While The Beatles broke up in 1970, their legacy has lasted for generations. Many incredible musicians arose who incorporated the band’s remarkable songwriting and instrumentals into their own work. Brian May credited George Harrison as an influence on his guitar skills. He only met the ex-Beatle once, but it was a “precious moment” in his life. Brian May remembered his one and only meeting with George Harrison.
Harrison was terminally ill in 2001 after a long struggle with illness. May pondered on Harrison’s impact and discussed the one time he met him before his death in November of that year. May told Guitarist Magazine that he was fortunate to perform with the “Something” vocalist at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London at the Water Rats Ball. “I’ve only ever met George once,” Harrison admitted. “We met at a Water Rats gathering when Bert Weedon was King Rat. George, Joe Brown, Bert, and I were there… such a priceless event. I had a blinding migraine, yet the moment was stronger than the pain.
I wish I’d had the courage to speak what I really felt at the time. I hold George in such high regard, and I believe he is vastly underappreciated by the guitar community. Everyone praises fast players, but when you look at the archive of work he’s produced, it’s massive.” Queen, according to May, were inspired by The Beatles.
During the 1960s, the Beatles were the most popular musical act on the planet. Many emerging bands looked to the band as a model, not only for their music but also for their style. They weren’t an outlandish band, but they figured out how to write singles that touched people’s hearts and brains. Brian May stated in an interview with Express that George Harrison and The Beatles were “models” for Queen. He called them the “greatest” and still adores them today. “The Beatles were our bible,” stated May.
“They were models at every stage of their careers and musical development.” They were, and still are, to me. All of those albums are fantastic. They are, in my opinion, the best. They represent the peak of rock music writing, performance, and ethics. They smashed through so many obstacles that they literally transformed the planet. “I will always love The Beatles unconditionally.” May, on the other hand, is concerned that the next generation isn’t as familiar with The Beatles as they should be.
“I feel like they’ve been underrepresented in the world as it is today,” he continues. “Today’s kids don’t know The Beatles as well as they should.” The Beatles, like Queen music, should be weaved throughout people’s life.” While it is true that children do not listen to The Beatles as much as other bands, most of today’s youth recognize the band and can name a few of their songs. Many young musicians, including Billie Eilish, cite The Beatles as one of their major influences.