The second US Brian May Red Special Enthusiast meet-up took place at the Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 N 16th Street in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, 26 March 2022. As in 2020, the event was again arranged by Luke Holwerda, supported by Jon Underhill of The Red Special Guitar Podcast. The video below is a ten minute compilation video of some of the highlights of the day and includes demonstrations by Ricky Peraza of his CQ Red Special, a modified BMG Special owned by Andrek Hernandez and a 1994 Guild Brian May owned by Gonzalo Plaza. Check out the story in the Events section.
Luke Holwerda has just announced the second US Red Special Meet-up on Saturday, March 26 2022.
It’s time to go “Back to the Light” of Phoenix, Arizona to showcase, discuss and celebrate Brian May’s homemade guitar, which has inspired so many of us to pick up our first musical instrument… and in some cases, even build it! Bring your Red Special, your Vox AC30 and accompanying gear and join us for a day of rock-n-roll fellowship… in-person! Covid-19 vaccination will be required for entry. Look out for updates on Facebook and Instagram with information on the venue, etc. in due course. Please share with anyone who may be interested. #RedSpecialMeetup2022.
Red Special Guitar Podcast host Jon Underhill and I will be visiting to Phoenix from March 24-29 to support Luke, hang out and maybe check out visitor attractions in The Grand Canyon State. We are looking forward to meeting new and familiar members of the US Brian May enthusiast community such as Woody Thomas of RS Conversions and Ron Smith, proprietor of The Cybershop, supplier of high quality, authentic Red Special guitar hardware.
Take a look at my reports from the 2020 meet-up and brief US road trip taking in Hollywood (including Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard), Disneyland Resort, Anaheim and Grand Canyon West here:
On 8th March 2020, Luke Holwerda, Jon Underhill and I visited Guitar Center’s Hollywood store on 7425 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles during our short road trip after Luke’s inaugural USA Red Special meetup in his home city of Phoenix, AZ. The value of the opportunity we took was only fully realised around a month later when the Covid-19 global pandemic adversely affected international travel and tourism.
Along with Norman’s Rare Guitars on Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, Guitar Center in Hollywood should be on every guitar player’s pilgrimage route but we only had time in our limited schedule to visit one of these stores and get an evening meal. We started our visit by checking out the handprints of various famous guitar players set into the sidewalk outside the main entrance. As you can see from the pictures, my guitarist chromosomes consist of three quarters blues and one quarter Queen. I think there’s a few rogue DNA strands of progressive rock in there too.
“Founded in 1985, Guitar Center’s RockWalk is an industry-recognized music landmark and pedestrian path located at the entrance of our flagship store on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. RockWalk is dedicated to honoring musicians and musical pioneers who have made a significant and lasting creative contribution to the growth and evolution of music through their exceptional level of talent, outstanding innovation or creative ingenuity with their chosen instrument(s).“
Guitar Center’s Hollywood store also has a display of memorabilia such as the late Eddie van Halen’s homemade red Kramer guitar, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s denim jacket, Keith Moon’s drum kit, and platform boots from KISS. A guitar store wouldn’t be a guitar store without a bunch of talented kids occupying the aisles shredding away testing their preferred gear. They have a wall of effects which is only slightly larger than Luke’s own pedalboard but the highlight was the core of the premises which contains rare and high end guitars and amplifiers.