Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Britain said "Happy Birthday" to an old baby boomer, rock guitarist and astrophysicist called Brian May

Brian Harold May was 64 yesterday.

Things you possibly didn't know about Brian, that he :

* was an only child, grew up in Hampton in London, his father was a draughtsman at the Ministry of Aviation and at school he formed his first band called 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'.

* when he was 21, formed the band 'Smile' which contained drummer Roger Taylor, who also went on to play for 'Queen'.

* formed 'Queen' in 1971, with Freddie Mercury, John Deacon and Roger and went on to write, among other songs, 'We Will Rock You' and 'I Want It All'.

* after the 'Live Aid' concert in summer 1985, was phoned along with his band mates by Freddie who proposed writing a song together and the result was 'One Vision', with Brian on music, Roger on lyrics and Freddie as producer and arranger.

* following the death of Freddie in 1991, chose to deal with his grief by working hard, first by finishing his solo album and then touring worldwide to promote it.

* has worked extensively with stage actress and singer Kerry Ellis after he cast her in the musical 'We Will Rock You'.
With Kerry Ellis in Hyde Park in 2010 :

* earned a doctorate in astrophysics from Imperial College in 2007 and is currently the Chancellor of Liverpool 'John Moore's University'.

* appeared on the 700th edition of the tv programme,'The Sky at Night', hosted by Patrick Moore and on which the Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, said: "I don't know any scientist who looks as much as like Isaac Newton as you do" to which Brian said : "that could be my after dinner comment, thank you very much".

* in 2009, published a book entitled 'A Village Lost and Found: Scenes in Our Village', a collection of stereoscopic photographs taken by the Victorian photographer T. R. Williams and sold with a stereoscope.

* formed a group called 'Save Me' to promote decent treatment for animals with a particular emphasis on preventing hunting of foxes and the culling of badgers and said in an interview in 2010 that he "would rather be remembered for his animal rights work, than for his music or science".

* was ranked at number 39 on the 'Rolling Stone' Magazine's list of the '100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time'.

'Save Me' with Kerry Ellis :

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