[Photo via YouTube/AXS TV]
As it turns out, Brian May‘s recent over-exuberant gardening accident that tore his gluteus maximus was just the tip of the iceberg. The legendary Queen guitarist and astrophysicist just opened up about a much worse injury and that he had a heart attack.
May seems in good spirits as he ended telling his story by saying “I’m good, there’s no need to panic. Please don’t send me sympathies and such, cause I’m good, just send me congratulations if you’d like.”
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Earlier in May, Brian May shared that he had to go to the hospital. “I managed to rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening,” May said on his Instagram post. He said he was on his way to recovery but the pain was relentless.
As it turns out, while he did tear his gluteus maximus, he also has a compressed sciatic nerve that was causing him immense amounts of pain. A lower back MRI revealed the compressed nerve. It was most likely caused by 50 years of lugging around a heavy guitar over his shoulder.
“And that’s why I had this feeling that someone was putting a screwdriver in my back. So finally we started treating the thing for what it was. I’d been putting the ice pack in the wrong place for about 10 days,” May shared.
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Next, the Queen founder detailed that he also had a heart attack.
“In the middle of the whole saga of the painful backside, I had a small heart attack. I say small, you know, it’s not something that did me any harm. It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest, and tightness, and that feeling in the arms, and sweating.”
May detailed his journey to the hospital where he was told he had three congested arteries. Doctors presented him with two options—triple bypass open heart surgery or placing three stints in those arteries. He elected for the latter and seems to be doing just fine.
“I’m incredibly grateful that I now have a life to lead again,” May shared. “I was actually very near death because of this, but the pain that I had was from something completely different, it’s funny how things work. I’m good, I’m here and I’m ready to rock.”
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In the Instagram post, May even makes a joke about the Queen album Sheer Heart Attack and how he always worried a bit about the album title. Hear Brian May tell the story below.
My medical adventures !
Hmm … Sheer Heart Attack eh ? Well, I think I always worried a little bit about that album title. I wondered if it might upset some people who had actually had heart attacks. I’m actually quite relieved now that I’m in that club – and I don’t find it upsetting at all ! Take. care folks. And … why did those discs in my spine get so squished? Well I think 50 years of running around with a guitar strap over my left shoulder holding a heavy guitar might have something to do with it ! But it probably WAS all worth it ! Bri
In a deleted scene from Sammy Hagar‘s (Van Halen) AXS show Rock & Roll Roadtrip, Hagar spoke with Brian May. Within, May revealed that he and Adam Lambert have done some Queen recording in secret.
Further along, May stresses the importance of a singer in a band. Even though May is known as the legendary guitarist of Queen, he says it’s the singer that’s the most important, everything else is just there.
What could be construed as good or bittersweet news is that Brian May and Lambert have been in the studio together. Lambert has been collaborating with Queen for Queen + Adam Lambert since 2011.
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Recently the two and Queen drummer Roger Taylor played a moving rendition of the classic “We Are The Champions.”
But now, it seems there might be some new stuff on the horizon. In the deleted scene, Hagar asks May what’s next for him and Queen.
“I do a bit of recording here and there. We haven’t…well, we have recorded with Adam [Lambert] in secret.” Hagar then looks at the camera and shushes, which May does as well and says “yeah.”
“But we haven’t felt it was right to put it out. We didn’t think we hit the right vibe.”
May goes on to stress the importance of the message the singer is putting across.
“I like playing my guitar and I like instrumental stuff, but to me a song is about the singer and music is about songs. Because you have some message to convey and that’s what the singer does.”
“The rest of it can be important, but it’s not as important as the person who’s putting across the idea.”
“I loved to write for Freddie [Mercury]. I loved to see him do his stuff with us. You would give Freddie something and he would make it into something else. He would take it to the next place. So I miss that”
Watch the full clip below.
We’re glad May is doing fine and wishing him a very speedy recovery.
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Alkaline Trio, 2000