random #29: Brian May's guitar

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 11-13-2009 03:15 AM 1668 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: Archival footage: Wood turning in Germany, 1926 Part 29 of random series Part 30: Tape Measure Hero »

I just learned from a reddit post (I know some of you are also redditors) that Queen guitarist Brian May built his guitar, “Red Special” with his dad in 1963 when he was sixteen, mostly “from an 18th century fireplace mantel that a friend of the family was about to throw away.” He’s been using it on tour and in albums for over 3 decades.

The manufacturing subsection at the link is a fun read for woodworkers and guitar enthusiasts alike.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

7 comments so far

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4569 days

#1 posted 11-13-2009 04:53 AM

I remember reading this in a guitar magazine when I was a teenager learning how to play. I didn’t know the mantel was that old, I just knew they used one for the guitar. I also didn’t know the rest of the details, like how he used motorcycle parts for the tremolo bar… far out.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View bunkie's profile


417 posts in 4481 days

#2 posted 11-13-2009 05:46 AM

May is a very interesting guy. He recently earned his doctorate in astrophysics. And he has fantastic tone. I was hooked the first time I heard his solo on Killer Queen

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1939 posts in 5006 days

#3 posted 11-13-2009 05:59 AM

One of my all time favorite guitarists!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

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Damian Penney

1142 posts in 5325 days

#4 posted 11-13-2009 10:43 PM


-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4911 days

#5 posted 11-13-2009 10:49 PM

View webwood's profile


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#6 posted 11-13-2009 11:11 PM

i knew he made his own stuff 30 years ago but did’nt know the specifics – very cool – thanks for the link

-- -erik & christy-

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 4532 days

#7 posted 11-15-2009 05:17 PM

Neato, thanks for sharing

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

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