I can remember when I first heard about this. Brian May, lead guitarist for the legendary British rock group Queen, had finished a PhD in astrophysics at London’s Imperial College. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, well of course he did.
The title of his thesis could have easily been the title to a great rock album. Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud sounds like something a band from the 70s would release.
Apparently, May was a student at Imperial College before joining Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to form Queen. When the band took off, May’s studies were put on the back burner. Well, it was 2007 I think when he, 3 decades later, finally handed in the 48,000 word thesis, which seeks to prove planets and dust clouds in our solar system orbit in the same direction, for approval. May said that facing examiners while presenting his thesis was tougher than any stadium gig he ever played. “It was a bit nerve-racking walking into the room, but once we got going it was fascinating,” May said. “There’s always that feeling they could ask that big question that could sink you, but luckily they didn’t.”
Brian May was formally presented with his doctorate at a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Listening to his music, and his tone, I knew there was some cosmic wizardry going on there. I’m thinking that the dude may even have his own fucking spaceship housing all his riff mastery. The dude is a genius. Fuck’n Right.