Interviews - Brian May

The Invisible Man (Classic Rock Issue 35)

Air Guitar


Brian May Compiles air guitar double set. - Classic Rock Issue 35

“You can't see me, but I'm doing it now. Be careful if you try it in your car�? Coos a warmly familiar voice down the phone line. No, you haven't accidentally strayed into the pages of big boy monthly, Brian May is telling Classic Rock about a new double album he has compiled called 'The best air guitar album in the world!Ever!' the brainwave for the tv Advertised album came to the Queen legend May and his guitar tech Pete Malandrome upon hearing that 'Bohemian Rhapsody' had been voted top of an Internet poll of all-time air guitar tunes. As the pair scrolled down the list of entries, twin light bulbs went off simultaneously.

“The criteria for inclusion was that the song had to make you want to get up and do it - either in public or private.�? Brian explains “Air guitar has been private until now, but it's coming out of the closet. It was hard getting permission to use some of the best songs because most decent groups don't let their work get used on compilations. Queen didn't until a few years back when we decided that those who bought compilations weren't our fans anyway. Luckily, I know a lot of the artists concerned, and I emailed Pete Townshend - with some trepidation - about using 'My Generation', but he replied immediately saying it was great idea and that we were welcome. Metallica quickly agreed to include 'For whom the bells toll' after a conversation with Lars Ulrich. Sadly, however, AC/DC wouldn't play ball. Placed alongside tracks by Quo, Bad Company and Lynryd Skynyrd, Blur's 'Song 2' is an unusual choice and in the light of past newspaper headlines, Robbie Williams' 'Let me entertain you' is an ironic one.

“No, Robbie is not going to replace Freddie Mercury in Queen, but we have fiddled around together�? May confirms “We did 'We are the champions' for the soundtrack of A Knights tale. It was done virtually live. Those who criticise Rob don't know what how talented he is. I can't think of many artists that could do that song in four takes�?.

In related news, May, bassist john deacon and drummer Roger Taylor have been working with Ben Elton on a Queen based musical called 'We will rock you' that debuts at London's Dominion Theatre on May 14.


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