So, there is this guy named Brian May. He happens to be the guitarist and a singer for the rock band Queen. He’s also an amazing soloist. Those alone make me swoon, but there are facets of Bri (as he is often called) that must be mentioned beyond what one sees in the news and rock ezines or YouTube videos.
Yes, Yes, He Has a PhD in Astrophysics…
… which proves he is incredibly brilliant in his brain. It took him over 30 years to get that amazing degree. His PhD thesis was A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud. I doubt I would understand the first line of Dr. Brian May’s book, but good on him.
Yes, He is an Animal Rights Activist
And Goddess, do I love him for that!
Mental Health Advocate Starting with Himself
I’ve already blogged about Brian’s experiences with depression and ongoing healing and how profound that is to know I am not alone. Bri shares this with the world, so none of us are alone.
He is Single-Handedly Bringing Back Stereoscopy
If you don’t know what stereoscopes are, it is time to learn! It took me a few times to be able to see the images in 3D, but I can see them now and they are incredible!
Yes, He is an Amazing Musician, Singer, and Songwriter
Bri plays several instruments and sings with a gentle lilt that soothes so many who listen. With Queen, it is easy to pick which songs were written by him. Roger Taylor’s are also easy to distinguish. Freddie’s are fairly obvious, but John Deacon is a dark horse and wrote most of the hits Queen had over the years.
Brian May Wears His Heart on His Sleeve
Many of the songs he has written for his solo albums tear open his chest so he can share his heart with the listener.
“Too Much Love Will Kill You” is the best example of Brian’s tender and loving side that he holds out for the world to witness. A song written about an affair and his divorce; many of us know that exact pain.
The Part I Never See Written About…
…is how Brian May is a most giving teacher.
During the COVID years, Brian did Tutorials on Instagram, giving lessons to others about how to play Queen songs.
That morphed into challenges for artists to sing, dance, draw, whatever their art was, to his playing a Queen song.
Which became amazing videos like this one with Debby Holiday, Jeff Scott Soto, Justin Murphy, Cameron Brown, Ron Bumblefoot Thal, Alex Skolnick, James LoMenzo, Stu Hamm, Kenny “Play-Along” Aronoff, Marco Minnemann and Jay Hannon:
Which then came Isolation Jams like this magnificent one with the cello player Luka Šulić .
Along with this isolation jam came a magnificent piece from Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi as well as Brian May himself, all playing a guitar version of Bohemian Rhapsody.
“The socially distant performance took place as part of Bettencourt’s AXS TV special, At Home and Social With Nuno Bettencourt & Friends…”
Turning COVID Isolation Into Magic!
I know many people did a plethora of similar reaching out to their fans and friends (I see a book from someone called Isolation Connection somewhere down the road), but these specific jams that came from Brian May made him accessible. Sure, he is still an icon, but he sits around in his shorts not worrying if his hair is perfect… just like the rest of us did when we were on camera a couple of years ago.
Even though the jams were as far reaching as Brian’s thesis, I watched dozens of them. Brian’s smile was always kind and encouraging. When he brought Roger Taylor in for “We Are the Champions,” more magic materialized. (Roger has more tattoos than I have! Awesome!)
These two are definitely the coolest grandpas in the world!
If I Could…
I would thank Brian for being such an amazing man… in so many ways, but mostly for being a fantastic teacher and a man who shares his feelings and experiences with everyone. As freakin’ brilliant as this man is, he never talks down to anyone. He speaks on everyone’s level and that is a beautiful thing. He has every reason to be annoyingly arrogant, but he is humble and gentle and kind.
Thank you, Dr. Brian May, for all you are and all you give. You bless the world with your heart.