When I found out that virtuoso guitarist Brian May was one of the special guests at AN EVENING WITH RUSS BALLARD at the intimate Leicester Square Theatre this week, I immediately did this simple line drawing in the hope it may be graphed. The theatre is located on Leicester place, a small lane that separates Chinatown from the famous Square. With limited vehicular access, so Brian was walking. With his distinctive Einstein hairstyle, one wouldn’t need to be a rocket scientist to spot him. I positioned myself on the corner and waited.
Not only is Brian the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time according to a ‘Guitar World’ reader’s poll, but he’s also an astrophysicist, graduating with a PhD from Imperial College. Probably explains the Einstein hair. His doctorate, which was put on hold after Queen’s rise to fame in the 1970’s, was finally completed in 2007. His thesis was the study of reflected light from the interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in the plane of the solar system. Simples!
My drawing included his unique home-built electric guitar called the ‘Red Special’ which he designed at 16. It’s made of wood from a 18th Century fireplace. The tremolo’s arm is constructed from an old bicycle saddle bag carrier, the knobs at the ends are from a knitting needle and the springs are valve springs from an old motorcycle. No expense spared for Queen’s lead guitarist and mega-hits composer.And speaking of coin, Brian does not use the use the usual plastic pic..oh no…he uses a coin, a sixpence, instead. I have different reasons for carrying coins.
The Einstein of Rock eventually strolled to the venue late in the afternoon, only interrupted as he turned the corner by moi. Brian is always very friendly and accommodating. He also liked the drawing, which was a bonus and was happy to sign and dedicate for me.