For most, if not all, successful classic rock bands in their early days were massively inspired by both Elvis Presley and The Beatles – the two most successful music acts of all time. Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, we asked Brian May what impact the Fab Four had on Queen from the early 1970s onwards.
Brian said: “The Beatles were our bible. Absolutely at every stage in their career and their music development, they were models. And they still are to me, I must say. I love all those albums. To me, they are the greatest. They are the pinnacle of writing, performance and ethos of rock music. They broke down so many barriers, they changed the world many times. I will always love The Beatles without any reservation.”
Unlike Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody, the Fab Four are yet to have a proper big blockbuster biopic which the guitarist believes should happen one day.
As for John Lennon, who was killed at just 40-years-old in 1980, the Queen guitarist said: “Never met [him], very sadly. I wish I had, I would have loved to have done. What a wonderful talent and a wonderful voice. Incredible.”
Queen with Freddie Mercury and later Paul Rodgers occasionally covered Imagine at their concerts, including right after his murder.
The 74-year-old also has fond memories of working alongside George Harrison at the Water Rats Charity Ball on November 29, 1992.
Brian remembered: “He played one of my guitars which is nice! I love George, I love his playing. I think he’s still underrated. Wonderful!”
Just before the Quiet Beatles’ death in November 2001, the Queen star told Guitarist Magazine: “I’ve been thinking about George a lot recently and I really wish him well. And just before you came I was thinking about how the press treated Freddie when he was ill. You know, he literally couldn’t step outside his door for photographers. They were even trying to get in the windows and there’s absolutely nothing you can do; you have no protection. But I’ve only met George once. We played together at a Water Rats do, when Bert Weedon was King Rat. There was George, Joe Brown, Bert and me… what a precious moment. I had a blinding migraine, but the moment overcame the pain. I wish I’d had the balls to say what I really wanted to at the time. I hold George in such reverence and I think he’s so underrated by the guitar community. Everyone raves about people who play fast, but if you look at the catalogue of stuff he’s produced, it’s colossal.”