The 2017 Red Special enthusiast meet-up at Theale Village Hall near Reading, U.K. organised by Jon Underhill and Shawn Leaver reflected the international reach of Queen’s music with highly knowledgeable enthusiasts and amateur musicians from The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany and all parts of the United Kingdom (including Bedfordshire, East Lothian, Devon and Suffolk) flying in.
We were treated to an exclusive preview of an hour long video of a refurbishment of Brian May’s original Red Special carried out by Andy Guyton and Will Gatley of Guyton Guitars in April 2016. Andrew and Red Special community stalwart Martin Pitcher gave a talk on the design and development of the Guyton RS Transporter guitar.
The 2017 meetup was the first formally organised one for several years and presented a great opportunity for old friends to catch up and for newer members of the community like me to integrate, network and socialise in person rather than across the digital world of social media.
We were also privileged to be able to inspect and handle several of Brian May’s guitars built and brought along by Andy Guyton of Guyton Guitars including the ‘Badger’ semi acoustic used to play Crazy Little Thing Called Love on the 2014 Queen + Adam Lambert concerts and Brian’s RS Transporter which has replaced the Guyton scalloped fretboard Red Special as his main warm up guitar. As if that couldn’t be topped, we caught a glimpse of Thomas Jackson’s rack as well as Pete Malandrone’s semi and his hole! [Photo credits: me and Gerben van Dooremaal]. See also Will’s blog at Guyton Guitars for additional selected photographs:
Gerben van Dooremaal appeared on episode 3 of The Red Special Guitar Podcast on February 19, 2021, hosted by Jon Underhill. Listen here:
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