Brian May’s Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

Brian used this guitar shortly on tour around 1974-1975. It was mainly just a backup guitar for his Red Special, but it seems that Brian didn’t really like it all that much.

I used to think the Stratocaster would be the thing when I got one. Always thought when I got enough money to get one of those, that will be it. Then, when I got enough, I didn’t like it. The same with the Les Paul. I thought the Les Paul would be it.

6 July 1976 – Circus Magazine interview with Brian May

There’s really not a lot of info or footage of this guitar, so it’s largely a mystery. From the few photos that we have, it appears to be a Les Paul deluxe with two mini-humbuckers, with the body finished in red sunburst.

Brian May playing a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, mid 1970s.
Brian May playing a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, mid 1970s.


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9 months ago

He used two of those as well: there’s a photo of him with one in Oklahoma City (19th of April 1974), most likely borrowed from Mott the Hoople; and his own, which IIRC was used for a mimed performance as well, and he still had it as late as spring 1977 as a second spare.