The Brian May Rules

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Brian May was the lead guitarist for the group, Queen.

Brian May is the author of a book on stereoscopic photography.

And Dr. Brian May is an astrophysicist.

Even more amazing, all those Brian Mays are the same Brian May.

Brian May Rule Nr 1: You really can be good at more than one thing. But they all take work.

May was in the midst of his studies in astrophysics when the band Queen’s popularity took off. He put his studies on hold and caught a wave of rock star success.

My favorite story about this part of May’s life involves the song, “We Will Rock You.” May wrote that one for the band.

He also used his astrophysics background to figure out how to create the “stamp-stamp-clap” sound that kicks off the recording without access to a stadium full of people. He computed the delay between sounds coming from different distances away.

Then he and the band stomped on four loose boards in an old church. May remixed the sound on tape to create the effect he wanted.

Brian May Rule Nr 2: You can use what you learn in one part of your life in other parts of your life.

You don’t need to conform to other people’s ideas of what’s age-appropriate, either. I love the fact that May received his doctorate in 2007 at age 60. The 30-year layoff from his studies was long enough that the subject of his dissertation had gone out of fashion and come back in again.

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