Brian May EXCLUSIVE: Queen in 3-D – UNSEEN Freddie Mercury pictures in new book REVEALED
The 70-year-old guitarist has had quite the career as lead guitarist of one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Aside from Queen, Dr Brian May CBE, has had a fondness for science, being an astrophysicist and stereoscopic enthusiast.
It’s the latter, discovered in the 1830s, that’s the basis of his new book Queen in 3-D. Part autobiography, part 3-D picture book, May says it’s “a complete chronicle of Queen through the years [with] hundreds of pictures I’d forgotten about.”
The guitarist has had an fascination with photography, especially stereoscopes from an early age.
May revealed: “My dad taught me how to develop my own films. He was one of these people who could turn his hand to anything really. The 3-D part came because I used to get 3-D pictures in cereal packets, we all did in those days.
He continued: “In this case it was a piece of cardboard with two pictures side by side. They looked identical, but they weren’t. They were the stereo pair.”
After sending off for a viewer, May soon found that 3-D would become a life-long passion, something he shared with the rest of Queen.
May said: “They kind of got used to my eccentricities. I didn’t actually buy a stereo camera until we went to the States…in about 1974. Prior to that I had been taking stereo pictures in other ways, which I still do. In fact anyone can do it with an iPhone.
“You just take a picture with your weight on your left foot and then another picture with your weight on your right foot. And you put your pictures together and you have your stereo picture.
“The magic of 3-D is created because you’re using two different views of the universe, one through from each eye, and that of course is what our brain is doing every second of our waking lives.”
But it wasn’t just May who enjoyed photography, Freddie himself embraced the art – despite being known for being shy in private – snapping away with his polaroid.
In fact much of Queen in 3-D consists of unseen pictures of the late singer, who sadly died in 1991, all of which are viewed through May’s OWL stereoscope that comes with the book.
May added: “It’s pretty much all unseen. Nobody has seen these pictures except for in private. Apart from the fact that they’re in 3-D, they’re my own personal pictures. Really ninety percent of it or more has never been seen before.”
When it comes to a favourite, the guitarist picked out one of Freddie backstage applying make up, because of how it makes you feel like you’re with him.
He said: “For me that sums up Freddie. Someone behind the big front, very pensive and shy. The whole thing springs to life and you really feel like you’re in that room with Freddie.
Apart from gazing at Queen through a Victorian lens, the book is the closest thing to an autobiography by May, who admitted he’d had some good reactions to people enjoying the anecdotes.
The 70-year-old star is due to speak on his new book at Cheltenham Literary Festival this evening, for which tickets have already sold out.
For those lucky enough to attend, May teased: “I will be projecting pictures from the book and everyone will be able to see in 3-D [thanks to glasses] without any headaches. I get lots of wows. I’ll say a few words and do a Q&A after that.”
Queen in 3-D by Brian May is out now.
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