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Watch Brian May and his father discuss the Red Special in a vintage video clip

Brian May Red Special
(Image credit: Instagram/Brian May)

There are few guitars as iconic as Brian May’s homemade Red Special, which he famously built with his father as a teenager in the early 1960s.

Now, to commemorate what would have been May Sr.’s 100th birthday, the Queen electric guitar legend has posted a short clip to his Instagram page of father and son discussing the Red Special in an old video interview.

“Queen’s distinctive guitar sound emanates from the cheapest piece of equipment the band owns,” begins the narration, after which May explains that the guitar is “all made from strange objects, pieces of junk really, a fireplace.”

As for May’s father, he says that when he hears a Queen record, “I always know when it’s this guitar.”

Wrote May in the accompanying Instagram post, “Happy Birthday to my dear ol’ Dad. Long gone to the next place, of course, but always in my heart. And today he would have been 100 years old. But in this video he was younger than I am today.”

He continued, “[T]his is enough to remind me so clearly of the way my Dad spoke – a sound from a world that is no more, and his body language, and his pride in what we’d made together, even though it led me to abandon his dreams for what I might become. Maybe I should write a book about my Dad – because his gifts to me were many and everlasting. Happy Birthday Dad. I love you. Bri.”

You can check out the clip above.