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Brian May's Birthday Guitar

Click here for Brian's Birthday Message and announcement

The idea for this guitar was originally conceived nearly 40 years ago. While going through various drawings and photos relating to the 'Red Special', Brian uncovered early sketches of the 'Spade', which was to be the second guitar Brian and his father were to build, however, so successful was the first guitar - that the second guitar was never built.

A few months ago, Brian asked me whether I'd be interested in building the guitar. After deciding on a rough spec for the guitar, and after a few small detail changes, Brian settled on 'Fender' type tonewoods e.g.Poplar and Maple, with the tried and tested BM hardware and Burns Tri-Sonic pickups.

I must admit, that at first, I did have my reservations about the design, but as time went on, and the further I got into the build, the more sense the design made - The upper fret access - the large upper bout to raise the guitar to the correct angle for playing while seated, and the small lower bout, so making for unhindered and relaxed playing.

With it's combination of woods and the comparitively wide Tri-Sonic single coil pickups, the guitar has a sound somewhere between the 'Red Special' and a Fender Telecaster, but with a little more output.

Specification

Finish
Nitrocellulose 'Ferrari Rosso Corsa'

Hardware
2 specially wound Burns Tri-Sonics (gold covers), controlled with 1 Volume and 1 Tone that are then switched via a 3-way toggle switch. The pots are then fitted with 2 custom machined Aluminium control knobs that have been gold anodised. BM spec tremolo and roller bridge, gold plated and gold anodised where applicable. Schaller back locking tuners with modified Gotoh tuner buttons.

Images

Click on the thumbnails to see the fullsize image.

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