Personally, whenever I think of Queen I always remember We Will Rock You. I know it’s because during my earlier years at school, it was always (ALWAYS) the theme song at interschool events. It wasn’t until I grew a little older that I learnt to enjoy Queen, now I can’t get enough. I blame my infantile behavior on the jocks. Perfect scapegoat!
Besides Freddie Mercury, who we all know of and dig. You can’t not like the guy. Well, his legacy at least. Brian May, the guitarist is occasionally overlooked, not often, but often enough. Here’s a little bio-piece on one of the most famous guys out there.
Brian May is a world-renowned guitarist and songwriter with four decades as a musician behind him. The many recordings of him, with performance and production credits, have sold over 100 million copies around the globe.
Some of May’s most well known tracks are ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘The Show Must Go On’, Who Wants To Live Forever’, ‘Save Me’, No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)’ and ‘I Want It All’. Talk about having street cred to your name. As a solo artist he has released Another World (1998) and Back To The light (1992) as well as scoring the film, Furia.
Born as Brian Harold May in Hampton, Richmond, May went to Hampton Grammar School and started his first band with vocalist Tim Staffell that was called 1984 (after the George Orwell novel of the same name). He graduated from the Hampton Grammar School with ten GCE Ordinary Levels and four Advanced Levels in Physics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Additional Mathematics
May has often said that in the 1980’s he siuffered from sever depression and often-contemplated suicide. He believes that any drug use would have worsened his problems.
May went on to study Physics at Imperial College London, and graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree and ARCS with Upper Second-Class Honours. May then went on to study for a Ph D degree again at the Imperial College London’s department of Physics and Mathematics and was halfway with his degree when Queen made it big. He has authored many scientific articles relating to phyics and coauthored the book, Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe.
Queen originally started in 1971 when May and drummer, Roger Taylor, who had been in bands together before decided to start another band with vocalist and piano player, Freddie Mercury. Bassist John Deacon joined Queen in 1972 and they signed to EMI Records. The first album, Queen, was released in 1973, a mixture of glam rock and hard rock.
Queen went on to release to 15 more studio albums as well as becoming pop culture icons. They not only released a huge amount of videos that are to this day still popular, but also influenced countless acts. In July 2005, Guinness World Records announced that Queen had overtaken The Beatles to become the most successful albums act in UK chart history. They were not without their controversial aspects though, such as Freddie Mercury’s homosexuality, his reluctance to state that he had AIDs and their performances in Sun City, South Africa whilst Apartheid was still in power.
May has influenced many musicians from many generations. These include Def Leppoard, Shirley Bassey, Elton John, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and even controversial rapper Eminem. May has performed with many artists as well, these include Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Luciano Pavarotti, Robbie Williams, Cliff Richards and Diana Ross. He even played guitar for the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympics. May has also worked and scored for theater. Together with the other members of Queen, May set up the Mercury Phoenix Trust, named after Freddie Mercury. Together they have raised over eight million pounds.
Overall, no one can say that Brian May has not been a successful man. Not only was he a member of one of the most influential bands of the century, but he is also a pretty smart guy. In 2008 he finally graduated with his Ph D.