Brian Harold May (born on 19 July, 1947) is an English musician best known as the guitarist for Queen.
Brian May is the only child of Harold and Ruth May and was born in Hampton, Middlesex. He attended Hampton Grammar School. During this time he formed his first band with friend Dave Dilloway called 1984, after George Orwell's novel. He graduated from Hampton Grammar School with ten GCE Ordinary Levels and three Advanced Levels in Physics, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.
In 1964, Brian May and school friend Dave Dilloway first played music together, in their homes. They linked two casette recorders together being able to play guitar, bass and other instruments together. One surving recording is Brian doing Bo Diddley. They also recorded four track recordings of songs by Shadows (Wonderful Land, Apache, FBI, and The Rise And Fall Of Fingel Blunt, the Ventures (Ram bunk shus), Chet Atkins (Windy and Warm) and Cliff Richard (Bachelor Boy), of which it is likely May still has copies off.
Evently he and Dave formed a band, and after many schoolmates joining, they eventually ended up with John 'Jag' Garhnam, Richard Thompson and Tim Staffell. Names considered included the Mind Boggles and Bod Chappy and the Beetles, before settling with 1984, based on George Orwells novel.
They rehearsed at Chase Bridge Primary School in Twickenham and gave their first performance on the 28th October 1964 at the St. Mary's Church Hall. They recorded every performance, but often re-used the tape to save money. A recording from one gig exists, though it only contains Brian, Richard and school friend Pete Hammerton, instead of the full 1984 lineup. Pete later joined The Others, who released a single of Oh Yeah!. Brian occasionally played with them.
Brian enrolled at Imperial College to take Infra-red astronomy and Physics and the band played a few gigs their before Christmas. They continued to perform with a mix of influences, including blues, R&B and the Beatles. The band continued to perform locally, though their big performance was on the 13th May 1967, when they backed Jimi Hendrix's performance at the College.
The band entered the local battle of the band contest at The Top Rank Club in Croydon that September and won it and later made a recording using a local TV stations new equipment.
In the spring of 1968 due to the pressures of University, the band slowed down performances and Brian left. Tim took over lead guitar and later left himself. The others continued to perform into the seventies.