DECEMBER 2013

© brianmay.com

Next | Previous | Home

THANKS TO ALL PARTICIPANTS

CONTACT: Brian's mail : Site queries : Business

Brian MAY answers letters here - it depends on his commitments at the time! No promises, but very often your patience will be appreciated and rewarded! - Sorry we're unable to help with autographs, demos or passes.
.

Welcome to
BRI'S LETTERS
Please don't reproduce stuff from these pages without permission. And if you do, please give us credit !! (and a link)
Cheers ! Bri -
THIS ALSO APPLIES TO FOREIGN LANGUAGE SITES.

**Tue 31 Dec 13**
ANOTHER KIND OF DIABLERIES

Miguel Angel López Loredo wrote:

Hi Brian,

I've reading about your deep interest and work in the Diableries. Great, great work of art.

You may know that here, in Mexico, we celebrate dead in a very different way from Halloween. We have here the Dead Day. I was thinkink that maybe you can find interesting this celebration, which have many many centuries of tradition in our country. This day is celebrated in very many different ways along the country, too many that I can't mention all, I'm afraid.

But it has some things in common, like the "calaveras" (Verses or improvisated songs making fun of the death), or the "papel picado" (poked paper, I'm sorry, the translation may lose some of the sense) which is art made out of paper with death-like themes, and representations of public figures, historic characters or so, in funny scenes, but represented as skeletons. This may sound a little macabre, but it's really very fun. Some anthropologists refer that making fun of death this way, may be a collective way to try to ignore that fear we all feel about death.

There was a graphic artist, at the beggining of the XX Century who produced many works about the Dead Day, Jose Guadalupe Posada, and I find his work very close to the Diableries ones, here's a Wikipedia article about him:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Guadalupe_Posada

His creation "La Catrina" (The female dandy, or something like that), it's one of the most common illustrations you can see around the Dead Day in Mexico, and many of his works as well, the interesting point is that here, in Mexico, these works by Posada are still in our dinamic present each year, and the artists still produce their works in this way for this celebration.

I hope you can find this interesting.

Please have a very happy new year. Much love from all the Mexico fans.
Miguel López.

---

Brian replied:

SEE SOAPBOX

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sun 29 Dec 13**
DESPICABLE THEM

Mike wrote:

Dear Brian

It's sad, as you say, that in the 21st century people still get pleasure from animal cruelty such as that caused by fox hunting. The other aspect of this that annoys me is the hypocrisy of the establishment: judges, government ministers, etc complaining about the money spent by the RSPCA prosecuting criminals who have broken the hunting law.

Two points arise from this; the first is that Cameron and his associates are keen on zero tolerance (referenced in this Daily Telegraph article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8700243/David-Cameron-on-UK-riots-Its-time-for-a-zero-tolerance-approach-to-street-crime.html).

One can argue about the causes social issues; for example, the riots, or for that matter the rights and wrongs about the personal use of drugs, but if one's in favour of zero tolerance then surely what's appropriate for the "kids of Brixton" must also be appropriate for the "toffs and their cronies" in "The Shires of England"? Zero tolerance must apply to all laws of the land; anything less might seem to indicate someone is a hypocritical, classist, possibly racist, bigot?

Secondly, where a criminal has caused great costs to be incurred in bringing a prosecution then those costs should be awarded against the criminal. I understand some costs relating to investigation must be paid by the prosecution for legal reasons but one would expect a judge to set as much of the costs against the criminal as possible, rather than the judge criticise the prosecuting body for bringing a legitimate case - particularly if costs may have been increased owing to the possible legal manoeuvring of the criminals, and support of the criminal activities by people in a position of power? (Although this does raise the question of why a charity is expected to bring animal cruelty cases to court - apart from the fact the CPS doesn't seem interested in such cases?)

Anyway, sometimes the price of justice or law enforcement is high - look at the cost of containing Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy. Irrespective of the merits of this, there's no question from the authorities about the expense involved; therefore, there's no reason to quibble about the costs of cases the RSPCA brings against criminals, is
there? Or, again, are there double, hypocritical, standards being applied?

(I believe the judge that made those comments regarding the RSPCA prosecution costs was sanctioned later by his superiors but it does make one question the impartiality of some of the judiciary, and was the assignment of any costs reassessed?) All the best for your campaigning in 2014, and, on a separate topic, I do hope that your health problems turn out not to be too serious and are resolved speedily.

Yours sincerely
Mike -
a fellow graduate from Imperial College

PS - just seen your note regarding Desmond Tutu - it is good to see a true Christian (in fact, any highly respected religious leader) backing the causes of animals as well as people, unlike many religious leaders who seem to think animals are here just to serve humans, and often seem to want to get rid of any humans who disagree with their views on anything - in saying that I have to admit to being an atheist as well as a vegetarian!

---

Brian replied:

Dear Mike

This is a great letter - thanks. Your reasoning is so transparently correct - I'd like people to share it.

All the very best, either way, and please don't feel any pressure.

It's just great to have the support of someone who is obviously a clear and compaasionate thinker.

All the very best

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Wed 18 Dec 13**
BRIAN AND FREDDIE AS...SIMS? (3D-MODEL-TYPE-THINGS)

Mia wrote:

Dear Dr. May,

I would start off with my usual rant about how brilliant, talented, and creative you are, but I think you've heard that sort of thing many times before, so I'll just move on...

I have a thing for making movies and stories out of the computer game The Sims 3, which is basically a 3D human simulation game in which you can personalize your 3D characters to death. A few days ago, I became determined to tell one of my stories...which happened to involve you and Mr. Mercury. So what did I do? I made you both into Sims! I know you enjoy visual renderings like this, so I figured you might find them amusing...

So...here's you:

Sims Brian

...and here's Freddie:

Sims Freddie

And if you'd like to see them both in goofy, 3D-animated action, here's the very quirky yet very true video they're in:

The Millionaire Waltz: A (True) Sims 3 Story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OOdoONAl_Y

I hope you see this, and if you do, I hope you enjoy! I mean...you ARE my musical idol, no doubt!

With great appreciation,
Mia

---

Brian's comment - SEE SOAPBOX

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 20 Dec 13**
MIXING DESK

Ian Dugini wrote:

Dear Brian,

Hope you're well.

I was reading about The Queen Experience at Mountain Studios. It looks to be an interesting place to visit, and basing if around a recording studio is a wonderful idea.

The photos look great, but I was wondering if you what the mixing desk is that is featured. At first I thought it was an old Focusrite, but now I'm not sure. Can you help?

Also I was wondering if you believe that the type of mixing console used has any great effect on what ends up on "tape". I mean for instance if you had a choice of three different 48 track machines would the choice have any baring on the end product?

Through the years every Queen album has sounded different, there has been no overall sound I haven't liked, but for instance News Of The World has a nice earthy sound, almost like your in the room with the band, but, for example, A Kind Of Magic sounds like a very polished almost smoother sound. I know production and mixing effects this more than anything but at it's core is the sound effected by the type of mixing desk?

I do know that this question is somewhat redundant in a world where it is easier to record on to an Apple Pc or even an iPad, but I was just wondering what your thoughts were.

Many thanks

Ian

---

Brian replied - see SOAPBOX

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Wed 18 Dec 13**
33 YEARS LATER THE RED SPECIAL SUPER ARRIVES!

Jonathan Planner wrote:

Dear Brian

33 years ago today was a day that changed the path of my life, I came to Wembley arena to see Queen play for the first time.

It was notable not only for that, but also the night before John Lennon had been killed, so we were all in a somewhat sombre mood, you played Imagine And everybody cried. I was simply stunned all night, I had never seen anything as loud or bright in my life, and whilst I had been a fan since Bohemian Rhapsody days Now I was tuning into a super fan.

I think that night a group of us started talking about starting a band, and we continued to discuss this for weeks afterward, around Feb of the next year two of them had bought guitars and came to Me to ask if I would buy a drum kit…

On that night (9th December 1980) I had vowed that I wanted to learn to play both guitar and drums and that one day I would own a version of the Red Special (however none were available at that point)

Over the past 33 years I have slowly but surely pieced together all the equipment. I have a full Ludwig Sliver Sparkle kit bought literally one drum at a time ( when pennies allowed) and purchased the burns version of your guitar plus an AC30, Fryer treble boosters, Vox decay and Digitech Brain May pedal, however the one thing I wanted more than anything was the full spec copy of the Red Special.

I had come close several times before, I tried had to save up for the Guild version, then the second version, however I just couldn’t reach a point to buy one at a time they were available. Every so often I would come across one in a guitar shop second-hand, however always at a point that for one reason or another I couldn’t afford it.

Finally I decided to buy the Super when it was first announced, however by the time I was ready it went out of production… So, three years later I call Barry (again) to try to find out if the new version was near to completion, and to my joy he was nearly ready, he told me April would see the latest batch arrive, April came and went and now finally in December I got a call to see if I was still interested…

Saturday morning Barry very kindly personally delivered No BMS003 to my house. Again I am left with the feeling of being simply stunned, what a beautiful instrument it is, I love the huge neck, the weight and the feel of the guitar. The quality of the build is amazing and the tone even when play acoustically is unlike any guitar I have ever played.

Plugged into the Vox Deaky the tone is spot on to yours, however I feel I will have to invest at some point in a vintage AC30, I have a new one that comes with two channels, both with individual volume controls and then a master volume, due to this and the slight wiring differences inside I suspect the tone has a slightly more modern tone and a little less creamy in feel. So back to the hunting for me!

In the past 33 years I have played live many times, recorded lots of material and written my fair share of songs, I have enjoyed every moment and it all started 33 years ago today at Wembley. That night cost me far more than the price of the ticket… I have spent thousands and thousands of pounds over the years trying to piece together the instrument collection, fortunately when you spread it over 30 years it’s not so bad, but I suspect I could have had a somewhat more usable car in the past had I not gone to that concert!

The 9th of December 1980 changed my life forever, I saw my future, and although we never made it into the big time, we had a blast trying, these days we get together every few weeks and knock out a tune or two. I turned 50 this year and we held a big party at which the band played once more, we will continue to play together until we are all too old to carry the instruments, (no roadies for us) however it has been without doubt the best times of my life.

Not too long ago I took my daughter to see you and Kerry play in High Wycombe, we had second row seats and I watched her young eyes pop as you played, she has naturally seen more than her fair share of videos of Queen over the years, but this was the first time she has seen you in person. I am thrilled that you spoke recently of touring again and hopefully I will get to take her to see the full band where she can finally understand what took hold of my life years before.

Thank you for providing the inspiration for 33 years of fun, I will leave you now the ‘Super’ is calling… wow what an instrument it is…

Sincerely
Jonathan Planner

Super Red Special,Vox and gear

Drum kit

--

Brian replied:

That's an amazing letter, Jonathan.

I took it all in, and got quite emotional ….

I'm very happy that so much has happened to you in connection with our music, and that old guitar, to give you good memories.

All I can say is … you've given me a great memory too.

Rock on !

Cheers !

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sat 14 Dec 13**
BADGERS TODAY IN PARLIAMENT

Val wrote:

Dear Bri, and Team Badger,

I read your account, Bri, with a mixture of hope and despair - I find it so difficult to understand the motivation of Cameron and his heartless supporters on the Badger cull issue - I would have thought history supported the effectiveness of vaccination--we didn't shoot our children or wipe out entire families to rid the world of diptheria etc...we pressed on to find an effective vaccine and mourned the dead until we did! These people seem to be
closing their minds to the tried and tested methods of controlling disease...in which case, how come it's still deemed effective to inject humanity...if they of little faith see only the gun as a solution?

They seem to glory in their death wish towards animals--including those they get great pleasure from hunting, shooting and generally distroying...where the Badger's are concerned, it's not for love of cows, either--it's for love of huge profits from food/milk production!

If they don't respect one species, I suppose it's inevitable they won't respect another. One thing I must say, despite the limitations and difficulties in being heard...the time factors involved in busy lives etc. You all made the effort. I applaud the courage and conviction of yourself and Team Badger. Thanks for being there and doing your all for our wildlife. If old Bill Badger could--he'd be pinning a medal on those who stand to be counted in this crazy war...

Just so you know we do care and appreciate all your efforts in trying to stop this cull madness.

Best wishes

Val xx

---

Brian repleid:

Many thanks Val. Really appreciate you writing, and your support in the fight for the right of our British wild animals to live in peace.

Since this recent debate, in particular, I have been constantly stopped in the street by people who want to tell me they support our fight to save the badgers.

May we print your letter ?

Cheers and Merry Christmas

Bri

----

Val wrote:

Thanks, Bri,

Yes, by all means do. I'm glad you are fielding support, it's so important--have just recieved and sent a copy of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement’s report about the gagging law to my MP Mark Harper (who is unfortunately pro-the badger cull) this is from 38 degrees stressing the importance of all MP's reading this report and the recommendations made within it. It's all around us, isn't it...control, attempts to control...and the sheer pig-headed conviction they have a right to do this--and I worry what this Country will be like by the time my children reach my age...it's a daunting thought.

I so appreciate your stance in all this and the will to do something about it. A merry Christmas to you and
yours too, Bri,

Best wishes,

Val

---

Brian replied:

Bless ya Val. Keep spreading the word. Every convert counts !

You might like to give your MP a little nudge to make him aware that the mood of Parliament is that Owen Paterson's 'crazy scheme' is becoming more and more crazy, and unworkable, and he needs to be required to bring the question of Badger Culling back to Parliament.

He has so far lost one debate by a large majority, and won the next only narrowly, and only because of a three line whip.

Mr Harper needs to know that there are now many Conservatives in the House who have become anti-cull. Mr Harper might like to be seen by his constituents to be on the side of what is right, which will become the winning side.

Thanks again … Merry Christmas !

Love
Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Tue 09 Dec 13**
ANTI-FOX HUNTING POEM

Kathryyn Truepenny wrote:

Dear Brian,

It’s that time of year again, when the poor fox runs for it’s life from the hungry hounds... all in the name of sport.

Foxes are free to come and go in our garden, and I feed them discreetly most nights. One has mange at the moment, so I’m treating it with a homeopathic remedy, as advised by Fox Project.

Anyway, dismayed that fox hunting still takes place, despite the ban, I wrote this anti-fox hunting poem some time ago, and hope you like it.

Through you and your supporters, the fox has a voice, and many thanks for all you do.

With best wishes,

Kathryn Truepenny

 

Sporting Colours

Red is for them in their showy, red jackets.
Mounting their horses with inflamed egos
And blood-stained thoughts.
I only have to think of them and I see red.
The bugle sounds,
Release the hounds.

White is their colour. 
Not pure, virgin white, but pale, deathly white.
Barks of excitement, tails wagging,
Milky, white teeth that rip life from flesh.
Their noses smell fear,
A fox is near.

Grey is for the saboteurs.
That solid, steely, grey of determination. 
Waiting patiently in neutral,
Grey shadows of bush and bark
To hinder and thwart
This bloody sport.

The fox’s colour is brown, reddish brown;
The colour of decaying blood.
Running frantically from hoof and hound,
Across acres of woodland as fast as it can…
So much for the ban!

Katherine Truepenny

---

Brian replied:

SEE BRIAN'S REPLY ON SOAPBOX

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com

Next | Previous