he was probably christmas shopping

About my handle…

It’s kind of a personal reference. I met Brian May and family, entirely by happenstance, December ‘78 at Pier 39 in San Francisco. It was a brand-new shopping centre and my family and I were up in The City for our annual Christmas shopping trip (I’m originally from Santa Cruz, about 75 miles south).
I never asked him why they were in the Bay Area a week before Queen were due to play but as near as I can guess, they had a four-day time off. It was between their Kansas and Seattle shows and he was probably visiting friends and doing some Christmas shopping himself. He was wearing a midnight blue velvet blazer with a little silver bicycle pin on one of the lapels.
And…I guess I can say which store I met him in, since it’s not there anymore. It was the San Francisco Music Box Shoppe and he was checking out the cabinet with the real expensive boxes, inlaid-fruitwood and brass disks that play a gazillion tunes, automaton chirping birds, handcrafted ones. Chrissy was with him and pushing a stroller with then baby Jimmy in it. I stood back and left them alone, let them do their browsing/shopping and waited until they were going to move on before approaching and asking, “Are you Brian May from Queen?” Yeah, like the mass of dark brown curls, cute English accent and obvious “money is no object” wallet weren’t clues! #teenagederp
Brian was wonderful. Very gracious, friendly, witty and kind. He gave me that terrific smile of his and quipped, “I’m afraid…I am!” I remember being slightly taken aback, not at his height or the hair (I was pretty tall myself) but his fangs. Also at how sparkly his eyes were: understand that this was before the Internet, even before video machines, and magazine photographs just didn’t do him justice.
So we spent a few minutes chatting and looking back, I keep thinking that I was probably the luckiest girl in the world because it was in a rather mundane environment, and this was about when he stopped being as shy as he used to be. Not a rock ‘n roll circus with a thousand other fans and a veritable army of professionals contending with me. Just him and his family, and me with mine. Even my folks liked him. Dad later told me that he changed his mind about rock stars after that encounter. Get this: my Dad NEVER changed his mind! Once he took an opinion, that was it, set in stone, the Immoveable Object. Maybe Brian really is an angel walking around on Earth, spreading miracles in his wake? Could be…

So now you know why Brian May is my favourite.