Brian May has opened up about the lasting after effects of battling Covid as he revealed he is suffering from extreme waves of tiredness.
The Queen rocker, 74, spoke about his struggles of the long-lasting impact of his Covid bout on the How Do You Cope?… with Elis and John podcast.
Brian explained that while he doesn’t feel tired all of the time, he will suddenly be hit by an ‘irresistible’ urge to sleep, as he joked he hopes it doesn’t happen during a gig.
Long-lasting effects: Brian May has opened up about the lasting after effects of battling Covid as he revealed he is suffering from extreme waves of tiredness
The singer, said: ‘I have a strange persisting condition – I think it’s from the Covid – I get these kind of ‘brown outs’.
‘Generally I’m okay, I’m not tired all the time, but I’ll get to a sudden point in the day where something inside my head goes, ‘You have to sleep now. You don’t care about any of this. Go to sleep.’
‘It’s an almost irresistible call and I just go out like a light. It’s really weird. I just hope it doesn’t happen in the middle of a gig! I’ll have to say, “hang on half an hour, I’ll have a nap guys and then we’ll do Champions”. But I feel good. I don’t know if it’s changed me.’
Covid: The Queen rocker, 74, spoke about his struggles of the long-lasting impact of his Covid bout on the How Do You Cope?… with Elis and John podcast
Brian shared the news that he was Covid positive just before Christmas in an Instagram post featuring photos of his test result.
‘Yep. The shocking day finally came for me. The dreaded double red line,’ he began his post. He urged his fans not to bother with ‘sympathy,’ as his condition seemed to be on the upswing.
‘It has been a truly horrible few days, but I’m OK. And I will tell the tale,’ he continued. The musician urged his followers and fans to ‘PLEASE take extra care out there, good folks,’ as the novel coronavirus was ‘incredibly transmissible.’
‘You really do NOT want it messing up YOUR Christmas,’ he concluded, before signing off and wish his fans ‘love.’
Positive: Brian explained that while he doesn’t feel tired all of the time, he will suddenly be hit by an ‘irresistible’ urge to sleep, as he joked he hopes it doesn’t happen during a gig
Elsewhere on the podcast, Brian spoke about the deaths of his father Harold and his Queen band mate Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS in November 1991.
Brian said: ‘It was very hard. Hard to get perspectives. It was obviously massively important for me to lose my dad, and very difficult to come to terms with, but it was a private thing. Losing Freddie was like losing a brother, but yes it had the glare of public knowledge to go along with it.’
‘We were kind of dragged into a perpetual wheel of having to look at the loss of Freddie in a public way. That’s why I tend to hide away on the anniversary of his death.
‘People do a lot of, sort of celebrating on the day of Freddie’s death, but I don’t want to and I don’t feel I can. I’ll celebrate his birthday, or the day we first got together, but the day of losing him will never be something I can put straight in my head. There was just nothing good about it.’
Brian spoke about the immediate grieving process, including states of denial, that he and Roger Taylor, 72, went through after losing Freddie.
‘I think Roger and I both went through a kind of normal grieving process, but accentuated by the fact it has to be public. We sort of went into denial. Like, ‘yeah well, we did Queen, but we do something else now’.
Brian admitted it was a topic they avoided, saying: ‘Roger and I plunged into our solo work and didn’t want to talk about queen. That seems almost nonsensical because we spent half of our lives constructing Queen. But we didn’t want to know at that time. It was a grieving thing. We just overcompensated. It went on for a long time.’
‘I went so far as to adapt John Lennon’s ‘God’ song in my solo stage act to say, ‘I don’t believe in Queen anymore’. That was a vast overreaction. I didn’t need to do that, why would I do that? Because I couldn’t cope with looking at it.’
The singer, said: ‘I have a strange persisting condition – I think it’s from the Covid – I get these kind of ‘brown outs’
Brian recalled working on Mercury’s vocals for Made In Heaven after he had died, which he said was ‘traumatising’ because it would sometimes feel like Freddie was in the room.
‘It was very weird. It was traumatising in itself. I spent hours and days and weeks working on little bits of Freddie’s vocals. Listening to Freddie the whole day and the whole night. I’d have moments thinking,
“This is great…this sounds great…Fre…oh you’re not here”. It was quite difficult. You’d have to go away from it sometimes and recover and come back. But I felt this immense pride and joy in squeezing the last drops out of what Freddie left us.’
‘I still love that album. I think it’s my favourite Queen album. There are things in there that are so deep. There’s pure gold in there. I love every minute of that album.’
Tragic: Elsewhere on the podcast, Brian spoke about the deaths of his father Harold and his Queen band mate Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS in November 1991
While discussing Freddie, Brian spoke about one of his fondest memories in the band, which was when they recorded their final album in Swizerland.
He said: ‘In England, Freddie was being pursued by Paparrazzi. They were putting lenses in his toilet window to see if they could catch him unaware.
‘It was horrendous. A terribly difficult time for him to live and have any kind of normal life. But in Switzerland, they left him alone. Everyone respected his privacy.’
‘We formed a shell around him. We worked in the studio. We drank a little and we ate. We’d go to private restaurants and we’d be like a family. Some of those times were the best I can remember.
‘We were so glued together as a unit. It was a great time, strangely enough. You wouldn’t have expected it to be a great time but it really was wonderful. We could see how we were creating and fulfilling our potential together.’
Brian also spoke about his former band mate John Deacon’s decision to step back from public life and retire from Queen 30 years ago.
He said: ‘The short answer is it was difficult and it is difficult. Not only did we lose Freddie, but because of the way John is and the decisions he’s made, we’ve lost John as well. That’s hard because we were a very close family.
‘It hurts. I constantly, I suppose, ask myself if I could have done better, if I could have made him feel better and able to stay with us.
‘I feel like I didn’t do as well as I could have done. John was going through a very hard time – he took it very hard losing Freddie. You could see John visibly having a hard time coping. The few things we did after Freddie were incredibly stressful for John……he didn’t want to be a part of Queen ongoing as an entity.’
‘He became, from our point of view, a recluse I suppose. The only way he does communicate is through business things because he’s still interested in how Queen, as a financial entity, is run.
‘If there’s a big decision to be made, a message goes to John and he will come back. That’s the only time we communicate. It’s a shame because he’s a wonderful bass player and incredible song writer.
‘We miss John, but we respect his wish to be private and to be separate from what we’re doing. He doesn’t object to us doing it, but he doesn’t want to be a part of it.’
Not the life for me! Brian also spoke about his former band mate John Deacon’s decision to step back from public life and retire from Queen 30 years ago