Most famous appearance: Crazy Little Thing Called Love (The Game, 1979)
It will be news to most Queen fans, but this guitar isn’t actually a 1954 Esquire, as has often been reported down the years. It’s owned by Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who tells us that he used it on the track Sheer Heart Attack himself, but the four bolt neck plate’s serial number dates the body to early 1967.
However, the neck is almost certainly from later than that (it’s missing its gold transition logo for a start) and various other details lead us to believe that the guitar comprises parts from several different instruments.
BM: “I never tried [recording Crazy Little Thing Called Love] with the Red Special. What happened was that we were sitting around talking about what we were going to do with the song and I said that Ithought it needed that period sound – the James Burton Tele sound.
“I said to [producer] Mack that my guitar was pretty good at making a sound like a Tele, but he just looked at me and said, If you want it to sound like a Telecaster, why don’t you just use a Telecaster?
“Roger just happened to have this lovely old thing lying around, so I picked it up, plugged it in, and it worked. The amp? I don’t think it was a Boogie… the honest truth is that I’d use whatever was lying around. I thought I’d used a Fender amp, actually, but I wouldn’t swear to it.”
“I was standing at the front but couldn’t move, I could only take pictures of Syd Barrett and Nick Mason. After the concert, Syd Barrett said: ‘Why do the audience scream so much? Why don’t they clap?’” - Photographer Nick Aarestrup Roddik on the band’s concert at The Boom Dancing Center from 1967