Monday, December 31, 2018
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Monday, December 24, 2018
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Brian May Greco BM 900 BM 80 BM 90 Japanese Replica Guitar
This one caused quite a stir when I posted pics on social media the other day so as promised, here's a blog with heaps of pics for you all.
Original Source https://tymguitars.com.au/blogs/blog/1979-greco-bm900
The story of Greco is (reasonably) well known both around here and online in general. It's no secret I love vintage (and modern) Japanese guitars and Greco have been one of the best for many years. The story of the Red Special, Brian May's home made guitar is well known and available elsewhere so I won't bore you with that either. We'll just look at this BM900, the first commercially available copy of this iconic guitar worldwide.
The story of Greco goes back to 1960, when Kanda Shokai introduced the Greco brand to make acoustic guitars made by Matsumoku for the domestic market and then started using Fujigen from about 1974. This is the factory that made this wonderful Red Special copy.
The idea of these Red Special copies dates all the way back to 1972 when Mr Shokai asked Mr. Hidesato Shiino to come over from Yamaha and work for Greco on designs and ideas. He had been a consultant on many big Japanese guitar brands and was primed to get a new thing happening at Greco.
The Gibson importer in Japan had asked Greco to make some Gibson copies in the mid 70's to export to the US as Ibanez and some of these guitars also ended up with Greco on the headstock with the "Super real" series being especially nice copies made by Fujigen.
Guitarist, Mick Ralphs of Bad Company visited Greco in the early 70's and talked to them about "custom guitar manufacturing" where they allegedly offered him a copy of Brian May's Red Special.
By '81 Greco were in talks with Fender and would, within a year become Fender Japan making the SE Strat series by Fujigen with a Fender licensed name on the headstock. But that's another story.
Back in the early 70's a famous guitarist named Shigeru Mairi had approached Greco with a similar idea to Mick, and wanted a MUCH better copy of a Les Paul than the EG-360 they were currently making. This idea caught on and Greco started selling more of these custom order guitars to professional guitarists in Japan, and overseas.
It got to a point where Greco decided to start a ... custom shop of sorts with a line called OMS (Order Made System) especially for these top end guitars, and demand was huge both domestically and to "in the know" players overseas.
Greco decided they needed a "production" version of the OMS line, which were very expensive and still essentially one-offs and the Project Series was born, essentially using the same designs and ideas but manufacturing in batches of about 40 guitars at a time.
The Greco RW ('74), GO ('75) and M ('77) series were part of this program and all three designs did well in Japan. The M series would go on to be known as the Ibanez Iceman to most of us overseas.
The first BM900's were made as Project Series guitars around 1976 after another famous Japanese guitarists ordered one through the OMS series and started playing it to much interest. The Project Series sat in the line between the standard production model and the OMS series and throughout the seventies all of these BM's were made by Fujigen as part of the Project Series which ended in 1980.
In the early eighties after demand for the BM, Greco started production of a standard series version in 1983 called the BM-80 which turned into the (same guitar) BM-90 in 1987, and there are a few small changes to the guitar in general. The back plate is bigger and the truss rod cover is different on the eighties standard series. I've owned three of these BM's in both Fujigen made PS series and one eighties standard series, and to be honest, from memory I can't remember much difference, but these seventies Project Series versions are considered better made, and more collectable, both OS and in Japan.
So, what's it like?
It's an amazing guitar indeed. I must admit to not being a huge Queen or Brian May fan. I like some of their stuff and I do really like some of his playing and his tone is spectacular, but they're not really my thing all up. Having said that, there is really something about the "Red Special" that is VERY, VERY cool. It's a great looking guitar for reasons I can't really put my finger on. It's one of the most aesthetically pleasing shapes for a double cutaway there is. The double bound body really sets the shape off nicely too. It's actually a very nice, and complimentary headstock shape too. Brian (and his Dad) had a great eye for design and detail.
The Greco version differs from Brian's original in a few ways but to think that they started making these around the time Queen were just taking off globally shows the sort of forward thinking strategies these Japanese companies had. They would have had to work from pictures in magazines and photos from album promos. There was no internet to just type "Brian May Red Special" and you couldn't buy one to copy. It would take years for other manufacturers to start making copies of these, some, unlike these, with Brian's blessing.
Brian's original was of course a series of laminated timbers (oak, block board and mahogany veneer) for an essentially chambered body and the neck was "set" (with screws) oak with painted oak fretboard, all the way back to the bridge pickup. The Greco version is a solid mahogany body with a standard set mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. Construction like the original, especially with similar timbers would have been prohibitively expensive and these were meant to "look like" the original, not play like it. Another (thankfully) difference is apparently the neck of the original is HUGE while this has a VERY nice, thin but comfortable neck profile.
The Greco keeps with the 24 fret neck with access all the way to to dusty end although it is 24.75" scale, not 24" like the original. It's an amazing guitar to play. The original Special also has a zero fret which the Greco didn't carry over, which is a shame.
The headstock on the original is slightly smaller and thinner which means the strings pass (almost) straight to the tuners from the string guide but the Greco has a slightly wider headstock with the strings taking a slight angle from the nut. The headstcok angle is also greater than the original which had a VERY shallow angle. The tuners are Greco branded Grover copies.
Additional links http://www.music-trade.co.jp/g_80000142carte.html
A new arrival of BM-900 from the Project Series of the 70s!
Greco started accepting orders for custom-made guitars from its dealers in 1972. In 1976, it started to manufacture models most ordered and inquired about in small lots under the name “Project Series,” a product line that reflects customers’ requests. These selected models were manufactured on a made-to-order basis.
The BM900 guitar we got our hands on is estimated to be from 1978. Its quality is extraordinary. This guitar is in extremely beautiful condition, making it hard to believe it has lived nearly 40 years.
(Accurate production year is hard to determine as part of the serial number has faded. See the photo for details.)
Some of the products from the Project Series originally came with a gold-plated “Faultless Case” (hard case) and a silicone cloth cover.
Monday, December 10, 2018
Sunday, December 9, 2018
Queen Keep Yourself Alive 1973
Above Video Recorded August 9 1973 Brewer Street London
Info from Queenpedia
Queen's first true foray into the promotional video may have been with Bohemian Rhapsody, a piece originally made for broadcast on the world-famous Top Of The Pops television programme that has since become a landmark music video, but there were earlier attempts at promotional footage featuring the band 'performing' to a playback tape of their single at the time.
The first of these came in August 1973, a month after the UK release of the Keep Yourself Alive single. The song had previously been featured on BBC Television's Old Grey Whistle Test, but the makers of the show did not know the identity of the group behind the white label disc that was played. Instead they chose to accompany the piece with a piece of animation from within the BBC Archives.
When Queen's management moved the band into Shepperton Studios in London, to work on new material they chose to make a promotional film for the American and European markets. And so, on the 9th August the band mimed their way through both 'Keep Yourself Alive' and potential second single Liar, for the first time on camera. This performance, however, was a disaster for all concerned, and director Mike Mansfield was discarded to film a new darker lit version.
It is this footage, directed by Queen and Barry Sheffield, which features on the Greatest Video Hits 1 DVD. The original version of Liar was, however, released on the Box Of Flix double pack VHS in 1991.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Friday, November 23, 2018
Queen Had Three Bass Players Before John Deacon -Bohemian Rhapsody Movie
To many John Deacon is the one and only bass player of Queen.
Until recently it wasn’t a well known fact that Queen had 3 bass players before John Deacon joined Freddie Mercury Brian May and Roger Taylor to for Queen as we know it
Take a look at Shane’s Queen Website
Doug Bogie interview with Jim Jenkins at Queen Convention
Barry Mitchell Interview by Jorge Moron
Saturday, November 17, 2018
What Happened To Mary Austin? Bohemian Rhapsody Movie
If you wish to support the channel on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/rocklicks
May Austin Biography https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.biography.com/.amp/news/freddie-mercury-mary-austin
May Austin David Wigg Interview about her relationship with Freddie Mercury https://youtu.be/xyjPF2vyBdM
Mary Austin Interview outside Garden Lodge https://youtu.be/wuHcqHKHlpY
Freddie Mercury The Untold Story https://youtu.be/L36N4BKKir4
Video By James Rundle
What Happened To Jim Hutton? Bohemian Rhapsody Movie
Full Jim Hutton Big Breakfast Interview from 1994 https://youtu.be/k4YOSH4P8h0
In the Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Freddie Mercury meets Jim Hutton after the party. Then finds Jim just before Live Aid
Read Mercury And Me online http://queen-lit.narod.ru/MERCURY_AND_ME.htm
Jim Hutton was born in Carlow, Ireland, in January 1950 and worked as a hairdresser for the late Queen singer, Freddie Mercury. He was first pursued by Mercury in 1984 at a club, but Hutton (not knowing who he was at the time) declined since he was with someone else at the time. The following year, they bumped into each other again and they eventually began dating, after having first having a drink together. But sadness struck as Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 and died from complications in 1991, in London. For the last six years of the singer’s life, Hutton lived with him and was by his side until the end. Mercury was a private person despite his fame, but Hutton shared photos of their relationship in his memoir, Mercury and Me. They celebrated holidays and enjoyed what little time they had left together.
On New Year’s Day in 2010, Hutton died after a battle with cancer, three days short of his 61st birthday. He died in Carlow and was also HIV positive but didn’t tell mercury until 1991, even though he was diagnosed in 1990. Mercury left Hutton 500,000 pounds (approximately $600,000 U.S.) and a plot of land at Rutland Terrace in Carlow, where Hutton had a home built. The majority of Mercury’s estate went to Mary Austin, his former girlfriend of six years. Hutton is survived by his brothers, sisters, and extended family
Source . https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.earnthenecklace.com/jim-hutton-wiki-3-facts-freddie-mercurys-boyfriend/amp/
Bohemian Rhapsody What Queen Did After Live Aid
In the movie the Queen story ends at Live Aid.
But after 1985 Queen went on to produce some of their most famous work.
Queen Album Reviews https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaxA-RGuEm-8ez_4SCwoJxZIbRtnupNWh
After Live Aid Queen Released
A Kind Of Magic
Greatest Hits II
Made In Heaven
Live At Wembley 86
Queen Rocks which included No One But You (Only The Good Die Young)
Freddie Mercury recorded The Great Pretender And The Barcelona Album With Montserrat Caballé
What Happened To Paul Prenter? - Bohemian Rhapsody Movie
If you wish to support the channel on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/rocklicks
What happened to Paul Prenter?
Belfast Telegraph Article https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/how-exdowntown-radio-dj-who-was-freddie-mercurys-lover-became-the-villain-of-new-movie-bohemian-rhapsody-37472422.html
In the Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Paul Prenter played by Allen Leech is every inch the villain
Any Queen site will tell he was a Judas
Interesting interview with Allen Leech who studied footage of Prenter said all the pictures show Prenter constantly whispering in Freddie’s ear.
Knowing that a persons character isn’t as cut and dry as just being wicked he tried to bring humanity to the roll.
A Belfast Dj who cut a lonley figure and as pointed out in the film it was difficult for a gay catholic boy who’s father would have rather him be dead.
During filming scenes Leech pointed out that Brian May apologies for not having much to do with him as his portrayal was so accurate he found him difficult to be around
The movie introduces us to Prenter in 1975 as a creeping Jesus type character in reality Prenter didn’t enter Queen circles until 1977 and became Freddie’s personal assistant.
There was stories of Prenter intercepting phone calls and not relaying messages one of the courses of Queen failing in America.
One of the best scenes is Brian May telling Freddie and Prenter they look like clones and look like the village people
Prenter was a an enabler a hanger on who misused his influence.
It was a Toxic friendship, true friends tell you what you don’t want to hear.
Scene where he doesn’t fill Rogers glass somes up the relationship between the rest of the band
Tensions were in the band because of Prenters influence were shown and indeed Brian May wasn’t happy with Hot Space because of his interference
We see scenes referring to that where Prenter offers his opinion in the studio and in the recording studio for Mr Bad Guy he tells the sound man to turn the treble up
In the movie Prenter is sacked prior to Live Aid in reality Prenter was sacked in 1986 and the ultimate betrayer came in 1987 with him selling his story in 1987 telling all £32,000
The articles really did tell all and must have been a huge blow to Freddie Mercury
He tried to make excuses by saying he was hounded by the press
Paul Prenter died in August 1991 a few month before Freddie
VIDEO BY James Rundle