Today (7/9) is Queen guitarist Brian May’s birthday! The rocker’s inventive songwriting and iconic riffs set him apart as one of the best axemen of all-time. But there’s more to May than meets the eye. In honor of his birthday, we take a look at five things that remind us of him.
As if three honorary doctorates weren’t enough, May earned his own doctorate in astrophysics in 2007 at Imperial College in London, where he also earned a degree in Physics in 1974. He was named the chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University in 2008. That’s Dr. Brian May to you.
May is a passionate advocate for animal rights, specifically for foxes and badgers. In 2013 he teamed up with guitarist Slash and others to record the song “Badger Swagger” with all proceeds going to the badger cause. He also founded an activist group called Save Me.
In 2000, he worked with the Foo Fighters on a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar” that was featured on the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack.
He built his own guitar with his dad called the “Red Special,” and uses a “sixpence” coin as a pick. Check out a picture of that pick below. The guitar is mainly responsible for Queen’s distinctive guitar sound that’s nearly impossible to replicate. The neck was made from an old fireplace mantle and the guitar itself has security around the clock while on tour.
May composed and performed music for a Macbeth stage play entirely on a computer in 1987 and 1990. Not exactly stadium anthems like “Tie Your Mother Down” or “We Will Rock You.”
Blake Froling is a classic rocker who can be seen on the road belting out AC/DC songs in his car.