Brian May’s Burns Baldwin Double Six 12-String

Brian used this guitar on the song “Long Away” from Queen’s 1978 album A Day at the Races. According to him, the inspiration for the song came from just playing this specific guitar.

I used this on Long Away. Funnily enough I think I bought it because I liked the pickups, but I fell in love with the guitar once I started playing around with it and the song materialised. The guitar actually inspired the riff that powers the song.

Brian May on 9 Queen guitars that aren’t his Red Special

This guitar is produced by Burns and features the exact same pickups that Brian used in his Red Special – the Tri-Sonics. This is, as noted in the quote above, the reason why Brian purchased the guitar in the first place. Also, it’s the exact same model that Elvis Presley pled in the movie “Spin Out”.

White Burns?

Brian was also photographed using the exact same Burns model but finished in white, during the A Night at the Opera studio session in 1975 – see Queen At Ridge Farm Studio – GettyImages). However, according to a 1983 interview with GuitarPlayer magazine, his Burn’s guitar was green.

I have one Strat and one Telecaster, and a green sunburst 12-strings Burns. I also have a Flying V, which is a recent acquisition.

Interview with Brian May “Guitar Player” magazine – January 1983

So, it’s possible that he owned the white model in 1975 and then switched to a green one by 1983.


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9 months ago

The Ridge Farm photo is from a Baldwin (or Burns) Bison, not a Double-Six. Different model, different colour and, more importantly, six strings instead of twelve.

1 year ago

a day at the races came out in 1976