My dad and I decided to make an electric guitar. I designed an instrument from scratch, with the intention that it would have a capability beyond anything that was out there, more tunable, with a greater range of pitches and sounds, with a better tremolo, and with a capability of feeding back through the air in a 'good' way'. Brian May and his father Harold started to hand-build an electric guitar in 1963. Brian dreamed of a guitar that would outperform any of the existing commercially made electric guitars; his father had the technical knowledge and skills to help make the dream come true. Brian played his guitar on every Queen album and in all of Queen's live shows around the world. In this book you will discover everything you ever wished to know about Brian's unique instrument. Brian talks about every aspect of the Red Special, from its birth to playing on the roof of Buckingham Palace, from Live Aid to the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics and beyond. All of this is accompanied with original diagrams, sketches and notes dating from the building of the guitar, as well as a great selection of photographs including Brian on stage with his guitar, close-ups and x-rays.
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Although best known to the world as the lead guitarist of supergroup Queen, Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics and is an expert in 3D photography. He co-wrote Bang! The Complete History of the Universe with Chris Lintott and Patrick Moore, A Village Lost and Found with Elena Vidal and Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell with Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming. Simon Bradley has been a guitar journalist since 1996 and he has written hundreds of articles and interviews on all aspects of the instrument, for many magazines and websites including Guitarist, Total Guitar, What Guitar?, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Future Music, MusicRadar.com, Brianmay.com, and many more.Review:
''In the captivating new Carlton photobook Brian May's Red Special, the Queen guitarist finally divulges the secrets behind his prized axe, taking fans back in time to vicariously oversee the two-year father/son bonding experience that would ultimately produce one of rock 'n' roll's most recognized weapons. . . . Red Special is the pinnacle of guitar porn, revealing the intricate, what-makes-it-tick workings of a beloved musical instrument whilst showcasing its aesthetic beauty.'' --Examiner
''[I]t's a rare and amazing look into the conception, construction, and execution of one of the most unique guitars visually and sonically of all time. Every aspect of the instrument is examined, and there's a story behind every part, component, and decision. The book will be fascinating for the players and non-players alike, but it's a must read for Brian May fans...'' --Guitar Player magazine
''A true 'insider's account', Brian May's Red Special: The Story of the Home-made Guitar That Rocked Queen and the World is as informed and informative as it is a pure pleasure to browse through. Profusely illustrated throughout, Brian May's Red Special: The Story of the Home-made Guitar That Rocked Queen and the World will be a 'must read' for May's legions of fans. Brian May's Red Special: The Story of the Home-made Guitar That Rocked Queen and the World is very highly recommended for both academic and community library American Music History collections.'' --MidWest Book Report, January 15
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