APRIL 2004

N.B. Brian's quotes in BOLDFACE are copyright, NOT BE COPIED OR REPUBLISHED. THANK YOU.


**Thu 22 Apr 04**

On Sunday, April 18, 2004, at 11:10 am, Warda Allalou wrote:
Hello Mr. May;
It is a pleasure for me to direct a mail to you. For me you’re one of the most important musicians in the world and my mail is only to tell you I have been in the WE WILL ROCK YOU – MUSICAL here in Spain two times and I really like it. I will surely go once again next week. It is true that the songs are not in English and this is the reason why I thought it much before going but when I sow finally the show, the band of PABLO NAVARRO and the actors working as they did, I said I have to go again and again.
Congratulations for this great show and thank you for the job you’ve done. Making somebody smile is the best thing one can do for the others and believe me your songs always make me smile.


Brian replied:

Dear Warda

Many thanks for your letter. This is very interesting for me - your comments about the language especially. I have great confidence in the Spanish versions of the Queen songs, and I note that your enjoyment of them reinforces this feeling. (They are totally in our control of course - we did not let just ANYONE translate them ...as many people know! IT was a great team ! - and still is!)

But the fact that you hesitated before going to the show, because you had doubts about whether you would like the songs in Spanish, is a very eductional message for me. It makes me realise that though the decision to translate was artistically without a doubt correct, there must be many people out there in Spain still hesitating to come like yourself. I hope the message gets out STRONGLY now that WWRY in Madrid is a PROPER SHOW, with a real message, real top class actors, and the SPIRIT of QUEEN very much in evidence !!!!







This is brilliant James .. well done !!
More power to ya!!


James Kirby wrote:

Dear Brian,

My A Level Graphics project is nearing an end and I wanted to show you some of my work. I have been designing a Queen Box Set, featuring 12" and 7" vinyl, a mini replica of your guitar, and a Queen book. I have constructed the box set from MDF and used a varnishing technique on it to simulate the grain of real wood. The actual box is the shape of a treasure chest, as the box set is called "Queen Treasures". When I get some photos of the chest itself I will send them to you. The photo I have sent you is of the final design for the album cover, featuring all of you in Popart style in the forefront, and Freddie's classic pose from the 1986 poster. I hope you like it.
Much Love
James Kirby

**SUN 02 May 04**

What a lovely message Harriet - thank you so much!Lovebrixxxx
On Monday, April 19, 2004, at 09:36 am, Harriet Robson wrote:
Dear Brian,
Reading your words about the weekend just past moved me to tears. Oh how I wish I had been there. Having seen you at the matinee on Jan 31st I knew Bo Rhap would be something special, but ever since the evening show in January, I have been longing to hear Mig singing Champions with you and now even more so. So thankful that he is staying on for another year!
I was at the show on Thursday to say my farewells to this cast. Kerry, in particular, has been a true star and is surely destined for huge things in the future, if there is any justice. However, seeing how electric the atmosphere was on Thursday (my 21st show, and truly a coming of age in my eyes - the whole audience was on its feet for the ENTIRE finale.. a first for me!) made me wish I could be there on Saturday even more as I was sure it would be taken to an even greater level then.
However, I shall be at the Dominion again tonight (Monday 19th) to welcome in the new cast.. The show must, and indeed WILL, go on. The combination of old pros and fresh blood will surely make tonight very exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes that have been brought in.
I truly hope that Saturdays shows emerge into the light of day for us 'mere mortals' in the form of a DVD sometime. It would certainly ease the pain at not having been there in person! More importantly, it records just how truly incredible this cast we have just said goodbye to, were. May we never forget that...
Thank you Brian, for bringing them to us in the first place. They shall never be forgotten..
Harriet xx


**Sun 02 May 04**

Good to hear ya Stephen..... glad to know DB is rockin' em. And "Pressure" is out there....
til soon, then? !cheers
On Saturday, May 1, 2004, at 11:58 am, Kcnybc@aol.com wrote:
Hi Brian!  first off, thanks for the awesome music over the years.  Makes life a bit easier here and there.  To get to my point really quick cause I just arrived back home from the David Bowie concert in New Orleans tonight, and man, I'm tired.  But wow!!  What a show it was!!!!  Incredible is the word I'd have to use.  Just thought it'd be cool to tell you just how well Mr. Bowie is performing "Under Pressure"(what an awesome rendition with his bass player).  The lady has some pipes...and boy david had a few good words to say about Freddie.  That was my favorite song of the night.  Just spectacular!!!  One favorite ICON of mine now that I've scene.  1 more to go.....(Queen)!!!  hope to oneday have that chance.
Stephen W.
Pineville, LA 
P.S.  I'll never forget that performance!!!  The crowd went WILD!

**Sun 2 May 04**

Thank you for sharing this with us Hans - you are right - it's good to be aware - take care -
On Wednesday, April 28, 2004, at 11:35 am, H@ns wrote:
Dear Brian,
I was debating a long time if I should do this or not,
but I give it a try....
The advantage of internet emails is that yuo can
delete them and even in your case it is just a
question if it comes through to you of course!
I am aware of your spare time, so I keep this short,
what is not meaning that I do not respect you for all
the work you are doing. Where do you get all the
energy from!!! :):)
Okay, here is my item.
You might be aware that in Holland are very much
active queen fans. We have our fanclub, hannie and
anja, who organize a queen fanclub day annual and
since about a year or 10 there is another queen party,
in spring, in Waalre.
I was there, I think for the 7th time and it is so
amazing to see how wonderful those parties are. I am
still amazed about the queen fans, and how much fun
and how wonderful those parties are, exactly in the
spirit of Queen (at least as how I see it)
I wrote a little report, I dont know if you have time
to read it, but anyway.... I take the risk....
It is at
Uhm sorry if I bothered you, but I think that it is
incredible after so many years that queen is still so
alive, and I think that you (of all, haha) have the
right to know about it and be able to taste it as
Take care, all the best
Greetings from a Dutch Queen-fan (for 30 years) living
in Germany



This is brilliant James .. well done !!
More power to ya!!

On Monday, April 26, 2004, at 10:50 pm, James Kirby wrote:
Dear Brian, My A Level Graphics project is nearing an end and I wanted to show you some of my work. I have been designing a Queen Box Set, featuring 12" and 7" vinyl, a mini replica of your guitar, and a Queen book. I have constructed the box set from MDF and used a varnishing technique on it to simulate the grain of real wood. The actual box is the shape of a treasure chest, as the box set is called "Queen Treasures". When I get some photos of the chest itself I will send them to you. The photo I have sent you is of the final design for the album cover, featuring all of you in Popart style in the forefront, and Freddie's classic pose from the 1986 poster. I hope you like it.
Much Love
James Kirby


**Sat 01 May 04**

Thank you Ayumi!! I must watch it someday!!
Much love
On Monday, April 26, 2004, at 01:57 pm, Ayumi Akahori wrote:
Dear Brian,I just finished to watch the 46664 DVD, and I cannot help writing you
I've seen Queen sets and some other artists' sets online before. But
I didn't get such a great feeling from it. From the DVD, I could get the
messages stronger and straight to my heart.
I cannot find the right words to express my feeling exactly, as I have
a small vocabulary of English. But I'd like to let you know how I enjoyed
the concert and how I was moved. Every artists were fantastic!! I even
couldn't help sheding tears a couple of times.
Now I wish you and Roger will back to stage soon in some ways. I think
you should play the show MORE! Queen still rocks! So let's rock!!
Lots of love,

**Sat 01 May 04**

Dear Caitlin
I was very touched by your letter .. you are very kind indeed. I still fall very short of my own criteria for being a "Good Christian", or even a "Good Man", but I found your allusions to the "Spirit of Rock" very cheering!
Of course, Rock Music hasn't always had a sense of repsonsibility to the "Children of the World" ! But, as you say, I do think the general principles (not possible to define in words, which is probably the whole point!!) are a force for good. And I rejoice in that.
god bless Ya !!!

On Wednesday, April 28, 2004, at 04:54 am, Caitlin Reilley Beck wrote:
Hi Brian,
    I have been keeping up with your website for some months now, and I have to say that your comments have inspired a lot of change in my own life, but this is not why I am writing now.  I was provoked by your comment that you were likely not a very good Christian.  I realise that this was likely said in a joking manner, but I would still like to assert, that in my eyes, you couldn't be more wrong.
    I am currently enrolled in Mission Studies and Interreligious Dialogue at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, and much of my past term of study has been spent coming to a better understanding of what exactly it means to be Christian.  I felt very conflicted in this particulr programme since I was raised very actively in two different faiths (my parents are divorced and my mom is Anglican and my dad was Baha'i).  I felt as though I had chosen one over the other, but after much reflection, I have realised that in my case, both the Christian faith and the Baha'i faith are different cultural incarnations of the same spirit.  In my mind so is the Spirit of rock.  In one of my classes, the main idea that we studied was that of inculturation, which is a theological term that describes the incarnation of the Spirit of the Gospel in a culture - it is quite a complex idea, but the basic concept is that it is an ongoing process that rejoices in the reflections of the infinite good that is present in each finite human culture, while at the same time identifying what improvements and changes need to be made.  I think that the true spirit of rock does just this, and that what I have learned of you from your music and website, do indeed embody this idea.  Being a "good Christian" isn't something that happens by specifically focussing on that goal - not many truly great achievements really happen this way - because they are reached through humility.  A most important part of humility is true devotion to something outside oneself.  I believe that this is something you possess.  You show great devotion to your wife and children, your work and a myriad of very worthy causes in the spirit of humanity.  
    As my dad often says "joy in movement inspires following."  I think this phrase very accurately describes what you have accomplished in your career - at least in my experience.  Your music exhibits a complex passion and a range of emotion that has touched me often in my short life; your passion towards certain causes has contributed to certain decisions of mine such as to not start smoking when my roommate wanted me to, to become a vegetarian, and to choose to go and work in an orphanage for AIDS orphans in South Africa (this last one is still just a goal, but it is my primary one).   
    Your music, in my humble understanding of what the true Spirit of the Gospel is, embodies that spirit, with a focus on the dignity of each human being and a search for an understanding of the mysteries of the universe in which we live.  Martin Luther said that we are saved "by faith alone through baptism", baptism meaning dying and being born again as Christ did.  Having lived through a very severe depression in the ten years following my parents divorce when I was six, I would suggest that any recupperation after a deep depression serves to show one the pits of death and the joy of new life discovered.  It is for all of these reasons that I would say that you are actually a much better "Christian" than you seem to think you are, though I definitely understand any reluctance to be associated with this particular descriptor in our day and age.  This is something I must deal with everytime one of my friends gives me a look like I am insane for being in a Catholic university having to talk about "God and stuff" in school, or when people point out one of the many atrocities commited in the name of the Church or God in the past and present.  I would like to say, however, that for me, to as vibrantly and fully embody the Spirit of Christ (or Rock or the infinite or quantum physics) as I have witnessed you to do is nothing to be ashamed of and indeed should be more celebrated in our society.  This is the true spirit of life on our earth as stewards of all creation.   
    Now here is the standard apology for having rambled on excessively, I hope the this email might be seen as some small thank you for the positive change I believe you have provoked in my life and undoubtedly the lives of countless others.  Good luck with your new incarnations of the Spirit of Rock with WWRY all over the world.
Good Luck, Good Health and God bless,
Caitlin Reilley Beck N.R.S.

**Sat 01 May 04**

No - I'll have to look at this Line 6 thing.!! I'll tell Pete !!

Thanks Lina ... I have a strange feeling something will happen !!If you want to audition for .... well, where would it be ...? WWRY Cologne??? just tell me ...

love Bri On Sunday, April 25, 2004, at 09:17 pm, Niall / Lina wrote:
Dear Brian,
Thanks for your kind reply and for your support. You took me by surprise as well:)  Just trying to nail a solo here.
Thanks for suggesting Lynn for an E-pal for me - I would love to hear from her, it's very nice of you to arrange that. It would be so great to have someone to share experiences with!
Does Anita ever experience this in her field of work? I guess it's rather common there as well?
I lack in self-esteem when it comes to my playing - but don't we all though? Your mail brightened my day, certainly. Fancy playing in a rock musical???... hell yes. But would I have what it takes... what did you have in mind? (blink blink)
I pressume you've seen "Kill Bill vol 1", like most guys. :) The guitarist in the Japanese band was very cool - I loved the way they mixed fifties rock n roll with their own stuff - it reminded me of the B52s a bit.
Get some sleep - I try to sometimes, but my fingers itch :) Just kidding - the damned cat scratches on the door and wakes us up at six... hehe.
By the way, did you have anything to do with creating the tones in Line 6's guitar port? I own it, and it's most inspirational (and cheap, which helped).
Cheers to you, you're a good person.

**Sat 01 May 04**

Very good observations Ant!!! I thank you --- let's hear it for.... oh no, it'd be too salacious to use the term that came into in my mind......!

Well...... "Chick Rock" will do it. I'm all for it of course.... Cheers
bri On Thursday, April 29, 2004, at 09:49 am, Anthony Fernando wrote:
Dear Brian and Lina,
In response to your correspondence on Brian's Soapbox
about women in the rock business, I have a couple of
observations. No answers as to the imbalance, though.
It's difficult to come up with theories without
getting mired in gender stereotyping.
Contrary to Lina's statement, I reckon a woman would
only need to play a tenth as well as a man to stand
out. However, she does need to play 10 times better
to be taken seriously. That's still a problem not
just in the music business, but in the workplace in
However, determination can overcome this. It just
seems not many women are prepared to put in the hard
effort to really master the craft. I think most young
girls would consider practising rock guitar 3 or 4
hours a night a frivolous waste of time. I'm not sure
why so many young boys think it's worthwhile. It
might be a competitive thing. Once upon a time, it
might have been to impress girls. But go to a Steve
Vai concert, you'll see that the few girls there have
probably been dragged along reluctantly by their
boyfriends (Steve even jokes about this in his show).
It seems that there is a gender split in what music
people listen to. I don't believe it's innate. I
blame marketing, as it wasn't always the case. Go to
a Deep Purple concert today, and you'll see a
relatively gender-balanced audience (particularly in
the grey-haired section). I think this was true of
many rock acts of the 70s. And there were female
icons to aspire to back then, like Suzi Quatro.
(Anyone who thinks that Suzi was (and still is) just a
leather-clad novelty act should go to one of her shows
and see her bass solo). Later rockers like Joan Jett
(Lita Ford's former Runaways bandmate) were definitely
inspired by Suzi.
It seems that sometime in the 80s, the heavy rock
scene was highjacked by the "cock-rockers", and the
guitar became perceived as a phallic extension, which
I guess is enough to scare most women off.
Personally, I find this regrettable. It's a musical
instrument, dammit! As Freud himself once said,
"sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".
I think it's high time for women to reclaim a piece of
hard rock. I know many women enjoy listening to the
genre, and many male fans would like to see more women
both on stage and in the audience. Brian, I'm
guessing it was no accident, but a calculated piece of
narrative, that in We Will Rock You, you chose it to
be Scaramouche who picks up the legendary guitar and
shreds like a rock goddess. I hope even that image
serves as an inspiration to some future guitar
Rock on,


**Thu 29 Apr 04**

Holly Smith-Baedorf wrote:

Hello Mr May

I wrote to you a while back about my A-level Physics coursework which i was doing on the guitar...Well.... I got an A!!!! 83% woohoo! happyhappyhappy.

My classical guitar teacher has also got the go-ahead to do a classical guitar arrangement for Bohemian Rhapsody for our Guitar Consort to play in the Royal Albert Hall in 2005, bound to be great, hes already done fantastic arrangements for Dreamers Ball, and Hotel California (which was played in the Albert Hall 2000-breathtaking!)

Please let us know when your gigging again!

Love From Holly 

Fantastic!! Well Done Holly !!!


and the Albert Hall sounds amazing ... keep us in the loop!

Love Bri

**Tue 27 Apr 04**

Andrew wrote:

Dear Brian,

Firstly, I am honored to email you.

Secondly, I was just wondering, regarding your guitar, do you have any preference whether you use the “real” Red Special or the copies, because I noticed (it may be me,) that at the jubilee celebrations you where using a copy of the Red Special.  

Thirdly, which brand of replicas do you recommend?

Many thanks,


Brian replied:

Well, Andrew, to my knowledge I was using the original at the Jubilee ... certainly she was with me on the Palace roof! Greg Fryer's one-off copies are wonderful (John Paul and George) and Andrew Guyton's new ones are fabulous too. But the best of the recent Burns models are also very good ... I have a favourite sunburst one I use in the studio sometimes..
but of course the original will always be the original ......


**Tue 27 Apr 04**

Gero Zahn wrote:

Dear Brian,

I'd like to leave a note for you, almost identical to the message I've just posted on the WWRY forum. I wouldn't expect you to answer any of your entire stack fan-mails, but I somehow hope you will at least find my "report" interesting to read. -- Anyway, publishing it on "LETTERS'and my replies...'" would be OK for me, just in case ...

I just got back to Germany less than 4 hours ago. I had booked tickets for the yesterday WWRY matinee show as a birthday gift for my wife, as well as the travel tickets (bus-trip from Germany - London overnight Friday to Saturday, back bus-trip London - Germany overnight Saturday to Sunday - *yawn!!*). We've booked all this quite spontanously on Easter Saturday morning via internet, meaning: Just a week before the show. - I'd like to add that I haven't read the rumours about you being there after we had booked the tickets. The pieces of the puzzle simply fell into place, and so we booked. We actually even wanted slightly cheaper seats, but we "just" got stalls row G, the rightestmost seats right next to the door.

I've been a big fan of Queen since decades, having gradually infected my wife with this, even though just knowing her since 3 1/2 years now.

Watching the show with the fabulous band performance approved by Roger and you and with the extraordinary cast is for me closest possible to an actual Queen concert - which I never had the chance to see personally, poor me!! So believe me or not: I had tears in my eyes during the whole show, and during "No-one but you" I literally broke out into tears. I hope no-one saw me crying.

When you appeared on the stage during BoRhap, I was hardly able to breathe. Imagine - I've never seen you guys live on stage, and there I was, "as close to a Queen show as I could get" - and then, out of nothing, you personally enter the stage, performing BoRhap with that unbelievable gifted cast and band - just 7 rows of seats away from me!!

You can't possibly imagine what this very moment means for me as a Queen fan. Everything would even have been better if I could have seen you more clearly without again tears pouring from my eyes. - It's even hard to type this without having to do a few deep swallows. Usually I'm not such a weenie, I can't even explain it to myself why all this has such an intense effect on me.

... Whatever: I'll keep this special day deep in my heart. I'll never forget about this show. - Image if I had coincidently chosen another weekend for the trip to London and for the WWRY show. NO, I just don't want to even think about this.


Bye ...
Gero (& my wife Tonia) from Germany


Brian replied:

Thankyou for a GREAT letter and account, Gero - you make me feel very proud ....

I will copy your words to Kerry too. Much love to you and your wife - I hope we will see you again ...maybe even in Cologne ???


**Sun 25 Apr 04**

Marina Shuster wrote:

Dear Brian --

First of all, I wanted to say that I've just found your site and I'm blown away by how incredibly generous you are -- sharing a part of yourself and connecting to so many people! Thank you for that -- and for the music -- or, as we say it in my native language, "Spasibo" :)

Now, I've read one of your comments in the soapbox, regarding the craftsmanship -- how it's been a big part of your style, I suppose... It got me thinking -- where there is craftsmanship, there's tremendous attention to all the little details (I think, you've said something like that yourself) -- and that often goes hand in hand with perfectionism... which can be both a wonderful thing and a curse almost... I mean, in any form of art especially -- be it performing art or composition or painting -- how do you ever know that your work on a particular project/song/album is done? Is it ever done? Isn't there always a way to add yet another finishing touch, to make it still better?

How does one draw that line and stop and move on to something else (and feel ok about it)? I'm just curious -- I'd imagine that this may have come up over the years of creating music... I'll be very happy and honored to hear your opinion on this!

Marina, from SF Bay Area

p.s. I've "discovered" Queen back in '92, when I was still living in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was 15 or 16 at the time and saw the Tribute to Freddie concert on TV. That started it for me... Thank you, thank you again for everything -- Queen's music, its lasting presence is wonderful and timeless.


Brian replied:

Hi Marina

The Bay Area is a long way from St. Petersburg! Do they understand "Spacebo" there??? !

Thank you for your words.... I'm continually amazed how much of a presence Queen music has .... it means a lot. Perfection , and when can we call something "finished" ?

It's something I have often spent time pondering. I suppose that making a MIX is the time when you are making that decision that it is finished... It's good, because then you can let go and move on to the next thing. But truly all of us hate it in a way. It's painful ! Suddenly you can no longer make improvements because it has gone out of the door! For this reason I never can listen to a track once it has become "finished" for a long time after. Even checking the mastering is painful and irritating, because there are always things which show up at this point which I would LIKE to change, but now can't. For the first few months after release I know I will find things I am not satisfied with, and it will be frustrating. So I have to turn away and get immersed in something else....

Your compatriots are very talented, Marina ....we have just found some wonderful young artists for our show. I can't wait !

Very best wishes.

**Sun 25 Apr 04**

Nick K. wrote: [referring to an earlier mail]

Hehe... when I wrote "quite" I meant to say Very good. Loved the show. Sorry if there was misunderstanding. Can't wait until it comes to Toronto. You guys will be at the premiere, right?

Rock on.


Brian replied:


Thanks Nick - you're very kind!


**Sun 25 Apr 04**

Lina wrote:

Dear Brian,

I can't understand for the life of me how you find the time to do all those things in your life - it seems awfully hectic! I'm amazed. Maybe that's why you've had such big success in your life. Wow, the energy!

I'm a woman, and I feel alone. Alone in the business. I'm a producer and a guitarist, and I know nobody that I can "play with" - just men everywhere. I love em, don't get me wrong, but I miss having more women around, especially since there's a lot of talent out there. I wonder why there aren't more of us around? Is it because we don't have enough courage to show what we're made of? I think so, for the most part. Because everywhere I go, I hear that men always praise us women who play guitar etc. It just feels so weird to me - it's like it's a miracle that a woman has chosen to go heavy instead of playing, the flute or the violin or something like that. Sometimes I even feel like I have to prove I'm ten times better than other people in order to stand out. I was in a Producer course here for a couple of years. I was accepted amongst 100 applicants, along with 6 guys. It was great, and I often work better with them, but it would just be nice to have a girl's perspective on things.

What's your opinion on this? During your time in the biz, have there been many women? I would really love to hear your opinions on this. I sat practising the whole day yesterday by the way and my damned fingers are sore now :)

Hope you had a great time in Moscow!

Sincerely yours,
Lina Kvist in Sweden


Brian replied:

Dear Lina

You took me by surprise .... we've had ladies turn up to audition for Keyboards in our show (and very good they are too!) but so far no lady guitar players. Of course the first thing that came to mind was my old friend Lynn Carey in L.A. I met her 20 years ago when she was in a rock band playing guitar and singing, and we've been friends ever since ... I played on her record for charity last year ..

I wonder if she would be a good E-pal for you. She also struggles in a business dominated by men... and a hard struggle it has been. she is still fighting.

I'll drop her a line .... would you be interested in hearing from her ?? Meanwhile, I don't really understand why there are so few Gals playing guitar professionally .... it's something boys like to see, I do know that !!!! The other lady that comes to mind is Lita Ford .... she always had a pretty tough attitude to men, and maybe she had to.... it seemed to me she more or less ignored the fact that she was female when around musicians...

I did have a good time in Moscow, but.... energy ?? it's in short supply !! I pay for my excursions these days!!! (in terms of having to sleep for days!!)

I wish you luck ...fancy playing in a Rock Musical?????

Love Bri

**Sun 25 Apr 04**

Adrianl wrote:

Hi Brian,

I've just got Air Guitar one and two,

But I 'm to old NOW  to play Air Guitar!!!!...

So I'm going to learn the tracks I like on my Guitar!... Maybe you should put your name to a C.D with  'Queen songs or Rock tracks' with guitar Tab music with the C.D so fans could play along with the tracks.

yours in guitars Adrian
(I hope tobe  perforning on a roof in Middlesbrough soon)


Brian replied:

I guess we could do tab for some songs ... I will ask our publishers ... but it really comes down to finding someone who can transcribe this stuff to accurately represent my/our notes... I guess Andy Jones might be the guy ... or know someone who is.....

It would have to be in an accompanying book ...


**Sun 25 Apr 04**

Dave wrote:

Hi all,

As an English expat living on the Central Coast of NSW Australia, I Thought I'd Share the News that In a recent Top 1000 songs of all time on our local Radio station 2GO (www.2gofm.com.au) they placed Bohemian Rhapsody at number 7 and We Will Rock You/ We Are the Champions at number 1. These songs beat some of the greatest songs of all time including Stairway to Heaven, Hey Jude check the website for full rundown of top 1000. Other Queen songs were well represented throughout the list.

Peace to all
David Butterworth


Brian replied:

I'm very happy to hear this David - thanks !! Please give my congrtulations to 2GO for their excellent taste !!!cheers

**Sat 24 Apr 04**

Matthew wrote:

Dear Brian,

My names Matthew Lake and i am 15. Me and my friends saw WWRY for the first time in October 2003. We though it was brilliant! As big Queen fans we decided to book tickets for the WWRY 2nd anniversary on what we thought was 14th May 2004 because that was 2 years since the premiere of the show. We were really excited about the seeing the show in May because we were hoping to see a fantastic show with yourself and Roger Taylor!. We were very disappointed when we found out that the anniversary was celebrated nearly a month early!

Will there be any kind of celebrations on May 14th 2004?

Yours Sincerely,

As far as I know the London WWRY Company's major celebration of the 2nd Anniversary will now have been moved to the 11th of May to coincide with the launch of the "Sport Relief" charity.

Yes, it is a bit confusing isn't it! for me too!!! Sorry if it's made problems, Matthew. But I have to say, (cornily!!!) that EVERY night is a celebration in the Dominion!!!


**Sat 24 Apr 04**

Naomi wrote:

Dear Brian,

I'm not sure if you ever get to read all these letters but here I go anyway!

I've just been looking at the photos of you playing with the cast from WWRY. You look as if you had a really good time. I wish I'd been there to see it myself.

When WWRY first started, everyone I know asked me if I was going to see it. My answer was always "no". This may sound awful, but as a huge fan of Queen I was worried.  I was worried that the songs might have been played around with and wouldn't sound true. I thought that these actors just wouldn't do justice to the songs which I know and love. I thought that I'd end up sitting there saying "well, that doesn't sound right" and thought that I would come away disappointed.

Well, on 6th Feb last year (the day after my birthday) I went to see it. I took my Mum, two of my younger sisters and my sister in law. I actually had butterflies all the way to the theatre. 

I did not walk away disappointed. I was stunned and amazed.

(Now excuse me for not knowing the names of the cast).  When the young lady sang No-One But You, I was crying! She was fantastic and hit every single note perfectly.

And the Killer Queen. Wow, what a voice!  She was incredible.

As a younger fan (I'm 25), I never saw Queen play and this was as close as I would get to the real thing. I finally got to be part of the crowd doing the clapping during "Radio". I'd always wanted to do that. And to hear Bo Rap performed perfectly was like a dream come true.

I'm sure that you are sad to see some of this cast leave. I'm sure that at some point I will be back to see the new cast and will again walk out feeling as good as I did then.

WWRY is fantastic - long may it reign!!


Brian replied:

Thank you Naomi

- this is good kind of letter for me to get !!

[See reply in SOAPBOX]

Lots of love

**Sat 24 Apr 04**

Ayako wrote:

Dear Brian

Courage was necessary to wite this letter.Because I am not good at English.

The dictionary strives to one hand to see the site here to understand lyrice.

If it was QUEEN fan, the study of English might have been also happy in the school days.
Oh this occasion, the study of English was started.

It becomes good a little a letter. An essential thing had been forgotten.

Please take care of health. And, please hold out more and more.

Thank you for reading.
From_JAPAN with love.


Brian wrote:

Konnichiwa AYAKO!!! I appreciate you writing to me in English! Subarishi desu!!! It's pretty difficult for me to write Japanese too, so I appreciate it even more !!!

Domo arigato - thank you for making this effort - I hope you will enjoy English, as much you enjoy our music which has brought you to it !! I am flattered!!!

Much love !!
Sayonara !!
Brian XXX

**Sat 24 Apr 04**

Susie wrote:

Dear Mr May,

1st of all I was going to address this email to a certain "Brian" (whoever he is...) but as I'm only 14, I've had it drummed into my head by various teachers etc always to address adults as a Mr, a Mrs or a Miss, however much we love them and their music :)
The reason that I'm emailing you is to ask you 2 things.
1) What do the words "Hammer to Fall" actually mean/refer to?
2) After "Keep Yourself alive" didn't chart, why did you decide to feep trying as a band?What kept you going through the early days?
Finally, thank you for everything your music has done for me, which I can't even begin to explain, and please when you next visit Vicki, tell her that her story actually made me cry, and that I wish her all the luck in the world.
As for you, please keep rocking, for all the young fans out there :)
Good luck, God bless,


Brian replied:

OK Susie .....

Hammer to Fall is really about life and death, and being aware of death as being part of life. I was inspired, I think, by "Waiting for Godot" ...although there are a lot of other things mixed up with it in there ... The Hammer coming down is only a symbol of the Grim Reaper doing his job!!

And Keep yourself Alive ? well, I don't think we thought success would be easy. When the record struggled to be heard, we just thought ... it'll take a bit more work until people understand what we have to offer. We were not offering normal "Pop" music of the time, so it was not going to be easy to turn the attention of Radio around. We believed!!! Also the whole hit record thing was not perceived by us as the only important thing , or indeed a thing of much importance at all. Our heroes were Led Zeppelin, after all, who NEVER had a hit single!! I think we wondered if having a hit would disqualify us from being taken seriously!

By some stroke of good fortune, we were able to have hits later, but still develop ourselves as an Album-Oriented touring band ..... we carved out our own destiny, by great persistence and much work, and some good tunes, I think! But I feel we were very fortunate too.

OK, Youngun?!!!! Thanks for the message ..

Love Bri

**Sat 24 Apr 04**

Thomas Bullock wrote:

Hi Brian!
In the letters section recently you said "Thus Yoko Ono once said NO to me when I requested permission to put a new version of John Lennon's "GOD" on my live album"
That's interesting - the general assumption online has been that she simply didn't say "yes" in time for the release. Shows what you get for believing what people on newsgroups tell you.  
Those of us campaigning for an "uncut" dvd will have to respect that, then :-)
Our band has been doing "Hammer to Fall" for a while now, and we omit the "mushroom cloud" verse in the same way they do in the musical - do you mind this? I'm still a little baffled as to the reason you omit this in the show, but we chose to leave that bit out because a) I had the wwry songbook out when I was showing them the song and b) we're a "christian rock" band, and the rest of the song works nicely in a christian context (I know..that's probably not why you wrote it...). We're also the only group I've ever seen do the "slow" version - which is cool.
Good luck opening the musical around the world! Do you know if there will be an age limit on the Vegas show?
Thanks again


Brian replied:

Your band sounds cool! Thanks for the letter, Thomas.

... the last verse of "Hammer to Fall"? Well, it's always been a personal kind of part - the spectre of the mushroom cloud was absolutely a real part of my childhood ... we were constantly told it was going to happen, and we ought to hide somewhere if the four-minute warning was given (how was it going to be given ???!!) And we should not LOOK at the blast !!! As if there would be a choice ... In the musical, the song (at my instigation, inspired by what Ben did with the script at the 11th hour) became re-oriented as a struggle between two lovers. Constraints of sense and time made this last verse difficult to include. So I was happy to leave it out.

The last verse is really, as I look at it now, one of my protests against violent solutions, so it should not be too out of place in your Christian perspective , though I am probably not a very good Christian!! And an awful lot of people in the world STILL seem to be doing violence in the name of Christianity, which appalls me. How our Western leaders justify this in their minds baffles me completely. I am praying we soon get a change.

I'm pretty sure there will be no age limit in the Vegas show ..... I think no matter how old you become you will still be able to go!!!

Love bri

**Sat 24 Apr 04**


Simon wrote:

Hi Brian!

A couple of things…

Just been reading about the effect that Queen’s music has been having on people, and I wanted to say thank you for one song specifically. Roughly 2 years ago I went though a marriage breakdown (my wife went back to University and found her new life more stimulating). I think almost every day for 2 or 3 months I listened to ‘Save Me’ in the car. I guess it was a little melancholy, but it was also encouraging that (whether from personal experience or second hand) you put such raw emotion into the public arena and made me feel far from alone. There are two phrases that sum up how I was feeling far more succinctly than anything I could say, being :

- The years belie we lived a lie, I love you ‘till I die
- I hang my head and advertise a soul for sale or rent

After so many years, the first was amazingly comforting. In the despair it’s hard to recall any of the positive, and if nothing else, the passage of more than a decade must speak for something.

And as for the second, I think it was this more than anything else that prompted me to be rational about the fact that everybody hurts, and most get through possibly better than before. Thankyou so much for what I consider (for many reasons) to be Queen’s greatest song.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to ramble, as this was supposed to be about something else entirely. I just thought in the context of recent letters I’d mention it. With such a large audience, everything you say will have some meaning for at least one person, and I appreciate you taking the care to choose your words so carefully.
If I may quickly ask a couple of questions that prompted me to write :-

I’ve just had a Queen resurgence in the last 2 weeks, and in particular have been listening to Mr Bad Guy, Back To The Light, and Another World.

I’m thrilled to hear that you’re playing with the idea of reworking some of the Mr Bad Guy tracks. I’m not sure if it’s just dated as a product of it’s time, but it’s (I’m trying to work out how to put this) not the most pleasant listening experience. Such an amazing voice, to be neutered by such a synthetic backdrop is a real shame. Do you know if it was very rushed? Or was Freddie just looking for something quite different from Queen, and it just got caught up as a piece of 1985 synth pop?
Back To The Light is a wonderful album, and has some great musicians on it. I was wondering though who played with you on the Mountain Studios tracks. There’s no-one listed, but would I be correct in thinking that you did them around the time of the Made In Heaven tracks? Does that mean Roger is playing drums on Driven By You?

(Oh, and John’s bass on Nothing But Blue is just amazing. He has such beautiful feel, which is also showed on the back to back ‘It’s Late’ & No-One But You from Rocks…)

One more and I’m outta here…

I’ve been very very impressed with the improvement in leaps and bounds VST instruments over MIDI files has provided. Were Wilderness and Why Don’t We Try Again all constructed in this way? Both are amazing in terms of instrumental structure, and must have taken you forever to put together!

Anyway, thanks for the music, but thanks for the message.



Brian replied:


Big stuff Simon! I will try to answer intelligently !!

[See SOAPBOX 'REVISITING MR BAD GUY' for rest of reply.]

**Sat 24 Apr 04**

Nick K. wrote:

Hey Bri,

I've seen the London WWRY and the guitarists you had there were quite good. It's about the closest I've ever gotten to a real Queen show. Anyway, after having read and listened to the blurb entitled "It's All About the Vibrato" I think you made a phenomenonal choice with Paul Crook. He speaks very highly of you and I really liked his recordings and they suited the tracks very well. Hopefully you could pass this on to him, he deserves some credit.

Nick K.
Toronto, Canada.


Brian replied:



P.S. "quite" good ????!!!!! hmmmmmmm...!

**Thu 22 Apr 04**

Catherine wrote:

Hi, Brian!

My name is Catherine, I'm from Russia.

First of all, I want to say you many thanks for the idea of Russian version of musical and your arrival to Moscow (how many times you read it!..). But my letter is about another thing. I'll try to be laconic as you prefer...

Yesterday I saw a concert on TV. I decided to see it, because the announcement of this performance had almost killed me. It was a mix of different singers of Russian stage. But I suppose you heard of a famous singer Philip Kirkorov. I don't have something against him or his voice, but... he sang a kind of medley of... Queen songs. I mean two great songs "The show must go on" and "Bohemian rhapsody". If he had done it well at least, I wouldn't have protested (though in my opinion it's a mockery of Queen creative work).

This man has no idea about an English language at all. I don't mention his "pronunciation", because he even mixed up the prepositions and auxiliary verbs. E.g. "... Another hero, another mindless crime, behind the curtain, TO the pantomime..." If he didn't know what he was singing, how could he FEEL what he was performing???? He must have forgotten even to translate the song! To put it briefly, in MY opinion, it was awful.

Brian, you have a copyright, you CAN stop it! I don't mention all the advertising of Pepsi and so on. I think I'm not the only who put it like this.

Brian, It's almost a plea... You know in Russian I can explain my feelings more definitely...

I'm not a fanatic who is crazy about Queen. More often I think about you as about ordinary men, not as rock-stars and ALWAYS try to understand your decisions and actions. And I respect your work. So, if you knew about this performance (I doubt strongly), I think it wasn't the best one...

I wrote to you many times, but never received an answer. Please, write me one line, several words at least... Thanks.



Brian replied:

Dear Catherine

Well, thanks for writing !

- and here's an answer - but you may not like everything I have to say!! In which case I'm sorry.

I can safely say that none of us had the slightest clue that such a performance of Queen songs by Russian artists on TV was taking place. So we had no opportunity to make any decisions. But also I have to tell you you are not correct here ... there is no copyright which can stop people recording someone's songs ... Actually it's probably a good thing, because, after all, songs are created to be performed, and really if you are a songwriter there is no greater compliment that someone can pay you than performing one of your songs or making a new record of it. In law, the only instance in which a writer can say "NO" is if the words are changed. Thus Yoko Ono once said NO to me when I requested permission to put a new version of John Lennon's "GOD" on my live album. We get lots of requests like this ourselves, and the ones which come to me are usually given permission as long as there isn't something in there which I think is inappropriate or offensive - for example if it is violent to women, or some ethnic group. Or if the content of the Lyrics was not in the spirit of the original.

So all I can tell you is that I'm actually THRILLED that these artists should want to perform our songs on TV - and of course the quality of their performance is always a matter of opinion. You didn't like it, Cat, but there may be thousands who DID, maybe people who never heard Queen music before and will now seek it out. That's not a bad thing, in my book.

You know, I CAN understand your feelings - I think I would feel upset if I thought someone was ruining a Beatles song .... but really it is a big world and tolerance is a virtue. These people are probably doing their best ... and that's good enough for me. Well, I hope this is not too shocking an idea.

Are you planning to sing any of our songs???? I hope so!!!

Lots of love

**Thu 22 Apr 04**

Ann wrote:


Just a note to thank you for a brilliant day on Saturday.  After many months and several aborted attempts I managed to see the WWRY matinee peformance.  My parents (78 and 72 respectively) joined me, along with my sister, sister in law (69) and my son (15).  My parents are huge fans of Queen, my dad in particular - as we all are of course - the show was fantastic, but the icing on the cake was your appearance at the end.  I just could not believe my eyes when you appeared on stage and everyone leapt to their feet - it was a brilliant moment.  My son said it was the best day of his life - praise indeed ffrom a 15 year old!  My parents have not been in the best of health recently - hence the difficulty in booking to see the show - what a fantastic treat for everyone.  The cast were amazing and Kerry - well - what can I say - every time I listen to that track I am transported back to the theatre, it was so moving. 

Thank you again - you made a lot of people very happy on Saturday.



Brian replied:

Dear Ann ... very happy to receive your message. It was indeed a special time ... sad yet full of joy. You saw us at our best!!! But I have great hopes for the new cast ... I hope you'll all come back - meantime ...take care - all 3 generations of you !

love bri

P.S. I will make sure Kerry gets to see this too

**Thu 22 Apr 04**

Debs wrote:
Well here you have a group of Queenfans who enjoyed the show last Saturday (and Friday) This is on our way back, we are looking extremely happy don't we..
the pictures is made by Maaike.
Love Debs


Brian replied:

Take care Dutch Folks!! Lovely seeing you !!

love Bri

**Thu 22 Apr 04**

Thanks Nick - appreciated ..

Nick Edmondson wrote:
My last message for a few weeks, (going on my jollies)..
i have just read the new bit on vicki's site, and i must admit it was a heartbreaking but a great piece...
Vicki, as young as she is, is a true artist like you say, the writings that she puts down and her feelings are so true and meaningful...the section about the ribbon nearly had me blubbering in the office at work...
I know you think a great deal of Vicki, and I hope that everything all works out well.......
Kindest and best regards
Nick Edmondson

**Mon 19 Apr 04**

Laurie Winkless wrote:

Hey Brian,

My name is Laurie Winkless, im an astrophysics student, studying in Trinity College Dublin, im in the penultimate year of my degree. I hope to further my education with an MSc and/or a PhD as I absolutely adore my course!

I was just studying (exams are in 4weeks!) when i stumbled across your website, so i thought i'd just leave a message!

I have been a Queen fan for as long as i can remember (you must be sick of hearing that!!) but i am, in particular, a fan of yours! The fact that you are an astrophysicist; and you play guitar like you do.... it amazes me! That you have completed your studies in a subject, which i have been obsessed with since i could talk, and am now in the process of officially studying......and youre such an incredibly talented musician - THAT makes you one of my idols!!

And i must say, im not alone in this opinion of you; Im a committee member of DUPhySoc (Trinity College Physics Society) and at a recent meeting your name
came up (cant remember why exactly!) and i believe the word used to describe you was "LEGENDRY"!!!!




Brian replied:

Dear Laurie - thanks for the message - it's nice to hear from a REAL astrophysicist!
I'm highly honoured to be honourably mentioned - I don't think I deserve it - but many thanks .. and ... GOOD LUCK with your studies ... go for it!


**Sun 18 Apr 04**

Yukari SHIMA wrote:

Dear Brian

I'm sending you a photo. Have you got this picture of yourself?

One of my friends, who is also a very big fan of Queen,sent me this picture. She found this on an English magazine.
But unfortunately the name of the magazine is unknown. She doesn't remember it and now she doesn't have the magazine itself.

Do you remember When it was? (around 1973? or earlier? later?) And who took this photo?

It is very beautiful. Your cleverness and brightness have been packed in this photo. Thank God pictures don't move like in the world of Harry Potter. All of your pictures might be very busy.

Lots of love.
and Yasuka, who found this photo.

<Brian in some day, one day.jpg>


Brian replied:

Dear Yukari and Yasuka

A nice picture - but I like your words best !! I think it MIGHT be a Johnny Dewe-Matthews picture but I'm not sure ..Thank you - I will try to be that person!!!


**Sun 18 Apr 04**

Matt Dawson wrote:


Having just seen the final show of WWRY with the Original London Cast I'd like to pass on my deepest thanks to the cast and crew of WWRY for giving everyone there one of their best nights out ever. Although it was sad to see people like Kerry, Sharon and Nigel leave...they didn't half go out on a high! The performances were the best I've ever seen them and the band were just....wow!

Your appearance through the smoke for the solo in Boh Rhap was also just astounding. At both the Matinee and the Evening shows I have never seen the entire theatre leap to their feets applauding madly like that before! Love
the snazzy outfit as well btw...wa sit the one from the Palace?

I also really liked the version of We are the Champions you did as an encore! It was a kinda reflective more melodic version...Great stuff! Just a brief story that I thought you'd like to hear:

At the evening performance there was an ederly couple sitting next to me
who'd booked their tickets for tonight as a Christmas present for each other. They were both long long time Queen fans but had never seen you
perform live anywhere, and had never seen the musical before. They had no idea that tonight was special and they were enjoying it immensly all the way through.

But when you came up through the smoke for Boh Rhap I swear I have never seen anyone so eclipsed by sheer joy as these two peopkle were. I mean they must have both been in their 70's and they were on their feet almost as quick as I was...and I jumped up pretty damn quick.

You made a dream come true tonight for them...I can't get over how enthralled and happy they were! When Roger came on I seriously thought that they were going to take off and start floating round by the lights in a euphoric cloud! All the way down the stairs and out of the theatre afterwards all the man could say was "Marvellous", and his wife was just
crying! I just thought you'd like to hear that :).

Oh and my vocal coach may well be having words with you as I have quite succesfully screamed myself hoarse tonight! ;) I think it may have had something to do with a certain person appearing in the middle of the stage! Hope all is well and good with you.Matt Dawson


Brian replied:

Thank you Matt - your letter paints a lovely picture - makes me proud and happy (also a little sad of course ! )

Take care

**Sun 18 Apr 04**

Pictures by Marina Sinitsina

Marina wrote:

Hello Brian!

How are you? I hope much better after your short rest. But don't forget some warm clothes going to Moscow. We haven't snow here but it isn't warm yet, especially after L.A.!!

Here is a new look of Moscow photos. Hope you will like my work!

And I wonder if I have any new stuff for creative workin the nearest future.....

Marina Sinitsina


Brian replied:

Very pretty Marina! Thank you - got ma scarf ready!


**Sun 18 Apr 04**

The Sheppards wrote:

Dear Brian,
I know my daughter Izzy has e-mailed you twice but I thought I had to send you a line to thank you for another brilliant night at WWRY yesterday.

It was made all the more special for Izzy and myself to see you play.One of her dreams come true.When I got to see you and Roger play at the Ocean Club she didn't speak to me for a week.

Izzy became a big fan of yours at the age of three after catching a snippet of one of your videos. She then stated "I want to do that" and pestered us for a guitar. She started having lessons last summer, when she was seven, and  now plays a mini Fender, but what she really wants is a Red Special.

Some of my earliest memories are of Bohemian Rhapsody- My Mum and my Aunt playing it over and over again, and even my English teacher starting a discussion lesson about capital punishment by playing it.

I also wanted to apologise for pointing at you during the interval at the Dominion last night. It was most rude of me but I was just trying to attract Izzy's attention.

Again thanks for a brilliant nights entertainment.We've now seen WWRY five times and every time it has ROCKED us!!

Here's to many more opportunities to rock.

Love Su.


Brian replied:

No Probs Su .... take care and tell Izzy to rock on!!

Love b

**Sun 18 Apr 04**

Gero Zahn wrote:

Dear Brian,

I'd like to leave a note for you, almost identical to the message I've just posted on the WWRY forum. I wouldn't expect you to answer any of your entire stack fan-mails, but I somehow you will at least find my "report" interesting to read. -- Anyway, publishing it on "LETTERS 'and my replies...'" would be OK for me, just in case ...

I just got back to Germany less than 4 hours ago. I had booked tickets for the yesterday WWRY matinee show as a birthday gift for my wife, as well as the travel tickets (bus-trip from Germany - London overnight friday to saturay, back bus-trip London - Germany overnight Saturday to Sunday - *yawn!!*). We've booked all this quite spontanously on easter saturday morning via internet, meaning: Just a week before the show. - I'd like to add that I haven't read the rumours about you being there after we had booked the tickets. The pieces of the puzzle simply fell into place, and so we booked. We actually even wanted slightly cheaper seats, but we "just" got stalls row G, the rightestmost seats right next to the door.

I've been a big fan of Queen since decades, having gradually infected my wife with this, even though just knowing her since 3 1/2 years now.

Watching the show with the fabulous band performance approved by Roger and you and with the extraordinary cast is for me closest possible to an actual Queen concert - which I never had the chance to see personally, poor me!! So believe me or not: I had tears in my eyes during the whole show, and during "No-one but you" I literally broke out into tears. I hope no-one saw me crying.

When you appeared on the stage during BoRhap, I was hardly able to breathe. Imagine - I've never seen you guys live on stage, and there I was, "as close to a Queen show as I could get" - and then, out of nothing, you personally enter the stage, performing BoRhap with that unbelievable gifted cast and band - just 7 rows of seats away from me!!
You can't possibly imagine what this very moment means for me as a Queen fan. Everything would even have been better if I could have seen you more clearly without again tears pouring from my eyes. - It's even hard to type this without having to do a few deep swallows. Usually I'm not such a weenie, I can't even explain it to myself why all this has such an intense effect on me.

... Whatever: I'll keep this special day deep in my heart. I'll never forget about this show. - Image if I had coincidently chosen another weekend for the trip to London and for the WWRY show. NO, I just don't want to even think about this.

Bye ...
Gero (& my wife Tonia) from Paderborn / Germany


Brian replied:

Thank you for a GREAT letter and account, Gero - you make me feel very proud ....

I will copy your words to Kerry too .Much love to you and your wife - I hope we will see you again ...maybe even in Cologne ???


**Sun 18 Apr 04**

Daniel Higgott wrote:

Dear Brian,

Annunciation and vocal projection! This seems to be a problem area for so many shows. It seems that when an actor has a radio mic strapped to their face they don't think they have to project and annunciate any more. The problem was at its worst during Radio GaGa. Now, I do understand that it is very difficult indeed to obtain vocal clarity when there is a large ensemble singing in unison, but try as I might I simply could not catch a single word throughout the whole song! Dialogue scenes also suffer from this problem, much of the energy of the performance is simply lost towards the rear of the theatre because the acting and projection techniques slip away into TV style, close up wisper. The result is like watching a TV program from a great distance and also has all the unnatural sideeffects of over amplified radio microphones.

You have managed the clever integration of song and dialogue very well indeed, there were a few numbers that caught me entirely by suprise, and to my delight fitted brilliantly with the overall plot and in some cases changed my perception of the meaning of the original. Sharon managed to link dialogue and song seemlessly, perhaps this is simply down to dialogue but I would also suggest that acting techniques helped these transitions tremendously. Other moments did not work quite so smoothly but they were soon overcome simply by the splendour of the songs themselves. Unfortunatly lyrics became lost occasionally over a sometimes overly loud band which I felt was a great shame as I know how important every lyric is in Queen music, more so than most other bands.

I realise that this letter has stressed the negative. What I have clearly not mentioned is the sheer joy I felt, and could feel from the rest of the audience at watching the story unfold along with some of my favorite all time songs. Moments such as Kerry's 'No One But You' took my breath away and left tingles running up my spine, she deserved her standing ovation thoughrolly and this was one of my highlights in what was overall a brilliant show. It is vital however in the music and theatre worlds to keep striving for perfection, always try to better ones self in everything we do. If something was brilliant last night make it mind blowing the next. I'm sure you will agree that this ideology is essential in keeping a piece of live entertainment alive and in good shape and it is infact what drives people forward in their careers. So whilst the entire company deserved every inch of gratitude we gave you last night, you really have done a fantastic job, lets perfect it before the moment is gone and 'We Will Rock You' is something we remeber rather than experience.
Thank You for the music,


Thanks for your letter Daniel . All is noted. The business of projection and audibility is not a new idea to us of course - it's something we always have very much in mind .. WWRY pushes the envelope in terms of mixing dialogue with Rock Music which is loud anough and good enough to excite. We do not get many complaints ! Maybe you sat in a hitherto uncharted bad seat !! It so, our apologies!!


P.S. "Striving for perfection"??? Well, that is our middle name - You can bet you will not find another West End show which is still introducing major updates every month after 2 successful years . Even at the expense of driving our fabulous cast nuts, there is no danger of us resting on our laurels!!!

P.P.S. By the way Matt, I think what you mean is "ENUNCIATION", not Annunciation - that's what the Angel Gabriel did as I remember - let's hope his diction was good !!! ha ha!!

**Sat 10 Apr 04**

Dario Dallarmi wrote:

Dear Brian,

I'm sorry but I don't speak english very well...

I write to you because some weeks ago I have read your opinion about the "retake" of Queen's songs and Freddie's songs as I Was Born To Love You etc. etc.

I think that the "new" versions of the these songs are more articulate and I love very much the retake of I CAN'T LIVE WITH YOU from Queen Rocks where your guitar and the drums of Roger are powerful !

I would like to know if in the future Roger and you will work together on other Freddie's songs to improve these whereas it is possible: I think that beautifull songs as "THERE MUST BE MORE...", "LOVE ME LIKE THERE's..." and many others, if published by QUEEN, with the necessary publicity, these could surely be other Queen hits in the first place of the world chart !

These songs could make part of a new QUEEN album that would include these retakes alternated to new songs written by you and Roger that, as you have also shown with NOBY... QUEEN are always the greatest!


Brian replied:

Thank you Dario -

I think you are in tune with our current thinking !! Certainly there are lots of good projects awaiting our attention ...

it's just a question of investing vast amounts of time!!


**Fri 09 Apr 04**

Laurie wrote:

Have just read the email you received from Carol who was in a violent relationship 10 years ago.  Same thing happened me 13 years ago, I stuck it for 2 odd years and eventually thought enough is enough.  Funnily enough, my husband at the time was always jealous of my "mild obsession" with Queen and of course Freddie but it was through all of your music that I found comfort and strength.  When Freddie passed away I was upset and he couldn't understand why.  My anthem of course was "The Show Must Go On" and once I finally got rid (with a bit of help from the police!) I held my head up and always kept the words in my head because inside I was breaking down (even though he was violent, it still hurt to end it, wounded pride and all that!), the words though kept me going.
I know some people will think what an twit, drawing strength from the lyrics of a song, but you do, because that song is in a medium that is constantly there in your life.  Its nice to know however that I'm not the only "twit" who went through a similar situation and yet still found strength in your tremendous words.
Thank You!
and a note to Carol if you are replying to her "IT IS FANTASTIC TO BREAK FREE"
PS. luckily I have an other half now of 10 years who doesn't mind my "mild obsession" although he prefers Tina Turner!

Brian replied:

Dear Laurie - 

I'm learning all the time, and wondering what other effects our music has had over the years.    It's also odd to think what the INPUT was from us, the writers of those songs.   Perhaps we are unusual as a group of writers (Ben is very fond of reminding everyone that we are the only group to have had all four writers give birth to number one hits!) because we all, though independently and frequently without collusion, wrote about relationships the way we saw them.  And the human condition, and human dreams and aspirations and conflicting emotions.  And Freedom.   We very seldom just put a song together because it was "entertaining" - maybe the competition between us was so intense that we didn't afford ourselves that luxury - everything was torn out of our flesh. So the patterns we saw in ourselves, our loves, and our friends reflected the journeys we were making with some honesty.   I think that is why so many people listening have found strength in them - have suddenly realized they were not alone.    Well....it's a theory!   

It makes me happy.  And of course I for one found great strength in other people's music, and it had a huge influence on my life.   Bryan Adams' "Run to You" was a huge force in my life, as was "Here I am - Back on my Feet Again" by the Babys, and "Where do broken hearts go ? " (Whitney Houston) - "I look in your eyes and I know that you still care...."

I think we look for the music that taps into the truth inside us that we may be hiding from.   In some cases it may give us the strength to break away, or strike out on a new path; in other cases it may give us the strength to stay.    Or to admit we were wrong.    

Time and time again I come back to the "Serenity Prayer" - when a tough decision has to be made... (this is the Native American version - from those peoples we have called "Indians" in the cowboy and Indian movies....the peoples whose wisdom I have come to trust more than perhaps any other....)  

Great Spirit
Grant me  
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference

Of course once we think we know the difference, we have to get on with it ..... and ROCK!!!    Maybe that's where Queen came in...!  

Love Bri  

**Fri 09 Apr 04**

Cliff Howell wrote:

Will it be possible to buy the CD in the UK? If not how can I purchase it from Spain without actually going there?



Brian replied:

It's been talked about - I did propose that the Dominion carry them - but I can't say if it's definite yet ..


**Thu 08 Apr 04**

Carol wrote:

Hello Brian

I hope you don’t mind this intrusion but I’ve just watched the Queen story again (again and again…) and I thought I would just like to say thanks.

Freddie said he didn’t want to change people’s lifes with his music but Queen did exactly just that.

Let me explain. I have to admit to, well, not exactly being a fanatical fan of Queen, but the music was always, as we say in Scotland “there and thereabouts”. I was married at 19 and had the two boys by the time I was 24 and my husband was beating me up on a pretty regular basis since 6 months after we married.

Everybody told me to get out of the relationship, but I kept trying to make things work. Anyway, to cut a long, painful story short, we decided on a holiday to Greece. One particular night, my other half got so drunk he wasn’t able to go out at night so I took the boys to the local pub for a wee bit entertainment just to see them smile because I knew what was waiting for me when we got back to the apartment.

Anyway, this guy came on as the entertainment. He not only sounded like Freddie, he looked like him too! He did all the actions, playing with the mike, playing up the audience… you get the picture. To finish his act he did “I want to break free”.

Brian, I swear to you, it was like walking into a brick wall. All of a sudden, I started asking myself, “what AM I doing??”, and “yes, I really DO want to break free”. The plan was formulated that night. I knew if I was to keep the boys, I would need to get a good job and in order to do that, I would need more qualifications.
When I got home, I enrolled in the local college, got my degrees, got a good job, threw him out, kept the house, the boys, and what little bit of my sanity I had left.

That was almost 10 years ago now. My boys are men now and I am so proud of them. To have come through what they have, and to have turned out the way they have is nothing short of miraculous. Oh, and I’ve found that not all men hit women. I’m in this amazing relationship now with a wonderful, wonderful man.

I never knew this kind of happiness could exist. All because of “Break Free”



Brian replied:

What a WONDERFUL story - I must find some way to get this to Deacy .....

many thanks Carol - and I admire you greatly - yes, be well proud!!!

much love

**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Tim Byrne wrote:
Thought Brian might be interested to know about this

Tim Byrne
Attached information about the first in a series of special guest talks at Sydney Observatory in the lead up to the rare Transit of Venus event in June. The first talk, on Friday 26 March, will feature Dr Wayne Orchiston, archivist and historian at the Australia Telescope National Facility and a research associate at the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney. Dr Orchiston's talk 'Transits of Venus: Uncovering the Human Face of History' will explore the quests by astronomers during the 18th and 19th centuries to travel to the far reaches of the globe to observe transits.

Do you think you will get to see the Transit of Venus? [Ed: 2 days after Guitar Festival]


Brian replied:

I hope so - haven't decided where I'll be though ...


**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Greg wrote:

Mr May, mes hommages !

Well, just like any of the guys who write stuff in the soapbox, I've been a huge fan of yours for years (I'm 26 now) and in fact, you were my first gig.

Maybe you can remember it but it was in Paris (le Grand Rex, the night everything would go wrong, so that you even had to drop your RS and play on Jamie's strat) in june 1993 and I was stunned.

Because of the intensity of the show (Love Of My Life, with you alone sitting on a stool and speaking about Freddie in french) and because, well, you were close to me!!!

Years after, it's still moving...

You made me find my way, my life : I'm a musician (indeed, I am! As it disappoints my mom, but that's another subject).
Every note that I could hear from you guys, in Queen or anywhere else was inspiring 'cause I felt it was coming form you heart and guts.

That's why I play music, and that's why I even tried to "home-cover" you a few times (Don't Stop Me Now, in a bossa-nova way; Dreamer's Ball for friends just to fool around and astonish people with this tremendous song, etc... Hey, I'd be glad to make you listen to some of my stuff on of these days, uh?).

But I realize I'm just writing a fan-mail, the same that you may receive for years saying you're great, inspiring, etc, etc...
So I have to prove I can talk to you about other important topics, and here is a question that itches me for years (and I never found an answer, but maybe someone has already answered you...) :
Why in your albums from Sheer Heart Attack to Jazz were John's songs recorded with a verse sung by Fred only on one side of the stereo channel?

Is it john's idea? Why only on his songs? Why not after Jazz?

Well, now you know why I can't sleep for years, so if you think you can help me sleep and rest again, help yourself!
If so, I can find a lot of diisturbing questions, uh? ;o)

Anyway, this letter has already stolen too much of your precious time, I wish you and your family all the best and, well, maybe a beer'n'jam some day in Paris?

Prends soin de toi,
Avec toutes mes amitiés,

ps : By the way, if you're interested I do have some pictures (blurred visions, that's the word) of the Grand Rex Show and, er, well, the first half of the show in mp3... (ouch, do not hit my head! Aïe!)


Brian replied:

Hey Greg - thank you for your words. It means a lot to me that you felt so inspired - that is one of the greatest rewards of my profession - if someone else should be moved to make music because of me!

Don't worry; my parents also were not happy about me "throwing my life away on music" - but they understood in the end... I'm afraid I can't answer your question about John's songs.... I guess you will have to find John's website!! But I'm sure those decisions about where things sat in the stereo mix would have been his, perhaps with a little input from Freddie, since he was usually closely involved in John's material - working intensively on vocals.... Almost always, in our album-making history, it was the principal author of the song who would be there at the final mix stage making these decisions.

No - I won't hit you on the head - the only people who usually give me the urge to do that (which of course I don't give into!!!) are newspaper reporters!!!

Cheers - et Merci, et a bientot....


**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Fiona wrote :

I just wanted to email you to say thank you. I met you on Saturday night after the evening performance of We Will Rock You, and I know that I was in shock for most of the meeting so I might not have made much sense! Meeting you really meant a lot to me. My parents are both fans of Queen, and as such I have been brought up on your music. I was bullied for a few years - the last year of primary school and the first couple of years of secondary school - it was never physical but sometimes the words really got to me, and on such occasions I would sit in my room listening to Queen and somehow it made me feel better. It wasn't the 'in thing' but it was my thing, something I could turn to for comfort, and it was never long before my self-confidence returned. I'm still not entirely sure just what it was, but something in the music reminded me of my self-worth, that I didn't deserve to be pushed down by bullies, and that I could stand up for myself. Eventually I made friends with a couple of people from one of the other groups in my year and asked to be moved into that group. The teachers were only too happy to help, and once I had other people around me for support the bullies didn't seem as keen to pick on me. Funny how they lose their confidence when it isn't just one person against a whole gang anymore, isn't it? Anyway, the point is that meeting you really meant a lot to me because you gave me strength when I couldn't find it within myself, and I really can't thank you enough for that.
Yours Gratefully


Brian replied:

Dear Fiona

Good to hear from you - I am very happy that our music should be able to inspire you like you describe ... that means a lot,
I hope life continues to treat you well now, and remember you always have your inner belief now... it is yours forever ..

Love Bri

**Wed 07 Apr 04**
Hi !

Matt Dawson wrote:


If you want to put my comments about WWRY on the web feel free! :) [See HERE for previous correspondence]

I don't know what the "critics" from the press expect to see when they go to a rock musical...but they are all living in the past. Yes, WWRY is different...but thats what makes it sooo amazing and unique! I really can't see how critics like the recent one in the Guardian can still say the stuff they say when the Public has made itself clear. We love this musical! People are on their feet every night, and its so popular that you have to book at least two weeks in advance to get a decent seat!

After seeing WWRY for the first time I knew it was going to be huge in this country. But the fact that the Australian and Spanish productions have done so well too speaks for itself! I suppose it shows that Queen (and now WWRY) truly are universal and appeal to millions of people, regardless of country or background. That really is qyuite an achievment.

Ignore the critics, they are wrong and oout of touch. Next time you have to put up with on of their "oh so witty" reviews just remember that every night over 5000 people worldwide are brought to their feet cheering and lauhing because of this show that you were pivotal in creating. Surely that says more then critics ever can?

All the best


Brian replied:

Many thanks again Matt - I think I'll have to make you an honorary Queen member!!! ha ha!! Much appreciated. And you are right. Sod 'em!!!


**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Nicholas Piazza wrote:

Dear Brian,

Hello, first off let me say that I am a huge fan and I love your music.

OK, hero worship aside, I have a question. Having recently purchased David Bowie's reissue of his 1995 album Outside, I knowticed something. During the song "Seague - Ramona A. Stone/I Am With Name" you are on there saying "Give it to me one more time." I believe it is from the Live At The Brixton Academy CD. I was just wondering if A. you were aware of this and B. if so could you shed some light on the reasoning behind this?

Thanks so much for everything you do, all the great music and everthing,

Nick Piazza


Brian replied:

This is new to me ... I'll look into it. Thanks Nicholas !


**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Click image for larger

Jess wrote:

I thought you might be interested in seeing this if you haven't seen it already. My father brought it home from work. It's an image of Earth from one of the vehicles currently on Mars. It's neat to think that someday we might be able to actually look out from Mars (or any of the other planets for that matter) and see Earth as little dot in the sky. There's no color so it would
be hard to tell if Earth would appear blue in the sky, like Mars appears red in ours. Hope yo enjoy the image and take care!



Brian replied:

Great Picture - thanks Jess ! no I hadn't seen this ...


**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Geno wrote:


What an absolute pleasure it was meeting you today in person at Paris! I so appreciated you taking a moment out of your busy schedule and take time to speak with me. I was glad that you were pleased with the work on my tattoo. It took me a long time to work on the template for it and to get it just right. I know that Freddie and Robby my son, are happy with it too. I also have a painting that a friend did for me, just like the tattoo. She did an absolute wonderful job on it. I also still have a copy of the letter I sent you that I told you about, if you are interested in reading it. I hope you enjoy your stay here in the wonderful city of Las Vegas and maybe I'll see you again! Looking forward to "We We Rock You"!!!

Eugene "Geno" Shields


Brian replied:

Very nice for me too, to have that good fortune to bump into you. I'm sorry it was so brief and, marred by being interrupted by some woman whining on insistently about "Who are you - are you famous???" etc. etc. What a strange life it is... Good luck with everything


**Wed 07 Apr 04**

Paul Joyner wrote:

Hi Brian, hope all is well.

Going back aprox. 3 years, (you might possibly recall) a humble photographic shop in Chichester, West Sussex which I manage, was blessed with a visit from yourself and local regular Sir Patrick Moore.

Sir Patrick often pops in for films and other photographic knick knacks but it was a genuine surprise when he brought with him his good friend. It was one of those moments that I often thought 'could it ever happen' and in my fluster to get a memento of your visit I neglected to touch on the subject of my livelihood within our brief chat.

So in essence I was wondering what photographic equipment you have or indeed used the most in your travels. Have you succumbed to the digital age or is it back to basics with 'one man and his box brownie'. I wager you have the latter in your attic somewhere but I am genuinely intrigued to know how you capture your many special moments.

Incidentally, I am now the proud father to a Burns Red Special # 3487 and along with the deacy, I am having hours of fun widdling away to all my favourite tunes ( to my families annoyance. If at any time in the future you see my wife coming in your general direction .........................run !! Only joshing !! )

Wishing you peace and happiness
Paul Joyner


Brian replied:

I have a little Casio pocket digi thing at the moment , but I do miss my old Pentax.... maybe one day I'll go back to Analoge !!! Take care, and Happy Widdling!!


**Fri 02 Apr 0**

Patcick Lemieux wrote:


I was wondering if the Queen Jewels DVD was going to be released in North America? If not, can we look forward to the new "I Was Born To Love You" video on Queen Greatest Video Hits 3.

While I'm on the subject of the Video Hits, there were a few production errors on the release of Video Hits 2. The first was the spine. Where Hits 1 had a "1" on the upper part, indicating it was the 1st in the set, Hits 2 (in North America at least) had a "2", but written directly underneath is "DVD Set"...the whole thing reads "2 DVD set." I'm thinking whoever created the cover text misunderstood what the 2 was supposed to mean (2nd in the set, not 2 discs in the release).

Also, the "Magic" menu on disc 2 of Hits 2 is not correctly laid out (North American release, at least). The cartoon characters of Roger, John and Brian are laid out overtop of Freddie.

These ought to be corected for future editions.



Brian replied:

Thanks Patrick - I've passed your comments on to the relevant departments!!!


**Fri 02 Apr 04**

Glenn Thurman wrote:

Hi again, Brian,

You mentioned that you have been considering resurrecting your Ph.D. project. That got me interested in reading about your research. A fan site has references to your publications. I found a few other papers (besides yours) on doppler shift of solar Fraunhofer absorption lines in the Zodiacal Light. It looks like there are only a couple of papers (old ones) out there with Fraunhofer doppler shift observations. The two papers are at least partially conflicting, and are referenced in: http://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/EPS/pdf/5006_07/50060465.pdf

I'd say there is definitely a need for your observations.

Now here's something cool: I know you did hard time on a hard rock to get your data. These boys from SRI International are getting Fraunhofer doppler profiles from somebody's electromagnetic garbage:

Major observatories have to REMOVE troublesome interference in their spectra due to Fraunhofer absorption features in the Zodiacal Light. These SRI trash diggers get that stuff for FREE from Keck and other hi-tech installations. Money fer nothin', and yer Fraunhofer doppler profiles fer free. Brilliant.

Anyway, they are going to beat you to press, so please drop everything, and get going.

Thanks for responding to my previous and first email. What a thrill to hear from you.

Best Regards,


Brian replied:

This is very interesting Glenn. I'll get on it, but I doubt if I would be quick enough to win a race ! However this is not what matters .... I'll check it out.

Cheers and thanks for a very stimulating piece of info!!


**Fri 02 Apr 04**

Garik wrote:

Hii All,

First I want to THANK Brian for discussing, editing and adding my article aboutBrown Dwarfs and Planets in his SOAPBOX. When I met Brian for the first time (about five years ago!) at Teide Observatory in Tenerife, I thought, well… he must have forgotten astronomy…He did his PhD some 30 years ago and then… he rocked the world!!!!

However, me and my colleague Alister Graham (currently at the Univ. of Florida) were shocked when Brian noticed a Zeeman splitting of some spectral lines in the high resolution data taken with one of the solar telescopes. We thought…. ….WOW… not bad at all ! Later we discussed many other issues of astrophysics with Brian and at some point I forgot that Brian had been out of this business for 30 years… Can you imagine ?

I recall the good old 80s…Me and my physicist friend Geg, second year students in Physics of the Yerevan State University (this is in Armenia, ex-Soviet Union) were organising perhaps the FIRST disco in our small republic dedicated to QUEEN ! We were young, crazy and funny. Imagine that I paid 60 soviet roubles (which was half a week’s salary those days…equal to some 600-700 USD…) to buy A Day At The Races on the black market…But that was not the end. Then I went out to buy all the available Queen LPs and Hot Space was the one to open our first Queen disco in 1982 !

We got real lasers from the optics lab and the disco went on thundering in the physics faculty building until 3 am. We ROCKED the University and the next day everybody was looking for Queen tapes and LPs…It was NOT easy to find any, even on the black market… The soviet market was closed for western music and we were actually making a real effort to “spread out” Queen….

DISCO bands were gathering more and more power (early 80 s !) and we, BIG fans of Queen, Floyd, Genesis, Led Zep. etc.. declared a war on disco music and went to spread the news of our “magic” rock bands…

Queen fans can imagine what I was feeling when I met Brian for the first time at the Teide Observatory. A Queen Poster was hanging on my wall (actually right above my bed !) for many years. We used to hike a lot in our mountains and sing “39”, “You are My Best Friend”, “Long Away” wherever and whenever we could…..

Those Were The Days of Our Lives…



Brian replied:

Thanks - it's a big compliment.



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