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Brian May: ‘We had an insane belief as four boys’

Written by on 08/08/2021

On the latest episode of Rock Classics Radio with Jenn, legendary guitarist Brian May discusses the deluxe release of his record Back to the Light and plays some of his favourite tracks from Queen, The Beatles and The Who.

Brian May On Early Queen Fans and Freddie Mercury’s Annoyance When Fans Would Sing Along…
The people who became the core fans? Yeah. They used to call themselves the Royal family. They were great. They helped to sort of build up the belief. Freddie would say ‘Oh my God, those people are in the front row again, it’s the same people. Ahhh!’ And actually there came a point where they would kind of sing bits before he did and that kind of pissed him off. So I think he had a word with them at some point and said, ‘Look, just, don’t sing my part. Okay.

Brian May On Telling People He Was In Led Zeppelin…
I remember going up and down the motorway to play these tiny little shows and clubs and we would stop off in the motorway cafes. And we obviously look like rock stars, or tramps. And people would come up to us and say, ‘Are you guys in a band?’ And we go, ‘Yeah, we’re Led Zeppelin.’ You know, because trying to explain to them who we were, it would have been hopeless. And they went, ‘Oh really?’ And we go “No.”‘

Brian May On The Beginning of Queen…
Well, it’s a time of great upheaval and I was struggling to choose between a career in science and, uh, a very dodgy, dubious career in music, which probably was never going to happen. We had an insane belief as four boys who had no influence in the world whatsoever. We didn’t know how to get a record deal. We didn’t know how to get concerts, to play gigs, to play clubs or whatever. And it was an insane kind of belief that we were actually good enough to do this. We will conquer the world.

Brian May On The Reissue of ‘Back to the Light’…
I am so excited, it makes me incredibly happy. I can’t even tell you. And it’s like the fact that people will be able to hold the CD in their hands or the vinyl. They’ll be able to smell the vinyl. They’ll be able to put it on their turntables, there’s a cassette version. And it just makes me incredibly happy that it will be out there all polished up and kind of there for all time.

Brian May On How ‘Back to the Light’ was Therapeutic To Revisit…
I really relived it and it did bring back a lot of the darkness of the time. But it was actually good for me to realise that the problems that I had at that point and the way that I had worked my way through them.

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