Just how good ìs Brian May?

Good Company - The Life Of Brian
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Kes
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Just how good ìs Brian May?

Post by Kes »

Sometimes, the best way to see how good someone is, is to watch in detail someone else trying to do it.

I've put some clips up that I hope help illustrate Brian's vision and competence as a player.

First of all, many thanks to the guitarists featured here, whose clips I've used. You're stars, thank you.

Here is a guitar cover of Princes Of The Universe. Remembering that it's always harder to be the pioneer, than the follower.


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Kes
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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

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Similarly, Innuendo's middle section that was originally done by Brian, with some help from Steve Howe from Yes.


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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

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The Show Must Go On.



Please feel free to comment, or add clips that have impressed you. Keep it pleasant, eh?

Thank you.

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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

Post by Kes »

Brighton Rock.


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Leigh Burne
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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

Post by Leigh Burne »

Brian May's one of those guys I rate alongside the likes of Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour. They each have a distinct, immediately identifiable sound that can't seemingly be recreated - I've heard other guitarists mimic their stuff virtually note-for-note, and yet it still doesn't compare to the original.

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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

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And Gilmour, Knopfler, Hendrix, Clapton, Hank Marvin, all sound different, but all famously use Fender Stratocasters. Although it's a distinctive instrument, you make it your own by having an individual style, and an individual pedal set up.

You could cut across to the piano, all models have their own distinctive sound, made even more individual and distinctive by who's playing it. So many famous songs have been recorded on Trident's house piano, but you probably wouldn't instictively know that it's the same piano on Hey Jude, as Killer Queen, as Life On Mars.

It's not the point. There's two ways you can listen to music, one is just with your ears, and the second is to watch it at the same time.

It'd be nice to say that every Queen song had Brian doing a close up one to one tuition. Many of his best riffs and solos don't.

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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

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Not long after Freddie died, at one of the first fan club events set to commemorate his birthday, they had one of the really good tribute bands, Ga-Ga, I think it was.

They did an absolutely fantastic set, but do you know what I remember the most? The soundcheck. The singer/guitarist did a note for note performance of the solo for the Live Killers version of Brighton Rock. Note for fucking note perfect. Despite recording the original, not even Brian May could redo it note for note. That takes a better memory than Brian has.

Strange that this sticks in my memory more than any of the many times I've seen Brian do a Brighton Rock solo. I think that says something.

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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

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Kes wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:30 am
They did an absolutely fantastic set, but do you know what I remember the most? The soundcheck. The singer/guitarist did a note for note performance of the solo for the Live Killers version of Brighton Rock. Note for fucking note perfect. Despite recording the original, not even Brian May could redo it note for note. That takes a better memory than Brian has.
About 10 years ago I played for a tribute band for a while. The guitarist, Nathan Mathers, is absolutely spot on. We played in Truro, at the Hall For Cornwall, and I sat in the audience seats while he soundchecked.

The noise he made was incredible. The hairs on the back of my arms was standing up as he played a large chunk of that solo.

He now plays for a band called Flash. I recommend you check them out if you get the chance.

https://www.flashtribute.co.uk/gallery

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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

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I'm really not taking anything away from Brian. You do something first, and you get remembered for it. Most people know the names of Edmund Hilary, Roger Bannister and Neil Armstrong, less people know the names of the second people to do something, even though it probably wasn't any easier to do.

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Ray
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Re: Just how good ìs Brian May?

Post by Ray »

Here is Steve Vai's opinion on Brian:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/ge ... azing.html

I don't know where I read it, but I also remember him telling a story about meeting Brian (probably the first time) and seeing the Red Special and Brian asking him if he wants to play it. Being a fan he was overwhelmed and played it, still he couldn't make it sound like Brian.

As for my personal opinion...it's just this unique sound of his that goes directly to your soul that made him one of my absolute favourite guitar players from the start. Seeing QAL two times was a dream come true - hearing the Red Special live and seeing him play on the stage meant already so much to me. It's the closest I can ever get to hear Queen live and his guitar sound is the most integral part of the Queen sound besides Freddie's voice. It's absolutely unique and I love it.

Not many come close to have the same standard for me as guitar players...David Gilmour being one and I can only hope he'll do another tour since I never had the pleasure to hear him live.

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