. So you have to wait a little bit longer for this but I hope it’s worth he wait. We’re gonna launch it around the around the beginning of May and hopefully this will be something which you’ll all enjoy for a long time to come.
**Mon 22 May 17** THE SUNDAY TIMES - A RUBBISH ARTICLE,
AND AN ABSOLUTE BETRAYAL OF TRUST Direct link
Look at this garbage !! We gave the Sunday Times a worldwide exclusive to serialise my "Queen in 3-D" book. This is what they came up with. "Freddie and Me" is NOT what the book is about. And the photograph used for this cover is nothing to do with the book and is so crudely cut out and stuck on that garish yellow background, you just have to wonder how these people sleep at night, churning out this cheap rubbish.
We gave the ST exclusive use of ALL the photographs in the book. They used just two of them, one of them reproduced not much bigger than a postage stamp; the rest of the piece illustrated with recycled ordinary snaps from God knows where. The opening of the piece inside says "Tragedy, debauchery ... and dwarves ... " !! NONE of this tired old stuff features in the book, or was discussed in the interview. This woman came into my house, pretended she was a fan and was going to write a nice piece about the book, as agreed; then went away and wrote this pathetic sensationalistic drivel. I'm angry and disgusted. It's been a long time since I've seen such crass journalism and experienced such a betrayal of trust. Folks - please ignore this trash - the book is NOTHING like this.
Over the last few weeks we have meticulously kept to the agreement we had with this newspaper. It’s been a pain in the neck, but we felt honour-bound. We denied EVERYBODY else any access to the pictures or the text of the book. We even sat with a huge pile of books under the table for the first 4 days at the Photo London fair - when the whole audience of our talk would have liked to buy them … purely to honour our agreement to embargo everything until the 'serialisation' in the Times supplement came out. I specially gave them publicity too, in radio interviews, and at our talk to Photo London last week. And this is how they honoured their side of the bargain.
I think the worst part of it all to me is that people will see this article and think that this came from me. They’ll think that this is the way I see things, and that this is what the book is about. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I can hardly believe that they had exclusive access to all the wonderful pictures in the book, which were today causing people to gasp as they saw them, but they chose to use random flat pictures from elsewhere to illustrate the article. And no acknowledgement whatsoever that this is, uniquely, a stereoscopic book.
The online version describes itself like this ...
"QUEEN and I
Guitarist Brian May tells Krissi Morison about the debauchery of the Freddie Mercury years."
This is not only crass sensationalism - it's also a lie. I did not. And neither does the book. I spent over two years fashioning this into the first book of its kind - EVER - a biography of a band from the inside illustrated with my own photographs - and in 3-D, with a fabulous viewer to bring them to life in three dimensions. It's honest, goes deep, and is tasteful and dignified (I have been told !) but nobody reading this awful amateurish piece of journalistic opportunism would know it.
Well, here's a message for you, Krissi Morison and your scummy pals. I hope you think it was worth it. Because neither I nor any intelligent reader of this travesty will ever give you the time of day from here on in.
Look out for some sample pages from "Queen in 3-D" on this page tomorrow, folks.
**Sun 21 May 17** WOW! FINALLY ! RELEASE DAY FOR MY BOOK Direct link
Wow ! Finally ! Release day for my book. Better go and see if I can find a Sunday Times colour supplement to see what's in it ! Hope you enjoy, folks.
I'm here ! All the fun of the fair ! Photo London at Somerset House. Doing brisk business on my Queen in 3-D book - in spite of disappointing article in a popular Sunday supplement. I guess they just didn't get it.
I’m here to talk about The Sunday Times Magazine, because they are featuring my book this weekend - “Queen In 3-D” which is about two and a half years in the making.
Course my head is full of election stuff at the moment. It’s hard to put that to one side. I’m desperate to get that horrible fox-hunting woman out of 10 Downing Street.
But here is the book. What’s in the book? Well - all kinds of stuff. Forty years of Queen on the road. I’m gonna pick a few pictures just to speak about and to give you an idea what’s in the book.
Opening the book at page 88. we have a very nice picture of Freddie - and I didn’t even know I had this over the years. The picture was taken in 1976 and this is kinda early days for us. It’s about “A Night At The Opera” time when it’s beginning to break through, and this is a typical pose of Freddie if you like, except that he’s not posing. It’s an intimate moment, which I’ve captured here. He’s preparing to go on stage and in those days we were very glam and there was a lot of makeup applied, especially to Freddie’s face.
Here’s the OWL. Here’s your stereoscope, and this is what you do. Place it over here and look here. The feeling of being there is very powerful.
Not every picture in the book is stereo. There’s some private pictures which are mono, which I just had to include because they’re so evocative.
This is a great page. It’s a favourite of mine. It’s 1977. We’re on tour in the winter in the USA. It was always winter. It was always snow, and we are freezing to death sort of posing as rock stars outside our private plane, but, you know, having a great time also. And you can see Freddie kind of all huddled up here (chuckles) in his jacket, which wasn’t really up to the occasion.
Freddie was always fun. He was always lateral thinking and on stage and on tour there were really very few changes(?), because the aims were very clear, so we got on very well on tour - not so much in the studio. There were a lot of kind of disputes in the studio, mainly musical, but on tour it’s very clear. We have a certain preparation time, we go on stage, we entertain for 2 hours solid and we give them everything we have - and it’s fun.
This is another touring snapshot, if you like. This time we’re on tour in Europe, and it’s a nice three-dimensional picture of Freddie but the 4th dimension is that he’s taking a picture of me at the same time. Freddie loved his cameras. He loved his Polaroid thing because it was instant. He could take pictures of all his mates and immediately give them all away. Freddie was a very generous person, and again, you can enjoy it like this in 2-D in the book and you can flick through and read the anecdotes, but with this - with your OWL - you can zoom in in 3-D and you can see him, and, my God, it’s like you could touch him. And there he is snapping away at me. So here’s Freddie, and he liked his instant photography and we liked seeing him do it.
**Fri 19 May 17**
WHAT’S COMMON DECENCY ABOUT ? - (POST NO 3) Direct link
At this moment, Theresa May is no longer Prime Minister of Britain. Because of her purely selfish bid to increase her majority by calling an election, Britain right now has no government. At the crucial moment of Brexit, we have no leadership. We have no “STRONG and STABLE leadership”. We have no leadership at all.
It’s time for us all in Britain to wake up and see what is really happening here.
We need to shake up Britain. We need to get rid of the arrogant and dangerous Theresa May, or at least thwart her attempt to become a virtual dictator.
But this coming election is not about being anti-Tory.
We all have to grow up, too.
The real situation is this. We may be able to remove Theresa May or we may not. But no matter how this election turns out, what we need to aim for at the end of it is a DECENT House of Commons. A Parliament in which democracy will function the way it was designed to do. So the next Government will be accountable for its actions. So the Prime Minister will be moderated by decency and democracy at work.
We can NOT do this by removing decent MP’s, no matter what party they belong to. Last year, we managed to stop Cameron bringing fox hunting back in through the back door with his sneaky SI. How ? The crucial deciding factor was the number of Decent Conservative MPs who stood by us. Contrary to what you may have been told, it was NOT the SNP who stopped Cameron in his tracks. Cameron HAD to back down because his own troops, acting on their own decent conscience, refused to support him.
In the next parliament we need to be able to do the same. Even if Theresa May gets an increased majority, it will not help her bring back fox-hunting if those crucial decent Tory MP’s - along with many decent Labour MPs and the massively decent Caroline Lucas for the Greens, are all against a return to barbarity.
This applies to many other issues too. Having a house packed with MP’s of all colours who are decent will moderate policy in all areas. It will make it harder for the Prime Minister to smash the NHS, to sell it off to rich supporters, which is already happening right now. COMMON DECENCY aims to achieve exactly this.
We are NOT anti Tory. We are anti Theresa May because she is the WRONG KIND OF TORY. She is not the decent kind. She is the ruthlessly ambitious, heartless, merciless kind. She is in the old Margaret Thatcher mould … do not let the publicity machine (including the Daily Mail, the Sun, The Telegraph, and the Times) fool you into thinking otherwise. She is a nasty piece of work. She is attempting in this election - against the interests of this country, to grasp total power - to become virtually a dictator. We MUST not let her pull this off.
How do we do it ? We vote according to Common Decency. Vote for your candidate not because he or she belongs to a party you’ve always supported … vote for the DECENT candidate who will represent your interests in Parliament … not just the interests of the rich. Common Decency will help you find out who that most decent candidate in your constituency is. We can’t make the decision for you, but we can help.
The fox-hunting issue is important in its own right – repealing the Hunting Act would plunge Britain back into the Dark Ages of brutality … not just Fox Hunting, but also Hare Coursing, Stag hunting with dogs. … it’s disgusting even to think of. But the fox-hinting issue is a kind of litmus paper test. Anyone who supports such a return to cruelty is highly likely to behave indecently in other matters too. Any MP who supports the abuse of animals is more than likely to support abuse to vulnerable humans too – the poor, the sick the homeless, the voiceless. And this is exactly what we see in the small but indecently powerful minority, headed up by Theresa May, who are right now advocating smashing the Hunting Act. If she succeeds, Theresa May will disable all those who wish to protect animals, and similarly she will take away the power of the majority to challenge them. This would bring about the end of democracy in our country.
Britain ! It’s time to wake up … and grow up. This is NOT about party politics .. it’s about saving democracy from an evil and cynical attempt to undermine it from within.
Theresa May must be stopped.
OK - If you don’t believe me on this matter … look at Tracy Crouch’s tweets. Look at what Andrea Jenkins is tweeting. Look at what Henry Smith is saying, Sarah Wollaston, what David Morris is saying. They’re all sticking their flag in the ground AGAINST the return of cruelty. And the Tory contingent of decent MPs is growing. We NEED these people. So we do NOT want to be marching with anti-Tory banners right now !!! We need to be marching with Anti Theresa May banners. She is the villain of the piece, because she epitomises the old-style Tory style – the arrogance, the insensitivity, the selfishness, the unfairness, and – as we now know for sure – the cruelty.
**Fri 19 May 17** REGISTRATION AND VOTING-(POST NO 2) Direct link
Cartoon: Steve Bell, The Guardian
Since this election was suddenly announced, a lot of people have asked me what we plan to do this time around, to follow on from the Common Decency campaign we conducted at the last election. This is my answer.
It's been a while since I got on my Soapbox in earnest and talked politics. But now is the time to get serious, because I believe our country and the very roots of democracy are under threat because of Theresa May and this poisonous and opportunistic election.
In a nutshell, what I'm going to say to you is that, by any means open to us, we must direct our efforts towards getting rid of Mrs May in this election. The very best result for the Country would be that she gets thrown out of office. And it COULD happen. But even if that's not achieved, the next best thing will be to pack the House of Commons with a cross-party mix of thoroughly decent MPs who will be able to limit Theresa May's powers in the coming months, and thwart her attempt to become a virtual dictator. If this seems a little alarmist, I'm now going to tell you why I'm convinced that this is the case.
Going back a couple of years, we saw David Cameron calling a referendum on Brexit. The voters were given virtually NO information on what would happen if we departed, because none was available. The case for Brexit was laughably flimsy - based on fatuous catch phrases like "making Britain Great again" (how strikingly similar to Trump's inane cant). The country should have thrown it straight out of the window. But David Cameron, irresistibly pulled on by giddy ambition, vanity and a lust for power, gambled on being able to scare us all with ridiculous exaggerations. He gambled on the gullibility of the public, and his belief in his own carefully manicured charisma. And it all backfired. Unexpectedly, and catastrophically for him, he lost.
So Britain, voting for all the wrong reasons, made the stupidest decision in my lifetime - to smash all the relationships with Europe that had been so carefully forged for so many years, and leave Europe, without even a shred of a road map.
Cameron, correctly reading the tea-leaves which told him that staying on would only get him into more and more difficulties, vacated 10 Downing Street. Cameron's removal from office was basically the only good thing to emerge from that fateful mess of a decision - Brexit. In the scrabbling around which then took place within the Conservative party to fill the gap of PM, deals were hastily done, while all the fierce proponents of Brexit quietly ran away. And who should find herself hot in the running - but Theresa May. Widely regarded as a steady hand at the time, she had actually voted to REMAIN - and had indulged in some pretty grubby scaremongering herself ( did she really say that "leaving Europe would be the worst disaster since World War II ?? - did we forget so soon ?!!)
What happened next slipped by us all, and was hardly commented upon, because, I think, we all wanted to think the best of this new person arriving in Downing Street, with the opportunity of starting things afresh.
But we all should have realised that, at this point, the decent thing for Theresa May to have done would have been to stick to her principles, and tell the country she couldn't lead us in a direction which she didn't believe in. Instead, presumably drawn by the same irresistible pull – the heady prospect of power – she accepted the job. Suddenly she was telling us she would go all the way in ‘fulfilling the wishes of the country’. The warning bells were ringing at that point. But none of us heard them. Theresa May was cut from the same cloth as Tony Blair and to David Cameron – her lust for power was soon to be unleashed, and there would be no turning back. Who was it that said that "all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"?
Jumping to a couple of weeks ago, Theresa May suddenly, out of the blue, announced a new general election. She told us that the reason for calling it was to ‘strengthen her negotiating position in Europe’. The phrase “Strong and Stable leadership” was created by her publicity writers, but of course her leadership in Europe has been anything but strong and stable … she has become a laughing stock after displaying her arrogance and ignorance in conference with Mr Junckers.
But let us look at her declared reasons for calling this election. It doesn’t take much brain to realise that the result of it can make absolutely no difference to her powers of negotiation. The decision was plainly made because TM was advised that she was 20 points ahead in the polls, and an election could give her a massively increased majority in the House of Commons. It would mean she could push through anything she wanted … with no appreciable opposition. She would become, virtually, a dictator. So now the picture becomes clearer … not only is she mad for power, but she is dishonest in her declaration of intentions. This is not a nice woman, or a decent woman, or a woman who should be trusted with the power she seeks.
Theresa May is in fact in the middle of one of the most cynical bits of maneuvering in British Parliamentary history … at the expense of the country’s best interests. Right now, we have no Prime Minister. We have no Parliament … Theresa May has effectively immobilised Britain at one of the most crucial moments we have ever experienced … the potentially disastrous exit from Europe. This is gross irresponsibility, a monstrously selfish and dishonest act, and Theresa May should be called to task for it, by being ejected from the race to be the next PM.
But many of us were still, amazingly, willing to give this woman the benefit of the doubt.
But three days ago everything changed. In the midst of her campaigning, we saw Theresa May assert she was in favour of Fox Hunting and would bring in a bill in Parliament to repeal the Hunting Act. Suddenly the blinkers are off. Fox Hunting ? ! In the middle of planning our whole future as a nation, she declares she wants to bring back blood sports. It’s so shocking most people would not have believed it until they heard it from her lips. The vast majority of the British public is horrified and disgusted by all forms of blood sports. At a stroke, Theresa May has marked herself as morally unfit to be the next prime minister. For the sake of Democracy, decency, and for the protection of the poor, the sick, and the voiceless, Theresa May is unacceptable as our leader.
**Fri 19 May 17**
REGISTER !!!!!- (POST NO 1) Direct link
Whether you like Jeremy Corbyn or not, he is so right about one thing. Britain is in a VERY bad state, and needs a HUGE shake up. Kids ! Young folks … I implore you … REGISTER to VOTE if you are eligible. NOW !!! Your country needs you. Do it now, and then we can all discuss how you can vote to bring about a change in this country, which is dangerously veering off course.
Did you realise that David Cameron deliberately made it hard for students to vote if they are away from home?
Because he knew that the Student Vote would be against him. You can be sure Theresa May feels the same way.
Support the new RIZE UP campaign which is aimed to help students register. Reclaim your right to vote, and have a say in your country’s future.
SUPPORT THESE GUYS !!! Rize Up at www.rizeup.org - it's VITAL VITAL VITAL that young folks register NOW - and VOTE !!!
**Fri 19 May 17** CHRIS EVANS BREAKFAST SHOW (FRIDAY) Direct link
From about 8am onwards this morning (Friday 19th) there's a chance of hearing me speaking with our old pal, Chris Evans, on his Breakfast Show - Radio 2 - with some illustrious co-guests !
No sleep for the wicked. Yes ! I will be up at daft o'clock Friday morning to meet this man at 8.20am on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show (BBC Radio 2) #QueenIn3D #SneakPreview -- Maybe we'll talk about Panic Attacks !!!
**Tue 16 May 17** PHOTO LONDON - AND - WATERSTONES BOOK SIGNING Direct link
Photo London starts tomorrow ! At Somerset House - Enter by Embankment or Strand. The London Stereoscopic Company has a stall for the whole time - designated P7 - very near the entrance on the Ground Floor. Denis Pellerin and I will be giving our talk on the History of Stereoscopy tomorrow at 2.20pm.
Oh - and obviously tearing foxes apart with packs of dogs wouldn't be cruel, would it ? Does ANYONE swallow this evil nonsense ? How can we allow this duplicitous and pitiless woman back into power ?
And, by the way, using the argument that foxes' numbers need to be 'controlled' is a lie. The hunts have been caught breeding fox cubs purely to make sure there are enough for their bloody hunts. Fox hunting is 100 per cent unjustifiable, and, Theresa May, you are a disgrace for advocating it. It's time for a landslide backlash, folks.
This woman's arrogance need to be rewarded with a firm wake up call. She needs to be shown the door.
This May loves foxes.
He also loves decent people. But the OTHER May has always favoured torturing foxes to death by packs of dogs. How nice. And she's in the middle of a totally selfish bid to become a virtual dictator. An appalling prospect. She'll succeed - unless you stop her. Look for #CommonDecency.