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Brian May's Red Special: The Story of the Home-Made Guitar That Rocked Queen and the World Hardcover – 1 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard (1 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480341479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480341470
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 1.6 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 615,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Only - Books on Music

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Beautifully produced book with some amazing photos detailing the whole story of quite possibly the most iconic home produced guitar ever made.

Back in the seventies my father and I embarked on the same mission, to produce a home made electric guitar because the "real thing" was just so far out of our price range. My father was a carpenter so the woodworking parts came easy and whilst my o'level metalworking skills were not bad, we just did not have the knowledge on how to proceed with this. For example the truss rod was a mystery and assuming it was just to stop the neck snapping, we just fitted two metal bars into the neck - gosh that guitar was heavy !

But we did not have the internet to guide us in the seventies so for Brian and his father to have achieved what they did 50 years ago shows the real talent and ingenuity that also made Brian one of the worlds greatest rock guitarists. Every detail of the build is explored from the home made (and working !) truss rod to using Araldite as an early substitute for "wax potting" the pickups (A later rebuild even shows the correct method for how the pickups were later done with wax).

The book goes on to feature tales of the guitars exploits over the years and shows the important connection that Brian still has with the guitar and leaves me longing to hold the long departed guitar that myself and my recently departed father made together, wishing that we had this book back then to show us the way. It has at least inspired me to finally knuckle down and get on with the rebuild of the Stratocaster that eventually replaced my home made attempts - paraffin wax now on order to fix that squealing pickup !

If you are a fan of Queen, Brian May or just a guitarist like myself that likes to tinker with guitars then buy this book or if you have a loved one that needs a stocking filler for christmas you won't go wrong with this !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PJW van Ham on 31 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a book that you buy if you aren't interested in Guitars or brian May. But this is a MUST if you are!
Yhe book cotains the whole story about this favmous guitar and its owner. Completed with much unseen photo's and a close look to the Red Special, even inside!
Do i Miss something? Well, yes I do. The backline Brian uses is also very interesting to look at. Not only his stack of Ac 30's, but also the variety of effects.
But nevertheless: BUY THIS BOOK!!! YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Oakey on 7 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book produced to a high standard with nice thick paper and lots of great photos. Even if you're a Queen fan (as almost all readers will be), there will be lots in here that's new to you. I haven't read it all yet but the best quote so far is from one of Brian's guitar techs, Brian 'Jobby' Zellis: "It's not like a Stradivarius where you can just go and buy another one: it's the Red Special, there isn't anything else like it."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr grumpy on 28 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A brilliant book for any guitar or Brian May fan. Photographs of the guitar as it is disassemble to component parts, x rays and original plans all give us an insight in to this unique instrument. We also get to see all the varities which have been available commercially or made especially for Brian. The book has been written with the general fan in mind so if you are not a guitar whizz the do not fear. All round an essential purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs D L M Chippendale on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I loved it, very interesting, very technical in parts as you would expect, so I did struggle at times and had to read many passages over but it is the story of a very famous guitar. The obvious care and love both Father and Son had was inspiring. Such clever chaps. Loved the book as a whole, super photos too, especially the cover photo, Mr B. looks so very happy, hope that is so. Really recommend this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By StockportJambo on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a guitar player, you will like this. If you are a Brian May / Queen fan, you will like this. If, like me, you are a guitar playing Brian May / Queen fan, you will *love* this. I own one of the early Burns BMs, and have done for ~15 years. It's a beautiful instrument to play & has unique flexibility of sound you simply don't find on other guitars. This book explains the genesis, creation, and all aspects of the original Old Lady, much of it in Brian's own relaxed words. Despite it being a textbook of sorts, it's very readable & conversational, and filled with rare & unique photos of the guitar both inside & out. If you felt like building your own - this would be the place to start.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good quality product 100% recommended, gives an in depth background of the famous guitar and its creators, Brian and his dad. It shows details previously only guessed at and enables many other questions to be answered The book also makes for good reading, I am glad I purchased it and if I hadn't yet done so then I would be looking to do so.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book to read if you are into Brian May and want to know the history of how he and his father built the Red Special. Some amazing pictures from his personal library and also Brian's own views makes this book very special and probably the reason why I have given this 5 stars in this review. Amazing to think that the Red Special was way ahead of its time and even know some things are still quite ahead given we are well into the 21st century. I bought this book and it took me just over a couple of weeks to read it all, mainly because I was taking my time to absorb it all. It is likely I will read this again in the next few months s it is an enjoyable read.
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