Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cool Dudes of History - Brian May

Brian May, born July 19, 1947, is the lead guitarist for the rock band Queen.

In 1968, Brian May, along with Tim Staffell and future Queen drummer Roger Taylor, formed a group called Smile. Staffel befriended fellow student Farrokh Bulsara, another cool dude of history, who would later be known as Freddie Mercury. Staffel eventually left the group in 1970, and Freddie suggested they change their name to Queen. Bassist John Deacon was then added to the mix, and thus was born the legendary rock group Queen. Queen would go on to record 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs.

For his involvement in Queen alone, Brian May should be considered a cool dude. But he also built his own guitar. That's right, built his guitar. With help from his dad, May built the Red Special, his personal guitar, when he was a teen. He would use it throughout his career, on many of Queen's hits.

And if that wasn't enough to qualify him as a cool dude, he's also an astrophycist. Prior to making it big with Queen, May was studying for his PhD in physics at Imperial College London. In 2008, thirty years later, he completed his research and earned a PhD in astrophysics. He is currently serving as the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

Here's "We Will Rock You," one of the Queen songs that Brian May composed. Ironically, it doesn't feature any instruments except for his guitar solo at the very end.

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