He may be forever associated with the Red Special, but Brian May has used plenty of other guitars during his glittering career. Guitarist decided to track some of them down, and was granted unprecedented access to The Vault – May’s storage facility, which houses some true gems from the band’s earliest days…
In the history of the rock guitar, Queen’s Brian May is surely unique in that he has used just one instrument for pretty much his entire career, both in the recording studio and onstage. What’s more, it’s one he built in a shed at the bottom of his garden. Those with just a passing interest in the band’s output will find it difficult to believe that the guitar sounds they’re hearing all came from a single instrument.
Even Eddie Van Halen, probably the only other guitarist to have enjoyed the same level of stadium-filling success playing an instrument he made himself, jettisoned his striped-up Frankenstein when he finally threw in his lot with Ernie Ball.
Brian still uses his Red Special, but as fascinating as the story is, we’re not here to talk about it. We’re interested in the other guitars Brian has turned to when he couldn’t get the right sound from his regular set-up.
Join us as we explore The Vault, reacquainting ourselves with the lesser known guitars that wrote their own footnotes in Queen’s canon during their brief moments in the spotlight.