• Red Special: Brian May's Homemade Guitar

    Brian May's homemade guitar, known as the Red Special, is a unique instrument in the world of music, built with May's hands and imagination together with his father, Harold. Not only has this guitar been May's constant companion throughout Queen's songs and concerts, but it also represents a piece of custom engineering with distinctive features that have made it famous among guitarists and fans alike.

    The Red Special is distinguished by its construction with unusual materials, such as a piece of wood from a chimney for the neck and mother-of-pearl buttons for the fingerboard inlays. The design includes three single-coil pickups, with Telecaster-style volume and tone controls, and individual on/off and phase switches for each pickup, allowing May to access a wide range of tonal combinations. In addition, its series, rather than traditional parallel, pickup arrangement produces a particularly rich and powerful (Premier Guitar) sound (Grunge).

    Over the years, the Red Special has been carefully maintained and restored, retaining its status as May's primary instrument in his live performances and recordings with Queen. This two-year project not only forged a special bond between father and son, but also allowed May to explore and achieve the unique sound he desired, a testament to creativity and ingenuity in the face of economic (Hackaday) limitations (Grunge). Today, the Red Special not only remains an icon in Queen's music, but has also inspired replicas and models based on its unique design, produced by May's company, Brian May Guitars.

    The history of the Red Special and its impact on Queen's music are an enduring reminder of the power of personal innovation and passion for music.

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    By: Oranshnote

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