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Seven Sexton sent us a link to this awesome 1992 video of Queen’s Brian May talking about “The Fireplace,” his famous electric guitar that he and his dad built from scrap bits such as a mantle from a 100-year old fireplace (hence the name), a chunk of a table, a spring from a motorcycle, a piece from his mother’s knitting needle, etc. Amazingly, this is not some fragile relic he keeps in the closet, but a working guitar, one you’ve heard on many Queen songs. His family was poor and his dad built most of their home electronics, including their television and radio. Wonderful, inspiring little piece. I love the opening quote from him:


I’m still a kid. Basically, I LOVE the sound of the guitar. I love making it. I love standing there and making that noise.

Brian May guitar 1992

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • I have no mouth and I must scream

    He went back and completed his Ph.D. thesis in astrophysics on October 2007 which he didn’t complete when Queen hit it big. Then on 17 November 2007, Brian May was appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, taking over from Cherie Blair, and installed in 2008.

  • Gilberti

    Wikipedia is your friend.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Special

    As to the story at hand: wow.

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