Brian May Quotes

"I'm into paradoxes. I wanted to make an album about them, but the group told me I was a pretentious fart. They were right."

“Lovely! Lovely lights! We love our lights!”

“Oh Freddie-poos, where are you!?”

“I despise the lottery. There’s less chance of you becoming a millionaire than there is getting hit on the head by a passing asteroid.”

“I have to build my own boat this time!”

“Sounds like a lot of bullshit doesn’t it?”

“We argue fiercely. But there’s that point where you know you’ve said your bit and you should back down”

“You just toss around hundreds of names. We have loads of names”

“Very well done chaps!”

A good video can make all the difference"

"A Queen track has those big, thick, block harmonies"

"Astronomy's much more fun when you're not an astronomer"

"At the moment the Queen stuff does sell really well, but there's no guarantee it'll go on forever"

"Doing Made In Heaven was like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, but I wouldn't have put my seal of approval on it if I hadn't thought it was up to standard."

"Each gig should be unique. You're always treading that line between keeping yourself fresh and giving people something they want to hear."

"Einstein got most of the things right about black holes. I'm not an expert, I must admit"

"Every time I listen to Jeff Beck my whole view of guitar changes radically. He's way, way out, doing things you never expect"

"Everybody thought I was a bit of an eccentric for wanting to be out there looking at the stars, but I still do."

"For a time I didn't want to answer any questions about Queen. I'd like to be viewed as something alive and relevant, not some fossil"

"From the beginning of Queen there was such momentum that I never had any time to do anything else. My energy was 95% focused on the band"

"I don't surf the net in general. I have someone do it for me instead, because I find it sluggish."

"I don't think anybody comes close to The Beatles, including Oasis"

"I go through major crises every few months, but then I have great peaks of belief and creativity. I'm a weird kind of animal."

"I had one dream not long after he died where he kept saying, You've got to be there Brian, and I woke up in a daze thinking, Where have I got to be?"

"I had this big thing about guitar harmonies. I wanted to be the first to put proper three-part harmonies onto a record. That was an achievement."

"I have to build my own boat this time. It's a big sea out there, and I have a pretty small boat. I have a lot of belief in it."

"I just want to be able to play as fast as my brain goes, and my brain doesn't go all that fast"

"I like to go for a walk or swimming or in the garden when I can. It's a busy kind of life, but I guess I'm lucky"

"I never took sheet music seriously. I could do better myself just by listening to other people and using my own intuition"

"I put myself on the line with this album. It's all me. It's all my fault."

"I really thought I was pretty good before I saw Hendrix, and then I thought: Yeah, not so good"

"I tend not to write on guitar very often. I tend to start off with keyboards"

"I tend to be not a person who does everything right all the time"

"I think a lot of people would be better off in America, where at least you would find some radio station somewhere that would play you."

"I think Hammer's very cool: he has a great voice and great presence"

"I think Queen tribute bands are great. However, we have to keep them at arm's length, otherwise it could be too dangerous."

"I was actually perfectly happy when I had no money, which lasted right up until we had a hit with Killer Queen, in 1974. I never wanted for anything"

"I was an incurable romantic then, same as I am now. I was always pining away after somebody"

"I'd got away from listening to Hendrix, and I'd like to think that that was more sort of developing my style, really."

“I'm hopeless at playing scales. Try and be instinctive first and analytic afterwords, although it's good to study the theory of music.”

“I'm pretty basic as far as technique is concerned. I don't use many gadgets, and I like the sound my guitar makes, anyway.”

“I'm the nice guy who sits there signing everything that's put in front of me.”

“I've always lived in that guitar world. I have noticed kids being more into the real essence of guitar music now.”

“If I go to places where other people are playing, I often get up and play myself. I just enjoy the sound and feel of playing.”

“In a rock concert, everyone's on the same side. A lot of our music, people would call it bombast and being over the top, and I'd take that on board.”

“It was music written for a film, but with the idea that it will stand up as an album.”

“It was so frustrating to sit there and see all that stuff happening and not being able to get in there with our material.”

“It's not so much the mistakes I mind, it's the overall fuzziness of it.”

“Mantovani was a great influence on me.”

“My big hobby is photography. I collect stereo photographs from the 19th century.”

“My mum says I wanted to be a surgeon, but I don't remember that. I think from the time I “knew what was happening, I wanted to be a guitar player.”

“Queen had its time and place, and at the moment I'm not concentrating on that era.”

“Sanctions always hurt the poor, the weak, the children.”

“Sometimes if the guitar is the last thing to go on, it's very fresh.”

“The biggest emotion in creation is the bridge to optimism.”

“The first nine albums there was never a Synthesiser, never any Orchestra. There was never any other player except us on the albums.”

“The guitar has a kind of grit and excitement possessed by nothing else”

“The potential audience seems to be dwindling in the states. I was kind of embarrassed for the band because of the size of the audience.”

“The Wedding March has a bit of a death march in it.”

“There are times when I've been feeling something and played a solo that I've never been able to repeat.”

“There is no way that you can ever really repeat something. I have this great belief that the magic of the moment can never be recaptured.”

“There was all that time when we knew Freddie was on the way out, we kept our heads down. When he'd gone, my way of dealing with it was to get busy.”

“To my mind Keep Yourself Alive was never really satisfactory. Never had that magic that it should have had.”

“We do play to our audience. It's very important. You can't create music in a vacuum.”

“We don't use many effects in the Queen music.”

“We experimented with the mikes and various little tiny amplifiers to get just the right sound. It was a bit of fun, but it was a serious bit of work.”

“We had the feelings about Bohemian Rhapsody: It's a risk, because a lot of people say It's too long, too involved.”

“We might have all been embarrassed by some of Freddie's antics at some time or another.”

“We used to more or less stand there and play.”

“We wouldn't have put it out with the name Queen on it if we didn't think it was musically up to scratch.”

“We're a bit mean with our sound, actually.”

“We're quite competitive, but that is the spark which produces the extra edge.”

“We've done an arrangement with an orchestra, but I think the best stuff tends to come when it's just the four of us.”

“What we were trying to do differently was this sort of layered sound.”

“When we were touring heavily in America, we based ourselves there for a couple of years, but now we're all back here and it seems to be the place.”

“You try not to be too obsessive about things. We're always conscious that people have a view of us and expect something of us.”

“You want to go in the steam bath to get your vocals sounding well, but you don't want your fingers to get soft.”

"I think that Hyde Park was one of the most significant gigs in our career. There was a great affection because we'd kind of made it in a lot of countries by that time, but England was still, you know, we weren't really sure if we were really acceptable here. So it was a wonderful feeling to come back and see that crowd and get that response. "

"Thin Lizzy as a support band is a real challenge. They'll want to blow us of stage, and that can be a very healthy thing. You feed of the energy of others and I know that if they go down a real storm then we're gonna go on feeling that much higher. It makes for good concerts. We've had it the other way around. I think that we gave Mott The Hoople a hard time on our first tours of Britain and America. "

"We lost some of our audience with that . 'How could you do it? It doesn't go with your spiritual side'. But my answer to that the physical side is as much a part of a person as the spiritual or intellectual side. It's fun. I'll make no apologies. All music skirts around sex, sometimes very directly. Ours doesn't. In our music, sex is either implied of referred to semi-jokingly, but it's always there"

"Rhapsody is not a stage number. A lot of people don't like us leaving the stage. But to be honest, I'd rather leave than have us play to a backing tape. If you are there and you have got backing tapes, it's a totally false situation. So we'd rather be up front and say 'Look, this is not something you can play onstage. It was multi-layered in the studio. We'll play it because we think that you want to hear it. "

"We're not a singles group. We don't stake our reputation on singles and we never have done, but I think that it's brought a lot of younger people to our concerts"

"We saw 20 minutes of the finished film and thought it was very good and over the top... We wanted to do something that was a real soundtrack... It's a first in many ways, because a rock group hasn't done this type of thing before, or else it's been toned down and they've been asked to write pretty mushy background music, whereas we were given the license to do what we liked, as long as it complemented the picture. "

"It's a long time since we've experienced such warmth from a new audience. We feel really good about it now, as it our ambitions have been partly realized. "

"None of us thought that it was a particularly good gig at the time, we were wishing that they had filmed Leeds. I particularly found that it was hard to get the sound right, and couldn't hear the monitors very well. But Tyne Tees filmed it, and mixed it themselves, with no help from us; and we now think that it's one of the better videos of our live shows. "

We were getting to close to each other ... getting on each others nerves which happens periodically. This time we said: 'Let's take a break and give ourselves some breathing space. Let's do individual things, then we can come back to Queen when we actually feel motivated'. We took about five months off work, up until August this year (1983). During that time we met and talked a lot, but we didn't actually do anything."

"To be honest I didn't even know if I could play with other musicians. I had been so long with Queen I thought, 'what kind of musician am I?' I had been working the machine, but maybe I had become too much of a slave of it... Edward and I took a break from the recording and started talking about how it was in the old days when Eric Clapton was doing his thing with John Mayall. We all found the "Beano" album had a big influence on us, remember, the one with Eric reading the comic on the cover? It was a classic collectors item for every guitarist. It sounded like they were having so much fun they couldn't stop... "BluesBraker", which takes up all of side two on the album is my favourite part of the record. It seemed very indulgent putting out a long ham but, having listened to it, I think that it's worthwhile... It's rock blues with all the mistakes left in."

“After 3 albums, people thought we were driving around in Rolls Royce’s already.”

“Criticism used to hurt me when I thought it could affect our careers. Nowadays, it's all irrelevant. We know the opinions of people that matter to us, and critics don't fall under that heading.”

“I was supposed to be at college, but we were playing and going out to see people like Pink Floyd, Cream, The Who, Hendrix. You could see all those people in one week. Can you imagine? We never slept.”

“[Freddie] always lookedlike a star and acted like a star, even though he was penniless.”

“It’s more extreme. It’s varied, but it goes further in its various directions. It has a couple of the heaviest things we’ve ever done and probably some of the lightest things as well.” (on A Night at the Opera)

“We ran the tape through so many times it kept wearing out. Once we held the tape up to the light and we could see straight through it, the music had practically vanished.... Everytime Fred decided to add a few more ‘Galileos’ we lost something too.”

“Geldof called Live Aid a jukebox, so it seemed obivious to us simply play the hits and get off.”

“I had this idea... I wanted the sound to sing and have that thickness but yet still have an edge so that it could articulate. So my dad and I designed the guitar... the one that was made from an old fireplace.”

“I think I strike a lot of people as being shy and introverted. But a lot of people ase the biggest big heads in the world underneath that exterior.”

“I would have loved to talk to them (the sex pistols) but they wouldn't have listened at the time, because we were something which punk was reacting against.”

“People have been rumouring that Queen are going to split up for the last eight years at least. I've got some great cuttings at home from people saying 'One thing is certain, Queen will no longer exist in a year's time.' And that was in 1973.”

“The rest of us played okay, but Freddie was out there and took it to another level. It wasn't just Queen fans - he connected with everyone.”

“We don't do enough live shows these days, and I'd like to do more. I'll remember Live Aid till the day I die.”

“We're pretty proud of what we've done as a whole. We took chances. Some of the things we did set the world alight and some didn't. But at least we made our own mistakes. We did what we wanted to.”

“We're totally against apartheid and all it stands for, but I feel we did a lot of bridge building. We actually met musicians of both colours. They all welcomed us with open arms. The only criticism we got was from outside of South Africa.”

"We used to call him Deacon John, and it appeared like that on the first album, but after that, he objected to it and said he wanted to be called John Deacon. I don't really know why we called him Deacon John in the first place - just one of those silly things."

"He (Freddie) would certainly fight for things he believed in, like 'Another One Bites the Dust', which was a bit of a departure for Queen. Roger, at the time, certainly felt that it wasn't rock and roll and was quite angry at the way that was going. And Freddie said, "Darling, leave it to me. I believe in this." John had written the song. But it took Freddie's support to make it happen."

“We don’t especially go out to play heavy or light music—it’s just out kind of music.” (1974)

“People may not generally admit it, but I think when most people write songs, there’s more than one level to them—they’ll be about one thing on the surface, but underneath, they’re probably trying, maybe even unconsciously, to say something about their own life, their own experience—and in nearly all my stuff, there’s a personal feeling.”

“I love heavy metal and I don’t look down on it at all. But we’re not a heavy metal group, so if we do it I guess there has to be consciousness in there. I love AC/DC, it’s very pure. But we’re not that way, so we can’t pretend we are. It’s good to be able to step back and see the funny side of it, ‘cos it kicks out some of the shit.” (1989)

“I like to live with the song for a while without touching the guitar at all. Then I can form an idea in my head of what I’d like to play and then work it out on the guitar and take it into the studio pretty much complete.” (1990)

“On the first few albums the songs would grow into strange shapes.”

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