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Then this one time I met Brian May

October 24, 2013

So this one time, I actually did meet Brian May of Queen. Brain f$&king May. Of Queen. But let me start at the beginning where all great tales begin…last week I get this email from my long-time friend Dave Wright:

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Um…and that slight mention was all he wrote, at the end, just like that. Like one of those fine print blurbs at the bottom of an annoying advertisement. “We might go to NYC to meet Brian May.”

Are you kidding me?

So I invited myself along. Like he didn’t think I was going to.

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So last Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 5 am eastern time Dave, his wife Cecilia and I jumped a Greyhound bus bound for New York City. Brian was signing his new book “Diableries – Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell” (which he co-authored with Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming, and can be found on Amazon), and needless to say this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.

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Now what you might not know is that the band Queen is why Dave and I became friends in the first place. We both went to different high schools, and 30 years ago we met at a vo-tech school we both attended in 10th grade. In 1983 we were the only 2 kids in both our schools who liked Queen. Needless to say we have always been ahead of the curve.

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So we get to Times Square in beautiful New York City around 11am, with a good hour to spare before the signing that was to take place at noon.

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We arrive at the Barnes and Nobel and the line is already going around the corner. Guess we weren’t the only ones who knew about this momentous event. Dammit!

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Then the B&N Schutz-Staffel began handing out this event flyer to everyone in line:

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“No posed photos, no memorabilia, no personalization…” WHAT THE FUCK?? What kind of insanity was this? Do they not realize Brian May NEVER does this kind of personal appearance thing like EVER??

Whatever. Meeting him was enough, a handshake would just be a bonus. But damn, I brought my original copy of A Night At The Opera just in case. I mean, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had to try.

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And then before I could even catch my bearings, there he was. Fuck yea, that’s Brian May, and he’s right over there. (I actually saw him about 10 minutes earlier…he mysteriously appeared out of nowhere and walked a foot away from me while we were in the line outside. One second he wasn’t there. Then he was. Then he was gone. We were all still in shock from that…) But now, there he was and I couldn’t believe it.

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And once again, just like that is was over. As the flyer stated, he was not signing anything but the book, even though I swore I saw him signing other stuff from my vantage point on line. And the only pictures could be taken from the line as well, so it was a good thing Dave’s wife Ceil took video of us the entire time or else I wouldn’t have the above photos. Thanks Ceil! By the way, Dave’s wife is also a Queen fan from way back, so of course we needed her there too. I mean, check out this flower she got from Freddie himself one of the multiple times she saw Queen back in the day. A friend of hers took those photos as well. And her ticket stubs.

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So…he signed the book and slid it over to the next author to sign. This was my chance. I slid my copy of the record sleeve in front of him and began babbling about something as to distract him from looking down, hoping he would keep eye contact with me and not notice he was about to sign a non authorized item. His sharpie was literally an inch away from the cover when his handler or B&N security jumped in and said in a deep throated slow motion voice “no memorabilia” and handed it right back to me. You fucking cunt. But…all was not lost…

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In front of us in line was Jamie from Atlantic City. Jamie got Brian to sign her arm (which was also not an authorized signature item!!) as well as her book. Jamie already had a few Queen related tattoos, and she took a cue from my book and was planning on getting the signature tattooed.

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(The “Queen” was a hand poke job she did on herself at age 14) So like the responsible tattooer I am, I took it upon myself to take her to a reputable tattoo shop to get it inked in. Well, that and the fact she asked me if I new anybody…and I did. Lori Leven’s New York Adorned on 2nd ave.

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Luckily they had an artist available, and within the hour the deed was done nicely by Andy Canino from Dedication Tattoo.

And as I stated before, all was not lost concerning the aborted lp signing. See, turns out this wasn’t a “once in a lifetime chance” for Jamie like it was for me. Turns out Brian was doing a second signing later that night across town at The Strand book store. So in return for me helping her, she agreed to make a second attempt at getting my record signed. Well, she agreed after much begging from me. But as you can see, it was not meant to be. Here she is showing Brian her new tattoo, and here is my Queen album not getting signed. Again.

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So what do you think a life long Queen fan (moi) might have said to his all time favorite rock guitar god Brian May?? Did he show him this drawing he did of Freddie?

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Nope. Did he show him this tattoo he did of Freddie on another Queen Fan?

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Nope. Did he show him his hand drawn inner sleeve to A Night At The Opera that He did when he was like 13?

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Nope. He didn’t even show him his 9th grade class photo from 1981.

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Nope. Didn’t do any of that. Truthfully, I don’t have any clue what I said to him, because I was so in shock I don’t remember. But what I do remember was this: he reached out his hand to shake mine. And even though I didn’t get my record signed, the hand shake was all I needed. And I got it.

This one time, I met Brian May of Queen and he shook my hand.

Oh, and the book is pretty cool to. It’s contains stereoscopic photos of Satan dioramas from the late 1800s. It’s awesome.

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When you look through the enclosed Owl Stereoscope you can see the pictures in wonderful 3-D. It’s a great package all around, and an interesting book on one of my favorite subjects.

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But the best part is, my copy is signed by Prof. Brian May himself.

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3 Comments
  1. Less permalink

    You are so crazy! That’s why we like you sooo much! Less

  2. Dave Rite permalink

    The video companion piece:

  3. Tammy Hewson permalink

    Loved the video, funny. nice read also ! 🙂 you are lucky! have you ever tweeted the vid. to Brian?

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