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Queen's Brian May plays a signature Brian May Red Special guitar, the same style he's been using for virtually his entire career. The Guitar sports Burns pickups and a unique switchings system that allows for a wide range of tones. In this Premier Guitar Rig Rundown video, May's tech shows off a number of Red Special variations and copies that the Queen guitarist plays onstage. Although May has a number of variations, he prefers his original Red Special guitar. "He only wants to play that," May's tech says at (9:20). "If he breaks a string, he wants [the Red Special] back as soon as possible."
In this video at (13:30) Brian May talks about building his Red Special for the first time. May and his father built the guitar and took up the challenge to "make something better than anything that's ever been out there, 'cause me and my dad had that kind of attitude. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing to the max," (13:40). According to May, the guitar "was made out of all sorts of stuff just lying around." Interstingly enough, the neck of the orginal Red Special is a piece of wood "from an old fireplace, which was about 100 years old at the time" (17:30). The back of the guitar is a "very solid piece of oak," May said.
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