May unveils Queen ebook
Words: Dave Ling
Brian May has given Classic Rock a demonstration of the new multi-touch electronic edition of Queen’s career-encompassing book 40 Years Of Queen.
The affable guitarist hosted a media session at London’s Groucho Club to introduce a wide array of functions of the digital edition of the tome, written by Classic Rock contributor Harry Doherty.
“I’m a bit of a technophobe but this version does an incredible job of telling the life that Queen led,” May informed the mass of reporters, adding proudly: “This is the best book ever.”
Many of the new features were culled from May’s own collection of band memorabilia. “I was the guy that tried to hold onto these moments as they passed. If we played Madison Square Garden, I’d keep a ticket. I also kept hold of clothes and posters, an amazing cornucopia of artefacts. Instead of leaving them to gather dust in some air conditioned storage room I wanted people to see these things and be able to play with them.”
Brian revealed that his father had drawn a map charting the route of one of the band’s early continental tours. “Click on the city names and you can even see the set-list that was played while we were there,” he smiled. “I love seeing this stuff and it’s great to be able to share it.”
May is especially proud that the interactive edition allows readers to listen to the band’s music and even purchase songs from iTunes as they progress from page to page. “It takes you as deeply into the Queen legacy as you can get,” he claimed. “Touch an album and a replica of the vinyl comes out of the page. You can see the track listing. Our first album, for instance, now has all of our original demos. This version of the book leads you directly to all of those different extras; it’s as state-of-the-art as you can get.”
In the future, however, May believes that a wealth of extra features can be built into the format. “We will be updating the content as we go along. It already has a Live section which is already extremely good, but over the coming months we will be adding material from Live At The Rainbow which can be fed into this product… you’ll be able to see it and click on it as an update. The fact that it can continue to evolve is what makes it so exciting.”
Published by Carlton Digital, the web version of 40 Years Of Queen can be bought for £9.99 from the iBookstore. Find out more.