STEVE VAI In Praise Of BRIAN MAY - "Happy Birthday To The Most Brilliant And Innovative Guitar Orchestrator That Has Ever Been Sent Forth From The Universe"
July 20, 2019, a month ago
Steve Vai has posted the following birthday wishes to Queen guitar legend Brian May, who turned 72 on July 19th.
"Happy Birthday to the most brilliant and innovative guitar orchestrator that has ever been sent forth from the Universe to add to the quality of our lives, Dr. Brian May. You are a treasure beyond measure.
There’s no way to quantify the positive effect he has on all of us. When I discovered Queen through my good friend John Sergio when I was perhaps 14 years old, it was as if a monolith had appeared on the planet for me. I studied everything Queen and Brian May. His incredible tones, melodies, harmonies, songs, guitar phrasing, and of course The Red Special, his infamous hand-built guitar. Everything perfectly orchestrated in unreproducible ways. And I’ll never forget that day, perhaps a few days after I moved out to Los Angeles when I was 20 years old, when I walked into the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd and there was Brian standing at the bar. It was surreal.
I went up and just started talking to him and he was so so kind. He was interested and interesting, and I could not even believe I was talking to my guitar hero. He even invited me to a Queen rehearsal the next day. Of course I went and got to meet and see the whole band. It was kind of unbelievable to me. And there it was, The Red Special plugged into his Vox Rig. It was so odd to see this guitar in real time. And then Brian said, 'You’re welcome to try it.' It was just a few years prior that I was still ogling this guitar from my Long Island teenage bedroom, and now it was in my hands. Of course I played it, but to my chagrin it didn’t sound anything like Brian. All that magnificent tone is in his fingers.
I’ve been so fortunate to have had many opportunities to perform with Brian over the years, but most of all, I am deeply appreciative of our friendship. One of my greatest take-aways from being exposed to Brian was the way I was inspired to meet and greet my own fans. He is always so patient, supportive, encouraging and truly a guitar enthusiast who is considerate to everyone he meets.
Thank you, Bri."