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Brian Harold May CBE (Born July 19, 1947) is the guitarist for the English rock band Queen. As a guitarist, he is known for his distinctive tone as well as for the fact that he built (with his father) his own guitar, called the 'Red Special'. He also wrote many of the band's hits, including "We Will Rock You," "Tie Your Mother Down," "Who Wants to Live Forever," and "The Show Must Go On."
May has played a range of guitars, most often the "Red Special," which he designed with his father, Harold May, and built with wood from an 18th century fireplace. His comments on this instrument, from Queen In Their Own Words (ed. Mick St. Michael, Omnibus Press, 1992, p. 62) are:
Due to the uniqueness of his guitar, the Red Special, which he built himself, May was often able to create strange and unusual sound effects. For example, he was able to imitate an orchestra in the song "Procession", the opening track of Queen II; in "Get Down, Make Love," he was able to create sound effects with his guitar that were so unusual that many thought a synthesizer was being used. ...