Queen's Brian May Shares 2nd Star Fleet Project Video Series Episode

Bruce Henne | 06-26-2023

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Brian May News Video still June 26, 2023
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(hennemusic) Queen guitarist Brian May introduces the band members behind his 1983 EP, "Star Fleet Project", in the second episode of a new video series about the package ahead of its expanded 40th anniversary reissue next month.

Having acted on impulse during some downtime from Queen's schedule, May recruited Edward Van Halen, bassist Phil Chen, drummer Alan Gratzer, and keyboardist Fred Mandel to join him in the studio for a couple of days at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA.

"Ed Van Halen was a phenomenon and I guess that hardly needs saying," explains May, while referring to Chen as "a great character. He's Jamaican extraction. I think he was born in Britain - full of sunshine - full of life. And as a bass player full of kind of tautness, and humour. He played with a great kind of panache."

May recalls REO Speedwagon rocker Gratzer, as hitting the drums "pretty much harder than anyone I've ever known. He hits them with big, fat oak sticks. I think they're oak, turned the wrong way around, so he's hitting this... drums with a big part of the stick, as opposed to holding the fat part", while describing Mandel as "a character. Fred is a one-off stand-up comedian who just happens to be a virtuoso keyboard player. You know, he's never switched off. It's kind of like the life and soul of a recording session - and he was."

The five-piece appeared on the 3-track "mini-album" (aka an EP) under the banner of Brian May + Friends; the set's title track was inspired by the Queen rocker's hard rock re-imagining of the signature tune from the Japanese-made kid's science fiction series of the same name

Get more details from Brian about the band lineup and the 40th anniversary reissue here.

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