Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Sounds (and looks of Queen)

Media Moment: Late Show With David Letterman
Queen Related: Musical guest using Red Special copy

Usually I only watch the first few seconds of Letterman’s musical guests before finding the delete button on the remote, but a recent band on his show caught my eye, however. Not because the lead singer appeared to be the second coming of Debbie Harry, but because the guitarist looked like he was playing a Red Special.

Sure enough, when the camera passed by Felix Rodriguez a few more times, I could see that he was definitely playing an original Guild BHM1 guitar. If I remember correctly, these guitars were an early commercial endorsement by Brian although he withdrew his support when Guild failed to address some quality issues.

Felix didn’t sound like Brian—at least not the song performed on Letterman—but his use of the Guild knock-off must be a Queen homage. He could have opted for any garden variety guitar but why pick Brian’s and then not try and sound like him? To be fair, I suppose, he may simply like the feel of it, rather than the sound.

But as I dug a bit deeper into The Sounds website, I noticed that their merchandising included a t-shirt with a small crown in the design. Queen coincidence? Maybe. What about one of their singles called Queen of Apology? Maybe it’s a song about their lead singer, Maja Ivarsson? Who knows.

But that Guild Red Special says a lot about their overall identity and they must have been aware of the Queen reference it suggests. Being from Europe (Sweden), Queen’s musical legacy in that part of the world was most likely stronger than a lot of other acts so who can blame them for acknowledging them as possible influences.

Whatever is going on with Felix is fine. He certainly piqued my curiousity and I will definitely keep an eye out for them from now on. Here’s a link to one of their videos so you can see Felix and his BHM1 in action.

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