Nuno Bettencourt and Steve Vai have reacted to the news that Brian May was voted greatest rock guitarist of all time in a new Total Guitar poll.
"Congratulations @brianmayforreal," wrote Nuno Bettencourt. "From the first note I heard you play, you've shaped my guitar and musical DNA. I would have never become the guitarist and more importantly composer I am without engulfing QUEEN and you, Brian. So, so blessed that we can listen to you anytime. Love you."
In a separate social media post, the EXTREME guitarist wrote: "A BIG Congratulations to Brian May. You are the Champion... my friend. I'm so happy for you getting your overdue praise. With respect to Total Guitar, you didn't have to tell ME.
"There are not enough characters alowwed on IG to talk about how Brian's guitar playing, tone, taste, composition, writing, singing, and intellect has impacted my Guitar Playing... impacted my EVERYTHING. Yes he can play like a beast. His tone was ahead of its time. But the most important element I learned from the King of QUEEN was his ultimate respect for THE SONG.
"As guitarists, we cannot wait for our leashes to be taken off and go attack the song. But trust me, if it weren't for Brian, one of the chosen few, who taught us that it's quality over quantity. That a guitarist can single handidly elevate a song into the stratosphere or selfishly burst it into flames at the launchpad.
"Most of the time you'd wait with anticipation for the guitar solo, to hear what a player has to offer. Yes, Brian did that. And ALWAYS like a pervert wine pairing, he served the perfect solo for song. But what made him extra special was his sprinkling of taste and genius throughout the song. A simple note. A bend. A quick flurry of harmonized guitar from the left to the right in poetic conversation with Freddie's vocal. That's Brian's brilliance. His band chemistry.
"We all know how brilliant Freddie's vocal was. But it was the Roar of Brian's guitar and his musical companionship that empowered Freddie to lift that iconic clenched fist and sawed off mic stand into the air with Gorgeous Arrogance.
Vai chimed in, writing: "This is a totally appropriate recognition in my opinion. Congrats Bri. You will always be my hero."
May beat out such other guitar legends as Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
Speaking with Total Guitar, May said: "I'm absolutely speechless. I'm blown away. I have to say it's completely unexpected. Obviously, I'm deeply touched that people feel that way about me. I'm not under any illusions that, technically, I'm even on the tree of great guitarists."
He continued: "I guess this tells me that what I've done has affected people, and that means a great deal to me. I will never claim to be a great guitarist in the sense of, you know, a virtuoso. I guess I just try to play from my heart and that's about."
A BIG Congratulations to Brian May.
You are the Champion... my friend.
I’m so happy for you getting your overdue...