> Great work, as usual. Though, as usual, I'm always curious to know what your sources are for some of the more obscure information.
Feel free to ask, as I've got no secret or exclusive access to anything beyond what's more or less (ethically or not) easy to find on-line or by listening to the records.
> I'm certain I've seen Brian himself name Hairfred as the make of that early acoustic, on two or three occasions. So there's more source material than just that 83 magazine to go on for that. In fact, didn't he have a piece on his soapbox about somebody restoring it for him? Or was that the Egmond?
I've honestly only seen him mentioning 'Hairfred' once, in the printed '83 interview (which again could've been a misprint, for all we know). In a 1973 article he said he'd used an old acoustic he'd modified but didn't say any brand; the Egmond's the one that got restored and while speaking about it he said he'd used Dave Dilloway's acoustic (no brand was named) for Jealousy
and The Night Comes Down
. Later on he again confirmed having used it for White Queen
too but, again, he didn't say any brand name.
> the acoustics on A Human Body and I Want To Break Free. Presumably the former was the Martin, but the latter I'm not sure about. I even have a bit of a hard time myself trying to establish if it's steel or nylon-strung!
I think it's the Chet Atkins. Again, it's only an educated guess so far.
> 1973: Ogre Battle was written on acoustic guitar by Freddie, confirmed by Brian May on AG CD 2.
It'd been confirmed by him long before at least twice.
> Source: http://www.brianmaycentral.net/guitars.html
I remember contributing to that some years ago ;)
> Hairfred acoustic - used for early acoustic work, e.g. White Queen, Jealousy and The Prophet's Song
I remember writing to the owner of that site and telling them that. But I was wrong: for Prophet's Song
it was something else.
> I'd change that to 1982, as he was seen on the Hot Space tour with it. He even once spoke about the concert in New Jersey when he threw his Birch copy in frustration and ended up using the Flying V.
However, I think
(but am not sure) he had it as backup in Japan 1985, as it was seen around the corner together with the Ovation. It's not very logical considering he'd already got the Guild, but anyway that discussion belongs to the 'Electric Guitar' thread, not this one.
> True, in fact he also used the V in Oakland, Ca., September 7, 1982. It was discussed on Brianmay.com in August 2007.
And BTW, Dr Memory first claimed he'd never used it on stage, until he faced the proofs (deja vu).
> If I Google-search for 'Hairfred acoustic guitar' I find 800 sites, all writing the same stories about Brian an Queen. None of them mentions any other musician using this brand....
Which is why I'm suspicious about the whole thing. Maybe we'd all spent 27 years (all right, 26 years and 11 months) saying the wrong make... another deja vu.
> I mean, saying 'I read it in a magazine' or 'Brian said it in an interview' or referring to a web-site is easy to do.
I think, personally, that the order of sources goes like this:
1. Things that are filmed (e.g. Brian playing the DX-7 on One Vision
2. Things seen on pix (e.g. Fred playing a black piano, not the white Bechstein, in several 'Opera tour' dates).
3. Things available on audio (e.g. Roger claiming Break Free
was done in LA).
4. QueenCuttings (it's not impossible to doctor an actual scan, but it's way harder and pointless).
5. Brian's Soapbox (for certain things it's the best, for others not too reliable).
6. Transcripts found on-line in prestigious webs (e.g. QueenArchives).
7. Things only passed through via 'common knowledge' (e.g. Bijou
being the combination of two songs) or reported to have been learnt via exclusive sources.
So, for instance, if we've got a QZer saying they got in touch with John Deacon and he told them he'd played the Who Needs You
solo, it could easily be true and it could easily be false. Let's say that person claims they can't provide further evidence since John doesn't want to be annoyed by fans asking him all sorts of things. In that case, as I said, I can't believe them right away, but I wouldn't discard that info right away either.
Another case: Roger, unlike us, was at the Hammersmith gig in '75. However, he said it was on New Year's Eve. As counterevidence we can provide newspaper articles or even old TV guides to confirm it was Xmas Eve. Same if, for instance, Mike Grose said Queen never played Liar
after his departure (there are loasd of audio and video files to prove they did), or if Brian said My Fairy King
is on 'Queen II' (there's physical evidence to prove it's not that way).
Normally, for a research like mine (and I dare to say, like other webmasters' such as Bob and Martin, though they probably have a different strategy) you're better off when you get hold of several evidence 'items' in several categories. For instance, there's no footage of Brian recording the synthesiser of Who Wants to Live Forever
. There are however, several bits of evidence to be 99% sure he played it on the record:
* He does it live (source: Wembley, Tribute, Budapest...).
* He said it at least twice in his website.
* It's totally his style (compare it with the live version, for instance, and there's a 99% chance it's the same player).
* He does it in the video.
* He's credited for keyboards in the 'Magic' album, meaning he did play for at least one song.
So, no counterevidence in that case. But let's see a different case: John plays the piano for the Spread Your Wings
video (only the beginning). That would suggest he did it for the record. But there are also several things to suggest he didn't:
* According to what's been claimed many times by all of them, they used to record live backing tracks, with piano, bass and drums at the same time. So, unless we're willing to create a far-fetched laughable theory of Fred or Bri playing bass for a song John wrote, it's more logical to realise the video thing was just a prop.
* There's no mention of John playing piano in the album liner notes.
* Freddie, who played it live (source: loads of audio and a few video things), plays it virtually the same way as it's on the record.
* Fred, after all, was the band's pianist, meaning that in most (not all) cases he'd be the one to play. There are some exceptions, but certainly Spread Your Wings
wasn't one of them.
So, as you can see, sometimes evidence's not too clear, sometimes it is. Every case is different.
> Yep, I know. I've got those pics up on my website as well. :-)
BTW I'd never 'surfed' in your website until a couple of days ago. After reading it carefully, I absobloodylutely love it!
John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.