Queen guitarist Brian May has revealed in an exclusive interview with Far Out who the one artist is who he describes as being his musical “hero”.
May has been among the headlines of late as he promotes the remastered version of his much-celebrated debut solo album, Back To The Light. With the album in mind, the guitarist has been pondering back to the past and looking back glowingly upon the time he created the record, plus the figures who made him the artist he is today.
His interview with Far Out captures him in a fascinatingly reflective mood. The feature sees May reveal the stories behind his songs, discuss his influences, and open up about the battle scars he’s gained from a life in one of the biggest bands that Britain has ever produced.
Back To The Light was originally released in 1992, and with the re-release firmly implanted on his brain, May cast his mind back to the album’s recording during the interview. Fascinatingly, he revealed the role of John Lennon in the creation of the record. The guitarist even went as far as describing the Beatle as his “hero”.
“It probably was influenced by Plastic Ono Band,” May admitted to Far Out. “I don’t remember being consciously influenced by it, but I’m sure there is, because John Lennon is a massive hero of mine, and I was conscious in his solo work that John was grieving about losing The Beatles in various ways, and I was grieving about losing my band, and losing Freddie!”
He continued: “So, yes, I think there’s something in there, and strangely enough when I went out on tour, I borrowed a John Lennon song, ‘God’. And he goes, ‘I don’t believe in Buddha, I don’t believe in Zimmerman…’ Then he gets to, ‘I don’t believe in Beatles: I just believe in me.’ So, I sang that on tour, converting it to my own purpose, which was ‘I don’t believe in Queen.’ [That] ‘s the way I felt at the time.”