“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
In 1963, Brian May and his father Harold, started to hand-build an electric guitar. On Wednesday 1st October, we published a book to celebrate the 50th birthday of this iconic guitar. Written by Brian May and Simon Bradley, Brian May’s Red Special tells the story of this incredible guitar that has been used on every Queen album and played at every live show around the world! In the book, Brian talks about every aspect of this glorious guitar from his original design and sourcing materials around the house to his reasons for wanting a certain type of sound and how he and his father went about creating this extraordinary instrument. Now, it wouldn’t be a launch party for one of the most iconic guitars in the world, owned by own of the world’s greatest guitarists without a demonstration. Brian began by showing us his acoustic guitar, which he was given for his seventh birthday, before explaining why he was inspired to build the Red Special and how they actually went about it. Then he picked up the glorious Red Special, which he described as an extension of himself. I was amazed at all of the bits and pieces that Brian and his father used to make the guitar including buttons, knitting needles, a 100 year-old fireplace and an oak table! We were well and truly spoilt as Brian showed us what the guitar could do! I never had any idea about the complexities of a guitar before but they’re incredible instruments and the Red Special certainly is one of the most iconic in the world.
Brian May’s Red Special | Published by Carlton Books | 978 1 78097 2763 | £19.99