This morning as I was working out Driven By You by Brian May came up on my playlist. I love Queen’s music and this song comes from the third disc of their Greatest Hits compilation. This disc contains quite a few collaborative recordings of Queen’s music, most made at tribute concerts after Freddy Mercury’s death, as well as a few solo recordings of Mercury’s. Driven By You is in fact the only solo recording by any other Queen member included on the compilation, so I googled it.
It was released in 1991, mere days before Mercury’s death and became one of May’s biggest solo hits, reaching number six on the UK singles chart.
Curious, I googled Brian May and discovered a few interesting things: I knew that he was the lead guitarist of Queen. I did not know that his guitar, Red-Special, was home-built by him and his father from, among other things, an 18th century fireplace mantel and motorbike valve springs. Brian May is also a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Not a knight, but pretty close.
But what really blew my mind is that he also has a PhD in astrophysics and had been the chancellor of a university for the past five years. So, not only is he one kickass musician, but apparently he’s also super-smart. This really makes me wonder about all those kids who drop out of high school to become rock stars. Has anyone ever told them you can have it all?
Hey, I just realised something. If the Queen were to confer a knighthood on Brian May, people could address him as Sir Doctor (though not “of TARDIS”, I think 😉 )
To get your weekend started right, here’s the song. My favourite part? That wicked guitar solo about two and a half minutes in, of course! Enjoy.