Strummin’ – Trivia on the Greats! Installment 1

In the final run-up to the concert, we will be slowly revealing the artists we will be paying tribute to. Think you know all there is to know about The Greats? How much of the following is new to you? A great heartfelt thanks is owed to Karl Micallef who compiled this installment… from memory!


The highest note in “Bohemian Rhapsody” is B flat in the 5th octave (Taylor’s “for me” just before the hard rock section).  Ouch.

Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar and named Farrokh Bulsara.  Farrokh who?

Mercury died only 1 day after making a public statement that he had AIDS on 24th November 1991.  Sad day.

Freddie left virtually all of his wealth to his girlfriend from the 1970s, Mary Austin.

Queen’s Brian May started a Ph.D. at Imperial College London in astrophysics in the 1970s but interrupted his studies, only to complete it in 2007; in the meantime, he had better things to do.

May uses a coin – usually a six pence – instead of a ‘normal’ plastic plectrum.

May’s first real guitar – The Red Special – was built by May and his father, using wood from the home mantlepiece, hence his affectionate name for it: The Fireplace.  Awww.


The name “Pink Floyd” was devised by founder Syd Barrett by combining the name sof 2 blues artists: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

3 of Floyd’s members – Mason, Waters and Wright – met whilst studying architecture in the early 1960s.

Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” took almost 9 months to record and remained in the charts for 741 weeks.  Go ahead, try to beat them.

Clare Torry, who sang “The Great Gig in the Sky”, received £30 for her performance.  Cheapskates.

Floyd’s original line up is made up of Roger Waters, Syd Barrett, Rick Wright and Nick Mason.

Pink Floyd (new line up Roger Waters, Rick Wright, Nick Mason and David Gilmour) played together for the last time during the Live 8 concert in London in July 2005; Wright died in 2008 after battling with cancer.

The opening to “Money” was recorded by Waters in his home’s garden shed using his wife’s pottery wheel to loop tape around a mic stand.  Truly DIY.

Before Syd Barrett was fired from Pink Floyd. He was a real mess on stage: he would either strum just 1 chord throughout a whole gig, de-tune his guitar or simply not play at all.


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