The Legend of the “Red Special”: The Unique Guitar of Brian May and Queen

BMG Tech

Unique and Attractive

“When you think of Queen, you inevitably think of the distinctive guitar sound that defined their music. That sound is synonymous with Brian May and his legendary instrument, the “Red Special.” This isn’t just a guitar, it’s a piece of history musical, an extension of May’s genius and a symbol of innovation and perseverance.”

Humble Origins and Creativity

“The story of the “Red Special” begins in 1963. Brian May, then a young musician, longed for a Fender guitar, but family financial constraints led him down a different path. With the help of his father, a skilled engineer, May embarked on building a unique guitar. Using mahogany wood from an old fireplace for the neck, a sturdy piece of oak for the body, and mother-of-pearl buttons from her mother’s sewing box for the inlays, May and her father created something more than an instrument: an icon.”

Technical Innovation

“The “Red Special” is not only notable for its homemade origin. May equipped the guitar with three Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, which he customized to his liking. The original switches, which included an On/Off for each pickup and a power inverter phases, along with two potentiometers, contributed to its distinctive sound. Costing just £18 and a year and a half of work, May not only built a guitar, he forged a legend.”

An Unmistakable Sound

“The Red Special is more than an instrument; it is a unique voice in the history of music. With its distinctive and unmistakable sound, it has been a constant companion in May’s career, both on recordings and on tours with Queen. ”

Replicas and Legacy

“The legacy of the “Red Special” was extended in 2004 when luthier Andrew Guyton made 50 replicas to commemorate his 40th birthday. Coveted by collectors and musicians, these replicas demonstrate the guitar’s lasting impact on musical culture. ”

Improvements and Maintenance “Over the years, the “Red Special” has undergone several improvements, including a new jack and replacement of the 0th fret. Despite suggestions for a complete neck setback to alleviate pain in the left hand of May, he has kept the guitar as close to its original state.”

Inspiring Conclusion

“Today, the “Red Special” is not just an instrument, but a testament to creativity, innovation and passion. It is a reminder that music and craftsmanship can go hand in hand, creating something that transcends generations and continues. inspiring musicians around the world.”

Moving video

In a moving video, Brian May and his father Harold reveal the humble origins of the ‘Red Special’. Built from what they call ‘foreign objects’ and ‘junk parts’, this guitar is a testament to creativity and homebrew engineering. From a fireplace to mother-of-pearl buttons, each component of the ‘Red Special’ has its own story. Harold May proudly points out his contribution to the guitar knob, a detail that underscores the father-son collaboration on this project. This video not only shows the uniqueness of the ‘Red Special’, but also the special bond between Brian and his father, united by their love of music and innovation.