Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Brian May BMG Special • Art Series • Frank

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    Lee Campbell (aka whaleblueprs)

      Seems appropriate my first post would be Queen related, lol....

      From the Brian May guitars website:

      Marking the launch of our brand new BMG Art Series range, this exclusive, limited edition guitar celebrates Queen's 1977 masterpiece, "News Of The World" with a stunning original image of Frank, the child-like robot with murderous tendencies from the classic album's cover, his piercing, blood-red eyes staring ominously from an all-black, Special style instrument, with matching black hardware.

      NOTW's famed artwork, painted by American artist Frank Kelly Freas, was a reimagining of his cover for the October 1953 issue of pulp sci-fi magazine Astounding Science Fiction, a favourite of (Queen dummer) Roger Taylor's. Used to illustrate the short story “The Gulf Between" by Tom Godwin, the original work depicted a giant robot, a man’s lifeless body help limply in one hand, its finger dripping with blood and eyes pleading "Please... fix it, Daddy?”.

      At the band’s request, Freas agreed to alter the design, replacing the fatally wounded figure with the apparently dead likenesses of all four band members; Brian May and Freddie Mercury lying in the automaton’s monstrous metal hand, with John Deacon and Roger Taylor falling to earth. The visionary illustrator was also commissioned to create a new work for the album’s inner gatefold with the cooly emotionless robot extending its hand through the shattered roof of a vast auditorium to grasp at a panicked, fleeing crowd.

      A classical music fan, Freas admitted to not knowing of Queen in advance, and avoided their music until after the cover was completed "because I thought I might just hate them, and it would ruin my ideas”. Thankfully, upon listening to the album after submitting his contribution to what would eventually become part of rock history, the artist approved of what he heard.

      Despite receiving mixed reviews upon its release, "News Of The World" was certified double platinum in the UK and 4 x platinum in the United States, going on to become the band’s best-selling long player to date, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. Christened in honour of his creator, Frank has assumed iconic status in his own right and was finally brought spectacularly to life for Queen + Adam Lambert's 2017 + 2018 concert performances, both as an animated visual and an animatronic character.
      The striking design of the Frank Special - taken from a rendering of the 3D model created by Mark Hough for the Q+AL stage show and originally used for the 2017 Record Store Day 12" vinyl re-release of "We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You" - was created by the Brian May Guitars art department exclusively for this project.

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