Brian May looks back on the creation of Bohemian Rhapsody: “We didn’t rehearse it at all”

May shared stories about the creation of one of rock's most beloved tunes.

The latest episode of Rick Beato’s What Makes This Song Great? series tackles Bohemian Rhapsody – and Queen’s Brian May made a guest appearance to share stories behind the creation of the tune.

While Beato provided a breakdown of the song’s stylistics, harmonic intricacies and more, May provided anecdotal insight into the creation of the tune, starting out by revealing that Queen didn’t rehearse the song per se, prior to entering the studio.

“Well, you know it was a kind of rehearsal-recording situation in the studio,” May said. “We went in there with ideas and we started playing around, but in the case of John [Deacon] and Freddie [Mercury] and Roger [Taylor], they would pick things up very quickly; they would [throw things] at each other and very quickly [be in sync].”


Further along, May demonstrated the out-of-phase guitar tone he applied on the solos, explaining he had “ample opportunity” to come up with the iconic lead lines while in the control room listening to his band lay down take after take.

“I said ‘I would like basically a piece of a verse – I want to be joining in and taking the story a bit further so I want a verse pattern’ and so they built that into the backing track,” May said.

Watch the full episode below: