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The guitarist that Brian May said was underrated

Brian May


The guitarist that Brian May said was underrated

Even though the first thing that comes into people’s mind when someone mentions the band Queen is the powerful voice the singer Freddie Mercury had, another very important element of their sound was the guitarist Brian May. Called “The Red Special” his unique guitar was created by him and his father when he was still a teenager since they couldn’t afford one.


That distinguished instrument and his talent were the perfect combination for the instant recognizable sound and tone of his guitar playing. Over the decades he talked about many of his peers and even mentioned one guitar player that in his opinion was underrated.

The guitarist that Brian May said was underrated

Being British and a teenager in the 60s, Brian May was heavily influenced by The Beatles who were the band which really started the famous “British Invasion” that was when groups from the United Kingdom took over the music business with their incredible songwriting and melodies.

The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions The Beatles are usually Paul McCartney and John Lennon, because they are the most famous and successful songwriting partnership of all time. However, for May the “quiet Beatle” George Harrison is an underrated guitarist, who should get more recognition than he has.

He said that in an interview with Express UK in 2022, also praising The Beatles. “The Beatles were our bible. Absolutely at every stage in their career and their music development, they were models. And they still are to me, I must say. I love all those albums. To me, they are the greatest. They are the pinnacle of writing, performance and ethos of rock music. They broke down so many barriers, they changed the world many times. I will always love The Beatles without any reservation.”

“I feel like they’ve been underrepresented in the world as it is today. The kids today don’t know The Beatles as much as they ought to. The Beatles should be woven into people’s lives in the way Queen music is these days.”

He continued:

“I’ve met Paul a few times, done a few things. He’s a great guy and an animal campaigner as I am. Yeah, I wish I saw more of him really but life doesn’t always let you do this stuff. Met Ringo a couple of times just briefly. Kinda just socially because Freddie was quite close to Ringo at one time. But I never had an in-depth conversation with him.”

“Never met (him), very sadly. I wish I had, I would have loved to have done. What a wonderful talent and a wonderful voice. Incredible. He played one of my guitars which is nice! I love George, I love his playing. I think he’s still underrated. Wonderful!”

May was sad about how the press treated Harrison in his final days and already thought he was underrated in early 00s

George Harrison passed away too soon at the age of 2001 after years battling cancer and the press tried constantly to get a photo of him ill. In an interview with Guitarist Magazine in 2001 when George was still alive, the Queen guitarist lamented how the press treated him. He said that it reminded how bad Freddie Mercury was treated in his final days with many people trying to invade his privacy.

“I’ve been thinking about George a lot recently and I really wish him well. And just before you came I was thinking about how the press treated Freddie when he was ill. You know, he literally couldn’t step outside his door for photographers. They were even trying to get in the windows and there’s absolutely nothing you can do; you have no protection.”

He continued:

“But I’ve only met George once. We played together at a Water Rats do, when Bert Weedon was King Rat. There was George, Joe Brown, Bert and me… what a precious moment. I had a blinding migraine, but the moment overcame the pain. I wish I’d had the balls to say what I really wanted to at the time. (So) I hold George in such reverence and I think he’s so underrated by the guitar community. Everyone raves about people who play fast, but if you look at the catalog of stuff he’s produced, it’s colossal,” Brian May said.

Although there was not much songwriting space in The Beatles because Lennon and McCartney always made their songs a priority, George proved himself during his solo career that he was an incredible songwriter. He was the first Beatle to have a number 1 hit after the band broke-up and released many praised records until his passing.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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