2022 Annual Review and Dr Sir Brian Harold May C.B.E.

As the year comes to a close, we learn that Dr Brian Harold May, C.B.E., musician, songwriter and animal welfare advocate has received a richly deserved knighthood in the New Year honours list for services to music and charity and becomes Dr Sir Brian Harold May C.B.E. The full citation is included below.

Brian May is an acclaimed musician and songwriter, founding member of the rock group Queen. In 2020 he was named Greatest Guitarist of All Time by Total Guitar Magazine. Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985 is acknowledged as the greatest live set in history. Brian famously opened the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002 performing live on Buckingham Palace roof – and 20 years later returned to open the Platinum Jubilee concert atop the Victoria Monument. He is also an accomplished astrophysicist, now attached as stereoscopist to many NASA space exploration teams. He re-established the London Stereoscopic Company in 2008, was co-founder of Asteroid Day in 2015, for the protection of Earth from asteroid strikes, and was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008-2013. His work defending Britain’s wild animals led him to found the Save-Me Trust in 2009, which is his continuing passion, campaigning for the rights of foxes and badgers, and hosting an active wild-life rescue operation.


I would like to thank you for supporting Doug Short Guitar Blog by visting this website, watching my YouTube videos and subscribing to my YouTube channel. I have produced 17 videos this year to augment the traditional words and pictures style of dsgb.net and present Brian May guitar and equipment related content via a more engaging medium. Most of these have been technically challenging to produce and some (BHMOHM and Tri-Sonic pick-ups, Deacy amp for example) have required investment amounting to a few hundred pounds on top of the US$100 per annum cost of keeping dsgb.net on line so please help me sustain this endeavour by liking and subscribing. I will consider an equipment giveaway if you can help me reach and maintain the 1,000 subscriber/4,000 watch hours milestone to join the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP). I have also populated my Pinterest and Instagram accounts with photographs from project activities and events I attended so please check them out too.


Looking at the year in numbers, dsgb.net has been on line for two years and had 16,650 visitors and 95,500 views in 2022 representing 48% and 92% increases respectively over calendar year 2021. I am very pleased with this growth for what is a niche interest website. My YouTube channel has grown from 360 to 791 subscribers enjoying 125,227 views and 4,319 watch hours. After a much-needed seasonal break from my main line of work developing and delivering simulator training at EDF Energy’s Torness nuclear power plant, the main challenges for 2023 are to first complete the series of three videos on building a Deacy amp replica and then realise other ideas to give fresh insights into, and inspire others to start their own Brian May related guitar and equipment projects.

Brian May Red Special Guitar Podcast

The one we have all been waiting for is finally here. Live at 19.00 on Saturday, 5th November 2022, Red Special Guitar Podcast host Jon Underhill brings us an intimate discussion with Queen guitar legend, astronomer, animal rights campaigner and stereoscopic photographer, Dr Brian May. Watch, listen, enjoy and show your support for Jon’s endeavours by liking, commenting and subscribing to The RSGP on its various platforms.

dsgb.net Website 12 Month Progress Update

dsgb.net has now been fully populated since late December 2020 with all the content I originally planned and consists of 108 pages and 63 blog posts (including this one). As you can see from the WordPress statistics shown in the images below, the website is receiving 700-800 visitors per month and has settled to around 5,000-6,000 individual content views per month; the results for December 2021 are representative. The website has attracted over 8,600 visitors and over 64,000 content views since being fully populated, the bulk of which are from the USA and Western Europe. However, I am more fascinated by the small number of views from exotic locations, whether or not somebody on holiday or serving on a military base clicked on the wrong Google search result!

A huge thank you from me to everybody around the world who has shown interest in Doug Short Guitar Blog; I hope I have inspired and helped a few people around the world to launch their own guitar build or modification projects. The highlight of 2021 for me was attending the U.K. Red Special meet-up at Theale Village Hall. I am looking forward to the following Queen and Brian May related activities in 2022:

  • In January I will be a guest on Jon Underhill’s Red Special Guitar Podcast where we chat about how Curiosity Killed The Cat helped get me into Queen, the day I met Brian May and the challenges of building a Red Special replica.
  • In March (Covid-19 constraints permitting) Jon and I will be attending Luke Holwerda’s second U.S. Red Special meet-up in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • In June, I am looking forward to attending the Queen + Adam Lambert Rhapsody Tour postponed from 2020 at the O2 Arena in London with my wife and children.

I have a few more RS build videos planned and I will obviously post content from the enthusiast meets but workload permitting, I anticipate moving on to other guitar related projects including one I have wanted to attempt for some years: a 1959 Gibson Les Paul replica build.

dsgb.net Website 6 Month Progress Update

When I launched dsgb.net in October 2020, I intended only to create a straightforward, traditional website to present my guitar build and modification projects in a more structured way than was possible on any internet forum or social media platform. Although many people have social media accounts, there will always be interested parties who are difficult to reach without a regular internet presence.

In the six months since I registered the domain name, I systematically populated dsgb.net with my Brian May Red Special guitar build project, the Fender Stratocaster and Burns Red Special modification projects and the two collaborations with Luke Holwerda and Jon Underhill to showcase their work. I then added a section covering enthusiast meets and concerts I have attended and a FAQ section which now has three articles on Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, how to “play like May” and some background information on my CAD designs. I augmented this in February 2021 with a “Gear” section to present basic information and attractive pictures about the various pieces of musical equipment used by or related to Brian May otherwise my strapline “guitar and gear info here” would not be meaningful.

In March 2021, I reached a minor milestone of creating the 100th unique web page and writing the 50th blog post on dsgb.net.

As you can see from the WordPress statistics shown in the attached images, the website has sustained growth in both the number of people visiting the site each month and the number of views. My intention was to build an accessible and objective reference canon for people interested in Brian May guitars and equipment, not write a weekly or monthly journal or build a site as comprehensive as Gilmourish.com for example, so I only expected to see around five to ten visitors and maybe 40 to 50 views per day. However, traffic has surpassed my modest expectations to grow to over 750 visitors per month (around 25 per day) and over 5,000 unique views which is very gratifying. Discounting those using VPNs to view the site, there have been over 22,000 views from visitors in 72 different countries on all populated land masses which is more a testament to the global reach of Queen than anything I have done.

It remains to be seen whether this traffic can be sustained, will increase, or reduce if I don’t regularly post new material. I was planning to close my Facebook blog page in due course once dsgb.net was established but since there has been an increase in my “likers and followers” this month I will maintain a presence on Facebook for the foreseeable future. A heartfelt thank you from me to everybody who has shown interest in Doug Short Guitar Blog.

Take Your Pick

Thanks to Dan at http://www.mybadges.co.uk/ in Southampton, U.K. for these lovely purple celluloid metallic hot foil printed custom guitar picks. I have had a passing interest in graphic design since school, having studied art at GCSE level so launching this website offered the perfect opportunity to design a distinctive and meaningful logotype for myself. This is not as straightforward as it seems but it was the first activity I engaged in after registering the domain name with WordPress in October 2020.

My original idea was to use a simple circular theme to suggest an acoustic guitar sound hole and the decorative ring that usually adorns it. I also wanted to suggest guitar strings somehow so I selected a rounded, bold sans serif typeface that would work well with the circular theme and lend itself well to the filled double outline style. I realised that if I used the lower case four letter abbreviation for Doug Short Guitar Blog, the letters “d” and “b” would confer some symmetry on the logotype. Given that the letters “g” and “b” also represent Great Britain (U.K.) where I am based, I hoped that the overall appearance would evoke the roundel style thematic element used on the most iconic urban transportation system in the world, the London Underground.

I chose the colour simply because I find a wide range of hues on the purple part of the visible spectrum to be the most appealing. I actually prefer lilacs but not many objects (including clothes, cars, guitars, walls in your home) look tasteful in those hues!

The initial scoping was done using the excellent software utility Logo Design Studio Pro from SummitSoft. I then transferred to TurboCAD to design simplified and negative variants of the logotype for scaled down applications such as printing onto small items and for internet avatars. Although the simplified “white-on-purple” design loses the double-outlined suggestion of guitar strings element, I now prefer the boldness and simplicity of it to the original.