The legendary guitarist of Queen, Brian May, was the recent interview guest of Premier Guitar and talked about his iconic red guitar’s building process by paying attention to his father, Harold May.
In the conversation, he also mentioned his economical status and said that he didn’t have any money problems in the early years of his life.
Here’s what he said:
“The basic thing is that I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t buy any of those guitars. I could look at them in brochures – the Fenders, the Gibsons, whatever, even the Hofners, who were the sort of English copies of those, and I couldn’t afford any of them.
So it was, like, ‘Make a guitar, that’s the only way,’ and that was it. Having taken on a challenge, it was, ‘Let’s make something better than that’s ever been out there’ because both me and my dad had that kind of attitude: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to the max.
It became a challenge to try and take the guitar a step forward, and I think in some ways we succeeded, partly by luck, partly by good design, but there’s a lot of things about this which became standard later on, which were our ideas.
So I’m pretty proud of what we did out of bits and pieces. It was made of all sorts of stuff that were just lying around. I’m actually shocked myself that it’s still here, and it’s been around the world I don’t know how many times now, but she still works, and with very little maintenance, really.
It’s had a bit of refinishing by Greg Fryer a few years ago, but it’s never been re-fretted, I’ve never had to take the tremolo off; well, we replaced rollers when they fell off, but never had to replace the unit, so here it is.”
The interviewer asked another question about it:
“After you built this, did you feel like you kind of got it right the first time? Did you ever aspire to build more guitars?”
Brian May answered:
“Yeah, well, I didn’t have time – that’s the truth – after that. But yeah, we designed a couple of others, one of which was a kind of spade-shaped, which is fun.
It’s sort of the opposite of the thing that Brian Jones used to play, the spade’s the other way around. That works pretty well, and actually, originally I designed this with an F-hole, like a proper semi-acoustic, but I never got around to doing that.
It was too difficult, to be honest, with the technology that I had, because it was all hand tools.”
Click here to reach the source and you can watch the video of the interview below.