Friday, July 19, 2019

Let's Get Astrophysical: May In July

I got this in the cloud late because I was otherwise occupied yesterday when I had intended to prep it, but let's celebrate somebody to love's birthday whilst it's still here.
Today's ridiculously multi-talented 72 year old is maybe the only credentialed astrophysicist ever to help mastermind a generationally-adored, multi-platinum rock band.
Honestly if he were made PM of the UK, there might be a glimmer of hope for species survival beyond early next century.
We might at least have a ghost of a shot at the sort of interstellar capability needed to get us the heck outta here before this place blows, anyway.
Surely one of the most distinctive and recognizable guitar tones ever to be has flowed from his nimble fingers since the early 1970s, when Smile became Queen became the major motion picture I just watched on HBO the other night.
Obviously when Freddie Mercury went into permanent retrograde at the hands of numbnuts homophobe and likely early-onset-dementia-addled Ronald Reagan and his genocidal refusal to act on the HIV epidemic in the 1980s, our hero could have disappeared along with Queen. 
That's not how it happened, as we know. Queen still packs the stadia, with different superstar singers co-billed. Fred watches down from Up There and smiles an overbite smile.
What figure of modern music has the pedigree of Brian May? He might be the smartest musician alive in any genre, just on the idea that you could sub him into any chair in the room on a NASA launch and the thing would get skyward without a hitch.
How do we celebrate such a unique and brilliant figure? Well, get out your notebooks and your pencils, kids, because we're going to class.
This tremendously informative and entertaining 53 minutes of chromium oxide comes from a Capital Radio London series they had in the early Eighties called Rock Masterclass, where a different luminary would show up and give a multifaceted lesson on what they do, why, and some of how.
This is an utterly fascinating and intimate glimpse into the creative tools and processes of a truly legendary player, so all the aspirant guitar floggers out there will want to get immersed in it.
Brian May
Capital Radio Rock Masterclass 
Duke Of York's Theatre 
London, UK
11.11.1983

01 Introduction
02 Sixpence 
03 Playing style 
04 Pavane 1
05 Influences
06 Amps and effects pedals
07 Pavane 2
08 Choice of strings 
09 Bohemian Rhapsody solo
10 Pick-ups and settings
11 Acoustic playing
12 Pavane 3 
13 Love of My Life 

Total time: 53:02

Brian May - guitars and drumbox
Julian Hemmingway and Stuart Elsworthy - guitars
Tony Hale - interviewer

sounds like a master or 1st gen off-air FM cassette capture of the original Capital Radio transmission
282 MB FLAC here
I'll get back into my NASA launch chair for tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the acknowledged scientific pinnacle of humanity tomorrow, with a moonshot of a performance indeed.
Tonight we are prepping for the big countdown with rock's premier rocket scientist, born this day in 1947 and still lighting his various fuses, sixpence plectrum in hand.--J.