Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dr. May

Brian May is not merely a kick-ass guitarist with his own unique pure tone (from crafting his own guitars). He's also a physicist and mathematician about to achieve his PhD.

Apparently Mr. May stopped his doctoral thesis on the movement of space dust when his band Queen became a bit more successful than anticipated in the early '70s.

Queen was the shit, man. When I was nine years old my mom re-married and my new stepbrothers had the Queen LP A Night at the Opera. I listened to that stuff daily for a year, and used to get in fights with other neighborhood kids in Reisterstown who thought Kiss was better. Kiss sucked. In the Pantheon of rock gods Kiss wouldn't rate an altar niche, and any Kiss presence in the holy sanctuary would be based on costume and gimics more than their musical achievement. Queen, however, would merit their own tympanum. May's gorgeous slick guitar and Freddie Mercury's operatic voice moved me from tepid AM rock hits to more interesting material and I never looked back. I had all of Queen's LPs into my middle teens, but quickly moved on to other bands and kind of lost touch with them. I credit ambitious rock acts like Queen with my eventual interest in classical music.

The last few times I sang karaoke I did a little Freddie-channeling-Elvis number called "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Awesome! And it has a clever little guitar solo by Dr. May to boot. Might be time to get a few of their LPs on CD and see how they hold up.

4 comments:

Nick said...

I like Queen too but you gotta lay off Kiss dude. For someone only JUST NOW discovering Can, you have only a limited time at the podium.

Heh, heh! Only kidding. But not about Beth.

geoff said...

Scolding accepted re: Can. But I'll never lay off Kiss. YAWN. Their best tunes are just ok.

AC/DC gets a tympanum, and Judas Priest I'd allow in the Pantheon with an altar niche, but not Kiss. Sabbath definitely, not Kiss.

Nick said...

I'd let Kiss in before AC/DC--my own opinion as always! Priest--ehh. Give it to someone or something more deserving like Lemmy, Led Zep, GnR or Toys In The Attic. Everyone can agree Sabbath above all.

geoff said...

It's funny. Like 10 years ago I despised AC/DC and thought KISS was better. Now I think AC/DC kicked ass and KISS is worthless. GNR? I wouldn't put them in the pantheon. You need more than a couple great songs to get in. They had a couple great songs and a bunch of ok and half-assed songs and never lived up to their potential. Led Zep would have the nave all to themselves, even though I'm tired of them. I was listening to the song Fool in the Rain the other day, and that's just a perfect pop song, from a group whose specialty was stealing blues riffs and writing hard rock anthems with them (an early form of sampling).

Motorhead? Never really got them. I know bands I like (early Metallica, early Slayer) thought Lemmy was the shit, but I just never got it.

Musical taste is weird and frangible, man. I hated Priest too until recently when I heard some on the radio and was blown away. I used to think they were basic boring rote rock. I didn't go out and buy anything, but their stuff strikes me now as really energetic and interesting. I'm a fucking inconsistent loser.