In a recent interview with Planet Rock, Brian May shared how his relationship with his family members changed when he decided to become a musician instead of a scientist.
Even though we now know Brian May as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and see his obvious talent, that wasn’t the case back in the day when he first started performing with Queen. His family, especially his father, disapproved of the path he was taking in terms of his career.
May’s father believed he was throwing away the education he tried so hard to provide for his son and claimed that May was doing all of that to become a ‘pop star.’ May stated that his decision to continue with music cost him 18 months of his father’s disappointment. However, in the end, he saw May in Madison Square Garden and realized that what his son is doing is more significant than what he thought.
Here is what May fully replied when the interviewer asked him about the disconnection with his parents:
“Yeah, it was more than disconnect, really. It was very serious. My father couldn’t get used to this idea that I was throwing away my education, as he saw it, to go and be a ‘pop star.’ He just couldn’t swallow it. He said, ‘Brian, I gave up my life to get you the proper education so you could get a proper job.’ He imagined me being a scientist. He didn’t speak to me for about 18 months. It was really tough, very hard.
My mum had a nervous breakdown because she was trying to please both of us, she wanted us to come together, and it really broke her heart that we had that going on. It was a serious family thing. It wasn’t until I flew them out and they saw what I was doing, and what we were doing.
And my dad came up to me after the show, shook my hand, and said, ‘Ok, I get it now.’ A big moment for me – because you want approval. The parental disapproval thing can spur you on. I was very determined because of my dad’s disapproval. But the fact that he came and gave me his blessing was a very big deal for me.“
You can watch the full interview below.