Brian May Says Ian Hunter Warned Him About Being In ‘The Wrong Business’

Queen icon Brian May spoke in his new YouTube video and recalled when the band was on tour with Mott the Hoople during Queen’s early years before great success and popularity. May revealed that the band’s frontman Ian Hunter gave him a piece of unexpected advice about his musical career.

In 1973, Queen started to work on their second studio album entitled ‘Queen II,’ and they performed supporting acts for Mott the Hoople in the same year when the band members were very new in the music business. Therefore, May had a chance to spend time with his musical hero, Hunter, who was way more experienced than him back then. He cherished Hunter’s and the band’s influence on him with his covering ‘All the Way from Memphis’ for the second solo record and performing it with the singer years later.

The guitarist stated that being a part of an actual rock tour excited him. Then, May shared a conversation between him and Hunter, saying that the singer asked him whether he enjoyed all of this and missed home. The famous musician admitted that he missed his life, the people around him, and many more things while he was away from them to work. Hunter said it’s a sign of being in the wrong business, considering a rock star’s life full of concerts, tours, and travels away from home.

However, thankfully, May didn’t listen to this advice and kept creating and playing songs with Queen, becoming one of the world’s most famous and influential rock bands. The guitarist added that he understood what Hunter meant. Still, he never regretted pursuing a professional musical career, even though it’s challenging to leave your whole life behind during the endless tours and concerts over the years.

May said in his interview that:

“Miserable old sod he is, but I love him dearly. He once gave me great advice. We’re in the middle of the tour. I think we’re in Memphis, Tennessee. My jaw is dropping my eyes are wide open. I’ve never seen anything like this. It was mayhem.  I don’t know how to describe it; it was like indulgence personified. You imagine a rock tour to be, the gig, the hotel, everything.

I sat down with Ian late at night, and he said, ‘Brian, are you enjoying this?’ I went, ‘Yeah, I said I’ve never experienced anything like this.’ He says, ‘Are you missing your home life at all?’ I said, ‘Well, actually, you’re right.’ So I said, ‘I miss the things around me. I miss my things; I miss my people and everything’. He said, ‘Brian. If you miss your things and your people, you’re in the wrong business.’

He added:

So that’s the advice which I didn’t take. Luckily. I persisted, but it is a hard business, you know when you take on being a rock musician for real. You have to say goodbye to your home life for quite a long time. So all the stuff you thought was essential to you, all the things that make you feel secure. All the people who give you support, you have to say goodbye.

In those days, even more so because you couldn’t communicate. When you were on the road, you couldn’t phone home. We couldn’t. I couldn’t afford to phone home when we were first out there. So do I regret it? No, of course, because it gave me my life. It’s been an incredible life, and it’s opened the doors to so many other things.”

You can check out May’s video and the performance below.