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It’s a Hard Life for Brian May

Guaranteed to blow your mind

By James Dacey

As the recession trundles on and the Pound slumps to unprecedented lows against the Euro, many Brits are shying away from foreign travel this year — instead heading to the once popular tourist towns of the English South coast.

If you happen to be holidaying in Devon on 5th of September, anywhere near the town of Torbay, then why not pop along to the Torbay Bookshop. Queen guitarist turned astrophysicist Brian May will be signing copies of his popular science book BANG! The Complete History of the Universe, which has just been released in paperback.

Accompanying the guitar legend will be the book’s co-authors — and regular TV presenters of things “spacey” — Sir Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott.

I can’t make it along myself, sadly, but I wonder if Brian will be chucking in a free copy of his PhD — A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud — which was published for popular audiences around this time last year.

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  1. Jim

    Just because Brian got his doctorate in his 60’s and played lead guitar for Queen, there’s supposed to be this feeling of idolatry toward him. Why, if he’s personally isolated himself from open contact ?
    I hand-wrote him a personal letter of congratulations on his PhD, and contemplating finishing my own, asked for just a few words of encouragement, since we’re both the same age and both musicians.
    NO response whatsoever, after one year. Just try finding his email at his home university, LJMU: It is impossible. No staff listing of him as chancellor either, just a news story ballyhooing his acquisition as such:
    Rather than being an ambassador of good will, Dr. May is perpetuating his rock-star persona, isolating himself from open contact with the outside world, unless pre-screened.
    Freddy would be most displeased & disappointed at such arrogance.

  2. J. C. Maxwell

    There is no town of Torbay. Torbay is a bay. The 1948 Yachting Olympics were held there.
    The Torbay Bookshop is probably in Torquay, or somewhere nearby.

  3. paul clement

    dear brian patrick and chris thank you very much for signing my was nice to see you down in torbay.many thanks to you brian for signing my picture disc of a kind of magic as i know you didnt have to i will think of you everytime i look at it.paul

  4. Danielle Blackstone

    Brian May hides, probably for the same reason many famous
    people don’t like doing many public things – they keep being bothered. Neil Armstrong stays away from people, too;
    it could be that he’s one of Brian May’s great heroes. He is to be congratulated for doing so well as a physicist –
    most original sort-of professor type, no wonder Patrick Moore invited him to an observing party he held a couple of years ago.

  5. Jim

    Yes, but comparing May to Armstrong is inaccurate in the extreme. Armstrong is shy & has sought seclusion in academe ever since Apollo 11. May revels in adulation & idolatry, and is the appointed chancellor of a well known university. Hence hiding is impossible in such a position. Other 60-something retired rock stars do not share his problem, and he accepted the chancellor job & coauthors books on astronomy, since was not offered a post-doc.

  6. Robert

    Sounds like sour grapes.

  7. Jeff

    To Jim above — I know this is several months old, but I just found this by googling for information on Brian May.
    So I have to wonder: Are you trying to contact Brian May because he’s an astrophysicists who happens to be a musician, or are you trying to contact him because he’s the lead guitarist in Queen, hoping to chitchat with him? Sounds like the latter. The guy probably gets tons of letters, so why be upset if he missed yours? Besides, if you had an actually *legitimate* reason to contact the astrophysicist (rather than the guitarist from Queen), then you’d know the proper routes to do so.


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