Talk:Brian May

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Kerry Ellis[edit]

His current work with West End actress and singer, Kerry Ellis, is scarcely mentioned. I think there needs to be a tad more on this subject? Stephenjamesx (talk) 18:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

He IS an astrophysicist because he passed the course..? < _ >[edit]

Saying that Brian May IS an astrophysicist based on the finding that he graduated is absurd. If I pass small-engine repair in college, does that make me a mechanic? Nope. He has, on the other hand, actually PRACTISED music, and is thus a musician. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.193.50.224 (talk) 04:14, 18 July 2009 (UTC) -- He's done a bit more than just graduate dude. He's an Astrophysicist because he's got 2 published papers and a post-graduate disertation. That is, he's a scientist with public original research to his name. 121.45.248.150 (talk) 17:39, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I was just thinking that, it says in the article has has passed his Phd, so shouldn't he have that in his name or in the very first paragraph along with his initial details?--79.77.67.125 (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

No, see WP:CREDENTIAL. --Jaellee (talk) 10:28, 13 December 2009 (UTC) Typical wiki! Have to be different from the rest of society.

Too much detail[edit]

Is "The album featured other greats such as Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Pete Green of Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, and Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo." really neccessary? I'll delete it if it remains unjustified... pomegranate 16:59, Jan 6, 2005 (UTC)

I agree this list is rather far afield, and would agree with the deletion. --Gary D 20:12, Jan 6, 2005 (UTC)

Red Special[edit]

I agree that the Red Special is a unique guitar, but the orchestral arrangements he created were very little to do with the guitar itself. It was due to multi-tracking the guitars (recording seperate tracks after the other rather than trying to record all at the same time), and also in part due to his Deacy amp which John Deacon built for him.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 86.136.159.179 (talkcontribs). any guitar in isolation will require other inputs to achieve a multi-layered, orchestrated sound. what the red special does show, is that brain may possessed a quite different approach to the guitar to many of his contemporaries. it would have been very easy to get the classic telecaster, stratocaster or les paul sound so popular in the 1960's. the fact that the red special is homemade, and has a number of innovations for its time, such as phase reversal and series pickup switching, used warm sounding burns trisonic pickups, would support the notion that brian may was looking to find new and innovative sounds. certainly the "deacy amp", and the use of a homemade treble booster, and other effects, were multi-layered in the studio to build an orchestrated sound. the red special guitar, therefore is a key component in the sound that was achieved. the guitar, after all, has a sound somewhere between a standard single coil strat type pickups and thicker humbucker sounds like that of the gibson les paul guitars. certainly another guitar would have produced a different outcome given the dynamics between the various multi-layers that constitute an orchestration. in essence, therefore, the sound produced was, and is, unique to the red special guitar.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 58.170.167.50 (talkcontribs).

Trust me, the darn thing has such a unique tone there have been detailed magazine articles about it. A Night At The Opera has gazillions of textures that emulate other instruments, yet the whole sound spectrum comes only from that single guitar. And the Deacy Amp, from what I know (might be wrong on this one), was a modified VOX amp anyway; Deacon added electronic circuits to give the amp the mellow, bluesy tone you expect from Brian, but there are tunes like the "Wedding March" from "Flash Gordon" and the main refrain and solo from "A Kind of Magic" that sound characteristically May-ish and yet don't use the amp.Demf (talk) 22:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
What I have read says that John Deacon found an old amp in a dumpster and modifed it into the Deacy. What is amazing is that both the Red Special and the Deacy were made from scrap! The wood for the Red Special came from a 100-year-old fireplace mantle. 65.248.164.214 (talk) 20:31, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
A discussion of the Deacy amp needs to be added to the article's body. There is no mention of it at all in the current article and if a discussion of Brian's music formula is to be made then it needs to be mentioned. The Deacy is key to his sound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 138.162.8.58 (talk) 21:27, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Academic Progress[edit]

On the 50th Anniversary edition of The Sky At Night Brian was repeatedly referred to as 'Dr Brian May'. Anyone know if that means he's finished his Phd? --Nickpheas 22:30, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't know. An anonymous editor recently added "Dr" to the beginning of his name in the article, but since they didn't cite a reference, I've removed it again. If anyone finds out that Brian May has completed his PhD, the title should be put back, and the completion explicitly referred to in the body of the article - with a reference. -- Oliver P. 21:48, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The University of London has a 10 year limit on the time taken to complete a PhD. (I know because it was an issue for me.) (Imperial College plans to leave the U of L but as of June 2007 is still a constituent college.) How is he getting around this? Blaise 21:02, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

The amount of degrees at his name is ridiculous. Even academics who are notable for having various degrees don't have them at their names. BSc, DSc, ARCS, FRAS should be removed from there. What do you think?--Svetovid 22:48, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that the degrees should stay there because he worked hard for those. and in response to Nickpheas' question he has finished is Phd -- KyleRog

My parents are known for being hard workers but that, sadly, doesn't make them notable enough to include them into any encyclopedia. You are not mentioning a criterium for inclusion.—♦♦ SʘʘTHING(Я) 05:44, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Even scientists and Nobel prize winners do not have degrees at their name.--Svetovid 16:14, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Well as true as that may be I stand by what I said--KyleRog But isn't the notable aspect of this that he is a rock star with those credentials, which, although not unheard of, is unusual?Kusturica 22:41, 11 September 2007 (UTC)bcj

Is there really a Wiki-wide consensus on whether or not to list academic titles? For instance, I see that Bill Cosby is introduced with his Ed.D. title. To put in my two cents' worth, I would list academic titles for those who gained initial fame outside academia, because the academic aspect of their existence is not implied by their very inclusion in the encyclopedia. We don't need to specify from the outset that Stephen Hawking, for example, has a Ph.D., because if he didn't, then he wouldn't be in here in the first place. But the fact that a rock star or a comedian has a doctorate is unusual, and might be worth noting from the very outset. In any event, I suggest that some sort of broad agreement be reached about the matter, because it does not make sense for Cosby but not May to have his title listed in his introduction. Cosmic Latte (talk) 21:12, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Since a "broad agreement" doesn't seem to be forthcoming, and since the debate has taken place here, I've gone ahead and removed the title in the Cosby article, and, barring further objection, will plan to remove comparable titles if I happen to come across them in other celebs' articles. Cosmic Latte (talk) 00:01, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Other Instruments[edit]

On the Instruments section in the profile box i've added Ukelele which he played on Good Company and the Harp which he played on Love of my life. I know he doesn't make a habit of playing these but I thought it worthwhile to include.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 81.149.178.248 (talkcontribs) 09:26, 29 June 2007.

Frankly, I think adding "Spanish Guitar", Electric Guitar, 12 String Guitar, Ukelele, dangit, how many freaking kinds of guitars are there??? May's work on the Red Special speaks for itself, and any decent guitarist can figure out how to play acoustic vs. electric guitar, no matter how many strings. I just don't see it as notable, but more like tacky. --leahtwosaints (talk) 01:03, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Amateur Astronomer?[edit]

Given that he has now completed his PhD in Astrophysics, is it really fair to consider him an amateur? It was not an honorary doctorate, it was a real, substantive degree...and yes, this is kind of nitpicking. Doregasm 00:02, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

He hasn't received his PhD yet, he only finished his doctoral thesis. If all goes well and he passes, then he will get the degree next may. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070711/od_afp/entertainmentbritain_070711230038
Since you want to nitpick, he shouldn't be considered a professional unless it's his profession.--Svetovid 17:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Hasn't he been published? Doesn't that, really, mean he's done it professionally for a while (by virtue of being paid forit)? Anyone know when his thesis defence is? That would be interesting to see. J•A•K 07:52, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
The viva is on August 23. http://live.cgcu.net/news/1557 Timrollpickering 14:19, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
His viva this afternoon was successful: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6961171.stm —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 213.93.49.108 ([[User talk:{[[User:213.93.49.108}|213.93.49.108}]] ([[User talk:213.93.49.108}|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/213.93.49.108}|contribs]] · [https://www.robtex.com/ip/213.93.49.108}

.html#whois WHOIS])|talk]]) 19:38, August 23, 2007 (UTC)

Strictly speaking his "You can call me Dr May!" is inaccurate - one doesn't get a degree until it's been formally conferred, even if one has already passed all the exams et al and been notified.(In practice most people will cite the degree and add the letters to their name even before then.) Also will he be getting a University of London degree or an Imperial College London degree? Though Imperial has now left the university, existing students are still enrolled for the UofL degree and I'm not sure if the option to take an Imperial degree instead has yet come in (and this may be a different time for PhD students than for first degrees). Timrollpickering 20:10, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
By convention he was correct, though - a successful viva is usually the point at which people start using the title. Chrislintott 08:58, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
These sorts of conventions are invariably informal, often confusing and do not always handle the nuances of these things, especially as he has to perform minor corrections. Precisely when a PhD "ends" is never terribly clear - a formal letter saying "you have met the requirements are are to be given/have been given * the doctorate" is about the only clear line in the sand. (* Some universities regard the graduation ceremony as the point the degree is awarded, others regard a formal meeting approving the degree as the key point. In practice hardly anyone fusses about use of the title "Dr" between the results letter and the ceremony, but that's different from the period from the viva onwards that involves doing the corrections, getting them signed off, formal paperwork and the university giving the thumbs up.) Timrollpickering 18:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
On the original question here, why don't we avoid the question of whether he is an "amateur astronomer" or a "professional astronomer." On the one hand, if it's not his profession, he's not a "professional" at it; but on the other hand, the guy's either a Ph.D. or an almost-Ph.D, depending on which measure you use per the above discussion, so it seems somewhat petty to label him an "amateur astronomer." How about, just "astronomer," without either the "amateur" or "professional" qualifications? Terry Carroll 19:36, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
A lot of "amateurs" do actually hold degrees (or other qualifications) in the relevant subject. But on another point is "astronomer" or "astrophysicist" the better term? Timrollpickering 05:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Methinks it's the latter. Brian faces here what every one of us who have been to grad school have faced: no one thinks we're real professionals until we get the diploma, but we can whip the rear end of any average Joe when asked about the subject. Demf (talk) 22:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

B class[edit]

  1. It is suitably referenced, and all major points are appropriately cited.
  2. It reasonably covers the topic, and does not contain major omissions or inaccuracies.
  3. It has a defined structure, including a lead section and one or more sections of content.
  4. It is free from major grammatical errors.
  5. It contains appropriate supporting materials, such as an infobox, images, or diagrams.

Consider adding a personal life section, ie current marriage, issue, and an early life section, ie parents, siblings, early schools. SriMesh | talk 04:19, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

POV[edit]

It is not biased to call a guitarist a virtuoso when said guitarist was ranked number 19 of all time by MusiciansFriend, #29 by Rolling Stone Magazine, etc. If you have any question of his virtuosity, listen to the Brighton Rock solo. 141.155.63.226 21:17, 30 November 2007 (UTC) AukMaster, Nov. 30, 2007

This article is heavily biased. The first citation is a fansite that does nothing but praise him. It is quite inappropriate for an encyclopedia. Weasel words are everywhere: "he is often described as a virtuoso", is weaselly by not saying who thinks this and "virtuoso" is not a neutral term. You can add as many citations as you want to back up a term—if it's not neutral it's not neutral. I've added three tags to the top of this article. Hopefully the problems will be fixed and the tags can be removed. Grim 04:59, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

I noticed you attributed the "virtuoso" statement. Well done, but unfortunately, the culprit word here is "virtuoso". It's not a neutral way to describe a guitarist. It needs to go. Grim 17:35, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
"It's not a neutral way to describe a guitarist." Says who? Pot-kettle-black.--Svetovid 18:57, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Look dude. You can add as many sources you like to back up the biased statement. Like it or not it's still biased. "Virtuoso" is an opinion, and you're presenting it as if it were consensus. I'm sure you could find 4 music critics who think he's a horrible guitarist; and therefore, you could cite those 4 critics and say "He is described as a horrible guitarist by music critics.[2][3][4][5]". Is that neutral? Some people think he's horrible, some think he's a virtuoso. That's only natural. It's the job of this encyclopedia to remain neutral. Grim 19:03, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Can you? BTW, the encyclopaedia does not call him a virtuoso; the writers did and the encyclopaedia only reports it.--Svetovid 03:24, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
You can think what you want. I'm know not going to persuade you. Just be aware that this article will never get to GA status or higher with a word like that and its plethora of other problems. Don't believe me? Submit it. The article won't be taken seriously with the tags up there either. And the tags can't be removed until the problems are resolved (and that word is removed). Hopefully you're the type that's entertained by catch-22s. Grim 05:19, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Do I take it, then, that you are equally opposed to the description "one of the greatest guitarists of all time" in the lead of Eric Clapton? Seems to me that "described as a virtuoso" is a perfectly reasonable and (as far as possible, given that we're dealing with the subjective world of artistic endeavour) NPOV description. Snalwibma 08:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
WP:OWNERSHIP. "It's not a neutral way to describe a guitarist." -> "You can think what you want."--Svetovid 13:59, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
That line in the Clapton isn't necessary and it is somewhat POV. If the facts are presented clearly and neutrally, then his "greatness" should speak for itself: "He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th and 21st century,[1] garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". These are true facts that are undisputed. The reader can decide for himself if he's a great guitarist based on his unparalleled acclaim that is presented in a neutral and unbiased fashion. In fact, the reader is much less likely to be persuaded if the article is gushing or biased. Grim 20:13, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Sure it wasn't your average street corner guitarist wailing away at the roof of Buckingham Palace, that's for sure! Demf (talk) 22:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Oh, please! Being a successful musician is not necessarily dependent on being a good musician. A reader cannot judge the talent of a musician, one has to hear! —Preceding unsigned comment added by El Badboy! (talkcontribs) 02:42, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


I dont car what any of you say! He is a virtuoso and he always will be one!!!!!! 24.18.201.174 (talk) 23:34, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Harp...[edit]

I'm gonna delete "harp" from instruments because I think it's ridiculous to count it - he only recorded three chords of it, and they were done with copy n' paste. Piano, banjolele, bass, triangle, bells or even maracas would be more logical. I think only guitar and vocals should be listed along with piano (which he played in roughly a dozen recordings), ukelele-banjo (that he performed live with, composed on and recorded a full song with instead of a glued chord) and bass (which he played as a 1984 member and in most of his solo records). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enoky (talkcontribs) 17:27, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I would agree; Brian himself is the first to point this out. Not three chords, far more than that, but the entire harp section of "Love of my Life" was assembled chord by chord, since that was the only way he could play it. There are at least two magazine articles where I have read this, one of them by Guitar Player magazine. Demf (talk) 22:05, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

His 'title' and Source #19[edit]

Shouldn't he be "Dr. Brian May CBE" now? I won't change it since I'm not certain how British honorifics work, but I think that's how it should be. Smw543 13:43, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, I think source #19 should be removed as it is 1. superfluous, and 2. it is a criticism of May and his opinion, which is irrelevant to what it is being used as a citation for. I'd change it but I don't want to mess up the numbering of the citations (still learning.) Smw543 13:48, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
He's already referring to himself in public as Dr Brian May, but apparently the degree has yet to be officially confirmed. Until it is he can't call himself "Doctor". Once it is, I think the fact that he is an astrophysicist should be mentioned in the lead. Serendipodous 17:07, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

"Contributions to Queen" section[edit]

This section doesn't actually tell about his contributions to Queen, but just something which songs he wrote for post-Live Aid albums. Anyone up for rewrite? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.250.25.217 (talk) 19:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

What the hell is this?[edit]

After the famous Live Aid concert in summer 1985, Mercury rang his band mates and proposed writing a song together. The result was "One Vision," which was basically May on music (the Magic Years documentary shows how he came up with the opening section and the basic guitar riff) and Roger Taylor on lyrics, with Freddie Mercury being more a producer and arranger than a proper co-writer, and John Deacon mostly absent.

Nowhere does this come remotely close to the truth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.55.135.66 (talk) 00:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Fixing the article[edit]

Hey all! I'm a big fan of Queen and Brian's article is the worst of all of them. I really want to improve this. I'll be fixing it up as much as I can. I am looking at other musicians articles and it seems it would be best (although I am not sure) to put the physics-related material into the biography section. I say this because to me it seems more of a biography thing because he got his PhD and list his topic or whatever. I think the "As a Musician" section should be removed and retitled "Career" with a section on Queen and a section on the Brian May Band. The stuff about his influence + style + equipment could have it's own section. Someone above is interested in a re-write so please state your ideas! --Omnieiunium (talk) 04:32, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

may composing bohemian rhapsody?[edit]

wasn't this song written and composed by lead singer freddie mercury? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.107.239.188 (talk) 18:25, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes he did. I think it's been edited now. (82.28.237.200 (talk) 21:00, 28 August 2008 (UTC))

Personal Details (marriage to Anita Dobson)[edit]

I think this article should probably mention he's married to Anita Dobson; she's famous, he's famous, so why not (whether it's a 2nd marriage may not be relevant). Other articles on Wiki also mention this (see The Miracle's pag).e He also has (I think) 3 kids. The marriage thing is vaguely relevant musically he's stated in the past his contribution to The Miracle (album) was affected due to his first marriage breakup and depression. -Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.170.108.203 (talk) 16:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's relevant and I will add it. But I've always had this sneaking suspicion that Brian May and Anita Dobson are in fact the same person - they look identical, including having the same hairdo. Annatto (talk) 11:14, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Notable Interests ?[edit]

Is it notable that Brian takes an interest in animal welfare and nature conservation [1] ? I certainly think his interest in stereo photography is notable - he has been give an award by the National Stereoscopic Association of America for two articles he published, together with Elena Vidal. [2] [3] [4] [5] --195.137.93.171 (talk) 03:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


Yes it is. I have added a section on his campaign group Save Me. Though I don't know too much about it as I discovered it today on the Daily Politics (UK) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.22.41.77 (talk) 20:26, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Added "Dr." to intro[edit]

As this has been the subject of some debate I thought I'd add a note. I added the title "Dr." to his heading as the BBC and Vice Chancellor of LJMU, Professor Michael Brown refer to him as "Dr. May', which seems definitive enough. Manning (talk) 07:41, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Strike that - it contradicts WP:CREDENTIAL. I've removed my own additions. Manning (talk) 07:42, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Alma Mater[edit]

Could some one modify the standard musicians box to include alma mater and his school? I saw Queen on the first Canadian tour around 1978... and I had no idea he was a physics Phd. drop-out! And it would be proof that not all rock and rollers are brain dead morons....--Oracleofottawa (talk) 02:33, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I just tried adding an alma mater to the info box, but it doesn't seem to be showing up in the published version. Does anyone know why? Mister Tog (talk) 19:13, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Because Template:Infobox musical artist is not prepared to use such a parameter. Most probably because it is not relevant for a career as musician. But for details you'd have to ask at Template talk:Infobox musical artist or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Music. --Jaellee (talk) 19:32, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Siblings and musical training[edit]

Is it known if he has any? Because if he is an only child, it would be nice for that to be clarified in the article. Also, can we clarify this sentence?: "As a child, he was also trained on classical piano". Because I don't know if it means that he was a classically trained pianist or what. If it does, then that needs to be worded properly, because a piano is a piano, you can play any variety of music on it, not just classical. 24.189.87.160 (talk) 05:24, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

And if you are reading any of this Dr.May, then please inform us of the facts on your soapbox. 24.189.87.160 (talk) 05:36, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Before Smile and Queen[edit]

According to Queenpedia, Brian belonged to more bands not only 1984, so why isn't written in his biography???? --82.139.5.13 (talk) 15:31, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Photo in the infobox[edit]

That photo in the infobox is lovely. Much appreciation from one who knows the value of a photo in an encyclopedia, and the difference between crappy pics and true to life pictures!! Thanks! --Leahtwosaints (talk) 01:55, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

God Save the Queen[edit]

Is there to be no mention of his a. brilliant b. farcical performance atop Buckingham Palace in 2002 for The Queen's Golden Jubilee? Millions of people watched it, worldwide. Footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4nsifplvpk

And he talks about it here, with Rick Wakeman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UigXhCq0MbA — Preceding unsigned comment added by O0drogue0o (talkcontribs) 03:16, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Occasional singer[edit]

This says "occasional singer of the rock band Queen", but I thought he sang quite a lot of backing/harmony vocals, didn't he? Does this possibly mean occasional lead singer? 86.160.82.205 (talk) 03:27, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

1) Reference Error and 2) related questionable content[edit]

1) Reference #1 (in the first sentence of the second paragraph on the page) regarding May's receipt of the CBE honour appears to have been mistakenly changed at some point to refer to an article about Queen and Muse's music. It would be interesting to know what that link should be (or originally was) because ...

2) Regarding the wording of the above sentence, there is another reference (#23) further on in the page which links to the London Gazette. Following this link results in a citation which states only "For services to the Music Industry." It does not include the words "and for charity work" as has been stated here. Springtimeflowers (talk) 10:55, 8 March 2014 (UTC)