On This Day in Queen History – 2 June

R.I.P. HAROLD MAY

Brian May on holiday with his parents
Harold, Ruth and Brian May

In 1977 – Queen played the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, UK.
In 1982 – Queen live at the Ingliston Showground, Edinburgh.
In 1986 – A Kind Of Magic – 12th studio album – released in the UK.

Vinyl album inner of gatefold sleeve
Vinyl album inner of gatefold sleeve

Queen – A Kind of Magic (Official Video)
https://youtu.be/0p_1QSUsbsM

In 1986 – Queen flew to Stockholm to start their European tour.
In 1989 – Day One of auditions for two children to re-record ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ for charity. Brian finally selected Belinda Gillet and Ian Meeson.

WWTLF Brian May at record desk
WWTLF Brian May at record desk

In 1990 – The Cross live at the Ku Club, Ibiza, Spain.
In 1991 – R.I.P. Harold May – Brian’s father died this day.

See THE GUARDIAN: Brian May: Me, my dad and ‘the old lady’
18 October 2014

EXTRACT:

BRIAN MAY: “I was an only child and pretty sheltered growing up in our small house in Feltham, Middlesex. Dad was an electronics engineer and during the war he served in the RAF at where he met my mum, Ruth, who was in the WRAF. After the war they married. I came along and he got a job developing the landing system for Concorde. Dad could make anything. He converted our spare bedroom into a workshop where he made all our household appliances including our TV.”

“But I desperately wanted a guitar, so when I was seven, Mum and Dad scrimped to buy an acoustic – which I still have – and he taught me the shapes on his banjolele. It wasn’t long before I had electrified it, plugging it into a homemade amplifier. At 16, I was desperate for a proper electric guitar, but there was no way we could afford it, so Dad and I started making one.”

“It took two years and was all done with hand tools, using any materials we could lay our hands on. The neck was part of an old fireplace. We hand-carved the inlay on the fret out of old mother-of-pearl buttons and the tremolo arm was made from a bicycle saddlebag holder, topped off with the tip of one of my mum’s knitting needles!

“It was a special time and we never really argued. Although Dad did turn the air blue after the chisel slipped and he a gouged a big piece out of the wood. He never forgave himself, he was such a perfectionist. We had no idea how big a part the Red [named after the colour of wood it was made of] would play in my life – I thought I’d just have fun with it at home.”

“Dad was mortified when I chose the band over finishing my PhD. He thought I was throwing away my education. But, in the end, the pull of the music was too hard to resist – especially when we got asked to tour with Mott the Hoople.

“When Queen was taking off, we didn’t speak for nearly two years. He also hated the fact that I was living with a woman, who turned out to be my first wife, Chrissie. He thought it was immoral. I couldn’t understand it. There seemed such a conflict within Dad. On one level he was so in tune with my music – after all he helped me make the Red – but on another level he couldn’t accept my rock star life.”

“I put my parents on Concorde – which Dad had worked on but could never afford to fly on – and told him to see what he thought. They came out with Chrissie and our baby son, Jimmy. I put them up in a hotel, told them to order room service and after the show, Dad shook my hand and said ‘OK, son, I get it now.’ That was a pivotal moment for me – I’d so desperately wanted his approval.”

“Dad confided in me that when he came out of the RAF, he’d like to have taken off and joined a band. But he had me on the way and needed job security. I realised then that he’d found it hard to accept my choice because it was a dream he’d been forced to reject.”

“As a kid I didn’t realise that we were really poor. When I discovered Dad was still trying to pay off his mortgage quite late in life, I just did it for him. But he wasn’t comfortable with that and told me that he thought he’d failed because I earned as much in a night as he had in his career. Not true – he was wonderful.

“Dad died from cancer in 1991 [the same year as Freddie], he was only 66, really fit and didn’t drink. But he smoked 40 a day and that’s what killed him.”

“I had a wonderful 10 years with Mum until she died suddenly at 76 of an aneurysm. I wish they were both still here, especially to celebrate the Red’s 50th birthday. Dad’s motto was “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” We certainly did that with Queen!

“I hope he’d be proud. Since he died, I’ve become a person who tries to make a difference to the world, and not just through music. I think he’d smile, nod his head and say ‘Yes, son, you’ve done the right thing.’”

In 1992 – “Live At Wembley” released on Hollywood Records, USA.
In 1993 – The Brian May Band played the Le Grand Rex Theatre, Paris, France.
In 2002 – Brian May, Phil Collins, Joe Cocker and The Corrs were evacuated from England’s Buckingham Palace after a fire broke out in the West Wing. The musicians were rehearsing for the Queen of England’s Golden Jubilee concert.

Fire at Buckingham Palace

In 2010 – Brian May on Drive Time, BBC R2 talking about the greatest electric guitars, guitar technique and his Save Me campaign.

Brian May with Simon Mayo BBC Radio 2 Drivetime 2/6/10
https://youtu.be/I7opVHm8Wyo | 

Part TRANSCRIPT HERE
In 2011 – Brian May Guitars and House Music, London, presented “The Brian May Bass”. The prototype of the bass was made by Andrew Guyton.
In 2011 – Brian May and Kerry Ellis interviewed by “Get Surrey” newspaper, about “Anthems – The Tour”.
In 2011 – Brian May and Roger Taylor interviewed by “Aberdeen Press & Journal”, promoting “We Will Rock You” Musical in Aberdeen.
In 2011 – A 15-metre high statue of Freddie Mercury set up on Paradise Street in Central Liverpool promoting “We Will Rock You” Musical, Empire Theatre, Liverpool, September 2011.
In 2012 – Brian May attended a public meeting against the killing of badgers by the Coalition Government, Old Town Hall, Stroud – also gave interviews.
In 2014 – Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were placed at No 1 and 2 Britain’s “Top 10 Driving Songs” of “On The Road: America’s Route 66”. Third place goes to “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf.
In 2015 – “One Vision – The Magic Of Queen” photo exhibition opened in “Studio Dumont” in Cologne. The photo exhibition accompanying the “WE WILL ROCK YOU” musical could be visited until 31.07.2015.
In 2016 – The Polish radio station RMF FM published a video interview by Queen + Adam Lambert for their concert in Oswiecim on 19.06.2016. The interview was recorded at Press Day on 16/04/2016 in London – and Brian May presented the first Red OWLS delivery for The OWL VR Smartphone Kit.
In 2017 – Queen + Adam Lambert North American Summer Tour 2017 – Rehearsals Day 1: The tour rehearsals begin. SEE MORE

Q+AL First day of rehearsals