Sunday, August 26, 2007

Queen guitarist Brian May awarded astrophysics
doctorate he abandoned 3 decades ago

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

The rocker was awarded his qualification Thursday by London's Imperial College and said submitting his thesis, Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, to supervisors was as nerve-racking as any stadium gig.

"I'm feeling rather joyful. I cannot tell you how much of a weight off the mind it is," May said late Thursday.

May was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when he joined Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to form Queen in 1970, but dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became successful. Queen became one of Britain's biggest music groups in the 1970s, with hits including Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You.

Click here for the rest.

Right, well, of course I approve of this. As many Real Art readers know, I went back to school three years ago to get the master's degree that I didn't get when I was in my early twenties, which was over fifteen years ago--even if I don't become some big superstar, which probably won't happen, it was worth it for its own sake; I'm sure May, who actually published an astronomy book recently, would agree with me. You know, this science-braininess is apparently something of a rock and roll tradition: guitarist and creative heart of the band Boston, Tom Scholz, has a master's degree in engineering from MIT. And isn't guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of Steely Dan and the Doobies something of an amateur expert on missiles?

Anyway, congrats to Brian May. Here's the song with my favorite May guitar solo; I'm sure you're familiar with it: