Friday, June 5, 2009

The Rockman and the Red Special

I’ve always drawn a parallel between Brian May and Tom Scholz, of Boston. As guitarists, their styles are immediately recognizable and their innovative use of multi-tracked guitars is still, I suspect, a pioneering achievement few others have mastered.

Aside from their musical similarities, they have many interesting connections.

With higher education:
- Tom is a graduate of MIT with a Masters in mechanical engineering
- Brian has a PhD in astrophysics

With electronics:
- Tom built the Rockman, a commercially successful pocket amplifier—not to mention he worked at Polaroid as a Senior Product Engineer. He could probably make a VCR out of a pack of gum and a jack knife.
- Brian built the Red Special, a one-of-a-kind guitar whose tremelo bar rarely goes out of tune even though it’s made from motorcycle parts and a knitting needle.

With philanthropy:
- Tom has been a vegetarian for years and actively supports PETA and Greenpeace as well as supporting homeless shelters, food banks, stopping world hunger, animal rescues, and advocating for children’s rights.
- Brian is a vegetarian and supports the following charities:21st Century Leaders, 46664, Nordoff-Robbins, Prince’s Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, Whatever It Takes, and the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

And, of course, they’re both pretty tall. Tom is 6' 5" and Brian is 6' 2".

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