Andrew Guyton

Il liutaio inglese che per primo ha avuto il privilegio di smontare pezzo per pezzo la Red Special di Brian May e di riportarla al suo splendore originale!

Guyton è anche il “creatore” delle mitiche repliche della Red Special, chitarre fedeli in un tutto e per tutto all’originale e suonate anche da Brian stesso, recentemente durante il tour con Paul Rodgers.

Non abbiamo provveduto a tradurre le risposte della Q&A per via dell’argomento trattato, piuttosto “tecnico”: una traduzione in italiano di alcuni termini sarebbe stata difficile ed avrebbe probabilmente compromesso la comprensione di parti del testo.

Cosa hai provato, quali sono state le tue emozioni ad avere tra le mani la mitica Red Special?
What do you felt, which were your “emotions” when you had the RED SPECIAL in your hands?
I remember this one well!….At first I was incredibly nervous, but as I examined the guitar, this turned to admiration and awe. Firstly because it was built 40 years ago by Brian and his Father, secondly, it’s still in active service and largely unchanged.

Hai notato qualcosa di particolare o di inaspettato quando hai visto le radiografie della Red Special?
Have you noticed something particular or “unexpected” when you saw for the first time Red Special’s x-ray?
Not really! The x-rays helped in the smaller details such as screw placement for the blockboard and knife edge

Quante e quali critiche ti ha fatto Brian May sui prototipi che hai costruito?
How many and which critics Brian made to the prototypes you built?
I built 2 prototypes, both of which are in regular use. The red one is my current workshop demonstrator. The green one is owned by Brian and was used as back up guitar on the last Queen/PR tour. The only alterations I was asked to do was to increase tremolo spring rates, re-shape the tremolo arm knob and to round off’ the aluminium bridge blocks

Quali sono state le sue prime reazioni quando ha suonato i tuoi prototipi?
What Brian said when he started to play your prototipes? What did he say?
Brian was very complimentary about the prototypes but with the small improvements made for the production guitars, Brian was since said that they are virtually indistinguishable from the original Red Special.

Secondo te la Red Special è una delle chitarre più versatili al mondo?
In your opinion, is the Red Special one of the most “versatile” guitar in the world?
The Red Special is certainly very versatile in that it has many different sounds, but these sounds have a very distinctive character. If this type of sound is your ‘thing’, then yes, it’s certainly one of the most versatile guitars around.

La Red Special può essere definita ancora una chitarra moderna, o necessita di qualche aggiornamento?
The Red Special can be considered (also today) a “modern guitar”? Or she need some “updates”?
Again this is really down to personal taste. If the RS has what you want, then no updates are necessary. The Burns/Brian May production guitar continues to sell well. The only possible updates I guess Brian would make now, would be to use more exotic woods, such as ebony for the fingerboard and a mahogany body… But of course this would change the sound.

Se Brian avesse costruito la sua chitarra pochi anni fa (invece di 40 anni fa) la Red Special ora sarebbe molto diversa?
Do you think that if Brian built his guitar a couple of years ago (instead of 40!), the Red Special now will be very different? Or just the same?
Hmmm!..this is a tough one! During conversations I have had with Brian, it seems that the materials used for the Red Special were dictated by the lack of options rather than chosen for their sound. Brian wanted Ebony for the fingerboard but had to use oak and painted it black to make the appearance of Ebony, also, the choice of pickups and hardware is much, much greater these days. So….yes, I think if the Red Special was built only 2 years ago it would be quite different…..But who knows!

Che genere di schermatura (shielding) usi sulle tue Red Special?
Which kind of shielding do you use on your Red Special?
I use self adhesive copper foil, which is seam soldered.

Come mai la tua scelta è caduta su dei Burns Tri-Sonic e non su degli Adeson che sono molti più fedeli agli originali degli anni ’60?
Why you choose to use some “Burns Tri-Sonic” instead of some “Adeson” that are really more faithful to those of ‘60s?
I think at the time of my building of the prototypes, I hadn’t heard of adeson pickups, so I naturally went for the Burns pickups. These have been extensively reworked and Brian has approved the sound, so it would seem a little pointless to change things at this stage. But I may be trying a set out in the future, so….who knows!

Pensi che proverai un set di pickup Adeson?
Do you think you’ll try also a set of “Adeson”?
See above answer to question 9

Uno dei “segreti” più grandi della Red Special sono le caratteristiche tecniche dei pickup. Ci puoi dire quali sono esattamente i valori di DC Resistance per ogni pickup?
One of the most important Red Special’s secrets are his pickup’s technical features. Can you tell us which exactly are their DC Resistance value?
AAAAGGHH!…I’ve been asked this question many times! I’m sorry but I am unable to give these specs….sorry!

Cos’altro ci puoi dire su i pickup montati sul’originale?
What else can you tell us about Red special’s original pickups?
There is not really anything I can tell you that has not been discussed and already documented, apart from resistance values (see question 11)

Come lo descriveresti Brian?
How you describe Brian?
This is an easy one! Brian is a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He is always willing to help in every way he can.

Hai mai visto un concerto dei Queen?
Have you ever seen a Queen concert (with Freddie)?
Unfortunately not!!! I have seen 2 dates of the 2005 Queen/Paul Rogers tour but alas, I never got to see Freddie perform.

Tu che sei stato a casa di Brian, ci puoi dire Brian quali e quante chitarre ha più o meno?
Can you tell us how many and which kind of guitars does Brian have at home?
Brian has dozens of guitars at home, half electric, half acoustic. A majority of the electric are different types of Red Specials…..oh, and he has 3 Guytons….Ha Ha!

Quante copie di Red Special hai contato a casa sua?
How many Red Special’s copies did you count at his home?
I don’t really know how many RS copies Brian owns, but I would guess around between 12 and 20 different types of RS.

Hai visto anche qualche basso? Sai se lo suona?
Have you seen also some bass? Do you know if he plays bass?
I can’t recall seeing a bass guitar, but I am sure a man of Brian’s skill with the guitar, could rattle out the odd bass guitar tune or two.

Usa SOLO dei Vox AC30?
Does Brian use ONLY Vox AC30?
As far as I know, the AC30 is the only amp Brian uses….apart from the Deacy of course

Brian usa solo un Fryer treble booster? O gli è capitato di suonare altri treble booster?
Do you know if Brian uses only Fryer’s treble booster? Or he plays also different kind of treble booster?
Brian only uses the Fryer treble booster.

Cosa avete fatto, tu e Fryer, di particolare sulla Red Special nel dicembre 2005?
What did you and Mr Fryer do in particular, on the Red Special in Dec.2005?
Greg and I did some routine maintenance on the RS last year. This included replacing the zero fret with a highly modified one Cleaning out and lubricating the bridge and knife edge.. I also replaced the old jack socket (which was literally falling apart) with a new socket. This wasn’t as straight forward as it sounds, with Pete Malandrone’s help (manning the vacuum cleaner) I carefully had to remove wood from the RS until the new jack socket would fit.
This was probably the longest I have ever held my breath!!!! Apart from all this, it was just a good clean and polish.

Una piccola curiosità, che fine ha fatto la vecchia tracolla (quella che ha usato dai primi anni ’70 fino al ’98)?
A little couriosity, what happen to the old strap (the one used from the early ’70s till the end of ’98)?
I am sorry, I have no idea what happened to that old strap.

Sai quante e quali Red Special, Brian ha usato nei concerti Queen+PR?
Do you know how many and which Red Special’s Brian used in the Queen+PR concerts?
Apart from the original Brian used 2 Fryers (John and George Burns) and 2 Guytons (green prototype and the scalloped model). I think he also took a Guild on tour…..but I’m not totally sure on this one.

Quali Guyton ha suonato?
Which Guyton guitars did he played?
See answer to 22

Come ti sei sentito quando ha suonato le tue chitarre?
How did you felt when Brian played your guitars?
It is quite an experience to see Brian May playing one of my guitars. Brian always plays at full volume – even in his front room! I was very proud indeed!!

Hai visto qualche concerto Queen+PR? Che ne pensi?
Have you seen Queen+ Paul Rodgers live? What do you think of them?
Yes I saw them twice. Once at Brighton Academy (The first date of their British tour) and again at Hyde Park (their last). Both times were amazing!!

Sarai coinvolto con la nuova produzione delle Brian May Guitars? In che modo?
Will you be involved in the production of the new “Brian May Guitars”? If yes, in which way?
I may be involved in a very small way in design consultation, but that’s all.

Sai se Fryer o Malandrone avranno qualche ruolo nella nuova produzione?
And do you if Mr Fryer and Mr Malandrone will be involved too?
Pete, Greg and I are really on hand as advisers, we wont be involved in any production

E’ molto geloso Brian May delle sue chitarre e della Red Special in particolare?
Is Brian very jealous of his guitars and of his Red Special in particular?
I think this question may have lost something in the translation. But Brian is very careful and protective over the Red Special. I feel very privileged to have been given such exclusive access to it.

Links
Il sito ufficiale di Andrew Guyton

QueenItalia & Andrew Guyton, Settembre 2006 – Settembre 2007.

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