Rock

Brian May on How Eric Clapton Reacted to a Song the Queen Guitarist Dedicated to Him

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The legendary Brian May is commemorating the 40th anniversary of his iconic “Star Fleet Project” with a fresh box set. This milestone release not only showcases the exceptional contributions of the late guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen but also features a track dedicated to none other than Eric Clapton, titled “Blues Breaker.”

Despite the celebration, it appears that Clapton may not have embraced May’s homage with open arms. In a recent interview with “Cleveland,” May, renowned as a guitarist, astrophysicist, and Knight of the Realm, humorously shared his perception of Clapton’s reaction to the song:

“I think he hated it! [Laughs] But that’s OK; he’s entitled. He can do what he wants. I mean, Eric could do anything and he’ll still be our hero. That’s the way it is. There’s probably lots of things I disagree with Eric about, but that doesn’t change anything. He’s been one of the greatest influences, inspirations of my life, and that’ll never change. I always get goosebumps if I get to be anywhere near him. When I’m playing with him, the couple of times I’ve done it, it’s a wonderful moment, experience.”

In a series on his YouTube channel, May delved into the recording of the “Star Fleet Project” album, featuring a star-studded lineup of musicians. Reflecting on Eddie Van Halen’s involvement, May recalled the genesis of the collaboration in 1983 when Queen was in need of a break:

“What I remember most vividly is waking up in L.A., one of my favorite places, and thinking ‘I could do anything today. The sun is shining, I’ve got friends here, why don’t I make some phone calls.’ And that’s what happened.”

May reached out to Eddie Van Halen, initiating a collaboration that included Phil Chen, Fred Mandel, and Alan Gratzer. The guitarist expressed his eagerness to experiment, particularly with bringing a TV series theme into the rock domain. He envisioned turning the theme of a Japanese cartoon science fiction series, Starfleet, into a rock anthem. May emphasized his desire for spontaneity and exploration during the recording process:

“So I also had this song called ‘Let Me Out.’ So I circulated a couple of demos to the chaps, just so that they knew roughly what I had in mind. But I said, ‘Look, I want to be loose. I want to go in there, prepared, but prepared for anything. So if we get ideas, we can go off at tangents, etc.'”

 

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