Brian May regrets never working with John Lennon

19 July 2023, 15:54

Queen's Brian May and The Beatles legend John Lennon
Queen's Brian May has said he regrets not having the chance to work with the Beatles legend. Picture: 1. Aldara Zarraoa/Redferns 2. Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Jenny Mensah

The legendary Queen guitarist name-checked the late Beatles icon when asked who he regrets not collaborating with.

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Brian May wishes he had the opportunity to work with John Lennon.

The legendary Beatle died on 8th December 1980 after he was shot dead by a fan and the Queen guitarist revealed that he wished they could have collaborated together.

Asked by a fan via The Guardian who he regretted not working with, the Bohemian Rhapsody guitarist replied: "I very seldom turn down a collaboration. A regret is that I didn’t get the chance to work with John Lennon."

He added: "The Beatles didn’t always agree, they were always pulling and pushing – a bit like us and Queen – and I think John would be such a stronger pusher and puller. You’d have to work really hard to keep up, to believe in your instincts. I could imagine us hitting it off."

READ MORE: Brian May says it's "not impossible" that Queen could discuss ever playing Glastonbury Festival

May also referenced The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as bands he would have wanted to be in if he wasn't in Queen.

Asked what other legendary group he'd liked to have been part of, he mused: "The Beatles, probably. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been easy to be a Beatle, but that incredible level of creativity, I would relate to."

The We Will Rock You legend went on to recall he could sympathise with the band's moments of creative block in the studio when he watched the Peter Jackson-directed Disney+ documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.

I watched a lot of Get Back. I got a bit sad watching the first one, because it reminded me of us – sometimes Queen in the studio would be [inhales nervously], 'Here we are, and things aren’t quite fitting'.

I' felt they were in quite a painful place – but the second one, I felt like they were really finding each other again. It’s a textbook of how to be in a studio. If it wasn’t the Beatles, it could’ve been Led Zeppelin. If they let me in.

It's always amazing to have Brian May on the show!

Queen's admiration for The Beatles and John Lennon is nothing new.

The icon's tragic death led the band to perform his Imagine anthem on tour and Freddie Mercury wrote Life Is Real (Song For Lennon) in dedication to him two years after his passing.

The heartbreaking lyrics of the song begin: "Guilt stains on my pillow/Blood on my terraces/Torsos in my closet/Shadows from my past/Life is real, life is real/Life is real, so real"

Life Is Real (Song For Lennon) (Remastered 2011)

Lennon may not have worked with Queen, but he did manage to collaborate with fellow artists.

David Bowie's 1975 single Fame - which comes from his Young Americans album - was co-written by Lennon as well as Bowie and Carlos Alomar.

Back in 1974, Elton John collaborated with John Lennon on his cover of The Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and in return Elton John's harmony vocals and piano featured on the Lennon's Whatever Gets You Thru the Night single.

John Lennon & Elton John - Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

READ MORE: Which Queen songs did Brian May write?

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